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Cucuta to Venezuela, Colombia - Border Crossing To San Antonio

Colombia travel blog by Mark Berman - December 2010   » View Photoset (36 Photos)

Mark Berman, South America backpacker for 10yrs!
From Bucaramanga on a rough road I came to Cucuta on my way to Venezuela. I stayed in a budget hotel right across the road from the bus terminal. In the afternoon I
Colombia Photo - Arturo Villamizar Berti bust, a poet and writer in Cucuta.
Arturo Villamizar Berti bust, a poet and writer in Cucuta.
went into the center of town to find a branch of Citibank because their ATM machines allow you to withdraw larger sums of money than the other banks. I wanted to change my Colombian money for USD the next morning to take to Venezuela.

Taxi Tour of Sights

After a nights sleep I hired a taxi for an hour to take me around Cucuta to show me some of the sights in the city which there are a few. In the middle of the big roundabout near the terminal there is a train and a monument of a man with a bow and arrow. From here in the taxi I went to see the Virgen de Fatima monument at the top of the hill, she stands upon a globe upon a white pole. The views of the city
Colombia Photo - Money changers at the road side between Cucuta and Venezuela.
Money changers at the road side between Cucuta and Venezuela.
are great. Next he took me to see La Batalla de Cucuta monument, it's a large brick work that twists up towards the sky. There are cannon here and a statue of a man called Manuel Guillermo Mora J, he is a former Mayor of Cucuta. From up on the hill I pointed out a church that I wanted to see. On the way he showed me a strange monument called Ansicur, it is a shoe and pays tribute to the manufacturers of shoes called Calzado Pauletti. We arrived at the white church called Iglesia Perpetuo Socorro. In front of the church is a white bust of Arturo Villamizar Berti, a poet and writer. He donated land for the churches construction. Nearby I saw a tall column called Padilla, then he took me to see the Jesus statue Cristo Rey situated in a poor neighbourhood and standing above the houses. The taxi driver was enjoying giving
Colombia Photo - La Batalla de Cucuta - twisted brick monument.
La Batalla de Cucuta - twisted brick monument.
me this tour because the bill was going up and up. He suggested a few more things I should see but I told him I needed to get back to the hotel and get my things. I needed to eat lunch and get to Venezuela so I asked him to head back in that direction while seeing some things along the way. I saw the palace called Palacio de Gobierno which is in a main city street and stopped off at Santander park with fountain and statue of Francisco de Paula Santander (1792-1840) in the middle. There is a church on the opposite side of the road. We passed a park with Cucuta's founder Juana Rangel de Cuellar (1649-1736) in statue.

Change Money to $USD

After lunch I got my backpack from the hotel
Colombia Photo - Cristo Rey Jesus statue in Cucuta.
Cristo Rey Jesus statue in Cucuta.
and went across the road to the bus terminal. I knew I could change some money here at the money changers. I presented $1400,000 Colombian pesos to the young man in the office. He said I would get a rate of 0.5, therefore I would get $700USD in cash, that was the deal. He then got his boss in and he took out his calculator and worked out a rate where I would only get $636USD. At this point I said no and took my money. He then changed his mind and said I would get $700USD, so I gave my money back and got my $700USD.

Border Crossing

The guys at the bus terminal then gave me a twisted story about how dangerous Venezuela was and that I needed their special taxi guy to escort me over the border and help me with border control etc. They said this would cost $50USD. I said no way, I can do this myself. Then they dropped the price to $20USD which I agreed to. The taxi
Colombia Photo - Market area and the red Boterotex shop in Cucuta.
Market area and the red Boterotex shop in Cucuta.
stopped at the D.A.S. office for my Colombian exit stamp, then took me across the Simon Bolivar bridge to San Antonio which is the border town in Venezuela for their passport procedures and then to a bus going to San Cristobal. Between the bus terminal in Cucuta and San Antonio I saw money changers on the side of the road also. This border crossing is quite simple, safe and straightforward. I think you could get a taxi to bring you here for half the price that I paid. Don't let those guys at Cucuta's bus terminal scare you with their 'Venezuela is dangerous' stories. Now I was in Venezuela for the first time (Dec 2010)!

