I'm trying to figure out how to say "a bottle of water" and I've found that it is botella de agua. But occasionally the dictionaries also have the word cantimplora. So is that just a canteen or can it be used to reference the plastic bottles of water you buy at a gas station, as well? Is there a special word they use for them in Colombia?

4 Answers 4


In Spain, at least, when you say cantimplora you are refering to a canteen. If you say botella de agua, you are talking about the plastic bottles you buy in the shops, wich are full of water.

  • 3
    Same in the entire Spanish speaking world.
    – Jaume
    Sep 22, 2014 at 22:12

In my experience, "cantimplora" is always "canteen". If you want to say "a bottle of water" as in the kind you buy at a convenience store, you would say "botella de agua" (as you indicated), or "agua embotellada" (bottled water).


It depends:

In Colombia is common say:

Botella de agua: When you want a plastic bottle that contains water.

Image results for: botella de agua.

But is more related the word cantimplora for reference:

Cantimplora: drinking water bottle designed to be used by hikers, campers, soldiers and workers in the field.


After a simple Google Image search for cantimplora I found this


They all look like cantines to me, or rather... they look like water containers, not bottles. For instance.. even though Nalgenes are literally a water bottle, they resemble a cantine.. some resemble a flask. It is the shape and appearance of the bottle that determines the distinction of botella vs cantimplora

  • That's a neat trick using the image search to bring back a result. I knew that cantimplora meant canteen, it's just the dictionaries were throwing me off. so it ONLY EVER means canteen, then?
    – Peramia
    Sep 22, 2014 at 14:50
  • google.com/… Sep 23, 2014 at 14:56

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