The Catatumbo River is a river rising in northern Colombia, flowing into Lake Maracaibo in Venezuela. The Catatumbo River is approximately 210 miles (338 km) long. It forms a part of the international boundary between the two countries. Together with the nearby Río Escalante, Catatumbo is a producing area for cocoa beans of the Criollo cultivar.
The "Faros del Catatumbo" or "Relámpago del Catatumbo" (Catatumbo lightning) is a phenomenon that occurs over the marshlands at the Maracaibo mouth of the river, where lightning storms occur for about 10 hours a night, 140 to 160 nights a year, for a total of about 1.2 million lightning discharges per year. The light from this storm activity can be seen up to 400 km away and has been used for ship navigation; it is also known as the "Maracaibo Beacon" for this reason.