Barranquilla (American Spanish: [baraŋˈkiʝa]) is a city and municipality located in northern Colombia. It is the only major city in South America that was populated before its formal foundation. Barranquilla is located near the Caribbean Sea. The city is located in the Atlántico Department, of which it is the capital. Barranquilla is the largest city and port in the northern Caribbean Coast region of Colombia, with a population of 1,228,300 as of 2017 , which makes it Colombia's fourth most populous city after Bogotá, Medellín and Cali.