It is believed that the name of this locality comes from the words Nataga (chieftain) and Ima (land). Others say that the name was created because there was an aborigine named NATAGA and that he was chief of this region of southern Tolima and was united with Queen IMA, queen of the chiefs of central Tolima.

Another definition is presented by Pedro José Ramírez Sendoya; The territory of lime. From Kechua: Nattac which refers to the lime with which the natives of this region painted their Bahareques and the Karibe finish white; Ima indicating territory.

The pre-Columbian natives of these lands recognized the Amazonian origin of their ancestors and called themselves Paincoa. They were called Yaporoges by the conquistadors, after the name of the Cacaica Ya-Pain-ka (Yapaoco), ruler of the territories of Painco-Ana which suggests the name of the hill of Paica-da (Pacande) and others as Paico-ima (Painima). The name comes from the group of an ethnic group of Pijaos, called Natagaimas.