Ciudad Bolívar to Bucaramanga

Ciudad Bolivar to Bucaramanga

Ciudad Bolívar is a city in Venezuela and the capital city of Bolívar state.  Ciudad Bolívar offers the following points of interest for tourists and photographers;

  • Day and overnight trips to Angel Falls and Canaima National Park
  • Mirador Angostura
  • Cerro El Zamuro (and view of the city)
  • Orinoco Botanical Garden
  • Mining and Geology museum
  • Jesus Soto museum of modern art

Personally I only really found Angel Falls and Canaima park worth visiting here, it’s quite an unstable city and I cannot recommend enough that you have travel insurance before visiting Venezuela.

I stayed at the Hotel La Cumbre which is a short walk from downtown but is a great hotel.  In fact I was walking to a McDonald’s’ a few blocks away and they were concerned for my safety so drove me there and back to the hotel.  They’ll offer sound advice on getting to Canaima National Park and Angel Falls.

Angel Falls, VenezuelaAngel Falls, Venezuela

Known in Spanish as Salto Ángel, Angel Falls at 979 meters are the highest waterfalls in the world.  Some say they should be a natural wonder of the world.  I found the Iguazu Falls on the Argentina / Brazil border and the Kaieteur Falls in Guyana more impressive but still, you’ve got to admire a 979 meter drop.  To get to the falls, you need to organize a flight from Ciudad Bolívar.  You can either go to the airport and look for something with Avior or Rutaca airlines, or check around in the local hotels / tour agencies for organized day/overnight trips to the Falls.

Flight from Ciudad Bolívar to Angel Falls

Flight from Ciudad Bolívar to Angel Falls

The views on the flight from Ciudad Bolívar to the falls were probably just as beautiful as the actual falls!  The flight is around an hour and should cost you less than $200 return, including a circling of the falls and also a stop over at Canaima National Park with more falls and lakes to see.  It’s possible to fly to Canaima National Park from Ciudad Bolívar with Avior or Rutaca airlines.

Canaima National Park, Venezuela

Canaima National Park, Venezuela

Canaima National Park is a UNESCO world heritage site which offers the following points of interest for tourists and photographers;

  • Angel Falls
  • Table top mountains
  • Lot’s of lakes and waterfalls with colorful flora and fauna
  • Wildlife including anteaters, armadillos, porcupines, capybaras, tapirs, sloths, otters, jaguars and pumas
  • Birds including, cocks of the rock, vultures, white bellbirds, paradise tanagers, wrens, bananaquits, great kiskadees, capuchis, hummingbirds and parrots
  • 3 day hiking trips to the base of the Angel Falls
  • Basic hotels and restaurants at the Canaima landing strip

Overnight bus from Ciudad Bolívar to San Cristobal, 18 hours, 320 BolivarsOvernight bus from Ciudad Bolívar to San Cristobal, 18 hours, 320 Bolivars

I took a Barinas overnight bus to the border town of San Cristobal.  The police checked the bus in the middle of the night, but this time they did not rob me like on the bus to Ciudad Bolívar.

From the bus station in San Cristobal there are regular local buses to the border, it’s too far to walk.  You need to ask the bus driver to stop at the police station for the exit stamp as it is quite a way before the border.  Then after you get the exit stamp, you’ll easily find a motorbike taxi to take you to the Colombian side of the border.  The Colombian immigration were very friendly and an entry stamp was quick and easy.

I changed my leftover bolivars back into US dollars on the border bridge, I actually sold them for more than I bought them for.  I don’t know how safe it is there though, so I wouldn’t do it on a regular basis.  They also change money in Cúcuta bus station at a decent rate.

Bus from Cucuta to Bucaramanga, 6 hours, 31,000 pesosBus from Cucuta to Bucaramanga, 6 hours, 31,000 pesos

From the Colombian border, I took a shared minivan to the Cúcuta bus station.  Then I took a Bolivariano bus to Bucaramanga, which is a 6 hour journey.  There are some bad/unsafe bus services leaving from Cúcuta,  I recommend Bolivariano or Copetran, these are friendly and honest services.

I was sat with a Colombian on the bus who had also been traveling in Venezuela.  He told me he was taken off a bus by the police and checked for money, they do it to all foreigners.

Bucaramanga to Medellin

2017-04-01T11:36:09+00:00 November 10th, 2016|South America, Venezuela|10 Comments

10 Comments

  1. Fiona Mai January 24, 2017 at 7:32 pm - Reply

    You said that Angel Falls and Canaima park worth visiting were the only two worth-visiting attractions, and that the city was quite unstable. Do you think I should visit this place if I only have 4 days in Venezuela? And I’m a female lone traveler as well…

  2. Kari (Happy Coconuts Travel Blog) January 24, 2017 at 7:38 pm - Reply

    Angel Falls looks spectacular in your photo! It is somewhere I have always wanted to see. I hope to someday soon see Venezuela in person but until then your photos will have to tide me over 🙂 Thanks for your advice, and Happy Travels to you in 2017 🙂

  3. Stacey January 24, 2017 at 7:42 pm - Reply

    Wow someone mentioned the hikes through Venezuela today and I’m so interested! It’s such a shame that it feels so unsafe. I would definitely need to book a tour

  4. Raymond Carroll January 24, 2017 at 9:01 pm - Reply

    You’ve been about, James, eh! South America sounds nuts! My wee pal ‘Chop’ is married to a Bolivian and he was over there in the summer. He posted some excellent pictures on facebook. He met his wife about 10 years ago when he was touring South America and he said that every country he passed through was mental. With sights like the’ Angel Falls’, it’s a pity that most South American countires are so dangerous. Good post. Thanks for sharing!

  5. Kassie January 24, 2017 at 10:32 pm - Reply

    Wow! Angel Falls looks absolutely amazing. Is the only way to get there via plane? So strange that you can’t take a bus or something. Though it doesn’t sound like bus travel is too safe. I want to explore South America but I’m a bit nervous to get too far off the beaten path as a solo female traveler.

  6. Katie January 25, 2017 at 10:23 am - Reply

    The Angel Falls looks absolutely incredible! We fell in love with Niagara falls a few years ago but this falls is a whole other world! Just amazing 😀 Bucket list is getting far too long!

  7. Caroline @ The Travelling Sloth January 25, 2017 at 1:26 pm - Reply

    Oh my gosh, that airplane view is amazing! I mean, just look at that river meandering 😮
    I personally would love to visit South America but it’s a new region for me and I’ve heard a lot of horror stories… So it’s good that you highly recommend travel insurance in case of anything. Also, considering that the country isn’t the safest, it’s great that you’ve included honest services so I’ll definitely look into them whenever I plan to head over. Cheers for sharing!

  8. Diana - MVMT Blog January 25, 2017 at 3:33 pm - Reply

    Angel Falls looks incredible! Do you know why the rocks are a reddish color? And your photo from the airplane is amazing! Note to self: Pick window seat when I fly there!

  9. Jenni January 26, 2017 at 3:24 pm - Reply

    Its one of my dreams to go to Angel falls and your photos really do it justice also now I want to visit more of Venesuela I like the look of the Canaima National Park too. 6 hours is a long time on the bis was it crowded or a comfortable journey?

    • James Smith January 28, 2017 at 5:03 pm - Reply

      The bus is great, lot’s of space. You’ll have to fly into Canaima National Park though, it’s about an hours flight from Bolivar City.

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