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Coordinates: 7°53′39″N 72°30′14″W / 7.89417°N 72.50389°W / 7.89417; -72.50389

Cúcuta

Flag

Seal
Nickname(s): City without borders
Motto: More progress!
Map of Cúcuta in the Norte de Santander Department. Urban in red, municipality in dark gray
Cúcuta is located in Colombia
Cúcuta
Location in Colombia
Coordinates: 7°53′39″N 72°30′14″W / 7.89417°N 72.50389°W / 7.89417; -72.50389
Country  Colombia
Department Norte de Santander
Foundation June 17, 1733[1]
Government
 - Mayor Maria Eugenia Riascos
Area
 - City 1,176 km2 (454.1 sq mi)
Elevation 325 m (1,066 ft)
Population (2005-2006 Census) [1]
 - City 918.942
 - Metro 1,298,187
Website
www.alcaldiadecucuta.gov.co

Cúcuta (Spanish pronunciation: [ˈkukuta]) is a Colombian city, capital of the North Santander Department and located in the northeast of the country. Due to its proximity to the Colombian-Venezuelan border, Cúcuta is an important commercial center. The city has the constitutional category of Special District[2], conforms the most active international border in South America[3] and it's connected by roads with Bogota, Caracas and Cartagena. Its air terminal, the Camilo Daza International Airport is one of the most traveled the country.

According to the 2005 census it has a population 918,942 inhabitants, which rank it as the 5th largest city in the country. The Metropolitan Area of Cúcuta (conformed by other 6 municipalities) has a population of 1'298.187 inhabitants, having the same position in the conurbations. For several years has had the lowest unemployment rate in the country, which nowadays is 8.6%.[4][5]

It is situated in the Cordillera Oriental in the Andes and is connected with Venezuela through the Pan-American Highway. Its area of 1176 km² represents 5.65% of the department. Its altitude is 320 m above sea level, with an average temperature 28°C and annual average precipitation of 1,041 mm.

The city is bordered to the east by Venezuela and Puerto Santander, to the south by Villa del Rosario, Bochalema, and Los Patios, to the north by Tibú, and to the west by El Zulia and San Cayetano.[6][7]

Contents

Etymology

The city of Cúcuta was called San José de Guasimales from 1733 to 1793[8], the year in which the name changed to San José de Cúcuta—"San José" (Saint Joseph) denotes the Virgin Mary's husband, and "Cúcuta" means "The House of Goblins", from the language of the Barí indigenous group.[9]

In the city's seal, a legend states, Muy Noble, Valerosa y Leal Villa de San José de Cúcuta ("Very Noble, Valiant and Loyal Village of San José of Cúcuta").[10]

The city has the nicknames "City Without Borders", "Gem of the North," and "City Forest."[11].

History

Cúcuta was originally a pre-hispanic settlement. It was entrusted to Sebastian Lorenzo by Pedro de Ursua as an encomienda in 1550. Juana Rangel de Cuellar founded Cúcuta on June 17, 1733, and donated a further 782 hectares (1,930 acres). The village, centred on a church, grew considerably due to its strategic commercial location, and eventually became a city.[12]

Seeveral important events that forged Colombia as an independent republic took place in city: one of these events was the Congress of 1821, where the Constitution of Cúcuta was written and approved. This constitution created the Greater Colombia, a nation conformed by the present-day territories of Colombia, Venezuela, Ecuador, and Panama. The city preserves places where these historical events took place: the Historical Church of Cúcuta, the House of Santander, and the Park of the Great Colombia.

As the site of the Battle of Cúcuta (February 28, 1813) the city was the beginning of the Admirable Campaign led by Simón Bolívar. This campaign resulted in the independence of Venezuela.

16th Century: First European incursions

The first European in the North Santander territories was the German conqueror Ambrosio Alfinger, who in 1530 came from Santa Ana de Coro (Venezuela) with a troop of aventurers and invaded the unexplored eastern region of the newly created Gobernation of Santa Marta.

Alfínger, in search of El Dorado, arrived in an area of indigenous settlements called Tamalameque along the Magdalena River, fighting and defeating several tribes. Alfinger was eventually killed in the outskirts of present-day Chinácota in a battle with Chimilas and Chitareros indians. With Alfínger dead, Fedro St. Martin took command of the troops and returned to Coro, passing through the territory of Cucuta.

