This study models the sub-national pattern of coca cultivation in Colombia following the implementation of Plan Colombia (2001–2005). The results suggest that aerial eradication reduces coca cultivation primarily through creation of significant displacement and that coca cultivation is less intense in areas with a significant state presence. Further, coca cultivation appears to be more common in less developed, agricultural regions where access to legal markets precludes other forms of agriculture. Poverty has a significant, non-linear effect on coca cultivation; cultivation is most intense in regions of moderate poverty. Based on the findings, efforts to reduce coca cultivation should emphasise developing local public infrastructure and market access in conjunction with poverty reduction efforts and investment in alternative development.