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City and Municipality
Iglesia Tocaima.jpg
Flag of Tocaima
Coat of arms of Tocaima
Coat of arms
Location of the town and municipality of Tocaima within Cundinamarca Department
Location of the town and municipality of Tocaima within Cundinamarca Department
Tocaima is located in Colombia
Location in Colombia
Coordinates: 4°30′N 74°40′W / 4.500°N 74.667°W / 4.500; -74.667Coordinates: 4°30′N 74°40′W / 4.500°N 74.667°W / 4.500; -74.667
Country Colombia
Department Cundinamarca
Founded March 20, 1544
Destroyed 1581
Re-founded March 18, 1621
Founded by Hernán Venegas Carrillo
Named for Legendary warrior of the Guacana tribe
Municipal Seat Tocaima
Elevation[1] 432 m (1,416 ft)
Population (1993)[2][3]
 • Tocaima (Municipality) 14,071
 • City (2007, est.) 10,100
Time zone Western Caribbean (UTC-05:00)
Area code(s) 83

Tocaima (Spanish pronunciation: [toˈkaima]) refers to both a city and a municipality in Cundinamarca, Colombia.


The city of Tocaima was founded on March 20, 1544 by the Spanish explorer Hernán Venegas Carrillo. This small city is most well known for being a warm vacation site during religious holidays, especially for college students from Bogotá and other surrounding areas.[citation needed]

The town is crossed by the Pati River, which sometimes floods the town.


Before Spanish colonization, the area was home to the Guacana, an Amerindian tribe belonging to the Panche Amerindian Nation. Tocaima was named in honor of a legendary warrior from this tribe, during the ruling period of the Cacica Guacana.

It is believed[by whom?] that Tocaima is the only city in the Cundinamarca Department that presently has a royal title and coat of arms issued by the Spanish Monarchy. Charles V issued the royal title and coat of arms on February 7, 1549, in appreciation of the city's loyalty and fame for being a powerful and wealthy region.

In 1581, the city was completely destroyed by an exceptionally devastating flood of the Pati River. President Juan de Borja sent Captain Martin de Ocampo to refound the city, which he did on March 18, 1621 by constructing the Convent of San Jacinto and its contiguous chapel.

During the decolonization of Colombia from Spain in 1810, Tocaima was represented in the electoral and constitutional college by jurist Miguel de Tobar y Zerrato and Don Juan Salvador Rodriguez de Lago. The Cabildo, or colonial administrative council, was re-established that same year.

The new Constitution of Cundinamarca, created in 1815, divided the nation into cantons, which provoked a confrontation between the Tocaima Canton and the neighboring Canton of La Mesa. In 1816, Spain re-conquered the colonies and subsequently repressed the newly created government.

After finally defeating the Spanish in 1819, the colonists declared total independence from Spain and created the Republic of Gran Colombia, which—led by General Santander in 1822—re-established the Tocaima Canton.

In 1906, Tocaima was notable for its gold and copper mines,[4] but neither mineral was mined there by 1920.[1]


  1. ^ a b Lévine, V. (1920). Colombia: physical features, natural resources, means of communication, manufactures and industrial development. South American handbooks. New York: D. Appleton. p. 180. OCLC 6459630. Retrieved 2010-10-14. 
  2. ^ Law, Fwillim (2008-07-02). "Municipalities of Colombia". Statoids. Retrieved 2010-10-14. 
  3. ^ "Tocaima, Cundinamarca, Colombia". WolframAlpha. Wolfram Research. 2010. Retrieved 2010-10-14. 
  4. ^ Heilprin, Angelo; Heilprin, Louis, eds. (1906). "Tocaima". Lippincott's New Gazetteer: A complete pronouncing gazetteer or geographical dictionary of the world, containing the most recent and authentic information respecting the countries, cities, towns ... in every portion of the globe. 2. Philadelphia: J. B. Lippincott. p. 1840. ASIN B0010K3YKW. OCLC 1870625. Retrieved 2010-10-14.