Cúcuta. 19th Century

The 1541 Hernan Perez de Quesada, reached the territory of Chinácota, but had to turn back the same year due to the resistance of indigenous people. Shortly thereafter, Alfonso Perez de Tolosa, left Tocuyo (Venezuela) and went to Salazar de Las Palmas, through Cúcuta, but also had to turn back after losing a lot of soldiers in clashes with the natives.

In 1549 Spanish troops, commanded by Pedro de Ursúa and Ortún Velasco, invaded North Santander and reached the valleys of Pamplona. In tribute to the Spanish city of Pamplona, the Spaniards founded a the city of Pamplona. The new town soon attracted numerous people because of its agreeable climate and gold mines that were discovered in the region. From this town came further expeditions which completed the conquest of the current territory of North Santander.

An expedition commanded by Diego de Montes founded the town of Salazar, but it was soon destroyed by the Cacique Cínera. In 1583 the town was rebuilt by Alonso Esteban Rangel (great-grandfather of the founder of Cucuta) on a site more appropriate for its defense in the event of new attacks by the natives.

The second expedition commanded by captain Francisco Fernández de Contreras reached to the lands of the Hacaritamas indigenous group and on July 26, 1572 founded the city of Ocaña, calling it "Santa Ana de Hacarí", while some of his colleagues the named it New Madrid, and others Santa Ana of Ocaña. The next year, Antonio Orozco, subaltern of Fernandez, founded the town of Teorama, while the Friars Augustinians founded a convent in what is today the city of Chinácota.

17th Century: Foundation

"A journey through the city centre where the Cathedral of St. Joseph, the Palace of Government and the Monument to the column of Bolivar are located is returning to the historical roots of our ancestors.".

El Espectador

In the early 16th century a great part of the valleys of Cúcuta belonged to Captain Christopher de Araque Ponce de Leon. The land passed through inheritance to his son Fernando Araque Ponce de Leon, who was owner of the entire territory from the Valley of Cucuta to the village of San Jose; jurisdiction of the city of San Faustino. These fields had been donated to the master Araque by the Governor of the Province of New Merida heading in September 9, 1630.

The constant hostility of the Motilones indigenous group with the whites who lived in the valley and their economic ambitions were key factors to request the erection of a parish with the name "San José". Juana Rangel de Cuéllar donated 782 hectares (1,930 acres) on June 17, 1783 for the construction of a church and land for Spanish families. Today this area is the neighbourhood of San Luis.

19th Century: Major events

Battle of Cúcuta

Monument to the Battle of Cúcuta. March, 2007

The Battle of Cúcuta was one of the most important events of the South American wars of independence, due to its role in the independence of Colombia and Venezuela. This battle was the beginning of the Admirable Campaign of Simón Bolívar.[13][13] On February 28, 1813, the Bolivar captured the city after a battle that lasted from 9:00 a.m. until noon. About 400 men led by Bolivar fought 800 troops led by the Spanish general Ramon Correa. Two Colombian soldiers were killed and 14 injured; on the opposing side, 20 Spanish forces were killed and 40 injured.[14] The victory freed the city of Cúcuta and started the Admirable Campaign.[15]

Colonel Simón Bolívar then launched a major offensive against the Spanish forces who were on the east bank of the Magdalena River and quickly achieved resounding victories that carried him to undertake a journey to liberate the Valleys of Cúcuta held by the command of royalist Colonel Ramon Correa.

Congress of Cúcuta

On August 30, 1821 the Congress of Cúcuta took place at the town of Villa del Rosario (today part of Cucuta) in the church known today as the "Historic Temple of Cúcuta". The congress was established by Antonio Nariño and participants included Francisco de Paula Santander, Simón Bolívar, and other leaders of Spanish America's struggle for independence from Spain.

The main objective of this congress was to unify the nations of the New Granada (Colombia and Panama) and Venezuela and thus create a huge state to be known as the Republic of Colombia (Gran Colombia). Ecuadorsubsequently joined Gran Colombia.

