The Magdalena River
is the principal river of Colombia, flowing northward about 1,540 kilometres (950 miles) through the western half of the country. It takes its name from the biblical figure, Mary Magdalene. It is navigable through much of its lower reaches, in spite of the shifting sand bars at the mouth of its delta, as far as Honda, at the downstream base of its rapids. It flows through the Magdalena River Valley.
Its headwaters are in the south of the country, where the Andean subranges Cordillera Central and Cordillera Oriental separate, in Huila Department. The river then runs east of north in a great valley between the two cordilleras. It reaches the coastal plain at about nine degrees north, then runs east for about 100 kilometres, then north again, reaching the Caribbean Sea at the city of Barranquilla in the zone known as Bocas de Ceniza.
The Magdalena River Valley is one of the world's bio-diverse hotspots.
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