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Colombia

Stretching approximately 950 miles (1,540 kilometers) north to south, the Magdalena is Colombia’s longest river. Named after the Christian saint Mary Magdalene, the river is a vital trade route that connects the coastal regions of the north with the mountains of the ­interior.

The Caribbean plain, which extends inland from the coast, makes up the remainder of the Caribbean coast subregion. Most of this area is drained by the Magdalena River. This waterway begins as a steep torrent in the Andes, slows down as it crosses the nearly flat coastal plain, and empties sluggishly into the Caribbean Sea near Barranquilla. Along its route from the Andes, it collects water from the smaller streams that join it. As a result, by the time it reaches the coastal plain, the Magdalena River is huge and, as a result, is prone to flooding. Floods occur each year during the rainy season, so much so that the river hampers set-­ tlement of the plain. Nevertheless, the Magdalena and its main tributary, the Cauca River, are vital routes for trade between the coastal seaports and the ­resource-­rich Andes ­Mountains. The Andes ­Mountains Colombia includes the northern end of the magnificent Andes Mountains. Geographers usually refer to the range simply

Colombia  
Colombia  

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