At 11 am on October 3, 1821, the Simón Bolívar entered in the meeting room located in the sacristy of the church. He took a seat next to the president of Congress and and was sworn in as president of the fledgling Republic of Colombia.

Earthquake of Cúcuta

On 18 May 1875, Cúcuta was largely destroyed by the earthquake of Cúcuta, also known as the "Earthquake of the Andes". The earthquake occurred at 11:15 a.m.; it destroyed Villa del Rosario, San Antonio del Tachira and Capacho, seriously damaged the Venezuelan settlements of San Cristóbal, La Mulata, Rubio, Michelena, La Grita and Colón (among others), and was felt in Bogotá and Caracas.

Industrial Revolution

Railroad of Cúcuta – 1910

In the 19th century, the construction of a railroad set off an Industrial Revolution in the city. The railroad had four branches: North, East, South and West.[16] The North branch was constructed from 1878 to 1888, and connected Cúcuta with Puerto Santander and Venezuela. Construction of the East branch began in and South branches began in 1878; the South branch linked with Pamplona, Colombia, and ended in El Diamante. The West branch was not built owing to economic problems. The railroad company fell into bankruptcy and was closed in 1960.[17]

The population of the city's metropolitan area was 59,323 in 1939, 532,564 in 1990, and 950,000 in 2005.[18]

Many of the city's historic buildings lie within the Park of Greater Colombia, including the House of Santander, the historic church, and the historic tamarind. All these are well preserved.[19]

Geography, climate and layout

Geography

The city is located in the eastern part of the Department of North Santander, in the Cordillera Oriental, close to the border with Venezuela. The city's area is 1,176 km², or 5.65% of the area of North Santander. The elevation is 320 metres (1,050 ft) above sea-level.

Rivers in Cúcuta and Norte de Santander include the Pamplonita River, Guaramito River, San Miguel River and Zulia River.[20]

The Pamplonita River crosses the Norte de Santander Department.

Zones

(Comunas)

Small towns

(Corregimientos)

Settlements

(Caseríos)

  • #1, Centro
  • #2, Centro Oriental
  • #3, Sur Oriental
  • #4, Oriental
  • #5, Nororiental
  • #6, Norte
  • #7, Noroccidental
  • #8, Occidental
  • #9, Suroccidental
  • #10, Cementerio
  • Aguaclara
  • Banco de Arena
  • La Buena Esperanza
  • El Soldado
  • Puerto Villamizar
  • Ricaurte
  • San Faustino
  • San Pedro
  • Guaramito
  • El Palmarito.
  • Arrayanes
  • Boconó
  • Alto Viento
  • El Carmen
  • El Pórtico
  • El Rodeo
  • La jarra
  • Puerto León
  • Puerto Nuevo.
Maps of Cúcuta
Imagen Satelital de Cucuta.jpg Cucuta-detailed.png
Satellite map Urban map

Climate

The mean temperature is 28.0 °C; high temperatures are around 35 °C. There is a sharp contrast between the wet season and the dry season. The driest months are December, January, February and March; the wettest are April, May, September, October and November. June and July usually have significant precipitation, whereas August is sunny and windy. The annual precipitation is around 1,041 mm.

Weather data for Cucuta
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 36
(97)
39
(103)
38
(101)
37
(99)
38
(99.7)
36
(97)
37
(97.8)
37
(98)
37
(99)
37
(98)
36
(97)
36
(97)
37
(98)
Average high °C (°F) 32
(90)
33
(91)
32
(90)
32
(90)
33
(91)
33
(91)
33
(91)
34
(93)
34
(93)
32
(90)
31
(88)
31
(88)
33
(92)
Average low °C (°F) 21
(69)
22
(71)
22
(71)
23
(73)
23
(73)
23
(74)
23
(73)
23
(73)
23
(73)
23
(74)
23
(73)
22
(71)
22
(72)
Record low °C (°F) 17
(63)
17
(63)
18
(65)
17
(63)
17
(63)
18
(65)
18
(64)
18
(65)
17
(63)
19
(66)
19
(66)
17
(63)
18
(64)
Precipitation mm (inches) 36
(1.42)
35
(1.38)
66
(2.6)
101
(3.98)
82
(3.23)
39
(1.54)
37
(1.46)
41
(1.61)
84
(3.31)
147
(5.79)
119
(4.69)
72
(2.83)
808
(31.81)
Source: [21] 2008-09-26

