Zip codes for Colombia

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Colombia, the state located in the North of South America, took its name in honor of Christopher Columbus. Although the latter has never set foot on Colombian land and in reality were Amerigo Verspucci and Alonso de Ojeda in 1499 to "discover" Colombia, the official name "Republica de Colombia" was dedicated to the Spanish explorer. Before the colonial period, several Indian cultures populated the territory of Colombia, but they never managed to build a unified state, such as the Inca in Peru. In the 15th century conquistadores were attracted primarily by the richness of the subsoil and colonized the country under the Spanish crown. Only in the 18th century came the first movements, which fought for independence: in 1886 Colombia was unified in a centralized republic. In the 1920s, Colombia experienced a flowering period, where 90% of exports went up to coffee. Since the end of World War II, Colombia has never recovered due to social anxieties, alternating regimes, and continuing domestic terrorist acts. According to the United Nations, Colombia remains the country with the largest number of kidnappings and political murders. In 2016, the FARC guerrilla troops and the government agreed on a peace treaty, which attracted attention all over the world also thanks to the Nobel Peace Prize awarded to President Santos.

The young postal system

Until 2009, Colombia did not use a postal system. The state has developed an unpleasant first-aid variant to name the streets in a way that ensures that the recipient is found. In each city (except for Cartagena de Indias) street names followed a certain denomination and numbering system:

  • The roads, which run from north to south, are called "carrera" (abbreviation "Cra.")
  • East-west roads are called "calle" ("Cl.")
  • Streets, ranging from southwest to northeast, are called "diagonal" ("Diag.")
  • Roads from southeast to northwest are called "transversal" ("Trv.")
  • Circulars are called "circular" and abbreviated with "Cq."

Beside the street name also numbering plays a fundamental role: to the name of the road follows the number (eg Carrera 85). After that in the same line follows another number, the street number, which in this case crosses the Carrera 85. The two street numbers are divided by the sign (#). Subdivided by the sign below, the distance indication in meters indicates the distance of the recipient's entrance door from the intersection of the roads (eg Carrera 85 # 45-72). After this code finally follows, divided by a comma, the name of the locality (eg Bogota). The complete address structure, in this case still without ZIP code, reads:

Carrera 85 # 45 - 72, Medellín

Simple solution with ZIP code

Although the uncomfortable Colombian system would probably work for decades, the new CAP address system simplifies shipments a lot. For this reason, the introduction of the new system has been strongly promoted even after the official introduction in 2009 by the companies operating in the logistics sector. Since 2014, a site has also been officially launched, which allows you to identify the exact ZIP code.

In general, the Colombian ZIP is composed of a six digit numeric code:
The first group (the first two figures) refers to the administrative districts of Colombia (to the 32 Departamentos and to the Bogotá capital, Distrito Capital). The Departamentos use the following ZIP codes: Distrito Capital (DC) 11xxxx, Departamento de Amazonas (AMA) 91xxxx, Departamento de Antioquia (ANT) 05xxxx, Department of Arauca (ARA) 81xxxx, Departamento de Atlántico (ATL) 08xxxx, Bolívar Departamento de (CA) 18xxxx, Departamento de Casanare (CAS) 85xxxx, Departamento de Cauca (CAU) 19xxxx, Departamento de Cesar (CES) 15xxxx, Departamento de Boyacá (BOY) 15xxxx, Departamento de Caldas (GUA) 94xxxx, Departamento de Guaviare (GUV) 95xxxx, Departamento de Huila (HUI) 41xxxx, Departamento de Chóó (CHO) 27xxxx, Departamento de Córdoba (COR) 23xxxx, Cundinamarca Department (NSA) 54xxxx, Departamento de Natal (NAR) 52xxxx, Departamento de Norte de Santander (NSA) 54xxxx, Putumayo Departamento de Putumayo (PUT), Departamento de La Guajira (LAG) 44xxxx, Departamento de Magdalena (MAG) 47xxxx, 86xxxx, Departamento del Quind (SAN) 68xxxx, Departamento de Sucre (SUC) 70xxxx, Departamento de Tolima (TOL) 73xxxx, Departamento de Risaralda (RIS) 66xxxx, San Andrés y Providencia Of the Valle del Cauca (VAC) 76xxxx, Departamento del Vaupés (VAU) 97xxxx, Departamento de Vichada (VID) 99xxxx.

The second group (also consisting of two digits from 00 to 89) refers to the regional districts. The 00 is reserved for the respective capital. Numbers 90 through 99 are reserved for mailboxes.

The third group (the last two digits) is assigned to postal districts or urban areas.

Example: If you arrange an expedition to the Medellín Trade Union office, the Alcaldía de Medellín, located in the Departamento de Antioquia, the correct ZIP code to use is 050015, composed as follows:

05xxxx for the Departamento de Antioquia
0500xx for Medellín (00, because it is the capital of the province)
050015 for the urban area (the union office is in the center)