MundoAndino Home : Andes Colombia Guide at Mundo Andino


Natagaima is a town and municipality in the Tolima department of Colombia, on the shore of the Magdalena River, at 326 meters over the sea level. The population of the municipality was 21,324 as of the 1993 census, and its average temperature is 26 degrees celsius. Natagaima was founded in 1606 by Spanish conqueror Juan de Borja y Armendia.


Some believe the name of Natagaima comes from the words Nataga and Ima (land), others state that the name was created because there was an Indian named Nataga, who was the chief of this region, and married Queen Ima, ruler of the Tribal Chiefs of the center of Tolima.


North: Coyaima and Prado, East: Dolores and Alpujarra, West: Ataco and Coyaima, South: Aipe(Huila).

Distance from Ibague(capital of Tolima): 118 km.

Population and economic activities

Approximately 26,600 habitants reside in the 862 sq. kilometers of Natagaima. Its economy consists mainly in agriculture, an activity induced by its hot weather. The main agricultural products are rice, cotton, corn and sorghum.

Besides agriculture, breeding of livestock occupies an important place in the economy of Natagaima, specially that of the Zebu species.

Other economical activities include craftsmanship and saddlery.


The people of Natagaima were submitted by Spanish Conqueror Juan the Borja, who gathered the survivors of this incursion and proceeded with the foundation of the town. It is said that Natagaima lies in a place different from his original location, and was moved there by orders of the priest Ignacio Navarro in 1801. From 1863 to 1866 it was the capital of the Sovereign State of Tolima.

Through a law emitted in February 21, 1963, it became a Municipality, starting its role on January 1, 1964.

Its territory was initially inhabited by the Pijao Indians, that were mainly composed by the Natagaima and Coyaima communities, tough warriors who posed fierce resistance to the Spanish invasion, forcing the Spaniards to stablish an extermination policy. Other local tribes were the Dujos and Babadujos, who continuously fighted against the Natagaimas and Coyaimas, and, motivated by the overwhelming quantity of received attacks, ultimately decided to support the Spaniards.

Typical foods

Tamale, almojabana, yucca bread with oats, Lechona, bizcochuelo, Mistela, Chanfaina, Corn Chicha, Masato, Poporoi are the most important dishes of the zone.

Typical songs

Among many others, La cana(Cantalicio Rojas), El contrabandista and El pasamanos, are famous songs that are danced during the festivities.

Sites of interest

Pacande Mountain, The Painima Bath Zone, The Pata(la Palmita) Bath Zone, The Anchique River, The Hipogeo Indian Cemetery (vereda Palma Alta), and the Magdalena River crossing.


San Antonio Hospital (a "first level" hospital).



1st of May Urban Mixed School

Maria Auxiliadora Urban Mixed School

Gabriel Rebeis Pizarro Urban Mixed School

Gustavo Perdomo Avila Urban Mixed School


Francisco Jose de Caldas School

Alfonzo Reyes Echandia School

Luis Carlos Galan Sarmiento School

Rural schools

Rural and Agricultural Development School Anchique

Policarpa Salavarrieta Basic Education Institute

La Palmita Rural Mixed School

New Town Adult Centre

Mariano Ospina Perez Institute

People born in Natagaima

Rafael Godoy, Cantalicio Rojas, IndiaMery Yara, Teofilo Forero

Didn't find what you were looking for.
Need more information for your travel research or homework?
Ask your questions at the forum about Towns in Colombia or help others to find answers.

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article Natagaima

Disclaimer - Privacy Policy - 2009