Sediments and fish bile collected from the Atlantic coastal waters of Colombia were analyzed for 16 parent polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), and 23 hydroxylated PAHs (OH-PAHs), respectively. Sediments contained overall mean SigmaPAH concentrations of 2090, 234 and 170 ng/g, dry wt, for Cartagena Bay, Caimanera Marsh, and Totumo Marsh, respectively. The mean concentration of the summed OH-PAHs in fish bile was 1250, 180 and 64.1 ng/g bile wt for Cartagena Bay, Caimanera Marsh, and Totumo Marsh, respectively. The results suggest that Cartagena Bay is heavily polluted by PAHs, and that exposure to high concentrations of PAHs together with other factors could contribute to the decreased health of fish living in this ecosystem. This is one of the first studies to describe the analysis of 23 individual OH-PAHs in fish bile, using authentic standards.