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Largest Cities in Colombia (2020)

Largest Cities in Colombia (2020)

Photo: Inspired By Maps/Shutterstock

Want to know more about the Largest Cities in Colombia? Here’s an updated list, ranked by total area and population in 2020.

Colombia is a state in the northwestern region of South America and ranks as the 29th most populated country in the world with a total population of 48,258,494. In terms of area, it covers 1,141,748 square kilometers (440,831 square miles).

Colombia is divided into 32 main administrative regions called departments. Bogotá is a special city designated as the capital city district and is equivalent to a department. Furthermore, Colombia is ranked as one of the most biodiverse countries in the world. 


Bogotá is the capital of Colombia and also its largest city. With a population of 8,181,047, it is the main hub of economic, cultural, political, and industrial activity in the country.

The city of Bogotá is spread over a vast area of 1,587 square kilometers (613 square miles) making it one of the largest capital cities in the world by area.  

Bogotá has been the historical administrative center of the region since it was founded as the capital of the Kingdom of Granada in 1538. The city continues the tradition into the modern-day being home to the executive, legislative and judicial branches of the government.


Photo: Shutterstock


Medellín is the second-largest city in Colombia. It is located in the Antioquia department in the northwestern region of the county. The city has a population of 2,529,403 and spans a total area of 380.64 square kilometers (146.97 square miles).

The city is a major economic center in the region and serves as the main retail and trade center of the region. It was known as the most dangerous city in the world in the 1980s, but Medellín has come a long way since then.

It was the site of the notorious Medellín Cartel headed by Pablo Escobar. However, today it has seen a revival and become one of the main tourist hot spots in Colombia, and it has gained popularity as a hub for digital nomads in South America. 


Photo: Shutterstock


Cali is the capital of the Valle del Cauca department located in the western coastal region in Colombia. The city is the third-most populous in the country with a population count of 2,445,405 and covers a total area of 619 square kilometers (239 square miles).

It is one of the fastest-growing cities in Colombia today and the economic boom is attributed mostly to the manufacturing, agricultural and trade sectors. La plaza de Cayzedo is the main attraction marking the center of the city and surrounded by various other historic sites and attractions.


Barranquilla is the capital of the Atlántico Department in northern Colombia. It is the fourth-largest city in Colombia with a total population of 1,232,462.

The city has the second-largest port in the country and a strategic position on the Magdalena River, which makes it a prime candidate to serve the internal trade routes in Colombia.

Barranquilla is also famous for its shopping districts and serves as the retail and trading hub of the Caribbean region of Colombia. The city is home to the first airport in the continent of South America, Ernesto Cortissoz International Airport.


Photo: oscar garces/Shutterstock


Cartagena is the capital city of the Bolivar department in Colombia. Located in the northern Caribbean region, the city is the fifth-largest in the country with a total population of 1,036,134 and a total area of 572 square kilometers (221 square miles).

The main economic activity in Cartagena revolves around maritime and petrochemical industries. The city is home to the University of Cartagena and is well known for its cultural and historical sites.

Cartagena in Colombia

Photo: Mariano Luis Fraga/Shutterstock


Cúcuta is located in the northeastern region of Colombia and is the capital of the Norte de Santander department. With a population of 668,838, it is the sixth-largest city in the country and spans a total area of 1,176 square kilometers (454 square miles).

Cúcuta is unique in the sense that it was first conquered by German expeditions and not Spanish conquistadors as is usual for most cities in Colombia. The city is one of the important economic centers of Colombia and home to several multi-billion-dollar companies due to its proximity to Venezuela.


Soledad is a city and municipality located in the Atlántico department in northwestern Colombia. The city has a total population of 666,247. Soledad became an important local commercial and manufacturing center due to its proximity to Barranquilla.

The rapid growth and industrialization of Barranquilla led to Soledad becoming a secondary commercial center. Separated by only 5 kilometers (3 miles), the two cities are usually considered as sister cities with many companies having offices in both cities.


Ibagué is the capital city of the Tolima department and is located in the center-west region of Colombia. It is the eight-largest city in the country with a total population of 569,336.

The city’s metropolitan area covers a vast expanse of 1,498 square kilometers (578 square miles). Ibagué lies on the Andean Volcanic Belt and is notable for its proximity to two active volcanoes, the Nevado del Tolima and the Cerro Machin.

Most Populated Cities in Colombia

Here’s a list of the largest cities in Colombia, ranked by their total population. 

1 Bogotá 8,181,047
2 Medellín 2,529,403
3 Cali 2,445,405
4 Barranquilla 1,232,462
5 Cartagena 1,036,134
6 Cúcuta 668,838
7 Soledad 666,247
8 Ibagué 569,336
9 Soacha 544,997
10 Bucaramanga 528,610
11 Villavicencio 516,831
12 Santa Marta 507,455
13 Valledupar 483,286
14 Bello 482,287
15 Pereira 476,636
16 Monteria 460,082
17 San Juan de Pasto 455,678
18 Buenaventura 424,047
19 Manizales 400,136
20 Neiva 347,438
21 Palmira 310,594
22 Armenia 301,224

How many of the largest cities in Colombia did you know about? Leave a comment below!

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