Relief Of The Orinoquía Region: Main Characteristics

The relief of the Orinoquía region is predominantly flat, with slight undulations and very few elevations. This region is delimited by the Orinoco hydrographic basin and has wide eastern plains that extend to Venezuela.

It also includes the foothills of the plains and the Sierra de la Macarena national park, which are important features of the region.

The eastern plains are generally less than 500 meters above sea level. Given the low altitude, extensive livestock farming prevails as the main economic activity in the Orinoquía.

The characteristic relief of the Colombian Orinoquía is the vast plains, together with the complex hydrological systems that cross from end to end the five departments that make up this natural region.

Main features

The Colombian Orinoquía owes its name to the vast presence of the hydrographic basin of the Orinoco River throughout the entire extension of this region.

The Orinoco basin in Colombia has an area of ​​more than 347 thousand square kilometers. It is a plain that is located between the Arauca, Guaviare, Orinoco rivers and the foothills of the plains.

In turn, the Orinoco basin on the eastern plains is delimited by the Arauca river in the north, the Oriental mountain range in the west, the Inírida river in the south and the Orinoco river in the east.

Geographic sections of the Orinoquía region

In addition to the Orinoco hydrographic basin, the Colombian Orinoquía comprises four major geographic sections:

1- Plains foothills

The foothills of the plains are the border area between the Eastern mountain range and the plains of the Orinoquía.

The plains foothills extend through the departments of Arauca, Casanare and Meta, as well as in the foreign departments of Caquetá and Boyacá.

2- Spaces near the Eastern Cordillera

It includes the vicinity of the Eastern mountain range, on the borders between the departments of Cundinamarca and Meta. More specifically, it is the municipality of El Calvario.

The bodies of water on the eastern slope originate in this area.

3- Sierra de la Macarena

The Sierra de la Macarena National Natural Park is a mountainous system located in the department of Meta, east of the Andes mountain range, in the Andean foothills of the Amazon rainforest.

This park has under its administration the care and reserve of more than 6200 square kilometers of the mountainous area and its surroundings. Its total area is 10,000 square kilometers.

The Sierra de la Macarena belongs to the Guiana shield and has an average altitude of 1600 meters above sea level.

4- Savanna

It begins in the department of Meta and extends to Venezuelan territory. This natural region is characterized by the presence of gallery forests and extensive savannas in the intertropical zone.

The forests in this area are in the form of hills and low terraces. The trees do not exceed 35 meters in height and the ground has a slightly undulating surface.


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  8. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia (2017). Sierra de la Macarena. Recovered from:

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