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Cordillera Occidental, Colombia

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Title: Cordillera Occidental, Colombia  
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Subject: Chocó department, Cauca River, Atrato River, Crax, Gorgeted Puffleg
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Cordillera Occidental, Colombia

Template:Infobox mountain range

The Cordillera Occidental (English: West Andes) is the lowest in elevation of the three branches of the Colombian Andes. The average altitude is 2,000 m (6,600 ft) and the highest peak is Cerro Tatamá at 4,250 m (13,940 ft). The range extends from south to north dividing from the Colombian Massif in Nariño Department, passes north through Cauca, Valle del Cauca, Risaralda, Chocó, and Caldas Departments to the Paramillo Massif in Antioquia and Córdoba Departments. From this massif the range divides further to form the Serranías de Ayapel, San Jerónimo and Abibe. Only to recede into the Caribbean plain and the Sinú River valley.


The western part of the mountain range belongs to the Pacific region, with the San Juan River being the main watershed, while the eastern part belongs to the Cauca River basin. The northern and northwestern parts belong to the Atlantic Slope, with the Atrato and Sinú Rivers being the main watersheds. The Cordillera Occidental is separated from the coastal Baudó Mountains by the Atrato River.

Highest Peaks

  • Cerro Tatamá - 4,250 m (13,940 ft) - Chocó & Risarada
  • Farallones de Cali - 4,050 m (13,290 ft) - Valle del Cauca
  • Farallones de Citará - 4,050 m (13,290 ft) - Antioquia
  • Páramo de Frontino - 3,950 m (12,960 ft) - Antioquia
  • Cerro Caramanta - 3,900 m (12,800 ft) - Antioquia, Caldas & Risaralda
  • Cerro Napi - 3,860 m (12,660 ft) - Cauca
  • Alto Musinga - 3,850 m (12,630 ft) - Antioquia
  • Cerro Calima - 3,840 m (12,600 ft) - Valle del Cauca
  • Cerro Paramillo - 3,730 m (12,240 ft) - Antioquia
  • Cerro Ventana - 3,450 m (11,320 ft) - Valle del Cauca & Chocó

Protected Areas

The West Andes have the following nationally protected areas from south to north:

Other areas under consideration for national protection include:

Locally Protected Areas

  • Yotoco Forest Reserve
  • Bitaco River Forest Reserve

Recreation Areas


See also

Template:Mountain Ranges of Colombia

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