One of the most important fluvial arteries in Colombia is the Cauca River, next to the Magdalena river they are the two rivers that run through a large part of the territory.
It is born near the Laguna del Buey in the Colombian Massif (department of Cauca) and flows into the Magdalena River near the town of Pinillos in the department of Bolívar. In its route between the central and western mountain ranges, the Cauca River can be identified three large areas of the river: the upper Cauca, the middle Cauca and the lower Cauca. These names are due to the different geographical changes in which the river unfolds. In the low river the river is wide and mighty with a slow journey over a flat valley area.
In the middle river the river enters the mountainous area of the coffee region, here the river is less wide but its waters go faster, with little feasibility for navigation, and in the high river the river returns to the plain from Antioquia. it passes through more than 180 municipalities in the departments of Cauca, Valle del Cauca, Quindío, Risaralda, Caldas, Antioquia, Córdoba, Sucre and Bolívar.
The hydrographic basin of approximately 63.300 km² is the site of various productive activities such as the sugar industry, coffee cultivation, electricity generation, mining and agriculture.