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San Felipe, Venezuela - El Fuerte - Old City Destroyed By Earthquake

Venezuela travel blog by Mark Berman - May 2013   » View Photoset (31 Photos)

Mark Berman, South America backpacker for 10yrs!
The town of San Felipe sits halfway between Moron on the coast and Barquisimeto city. I spent the night in Moron and took a bus for an hour
Venezuela Photo - The arch entrance of park museum 'El Fuerte' in San Felipe.
The arch entrance of park museum 'El Fuerte' in San Felipe.
and a quarter and arrived in San Felipe by around 9am. I didn't know a lot about the city before arriving, only that it had some ruins of the original city destroyed in an 1812 earthquake - Park Museum 'El Fuerte'.

Walking Around San Felipe

After enjoying a couple of empanadas for breakfast (so much better than Colombian empanadas), I headed in the direction of Plaza Bolivar. San Felipe's most important buildings surround the plaza where a Simon Bolivar upon his horse monument takes center stage. On one side of the plaza is the cathedral which is not particularly attractive from the outside at least - basically just big slabs of concrete in different shapes. There is also the Government Palace and the Legislative Palace. That was all fine but I was not jumping up and down with excitement to be honest, there had to be more to this place than just that. Just a
Venezuela Photo - Man with cannon monument in San Felipe.
Man with cannon monument in San Felipe.
few blocks down the road from here is the park, full name - Parque Historico Arqueologico San Felipe El Fuerte. This is what I really had come to see.

El Fuerte Park

I was greeted at the white entrance archway by some young locals who gave me a map and information about the place. I was glad I still had some insect repellent left over from Angel Falls, the mosquitoes here are vicious, but it's worth it. To see at the park includes - the church Nuestra Senora, the Saman tree, bamboo, the town hall (ayuntamiento), Capuchinos convent, the peoples houses, the bridge
Venezuela Photo - The forest floor and brown leaves at Park El Fuerte - San Felipe.
The forest floor and brown leaves at Park El Fuerte - San Felipe.
of the washerwomen (lavanderas), the water tank (aljibe), the cemetery, cobblestone streets, Aguila plaza, stone walls and more. It's an amazing place with the ruins surrounded and amongst mature trees and healthy forest floors. I spent nearly an hour here enjoying the sights and the smell of fresh natural air.

Plaza Tour

I visited Plaza Junin, it has a checkered ground pattern and a bust in the middle of Jose Joaquin Veroes - a war hero (1789-1855). Another plaza I found was Plaza Teofilo Dominguez named after I believe a musician. I made my way towards the bus terminal in a little minivan but got out when I saw Plaza Sucre on the left-hand side - I'm a real sucker for plazas and statues. This was actually the nicest
Venezuela Photo - The temple ruins of the old city in San Felipe.
The temple ruins of the old city in San Felipe.
plaza I had seen so far in San Felipe - big, open and attractive. The monument is of 2 men standing together - Generals Simon Bolivar and Antonio Jose de Sucre. Across the road is a statue of a man with a cannon on wheels and church Iglesia San Rafael Arcangel.

Indio Yaracuy Monument

Across the road from the bus terminal is the Indio Yaracuy monument depicting a warrior and saber-toothed tiger. He was the son of the chief Chilua - the commander of 500 indigenous populations!

Bus Out

It was time to leave San Felipe, it took 1hr 20mins to reach Barquisimeto where I had a good lunch beside the terminal and gave my smelly shoes and socks to a homeless man - he seemed quite happy about that. I took a bus back to Maracaibo (6hrs) and returned to Colombia the following day.

I'm Just a Backpacker

I have to say that I did get a local with a bad attitude towards gringos give me a few words on the bus between Moron and San Felipe and a couple more guys at the San Felipe bus terminal who didn't like the tourist with a camera either. A shame, but that was the only time I felt unwelcome on my travels in Venezuela.

