El Espinal (Tolima)

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El Espinal
Santa Bárbara de El Espinal
Municipality and town
CatedralEspinalPequeña.JPG
Flag of El Espinal
Flag
Official seal of El Espinal
Seal
Location of the municipality and town of El Espinal in the Tolima Department of Colombia.
Location of the municipality and town of El Espinal in the Tolima Department of Colombia.
El Espinal is located in Colombia
El Espinal
El Espinal
Location in Colombia
Coordinates: 04°09′10″N 74°53′19″W / 4.15278°N 74.88861°W / 4.15278; -74.88861
Country  Colombia
Department Tolima Department
Founded 1754
Government
 • Mayor Orlando Durán Falla
Area
 • Total 217 km2 (84 sq mi)
Elevation 323 m (1,060 ft)
Population (2012)
 • Total 57,273
 • Density 260/km2 (680/sq mi)
Demonym Espinaluno
Time zone Colombia Standard Time (UTC-5)
Area code(s) +57 - 8
Website Official website (Spanish)

El Espinal is a Colombian city located in the Department of Tolima, 146 km southwest from Bogotá. It is the second most important city of the department and is the rice capital of the center of the country[citation needed]. It is flanked by the Magdalena and Coello rivers. El Espinal is known for the manufacture of typical musical instruments and its cuisine is known for tamales and the suckling pig, which are the typical dishes of the region. It has a total length of 231 km², an urban area of 4.26 km², and a rural area of 212.74 km².

The town is the seat of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Espinal.

Climate[edit]

Despite its low elevation, El Espinal has a temperate climate with abundant rainfall from March to May and from October to November. The increased solar radiation during these months due to the position of the sun increases temperatures in the jungle and favors the formation of storms in the mountainous areas. In contrast, the more dry seasons of the year are from January to February and from July to August. Frost occurs in rural areas, mist is extremely rare, and 10 days out of the year are foggy. Historians report that between the years 1930 to 1940 there were many hailstorms[citation needed].

Temperatures
Maximum recorded temperature 47° Celsius
Mean maximum Temperature 32° Celsius
Average minimum Temperature 19° Celsius
Minimum recorded temperature 9° Celsius

Geography[edit]

El Espinal is located on the plains of the Upper Magdalena region at 323 meters above sea level and surrounded by the Central and Eastern mountain ranges of the Colombian Andes.

Economy[edit]

Its economy is based on agriculture, especially rice and other products such as cotton, sorghum, soybean, maize, and tobacco among others. It also includes enterprises from other sectors, including mills, which generate a high percentage of employment in the city[citation needed].

Coordinates: 4°12′N 74°50′W / 4.200°N 74.833°W / 4.200; -74.833