Layout

Cúcuta's streets are organized in a grid layout adopted from Spain in colonial times. Calles (streets) traverse from east to west, perpendicular to the hills, and numbering increases to the north and to the south from Calle 1. Avenidas (avenues) traverse from south to north, parallel to the hills, and numbering increases both east to west, and west to east from a central avenida numbered 0 (Avenida Cero, one of the city's most important avenues). From west to east, avenues are numbered with an E added to their number, as to denote East (este) .

More than 300 neighborhoods form the urban network. Affluent neighborhoods are primarily situated in the north and north-east; poorer ones are in the south and south-east, many of them squatter areas. The middle class lives mostly in the central, west and northwest areas.

Symbols

Flag

The red and black North Santander Department flag was exhibited for the first time in 1928, when the first National Olympics were held in Cali. However, the flag of Cúcuta[22] was not legalized until Mayor Carlos A. Rangel issued Decree 106 on May 3, 1988.

Seal

The shield of Cúcuta[22] was adopted in 1958 by Decree 032 on February 3, 1958, after a request by the History Academy of North Santander. The shield is a classic shape, and carries the title conferred to the city by Royal Decree of the Emperor Carlos IV: Very noble, valiant and loyal Village of San José of Cúcuta.

The upper part depicts the weapons of the city's founder Juana Rangel of Cuéllar, who donated lands for the foundation of the city on June 17, 1733. They are five silver and red fleur-de-lis in the shape of reels, on a golden background.

The lower part of the shield displays the weapons that the National Congress adopted for Colombia by the Law of October 6, 1821, at its meeting in the Villa del Rosario. In the center are a quiver of spears, marked with X's, and a set of bow and arrows, tied with tricolor tape. The spears represent attributes of the Roman consuls; the X is a symbol of the right of life or death; the bow and arrows are symbols of the Hispanic Indu race.

Anthem

The Anthem of Cúcuta[22] was legalized by means of Decree 039 of February 8, 1984, by Mayor Luis Vicente Mountain Forest. The lyrics were written by Dr. Manuel Orillo Martínez, and the music by the master Pablo Tarazona Prada. It was chosen as the Anthem of Cúcuta by a unanimous vote in a contest held in the Theater Zulima.

Demographics

Population

Cúcuta has undergone a large demographic growth, having 387,481 inhabitants in 1951 and now, 1,196,775. It is the sixth most populous city in Colombia. The metropolitan area, which includes the municipalities of Villa del Rosario, Los Patios, El Zulia, San Cayetano and Puerto Santander, has a combined population of more than 1.1 million people. It is the largest metropolitan area in eastern Colombia and sixth in Colombia behind Barranquilla and Cartagena.

As of the census of 2005, there were 1,196,755 people and 187,041 households in the city. The population density was 2,000/km², making Cúcuta one of the more densely-populated cities in the east of the country.

Population of Cúcuta
Población de Cúcuta.JPG Colombia-Andes-es.JPG
Population of Cúcuta 1964–2006 Población of main cities of the Andes

People

Many notable Colombians are from Cúcuta:

Government

Av. Libertadores – Cúcuta

As of 2006, the mayor of Cúcuta is Ramiro Suárez Corzo, who has occupied the position since January 2004 (elected by a majority of 62.06%). He represents the movement Colombia Viva.

Cúcuta is the capital of Norte de Santander Department, and houses the Department Hall and the City Hall of the Metropolitan Area of Cúcuta along with the Francisco de Paula Santander Justice Palace. The Principal Mayor and Urban Council, both elected by popular vote, are responsible for city administration.

The city divided into 10 localities (comunas). The Metropolitan Area of Cúcuta is formed by Cúcuta (as the main city), Villa del Rosario, Los Patios, San Cayetano, El Zulia and Puerto Santander.

Politics in Cúcuta are not defined by a single political movement. Past rivals included the Partido Liberal Colombiano and the Colombian Conservative Party. Today the political landscape is shared by many political parties, none commanding majority support.

