History of Risaralda

Before the European conquest the territory was inhabited by the Quimbaya and Caramanta people. The first conquistadores arrived in the 1537 expedition headed by Sebastian de Belalcazar.

Some Spanish towns were founded, but the decline of the indigenous population and low immigration of Europeans led to Risaralda sitting largely abandoned until the mid-nineteenth century, when coffee cultivation arrived.

During the colonial and early years of the Republic, the region was subject to Popayan Province. In 1821 it became part of the Cauca Department. In 1857 it became