Following table depicts an overview of some important events in the history of La Guajira.

1499Alonso de Ojeda sails along the Venezuelan and Colombian coast. He thinks that the La Guajira peninsula is an island and names it Coquibaquoa.
1502Alonso de Ojeda founds the first settlement on the South American continent at Bahia Honda. The settlement is called Santa Cruz and already gets abandoned after three months.
1535The Welser Nikolaus Federmann founds the village of Nuestra Señora de las Nieves at the river mouth of Rio de la Hacha. In 1545 it gets renamed into Nuestra Señora Santa María de los Remedios del Río de la Hacha, the later Riohacha. The settlement develops into a center for pearl trade.
1595After previous assaults in 1568 and 1576 the pirate Francis Drake burns Riohacha to the ground.
1769During the 18ths century there are numerous conflicts between the Spaniards and the Wayuu.
1819Colombia becomes independent.
1930sImmigration wave from Lebanon and Syria.
1980Start of El Cerrejon carbon mine.
2004Bahía Portete massacre of 12 Wayuu by Colombian paramilitary troops.