Economy

The economy of Cúcuta is the sixth largest of the country, preceded by cities like: Cartagena, Barranquilla, Cali, Medellín, and Bogotá. Cúcuta's economy is based primarily in industry and agriculture. The "zone franca" is the most active of Colombia due to its proximity to Venezuela (the second commercial partner of Colombia). The industry of the city is focused on mining, the production of milk, and the cement and construction material production.

Smuggling operations are also common in the the Cúcuta region.

US–Colombia Free Trade Agreement implications for Cúcuta

Colombia signed a Free Trade Agreement with the United States amidst opposition by Venezuela. Despite this opposition, industries from Venezuela are constructing their infrastructure in Cúcuta to export their products to the United States, registering their products as if they were Colombian, a strategy that would allow them to export without paying certain tariffs. For that reason, Cúcuta is expected to become an industrial city.[24]

Colombian law provides tax exemptions for Venezuelan imports through the Zona Franca, which, coupled with the motorway links between Cúcuta and Maracaibo, increases the possibility of exports from Maracaibo into Colombia.[25]

Telecommunications

The city's telecommunications services include payphones, WiMAX wireless networks,[26] and mobile phone networks (GSM, CDMA and TDMA).

Telecom Colombia offers the service of local, national and international telephony and broadband ADSL Internet. There are three mobile telephony operators: Comcel, Movistar and Tigo.

Transport

Public transportation in the Metropolitan Area of Cúcuta includes the Metrobus system.

For travel outside the city, there is a bus station called "Terminal de Transportes" (to be replaced by a new one), the Camilo Daza International Airport (Colombia) and the San Antonio Airport (Venezuela). Eighty years ago the city had the "Railroad of Cúcuta", which connected with Venezuela.

The highway to Bucaramanga (renovated in January 2007)[27] connects Cúcuta with Bogotá, Medellín and Cali. The highway to Ocaña connects the city with Barranquilla, Cartagena and Santa Marta; the highway to San Cristóbal with Caracas.

Distances to other cities

sincelejo 500 km

Cities of Colombia

Cities of Venezuela

Bridges

File:Puente La Gazapa - Cúcuta.JPG
La Gazapa Bridge

The city has many bridges:

  • San Rafael Bridge – official name is "Benito Hernández Bustos".
  • Francisco de Paula Andrade Troconis Bridge – the prolongation of the Av. 0, connecting the city with the municipality of Los Patios.
  • Elías M. Soto Bridge – rebuilt and extended to 6 rails.
  • San Luís Bridge – imported from England.
  • Rafael García Herreros Bridge – part of the East Anilo Vial.

Six overpasses are under construction.

Education

The basic education and the high school education are in Colombian "Calendary A" for schools (from February to November).

Schools

  • Colegio Calasanz
  • Colegio Sagrado Corazón de Jesús
  • Colegio Instituto Técnico Nacional de Comercio
  • Colegio Salesiano
  • Colegio La Salle
  • Colegio Comfaoriente
  • Colegio Santo Angel de la Guarda
  • Colegio Santa Teresa
  • Colegio Gimnasio Los Almendros
  • Colegio Gimnasio Domingo Savio
  • Colegio Carmen Teresiano
  • Colegio Cardenal Sancha
  • Colegio Instituto Tecnico Mercedes Abrego
  • Instituto Bilingüe Londres

Universities

State Universities

Private Universities

  • Universidad Libre de Colombia
  • Universidad de Santander
  • Universidad Antonio Nariño
  • Universidad Simón Bolivar

Recent development

The city has recently undergone development at an historically unprecedented rate. This has included construction of six overpasses, a convention center, a new bus terminal, a new Integrated Massive Transportation System called Metrobus, modernization of state owned schools, renewal of downtown, and doubling the capacity of the General Santander Stadium.

