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Colbún (Mapudungun: "Cleaning of the land") is a Chilean town and commune in Linares Province, Maule Region. The commune has a population of over 17,000 inhabitants and covers an area of 2,900 km2 (1,120 sq mi), making it the province's largest. Its capital, the town of Colbún, has 3,679 inhabitants (2002 census). It is 7 km (4 mi) west of the center of continental Chile.

Coat of arms
Coat of arms
Map of the Colbún commune in the Maule Region
Map of the Colbún commune in the Maule Region
Location in Chile
Location in Chile
Location in Chile
Coordinates (city): 35°42′S 71°25′W / 35.700°S 71.417°W / -35.700; -71.417Coordinates: 35°42′S 71°25′W / 35.700°S 71.417°W / -35.700; -71.417
Founded30 December 1927
 • TypeMunicipality
 • AlcaldeHernán Sepúlveda Villalobos (Ind.)
 • Total2,899.9 km2 (1,119.7 sq mi)
 (2002 Census)[3]
 • Total17,619
 • Density6.1/km2 (16/sq mi)
 • Urban
 • Rural
 • Men8,943
 • Women8,676
Time zoneUTC-4 (CLT [4])
 • Summer (DST)UTC-3 (CLST [5])
Area code(s)56 + 73
WebsiteMunicipality of Colbún


According to the 2002 census of the National Statistics Institute, Colbún spans an area of 2,899.9 km2 (1,120 sq mi) and has 17,619 inhabitants (8,943 men and 8,676 women). Of these, 5,152 (29.2%) lived in urban areas and 12,467 (70.8%) in rural areas. The population grew by 3.9% (669 persons) between the 1992 and 2002 censuses.[3]


The Colbún commune is bordered on the west by Yerbas Buenas; on the southwest by Linares and Longaví; on the north by San Clemente, (Talca Province); on the east and southeast, by Argentina, and on the south, by Parral and San Fabián; the latter in Ñuble Province. The municipality of Colbún occupies the easternmost strip of the Province of Linares, which boasts some of the highest provincial peaks and the headwaters of several provincial rivers.

Foundation and Historical factsEdit

The municipality of Colbún was officially founded December 30, 1927.[6] Prior to that date the municipality was called Panimávida and had its headquarters in that town. The municipality of Panimávida had been founded May 6, 1906.[7]

From 1913 to 1954 Colbún was the terminus of the narrow gauge Putagán—Colbún railway originating in the city of Linares.[8]


As a commune, Colbún is a third-level administrative division of Chile administered by a municipal council, headed by an alcalde who is directly elected every four years. The 2008-2012 alcalde is Pedro Pablo Muñoz Oses (Ind.). The municipal council has the following members:[1][2]

  • José Hernán Núñez Ramos (PPD)
  • Lupercio Díaz Gutiérrez (UDI)
  • Teresa Fuentes Loyola (PRI)
  • María Eugenia Riveros Medina (PRSD)
  • Jose Hernán Salgado Bustos (RN)
  • Manuel Ortiz Bustos (PS)

Within the electoral divisions of Chile, Colbún is represented in the Chamber of Deputies by Jorge Tarud (PDC) and Romilio Gutiérrez (UDI) as part of the 39th electoral district, (together with Linares, San Javier, Villa Alegre and Yerbas Buenas). The commune is represented in the Senate by Hernán Larraín (UDI) and Ximena Rincón González (PDC) as part of the 11th senatorial constituency (Maule-South).


In the vicinity of Colbún there are two well-known Chilean spas: the "Termas de Quinamávida" and the "Termas de Panimávida". In addition, the municipality concentrates the hydroelectric industry of the province, with the important power stations of Colbún and Machicura. The Colbún dam lake is a centre for recreation and water sports although these are highly dependent on water levels, which tend to be erratic.

Local customsEdit


Near Panimávida lies the village of Rari, famous for its unique crafts made of horse hair.


  1. ^ a b "Asociación Chilena de Municipalidades" (in Spanish). Retrieved 7 February 2011.
  2. ^ a b "Municipality of Colbún" (in Spanish). Retrieved 7 February 2011.
  3. ^ a b c d "National Statistics Institute" (in Spanish). Retrieved 13 December 2010.
  4. ^ "Chile Time". Archived from the original on 2007-09-11. Retrieved 2010-07-29.
  5. ^ "Chile Summer Time". Archived from the original on 2007-09-11. Retrieved 2010-07-29.
  6. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2012-06-24. Retrieved 2012-03-04.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link) (Spanish). Retrieved march 4, 2012
  7. ^ Archived 2012-08-26 at the Wayback Machine (Spanish) Retrieved march 4, 2012
  8. ^ La estacion del tren (Spanish) Retrieved march 4, 2012

External linksEdit