Abstract Contamination of hydrocarbons was determined from 1987 to 1993 in the Colombian Pacific. Water, superficial sediments and bioindicating organisms (bivalves) were collected at eight coastal stations of the Colombian Pacific. In general, contamination decreased with time along the Colombian Pacific Coast, though in some areas like the bays of Malaga and Solano levels are rising. The concentration of dispersed/dissolved hydrocarbons in water increased only in the Juanchaco and Solano stations in Malaga Bay. The highest concentrations of the three studied parameters were obtained in the first two years of monitoring, with a decrease in the following two years, followed by an increase.