New industries are expected to come from Venezuela, which will place their factories in Cúcuta to export through the Colombia Trade Promotion Agreement between Colombia and the United States.[18]

Landscape

Monuments

The main monuments in the city are:

Parks

The main parks in the city are:

  • Santander Park (in Spanish, Parque Santander), the main park of the city located in front of the city hall.
  • Colón Park (in Spanish, Parkque Colón), constructed in honor of Cristobal Columbus (in Spanish, Cristobal Colón).
  • Simón Bolivar Park (in Spanish, Parque Simón Bolivar), constructed in honor of Simón Bolivar and donated by the Consulate of Venezuela in Cúcuta.

Greenery

Photo of Cúcuta

From its founding, residents have valued Cúcuta's trees.

Cúcuta has more green zones than many other cities in Colombia. Some consider it an urban lung, due to its many trees and lack of pollution. The greenery is thanks to gifts by prominent Cucuteños, and the legion of foreigners who reconstructed the city after the 1875 earthquake, led by engineer Francisco de Paula Andrade Troconis. The first planted trees were clemones. Soon they were replaced by acacias, peracos and almond trees that adorned the parks and roadsides. An example of this city design is the Avenue of the Lights (based on oití, ficus and cují), that forms a natural tunnel admired in the rest of the country and by tourists.

Palm trees are common in places such as Santander Park, Great Colombian Park, the Bank of the Republic and the Department Hall of Norte de Santander.

References

  1. ^ "Cities and towns foundations". Luis Ángel Arango Library. http://www.lablaa.org/blaavirtual/revistas/credencial/sept2001/ciudades.htm. Retrieved 2008-01-07.  
  2. ^ "Constitution of 1991 - Legislative Act N° 2 - July 6, 2007" (PDF). Presidence of the Republic of Colombia. http://www.presidencia.gov.co/prensa_new/leyes/2007/julio/acto_legislativo_02060707.pdf. Retrieved 2008-01-07.  
  3. ^ "Characterizing the Colombo-Venezuelan border". Andean Community of Nations. http://www.comunidadandina.org/documentos/docSG/Ayudamemoria14-4-05.htm. Retrieved 2008-01-07.  
  4. ^ "En 0,2% aumentó desempleo en Colombia en septiembre, respecto a hace un año.". Portafolio. http://www.portafolio.com.co/economia/pais/2008-10-31/ARTICULO-WEB-NOTA_INTERIOR_PORTA-4637083.html. Retrieved 2008-11-11.  
  5. ^ "El desempleo sigue en 11,2%, según el Dane.". El Espectador. http://www.elespectador.com/impreso/articuloimpreso-el-desempleo-sigue-112-segun-el-dane. Retrieved 2008-11-11.  
  6. ^ "Borders of Cúcuta". Chamber of Commerce of Cúcuta. http://www.camaracomerciocucuta.org.co/ciudad/geograficos.htm. Retrieved 2008-01-07.  
  7. ^ "Map of Cúcuta". CúcutaNuestra.com. http://www.cucutanuestra.com/temas/geografia/Norte_mapas_datos/images/municipios_grandes/cucuta.jpg. Retrieved 2008-01-07.  
  8. ^ "Cúcuta". Enciclopedia Britannica. http://www.britannica.com/eb/article-9028119/Cucuta. Retrieved 2008-01-07.  
  9. ^ "The city - Geographical data". Chamber of Commerce of Cúcuta. http://www.cccucuta.org.co/c.c.c/web/laciudad/datos.php. Retrieved 2008-01-07.  
  10. ^ "Seal of Cúcuta". Rincón del Vago. http://html.rincondelvago.com/files/9/7/1/0001597113.jpg. Retrieved 2008-01-07.  
  11. ^ "Cúcuta is declared green municipality". La Opinión. http://www.laopinion.com.co/esp45_14.asp. Retrieved 2008-01-07.  
  12. ^ "San José de Cúcuta". Norte de Santander. http://www.nortedesantander.gov.co/nortedesantander/home_1/htm/cont.jsp?rec=not_298.jsp.  
  13. ^ a b "Admirable Campaign". Polar Foundation. http://www.fpolar.org.ve/nosotros/historia/campadm.html. Retrieved 2008-02-07.  
  14. ^ "Admirable Campaign". Simón-Bolívar.org. http://www.simon-bolivar.org/bolivar/campana_admirable.html. Retrieved 2008-02-07.  
  15. ^ "Campaña Admirable". http://www.fpolar.org.ve/nosotros/historia/campadm.html. Retrieved 2006-02-11.   (Spanish)
  16. ^ "Ferrocarril de Cúcuta". Biblioteca Luis Ángel Arango. http://www.lablaa.org/blaavirtual/exhibiciones/ferrocarriles/secciones/ferrocarril_cucuta.htm. Retrieved 2007-02-11.  (Spanish)
  17. ^ "Especial 45 años". Diario La Opinión. http://www.laopinion.com.co/esp45_22.asp. Retrieved 2007-02-11.  (Spanish)
  18. ^ a b "Colombia. royecciones de población, por área, según municipios" (Excel spreadsheet). Departmento Administrativo Nacional De Estadistica (DANE). http://www.dane.gov.co/files/investigaciones/poblacion/series_proyecciones/Dptos/norte_sant.xls. Retrieved 2006-10-15.   (Spanish)
  19. ^ "Centro Histórico Villa del Rosario". Ministerio de Cultura de Colombia. http://www.mincultura.gov.co/VBeContent/NewsDetail.asp?ID=627&IDCompany=9.  (Spanish)
  20. ^ Ministerio del Medio Ambiente. "Colombia; Rio de Cucuta". http://web.minambiente.gov.co/ecorre/peramb16/oferta.htm. Retrieved 2006-10-15.   (Spanish)
  21. ^ www.ideam.gov.co
  22. ^ a b c "Símbolos de Cúcuta". CúcutaNuestra.com. http://www.cucutanuestra.com/temas/gobierno/simbolos_cucuta.htm. Retrieved 2008-01-07.  
  23. ^ Azapedia: Fabiola Zuluaga (Spanish) asapedia.com Accessed 15 October 2006
  24. ^ COLFTA. "Cúcuta quiere sacarle jugo al TLC". http://www.comiteempresarial.org/cgi-bin/cee/index.cgi?l=1&opcion_par=29&id=1393. Retrieved 2006-10-15.   (Spanish)
  25. ^ ANDI. ANDI "Zona Franca". http://www.andi.com.co/camaras/zonasfrancas/default.htm ANDI. Retrieved 2006-10-15.   (Spanish)
  26. ^ Peña, Javier (2006-10-27). "Masificarán Internet Inalámbrico en Cúcuta" (in Spanish). CucutaNuestra.com. http://www.cucutanuestra.com/?module=news&file=news&news=3133. Retrieved 2007-02-19.  
  27. ^ Peña, Javier (2006-10-31). "Avanza Plan 2500" (in Spanish). CucutaNuestra.com. http://www.cucutanuestra.com/?module=news&file=news&news=3156. Retrieved 2007-02-19.  

