The Roberto Meléndez Stadium will be the main venue ©Barranquilla 2018

The 23rd edition of the Central American and Caribbean Games is due to open in Barranquilla in Colombia tomorrow, with 37 countries and territories poised to take part.

Nearly 6,000 athletes are due to compete in all, in 40 sports.

There will be 470 events across a mammoth programme running through to August 3.

Action is set to begin with tomorrow's Opening Ceremony at the Roberto Meléndez Stadium, which will also host athletics.

Other venues include the Aquatic Complex for swimming, diving and artistic swimming, the Coliseum Sugar Baby Rojas for volleyball and Elias Chegwin for basketball.

Football will be held at the Romelio Martínez Stadium and the Julio Torres Stadium, with the latter also staging rugby.

The District Park of Rackets will stage tennis and the Edgar Rentería Stadium is home to baseball.

The Torch for the Games has already toured various venues and lit cauldrons.

Cuba topped the medal table at the last Games, held in 2014 in Veracruz in Mexico.

A Torch has been taken around the venues for the Games ©Barranquilla
A Torch has been taken around the venues for the Games ©Barranquilla

"We will go there with the intention to maintain first place," Cuban Institute of Sports and Recreation President Antonio Becali said at a press conference, according to Xinhua.

"The team has to earn around 115 gold medals to keep its position as number one and that's what we're aiming for.

"Mexico will be the main rival, as it has been historically. 

"Additionally, Colombia's position of host will make them strong and they have advanced the most in recent years."

Barranquilla were only named as hosts of the Games after Quetzaltenango in Guatemala was stripped of the rights in 2014 following financial and logistical problems.

Colombia last played host to the event, run by the Central American and Caribbean Sports Organization, in 2006 in Cartagena.

Pop superstar Shakira, who was born in Barranquilla, will perform at the Opening Ceremony.