|Location:||Ranchería river valley, 100km south of Riohacha. Near Albania, La Guajira.|
All year Mon-Sat 7-11:30, 13:30-15:30.
No tours if its raining.
|Dimension:||L=7,200m, W=1,900m, VR=300m.|
|Guided tours:||V=17,000/a , D=2h.|
|Address:||Visitor's Center, Elisa Gonzalez Rosangela Acosta, Tel: +57-5-3505705, Tel: +57-5-3505554, Fax: +57-5-7774389, Mobile: +57-3157601263|
|As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
Please check rates and details directly with the companies in question if you need more recent info.
|1977||begin of exploration.|
|1980||start of mining operations.|
|1986||first production of coal.|
El Cerrejón Coal Mine is one of the biggest open cast mines of the world. It is said to be the biggest open cast coal mine. It is also the largest mining operation in Colombia and with an output of 31.2 million tons  it contributes almost half of Colombia's coal exports. The currently known reserves will be mined until 2034.
The operators of the mine offer mine tours, so the mine is visited by some 17,000 people per year, mostly students but also tourists. However, there are numerous requirements for such a visit. It is necessary to make an appointment, wear appropriate clothes, especially strudy boots. Safety glasses and helmet are provided. Visitors must be at least 1.48m high, but there is no age restriction for children. All participants must fax their names and the passport or id card number, at least five days in advance. Private vehicles must be parked on the parking lot at the North Entrance. The Visitor Centre is located at mine entrance. Tours are cancelled during rain for safety reasons. The weather is dry most of the year but there may be occaisonal rainfalls during the months of August and November.
The visits include an introductional video presentation, a bus ride through the Mushaisa residential camp and the mine to an outlook. The whole tour takes about two hours. It may be completed by a second tour at Puerto Bolívar, the port where the coal is loaded on ships. The mine is connected to the harbour by a 150km long standard-gauge railway. The same regulations apply for this tour, but it takes only 45 minutes.