     

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Distances & times (if available) from about halfway from Cucuta to Venezuela (Colombia) to:


Map location: Cucuta to Venezuela, Colombia. From Cucuta I went to Venezuela for the 1st time and traveled for 7 weeks, this was late 2010!
 A : San Antonio to San Cristobal - Venezuela 31 kms 31 kms straight distance | 1hr 32mins 1hr 32mins by car (59 kms) | 1hr 50mins 1hr 50mins by bus (59 kms) (59 kms)
 B : Bucaramanga to Cucuta - Colombia 74 kms 74 kms straight distance | 4hrs 14mins 4hrs 14mins by car (162 kms) | 5hrs 4mins 5hrs 4mins by bus (162 kms) (162 kms)
 C : Bucaramanga - Colombia 111 kms 111 kms straight distance | 5hrs 13mins 5hrs 13mins by car (216 kms) | 6hrs 15mins 6hrs 15mins by bus (216 kms) (216 kms)
 D : Barichara - Colombia 162 kms 162 kms straight distance | 8hrs 20mins 8hrs 20mins by car (301 kms) | 10hrs 10hrs by bus (301 kms) (301 kms)
 E : San Gil - Colombia 165 kms 165 kms straight distance | 7hrs 24mins 7hrs 24mins by car (304 kms) | 8hrs 52mins 8hrs 52mins by bus (304 kms) (304 kms)
 F : Merida - Venezuela 164 kms 164 kms straight distance | 5hrs 34mins 5hrs 34mins by car (306 kms) | 6hrs 40mins 6hrs 40mins by bus (306 kms) (306 kms)
 G : El Paramo - Venezuela 177 kms 177 kms straight distance | 5hrs 57mins 5hrs 57mins by car (321 kms) | 7hrs 8mins 7hrs 8mins by bus (321 kms) (321 kms)
 H : Barinas - Venezuela 258 kms 258 kms straight distance | 6hrs 4mins 6hrs 4mins by car (352 kms) | 7hrs 16mins 7hrs 16mins by bus (352 kms) (352 kms)
 I : Mucuchies - Venezuela 200 kms 200 kms straight distance | 6hrs 55mins 6hrs 55mins by car (355 kms) | 8hrs 18mins 8hrs 18mins by bus (355 kms) (355 kms)
 J : San Isidro de Apartaderos - Venezuela 208 kms 208 kms straight distance | 7hrs 16mins 7hrs 16mins by car (367 kms) | 8hrs 43mins 8hrs 43mins by bus (367 kms) (367 kms)
 K : Medellin to Bucaramanga - Colombia 247 kms 247 kms straight distance | 7hrs 57mins 7hrs 57mins by car (397 kms) | 9hrs 32mins 9hrs 32mins by bus (397 kms) (397 kms)
 L : Barinas to Apartaderos - Venezuela 245 kms 245 kms straight distance | 6hrs 52mins 6hrs 52mins by car (398 kms) | 8hrs 14mins 8hrs 14mins by bus (398 kms) (398 kms)
 M : Merida to Maracaibo - Venezuela 244 kms 244 kms straight distance | 7hrs 11mins 7hrs 11mins by car (402 kms) | 8hrs 37mins 8hrs 37mins by bus (402 kms) (402 kms)
 N : Timotes - Venezuela 227 kms 227 kms straight distance | 8hrs 38mins 8hrs 38mins by car (442 kms) | 10hrs 21mins 10hrs 21mins by bus (442 kms) (442 kms)
 O : Magangue to Mompos - Colombia 287 kms 287 kms straight distance | 12hrs 59mins 12hrs 59mins by car (720 kms) | 15hrs 34mins 15hrs 34mins by bus (720 kms) (720 kms)
Driving times are accurate but approximate and are listed in the order of driving distance! Drive times are always affected by weather conditions, the terrain, time of day, altitude, dinner and bathroom stops, animals on the road, protests, a fast or slow bus driver, police checkpoints, border and river crossings, dropping off and picking up passengers etc. These drive times are obtained from Google Maps and are meant as a guide. Note however, times quoted in the main text of this page are exactly as the author experienced it.


My Hostel & Hotel Reviews for Cucuta to Venezuela, Colombia:

Hotel Mary, Cucuta, Colombia - Large Photo
Hotel Mary, Cucuta, Colombia (December 2010 - 1 night) - Basic but good room with tv and bathroom, the foyer area in the hotel is nice and they have wifi, best thing about it is that it's right across the road from the Cucuta bus terminal.

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