     

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Distances & times (if available) from San Felipe (Venezuela) to:


Map location: San Felipe, Venezuela. San Felipe has the ruins of the original city destroyed in an 1812 earthquake - Park Museum 'El Fuerte'. It's halfway between Moron on the coast and Barquisimeto.
 A : Puerto Cabello - Venezuela 78 kms 78 kms straight distance | 1hr 7mins 1hr 7mins by car (93 kms) | 1hr 20mins 1hr 20mins by bus (93 kms) (93 kms)
 B : Barquisimeto - Venezuela 78 kms 78 kms straight distance | 1hr 14mins 1hr 14mins by car (98 kms) | 1hr 28mins 1hr 28mins by bus (98 kms) (98 kms)
 C : El Tintorero & Quibor - Venezuela 95 kms 95 kms straight distance | 1hr 32mins 1hr 32mins by car (124 kms) | 1hr 50mins 1hr 50mins by bus (124 kms) (124 kms)
 D : Morrocoy National Park - Venezuela 71 kms 71 kms straight distance | 1hr 34mins 1hr 34mins by car (129 kms) | 1hr 52mins 1hr 52mins by bus (129 kms) (129 kms)
 E : Acarigua - Venezuela 101 kms 101 kms straight distance | 1hr 58mins 1hr 58mins by car (149 kms) | 2hrs 21mins 2hrs 21mins by bus (149 kms) (149 kms)
 F : Coro to Puerto Cabello - Venezuela 91 kms 91 kms straight distance | 2hrs 16mins 2hrs 16mins by car (188 kms) | 2hrs 43mins 2hrs 43mins by bus (188 kms) (188 kms)
 G : Carora - Venezuela 147 kms 147 kms straight distance | 2hrs 16mins 2hrs 16mins by car (190 kms) | 2hrs 43mins 2hrs 43mins by bus (190 kms) (190 kms)
 H : Puerto Colombia - Venezuela 128 kms 128 kms straight distance | 3hrs 55mins 3hrs 55mins by car (226 kms) | 4hrs 42mins 4hrs 42mins by bus (226 kms) (226 kms)
 I : Colonia Tovar - Venezuela 161 kms 161 kms straight distance | 3hrs 21mins 3hrs 21mins by car (240 kms) | 4hrs 1min 4hrs 1min by bus (240 kms) (240 kms)
 J : Barinas - Venezuela 254 kms 254 kms straight distance | 3hrs 35mins 3hrs 35mins by car (314 kms) | 4hrs 18mins 4hrs 18mins by bus (314 kms) (314 kms)
 K : Coro - Venezuela 156 kms 156 kms straight distance | 3hrs 55mins 3hrs 55mins by car (316 kms) | 4hrs 42mins 4hrs 42mins by bus (316 kms) (316 kms)
 L : Barinas to Apartaderos - Venezuela 253 kms 253 kms straight distance | 4hrs 7mins 4hrs 7mins by car (343 kms) | 4hrs 56mins 4hrs 56mins by bus (343 kms) (343 kms)
 M : Merida to Maracaibo - Venezuela 264 kms 264 kms straight distance | 4hrs 25mins 4hrs 25mins by car (348 kms) | 5hrs 18mins 5hrs 18mins by bus (348 kms) (348 kms)
 N : Adicora & Punto Fijo - Venezuela 211 kms 211 kms straight distance | 4hrs 51mins 4hrs 51mins by car (393 kms) | 5hrs 49mins 5hrs 49mins by bus (393 kms) (393 kms)
 O : Maracaibo to Coro - Venezuela 242 kms 242 kms straight distance | 5hrs 49mins 5hrs 49mins by car (458 kms) | 6hrs 58mins 6hrs 58mins by bus (458 kms) (458 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.


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San Felipe, Venezuela - El Fuerte - Old City Destroyed By Earthquake. San Felipe has the ruins of the original city destroyed in an 1812 earthquake - Park Museum 'El Fuerte'. It's halfway between Moron on the coast and Barquisimeto.

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