a department in southwestern Colombia. Area, 31,000 sq km. Population, 797,000 (1971). The capital is Pasto.
Most of the territory of the department is taken up by the Andes Mountains. There is some grazing, and wheat, barley, and potatoes are grown for local consumption. Coffee, cacao, and beef cattle are raised in the Pasto upland. Platinum and gold are mined in the Patia Valley. The department’s main port, Tumaco, exports petroleum piped from the Orito fields in the Putumayo intendency. There is an oil refinery in Tumaco.