Colombia, Montería

The area was first settled by Zenú Indians, who lived in the banks of the Sinú River(Finzenú), San Jorge River (Panzenú) and Nechí River (Zenúfana), where the Department of Córdoba is located today. In 2003, dentist and historian Jaime Castro released Historia Extensa de Montería, a book on the history of the city. According to Castro's book, Montería was founded on May 1, 1777 by Spanish officer Antonio de la Torre y Miranda, being governor of the Province of Cartagena officer Juan de Torrezar Díaz Pimienta. The city, which had been named Montería by its inhabitants and located on the east side of the Sinú river, was then renamed "San Jerónimo de Buenavista" and moved to the west side of the Sinú.

San Jerónimo de Buenavista was the name chosen by Antonio de la Torre y Miranda, in order to honor Saint Jeronimo, but people referred to it as Montería. In 1803, the city was burned by a group of natives, so the residents decided to move back to the Sinú's east bank, where it remains today. In recent years, Monteria has seen a growth in population on the west side. In 1923, it became a municipality of Bolívar Department, and in 1952, it was designated as capital of the new Department of Córdoba. Montería was located within the boundaries of the Colombian Department of Bolívar until 1952 when it separated from Bolívar and became the capital of the new Department of Córdoba.

With a population of approximately 400,000, the city is considered to be one of the ten most important cities in Colombia and is locally known as La Perla del Sinú (The Pearl of the River Sinú). Monteria has gained notoriety lately for being the site of Colombian ex-president Álvaro Uribe's vacation "finca" or ranch.

Monteria lies on a major highway connecting Medellín to Sincelejo and extending to Cartagena and Barranquilla. It has an effective public transportation system and arterial connections to the rest of the country.

Public transportation

As is common in most Colombian municipalities, public transportation is tightly integrated into the city. A system of taxis and several lines of large and small buses serve the community on surface streets. The streets of Monteria are also full of motorcycle taxis or "rapimotos" that provide economical transportation.

A passenger-only ferry system known as "Planchones", consists of roofed wooden rafts. It traverses the Sinu river along a system of manual cable tows. It was made as a way to cross the river before a proper bridge could be built and has served as an alternative to cross the river ever since. It is one of the most remarkable features of the city.


View of Monteria from the Sinu river.

The city is served by a fishing port, but the waters of the Sinu river do not run deep enough and are not wide enough to serve as a commercial channel. High quality sand is brought up from the bottom of the river in buckets placed by divers, for use in the making of cinderblocks for local and regional construction projects.

Air Travel

Monteria is home to a regional airport, Los Garzones Airport, which provides service to capital cities of neighboring provinces and to the nations capital, Bogotá, through the country's main air carrier Avianca, easyfly and LAN airlines.