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ATRATO, a river of western Colombia, South America, rising on the slopes of the Western Cordilleras, in 5° 36′ N. lat., and flowing almost due north to the Gulf of Uraba, or Darien, where it forms a large delta. Its length is about 400 m., but owing to the heavy rainfall of this region it discharges no less than 175,000 cub. ft. of water per second, together with a very large quantity of sediment, which is rapidly filling the gulf. The river is navigable to Quibdo (250 m.), and for the greater part of its course for large vessels, but the bars at its mouth prevent the entrance of sea-going steamers. Flowing through the narrow valley between the Cordillera and coast range, it has only short tributaries, the principal ones being the Truando, Sucio and Murri. The gold and platinum mines of Choco were on some of its affluents, and the river sands are auriferous. The Atrato at one time attracted considerable attention as a feasible route for a trans-isthmian canal, which, it was estimated, could be excavated at a cost of £11,000,000.
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