Tunjuelo River

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Tunjuelo River
Tunjuelito River
Tunjuelo River is located in Colombia
Tunjuelo River
Location of the Tunjuelo River in Colombia
EtymologyMuysccubun: "cerro de los tunjos"
Native nameRío Tunjuelo, Río Tunjuelito  (Spanish)
Physical characteristics
SourceSumapaz Páramo
 • coordinates4°18′25″N 74°07′50″W / 4.3070°N 74.1306°W / 4.3070; -74.1306
MouthBogotá River
 • coordinates
4°37′45″N 74°13′21″W / 4.6291°N 74.2225°W / 4.6291; -74.2225Coordinates: 4°37′45″N 74°13′21″W / 4.6291°N 74.2225°W / 4.6291; -74.2225
Length73 km (45 mi)
Basin features
River systemBogotá River
 Magdalena Basin
  Caribbean Sea

The Tunjuelo or Tunjuelito River is a river on the Bogotá savanna and a left tributary of the Bogotá River. The river, with a length of 73 kilometres (45 mi) originates in the Sumapaz Páramo and flows northward through the Usme Synclinal to enter the Colombian capital Bogotá. There, the river is mostly canalised flowing westward into the Bogotá River. It is one of the three main rivers of the city, together with the Fucha and Juan Amarillo Rivers.


The names Tunjuelo and Tunjuelito ("little Tunjuelo") are derived from the Cerro de los Tunjos, also Los Tunjos Lake, named after the tunjos, the religious votive figurines of the indigenous language of the Muisca, who inhabited the Bogotá savanna before the Spanish conquest.[1]


Tunjuelo River is located in the Bogotá savanna
Source and mouth of the Tunjuelo River on the Bogotá savanna

The Tunjuelo River has a total length of 73 kilometres (45 mi) and originates in the Sumapaz Páramo, in the southern part of Bogotá.[2] It flows through the southern part of the Colombian capital, south of the Fucha River, and has the largest drainage basin of the rivers of Bogotá.[3] The river flows through the Usme Synclinal, where the type localities of various geological formations (among others the Marichuela Formation) are situated. The Tunjuelo River forms the border between the localities Usme and Ciudad Bolivar and between the namesake locality Tunjuelito and Ciudad Bolívar. The Tunjuelo River is highly contaminated.[4]


The Tunjuelo River valley hosts the type localities of various geologic formations of the Altiplano Cundiboyacense.

Age Formation Lithologies
Pleistocene Tunjuelo Formation Conglomerates, sandstones, shales
Early Pliocene Marichuela Formation Conglomerates
Late Miocene
Early Oligocene Usme Formation Shales, sandstones, conglomerates
Late Eocene
Regadera Formation Sandstones, conglomerates, shales
Early Eocene
Bogotá Formation Mudstones, shales, siltstones, sandstones
Late Paleocene


Tunjuelo River is located in Bogotá
Tunjuelo River
Tunjuelo River
Tunjuelo River
Wetlands in the Tunjuelo River basin

Three of the fifteen protected wetlands of Bogotá are located in the Tunjuelo River basin.

Wetland Location Altitude (m) Area (ha) Notes
La Vaca Kennedy 2548 7.96 [9]
La Isla Bosa 2550 7.7 [10]
Tibanica Bosa
2542 28.8 [11]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ Osorio Osorio, 2007, p.29
  2. ^ Osorio Osorio, 2007, p.12
  3. ^ (in Spanish) Entre ríos y quebradas Bogotá tiene 198 cuerpos de agua ¿Los conoce?
  4. ^ (in Spanish) Tunjuelo: olores ofensivos
  5. ^ Montoya & Reyes, 2005, p.71
  6. ^ a b Montoya & Reyes, 2005, p.65
  7. ^ Montoya & Reyes, 2005, p.60
  8. ^ Montoya & Reyes, 2005, p.57
  9. ^ Humedal La Vaca
  10. ^ Humedal La Isla
  11. ^ Humedal Tibanica


Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]