Economy Of The Insular Region: The 5 Main Activities

The economy of the Insular region of Colombia is based basically on national and foreign tourism. To a lesser extent, trade is also important. Its privileged geographical location, the imposing beauty of its beaches and the richness in the variety of natural resources, has made the island region a tourist destination par excellence.

The insular region of Colombia is made up of a set of keys, islets and islands, which are separated from the continental region.

Among the islands are San Andrés, Santa Catalina and Providencia located in the Caribbean Sea; while towards the Pacific Ocean area, islands such as Mapelo, Gorgonilla and Gorgona stand out.

Economic activities of the Colombian Insular region

The economic activities of the insular region are directly related to the characteristics of the relief and climate of the area.

Most of the inhabitants of the islands work in hotel facilities, restaurants, shops, fish or live off informal trade, which is possible only thanks to tourism.

The economy of the region is not very diversified, currently it depends basically on these factors:


This region is highly attractive, so its economic activity revolves around tourism, both national and foreign.

Its beaches are the main thing to exploit, but there is a great variety of places and resources that have given rise to ecotourism.

On the Island of San Andrés there are hotel complexes that are visited throughout the year by tourists from all over the world. These are in search of recreation, relaxation and fun.

Gorgona Island is protected and uninhabited. It has the largest coral reserve in the region, home to numerous species of native animals.

It is for this reason that ecotourism or guided ecological tourism is practiced on the island. A great deal of scientific research is also being done.

Gorgona was declared by Unesco as a World Heritage Site in 1984 and declared a National Park in 1985.


The fishing activity in the region is rich and very varied. It does not generate enough income to base the region’s economy on fishing, but for the subsistence of the inhabitants themselves.

Fishing for various types of fish, crabs, lobsters, shellfish and molluscs make the marketing of their products highly valued.

Trade in goods

The commercialization of agricultural products, fishing, and tourism has generated a more than interesting commercial situation in the area. and its importance has been growing over time.

But at present, the commercialization of tourism goods and services has re-dimensioned its importance and is now located one notch higher.

Many hotel and food chains, in addition to entertainment centers, want a place in the area.


Agriculture in the area is based on plantations of coconut, banana, plantain, corn, melon, paprika, tomato, eggplant and various tropical fruits. The commercialization of agricultural products from the area was the main source of income for this region until economic policies focused more on tourism.

Little by little, spaces destined to plantations and crops have been converted into resorts and leisure spaces that have played down agriculture. In any case, there are many families that still live in the agricultural and rural world, being precisely the tourism eager to taste the local product its main client.

Cattle raising

Livestock in the region is limited to raising pigs or pigs and goats, as well as raising poultry.


  1. Aguilera Díaz, M., Sánchez, A., & Yabrudy, J. (2016). Economy and environment of the archipelago of San Andrés, Providencia and Santa Catalina. Bank of the Republic – Colombia.
  2. Basto, JV (2002). Latitudes 7 °: geography of America. Editorial Norma.
  3. Becerra, CM (1996). The insular Caribbean: new economic bloc? National of Colombia.
  5. Kline, HF (2012). Historical Dictionary of Colombia. Scarecrow Press.

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