Malaria in La Guajira, the most northern state of Colombia, shows two different epidemiological patterns. Malaria is endemic in the municipality of Dibulla whereas in Riohacha it is characterised by sporadic outbreaks. This study aimed to establish whether differences in transmission patterns could be attributed to different vector species. The most abundant adult female species were Anopheles aquasalis, exclusive to Riohacha, and Anopheles darlingi, restricted to Dibulla. Anopheles mosquitoes were identified using morphology and the molecular markers internal transcribed spacer 2 and cytochrome c oxidase I. All specimens (n = 1,393) were tested by ELISA to determine natural infection rates with Plasmodium falciparum and Plasmodium vivax. An. darlingi was positive for P. vivax 210, with an infection rate of 0.355% and an entomological inoculation rate of 15.87 infective bites/person/year. Anopheles albimanus larvae were the most common species in Riohacha, found in temporary swamps; in contrast, in Dibulla An. darlingi were detected mainly in permanent streams. Distinctive species composition and larval habitats in each municipality may explain the differences in Plasmodium transmission and suggest different local strategies should be used for vector control.