External links

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Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel

Cúcuta is in Colombia in the Andino region of Colombia.

Understand

Cúcuta is the capital of Norte de Santander, home of 1 million people (all of the metropolitan area). It's a major commercial hub in the northeastern Colombia, playing a significant role in trade between Colombia and Venezuela. Cúcuta is located in the northeast, 580 km to the north of the capital Bogotá.

The area of the city is 1.176 km2

Climate

The average temperature is 28º C.

Get in

By air

Cúcuta has a domestic airport, Camilo Daza with flights to Bogotá, Medellín and other Colombian cities. It can be reached also by the neighboring airport of San Antonio (Venezuela).

It is usual the arrival of passengers in transit to San Antonio, Venezuela or the foreigner.

By Bus

Cúcuta is connected by national highways with Bogotá and Caracas in Venezuela.

Buses arrive to the "Cúcuta's Bus Station" (La Terminal de Transportes de Cúcuta).

Get Around

The city of Cúcuta is built on a grid system. The calles (also streets) cross the Avenidas (also Avenues) and run from East to West. Calles are abbreviated as C, Cll and Cl.

Avenidas, abbreviated as Av, are usually larger and main streets. The numerical system for the Avenidas is used but some have names that are more commonly used such as Avenida Libertadores or Avenida de Los Faroles. Each address consists of a series of numbers, for example: Av. 4 #12-24. This indicates that the building on Av. 4 is 24 meters from the corner. The city's avenues are numbered both east to west and west to east, starting from a central avenue numbered 0 (Avenida Cero). Like in the example, the letter E is added to avenues numbered west to east, as to denote East (Este).

