Venezuela travel blog by Mark Berman -
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An overnight bus from Maracay brought me to Ciudad Bolivar, a 10hr journey arriving at 8am. I took a taxi from the bus terminal to a posada
(hostel) in the historical center.
1. Book Angel Falls Tour
I came to Ciudad Bolivar to organise a tour to Angel Falls
There are many tour offices around the historical center and prices vary so shop around. Read about the tour!
2. Historical Center
The historical center of Ciudad Bolivar is located around Plaza Bolivar on top of a small hill, it's quite a small area.
The plaza and cathedral are attractive and there are a few government buildings around it like the Palace and
the House of Congress. Up the road a little is the Legislative Palace and Plaza Miranda named after Francisco de Miranda
(1750-1816) - a
Venezuelan revolutionary. Some of the streets around here have some colorful houses but I wasn't really 'blown away' by this historical
center like I have been many times before in other places.
3. Views of the River
I headed down the hill to the Orinoco River where there are some nice views. There
is a beach and you can see the bridge in the distance. As I admired the views of the river I looked down to the river bank and noticed a
handgun sitting on the ground next to pieces of rubbish. I thought 'hmmm that's different'. Along the street beside the river (Paseo Orinoco)
there is a whole bunch of old and tattered murals that are in desperate need of a repaint. I continued walking in that direction a little
but turned around because it was not that safe to continue.
4. Piar Museum
I made my way back towards Plaza Bolivar up the staircase built upon a huge
rock and visited Museo Piar that contains some history of General Manuel Piar
(1774-1817) - the room that was used as his prison and church
for 2 weeks before his execution. Another building I visited had a courtyard, gardens and fountain and had been residence to Simon Bolivar in
5. Botanical Gardens
I took a walk down the hill to the botanical gardens Jardin Botanico del Orinoco. This is a well kept clean and big park indeed - gardens,
flowers, many trees, big open spaces and a tribute to Uruguayan national hero General Jose Artigas (1764-1850). That was just in the north / west
corner of the park. Much of the park was closed on this day. In the south / west corner of the botanical gardens is South America's biggest
statue of Simon Bolivar - I got to see it a few days later after returning from Angel Falls
North to Puerto La Cruz
I left Ciudad
Bolivar and headed north to Puerto La Cruz in a shared taxi from the bus terminal, it took 3hrs 30mins at a speed of 150kms. I then took a bus east 1hr to Santa Fe and another 20mins more to Mochima for the night.