Culture and traditions

Typical costumes of the Pacific Region (Colombia)

The Pacific Region is an area where even today many black communities coexist that preserve many of the cultural traditions of African origin, including the way of dressing, closely linked to the dances and music characteristic of this place. In the list shown below, you can find all their typical costumes by cities.

Below you have an index with all the points that we are going to deal with in this article.

Pacific Coast

The Colombian Pacific coast covers from Tumaco to Jurado, passing through cities such as Pizarro, Mosquera, El Charco, Guapí, Buenaventura, Nuquí and Mutis.

As mentioned earlier, communities of African origin, the result of colonization, still coexist throughout the coastline that runs through this region. Therefore, it is not surprising that the customs, folklore and way of life of these people are still impregnated with the culture of their ancestors.

Since it is an area of ​​Colombia where the economic situation is quite poor, its costumes are therefore simple and reflects the situation of its people. Especially highlights the female costume, which is perhaps the one that has more tradition.

It is usually very colorful, similar to the typical costumes of the Andean Region, made from soft fabrics Like silk The color goes to the taste of each person and is usually white, pink, yellow, orange, etc. Some women wear it in a simpler way; others, on the other hand, decorate it with gold-colored threads, frills or embroidery.

The suit described above is usually used to dance the jot, a typical dance from Spain that reached Chocó from the Spanish colonizers of centuries ago.

In the video shown below, we can see an example of jota chocoana, the traditional jota of the Colombian Pacific Region:

As for men's clothing, white silk also predominates. They usually wear long-sleeved shirts and also white denim pants.

The shoes or espadrilles are equally white, but the fabric is thick, usually made of cabuya, which is a type of thin rope made with pita fiber and used for the manufacture of handmade fabrics.

They can also be made of fique, a type of plant that is used for the production of textile fibers, also widely used for the creation of typical Mexican costumes.

Pacific region costumes

Valle, Cauca and Nariño

As was the case in the coastal zone, in the areas of Valle del Cauca, Nariño and Cauca, the costumes are characterized by being quite informal. In addition, it is a clothing designed to withstand climates ranging from mild to warm during most days of the year, with an average of 26 ° C.

Therefore, the woman uses skirts made of linen or silk fabrics in which pastel colors and three quarter sleeve shirts predominate. They also usually wear hats or scarves.

And the same goes for the typical costumes of man. Casual, they wear rather short sleeve shirts and linen pants, while in Nariño they can use wool clothes in the winter season, since it is an area where the weather is quite cold due to its location in the mountainous area of ​​the Central Mountain Range.

They also highlight the costumes of the Carnival of San Juan de Pasto (Nariño), known as Blacks and Whites Carnival, which is the largest party in southern Colombia.

So much so, that in some municipalities in Nariñenses and southwestern Colombia, the custom of celebrating this festival that takes place between January 2 and 7 annually has also been extended. In the following video you can see what this massive carnival consists of:

The colorful silk costumes worn by those who parade and perform expectations in the streets of Pasto attract thousands of Colombians and tourists from around the world, which makes it the second most important holiday in Colombia after the Barranquilla Carnival. It was declared Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO in 2009.


Quibdó is one of the most important cities in the Colombian Pacific Region, mainly because it is the capital of the Department of Chocó.

The culture of this city is very marked by ethnicity, being the predominant human group (95% of the population) of Afro-Colombian origin, the second most numerous, of white-mestizo origin, and the rest consists of indigenous population.

This mixture has given rise to the multicultural society of which the population of Quibdó is composed, and hence the characteristic designs of their costumes and accessories, widely used when dancing the currulao, the quintessential dance of the Colombian Pacific Region .

The typical costumes of this city go, as in most cases, closely linked to the typical festivals. Among them, there are no doubt the San Pacho Festivities in honor of the patron saint of Quibdoseños, that is, San Francisco de Asís. It is estimated that these festivities have their origin in 1648, when the celebrations were only religious.

Festivities of San Pacho, Quibdó

However, since 1926, these celebrations include parades, dances and exhibitions characteristic of the Colombian Pacific coast in which all the neighborhoods of Quibdó participate.

All the typical costumes of this party are made in homage to San Francisco de Asís and in them you can see the colors of the Colombian flag and other motifs always very colorful and made with silk.


Capurganá is located in Acandí, in the Department of Chocó, which, in turn, is located on the Colombian-Panamanian border. It is a basically tourist place, inhabited centuries ago by the Cuna, one of the indigenous communities of Colombia, who considered this as the chili pepper.

With the passage of time, this tribe moved to the city of Cartagena, which is why the Afro-Colombian community is divided between the Pacific region and that city.

Festivities of Capurganá

Given its long history, Capurganá has a good handful of parties throughout the year, in which the typical costumes stand out, especially those of women.

The most striking are the traditional Chocó festivals, which take place between September and October.

In them, the participants in the various parades dance to the rhythm of the music disguised in costumes of different colors and shapes like those that can be seen in the image shown below.

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Finally, we have selected the previous and next article of the block "Prepare the trip"so you can continue reading:

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