Uribia, Colombia

Reading Time: 5 minutes

Uribia, Colombia

Region: La Guajira

Geographic Coordinates: 11.713900, -72.265800
Temperature Range: 25.0°C to 35.0°C (77°F to 95°F)
Climate: Dry and hot with occasional rainfall.
Population: 117674
Language: Wayuunaiki

Uribia is a small town in the La Guajira Department of Colombia, Known as the indigenous capital of the country. The majority of its population consists of Wayuu people, Who have lived in this region for thousands of years. The town’s environment is dry and arid due to its desert landscape. Despite its harsh surroundings, Uribia has a lively atmosphere with vibrant markets selling traditional handicrafts and fresh produce. The Wayuu people are skilled weavers who create beautiful textiles using techniques passed down through generations.

The unique architecture in Uribia is made from local materials such as cactus wood or mud bricks that blend seamlessly into their surroundings while providing shelter from the intense heat. It also serves as an important economic center for trade between Colombia and Venezuela due to its location near both countries’ borders. Visitors can witness traditional dances performed by local groups or attend festivals celebrating important dates on the Wayuu calendar to experience much of Uribia’s cultural heritage over time.

Overall, Uribia offers a unique glimpse into one of Colombia’s most fascinating cultures while providing visitors with stunning natural landscapes that are unlike anywhere else on earth.

Important Landmarks

  1. Wayuu Market: This market is located in the center of Uribia and provides an opportunity for visitors to experience the local culture by shopping for traditional crafts, textiles, and jewelry made by the indigenous Wayuu people.
  2. Punta Gallinas: This remote peninsula is home to stunning beaches, sand dunes, and rocky cliffs that offer breathtaking views of the Caribbean Sea.
  3. Cabo de la Vela: Another beautiful beach destination with clear waters and white sands where visitors can relax or go on boat tours to nearby islands.
  4. Manaure Salt Flats: These salt flats are one of Colombia’s most important sources of salt production and offer an interesting glimpse into the region’s economy.
  5. Cerro de la Teta: A mountain with an unusual shape resembling a breast (teta in Spanish), which offers panoramic views of Uribia and its surrounding landscapes.
  6. Los Flamencos National Park: Located just outside Uribia, this park boasts diverse ecosystems including wetlands, mangroves forests, beaches, coral reefs home to various species such as flamingos, iguanas among others.

Primary Industries

Industries in Uribia, Colombia

  1. Agriculture
    • Crops produced: corn, beans, cassava, and yucca
  2. Fishing
    • Proximity to the Caribbean Sea
  3. Tourism
    • Serves as a gateway to popular destinations like Cabo de la Vela and Punta Gallinas
  4. Handicrafts
    • Produces items like hammocks, hats, and bags made from natural fibers
  5. Mining
    • Extracts minerals such as coal and salt from the surrounding areas
  6. Livestock farming
    • Cattle rearing contributes significantly
  7. Transportation services
    • Essential due to its strategic location on the road network connecting various parts of La Guajira department
    • Taxis and buses operate from this hub

Overall, Uribia’s diverse range of industries contributes significantly towards both local employment opportunities and national economic growth.

Noteable History

  1. Uribia is a municipality in La Guajira, Colombia that has been home to the Wayuu people for centuries.
  2. It has also played an important role in Colombian history, including being a trading post during colonial times and being visited by Simon Bolivar during the wars of independence.
  3. Unfortunately, Uribia has also been affected by drug trafficking and other illegal activities due to its proximity to Venezuela.
  4. Additionally, recent years have seen a humanitarian crisis caused by drought and food shortages that are affecting indigenous communities.
  5. Despite these challenges, Uribia remains an important cultural center for the Wayuu people and hosts several festivals throughout the year celebrating their traditions.
  6. It is also notable as the childhood home of former Colombian President Alvaro Uribe Velez’s who grew up there while his father worked as a cattle rancher.

Museums and Things To See

  1. Wayuu Market: A vibrant market where visitors can buy traditional crafts and textiles made by the indigenous Wayuu people.
  2. Cerro de la Teta: A hill with a unique shape that offers stunning views of the surrounding landscape.
  3. Punta Gallinas: The northernmost point of South America, featuring beautiful beaches and sand dunes.
  4. Parque Nacional Natural Macuira: A national park with diverse flora and fauna, including cacti forests and various bird species.
  5. Museo Etnográfico de Uribia: A museum showcasing the cultural heritage of the Wayuu people through artifacts and exhibits.
  6. Iglesia de San Antonio de Padua: A historic church dating back to the 18th century with impressive architecture and religious artwork.
  7. Casa Taller Luis Alberto Acosta Castro: An art center dedicated to promoting traditional Wayuu arts and crafts through workshops and exhibitions.
  8. Mirador del Faro (Lighthouse viewpoint): An observation deck offering panoramic views of Uribia from atop a lighthouse tower.
  9. Laguna Grande de Santa Marta (Santa Marta Great Lagoon): A scenic lagoon surrounded by lush vegetation that is ideal for swimming or kayaking activities.
  10. Cabo De La Vela Beaches : Beautiful beaches located in Cabo De La Vela town known for kite surfing activity.

Cultural Events

  1. Barranquilla Carnival – A large carnival held every February or March in South America.
  2. Medellin Flower Fair – A colorful festival that celebrates flowers and gardening every August.
  3. Bogota International Film Festival – An annual week-long event that showcases international films and documentaries.
  4. Cartagena International Music Festival – A classical music festival held each January featuring world-renowned musicians.
  5. Cali Fair – One of the most important cultural events in Colombia which celebrates salsa dancing, bullfighting, and other traditional Colombian activities.
  6. National Coffee Festival – An annual celebration of Colombia’s coffee culture held every October.
  7. San Pedro Alejandrino Feast Day – A religious festival celebrated on June 29th to honor Saint Peter Alexandrino who died at his hacienda near Santa Marta city on this day.

Please note: It is advisable to check for updated information before planning any travel or attending any event/festival due to COVID-19 restrictions or other unforeseen circumstances.


  • Restaurante El Rancherito: This eatery serves a range of classic Colombian dishes, including grilled meats, seafood stews, and empanadas.
  • Restaurante Los Pescadores: As its name suggests, this restaurant specializes in fresh seafood fare like ceviche and fried fish.
  • Restaurante La Guajirita: Here you can enjoy a mix of Colombian and Wayuu cuisine such as arepas (corn cakes), sancocho (a hearty soup), and chivo guisado (stewed goat).
  • Comedor Popular Wayuu: A favorite among locals for quick bites to eat; they offer traditional Wayuu food like arepas de huevo (egg-filled corn cakes) and carne asada (grilled beef).
  • Restaurante La Casona del Sol: Located on the outskirts of Uribia with breathtaking views of the surrounding desert landscape while serving up delicious grilled meats and fresh salads.

  • Parks and Recreation

    1. Parque Nacional Natural Macuira: This national park is located near Uribia and offers hiking trails, bird watching opportunities, and beautiful views of the desert landscape.
    2. Playa de Mayapo: This beach is located about 30 minutes from Uribia and offers a place to swim, sunbathe, and relax.
    3. Laguna de Taroa: This lagoon is located about an hour from Uribia and offers boating opportunities as well as a chance to see flamingos.
    4. La Guajira Desert Tour: Visitors can take a guided tour of the desert landscape surrounding Uribia.
    5. Cultural tours: Visitors can learn about the indigenous Wayuu culture through guided tours of nearby villages or visits to local markets where traditional crafts are sold.


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