By bus

There are many public and private transportation companies that offer bus services and cover almost all of the metropolitan area (Villa del Rosario, Los Patios and El Zulia). It's a cheap way (ticket costs around US$ 0.45, but it will cost more depending on the bus, the route and the day) to travel around Cúcuta. Buses may be overcrowded, lack air conditioning and could be traveling very fast to try to outdo the one(s) from the competing lines that covers the same route. Beware.

By taxi

This is by far the best way to travel around if you don't mind spending a bit more for transportation. The cabs here may take you to anywhere you want, but they could be old Fords or Chevys from the 50's in very different stages of disrepair.

By Bicycle

A ride on Cúcuta's modern Ciclo-Vía is a very exiting and healthy way to get to know the city and get closer to the people. There are certain rules that must be followed: Helmet must be worn when riding, also a reflective vest must be worn. The bicycle must have reflective panels in the wheels and back.

The Av. Libertadores (the largest and most important of the city) is closed to use it as Ciclo-Vía on Sundays (8 AM - 1 PM)

  • House of Francisco de Paula Santander (1 Km International Freeway to Venezuela)
  • Catedral of Cúcuta
  • Santander Park
  • Municipal Park
  • Colon Park
  • House of Santander Francisco de Paula Santander is hero of the independence of Colombia and his house is located in Villa del Rosario (A municipality member of the Metropolitan Area of Cúcuta). There you can visit the Historic Church that was the principal sede of the Congress of the Great Colombia (Colombia + Panama + Venzuela + Ecuador).

Do

The Malecon

In the Av. Libertadores there are ample green zones and platforms that allow their visitors to walk and to contemplate the own nature of the Pamplonita River; this proximity to the shore has allowed that the custom has denominated it “Malecon” becoming a site of recreation par excellence. It runs from the San Rafael bridge in the south of the city to Arnulfo Briceño Square, where there's a beautiful metallic sculpture called “Musical Mirror” as well as a skating track and children's park.

  • Unicentro [1] Unicentro is the most important shopping mall in Colombia. There are five sedes located at Bogotá, Medellín, Cali, City of Panama and Cúcuta). More than 48.000 m2 of commerce, 110 stores, Center of foods, Bingo and casino, Supermarket Carrefour, Open spaces and green zones.
  • Ventura Plaza This is the biggest shopping center of Cúcuta. It is located in the heart of the city and close to the Casino International Hotel. (Diagonal Santander between tenth and eleventh street).
  • Vivero Almacenes Vivero was creaed in 1969 as a t-shirt store, but now is one of the most important malls in Colombia. Av. Demetrio Mendoza, Diagonal Santander. Tel. 5766108
  • Gran Boulevard It is one the most traditional mall of Cùcuta, located in the Av. 0 (unique in the world). It has a building of apartaments. There you can get computers, shoes, clothes and visit an excellent bar called "LA MICRO". The main office of Movistar Colombia for Cúcuta is there.
  • Plaza de Los Andes
  • Kokoriko Av. 0 Calle 8 Esquina Tel. 5722822
  • PRESTO Av. Los Libertadores # 3-08 Tel. 577 5596 / 577 4949
  • Los Carritos Av. 0 # 15-71 Tel. 5710097
  • Los Carritos Av. Los Faroles # 9E - 51 Tel. 5741506
  • Juan K Av. 3E #1-218 La Ceiba Tel. 5779113 / 5779114
  • Restaurante Rodizio Malecon II Etapa La Riviera Tel. 5739029 / 5751719
  • Pinchos & Asados (Rodizio) Tel. 5739039
  • Restaurante El Corral 5745701 / 5773152
  • Mangos Av. Libertadores #7-22 Tel. 5752648
  • Restaurante La Gran Muralla Av. Libertadores #10-84 Malecon Tel. 5753946 / 5755156 / 5755069
  • Local coffee is excellent.
  • Aguardiente is a must for all tourists. It can be found at all cafes and bars.
  • Hotel Tonchalá
  • Hotel Casablanca Av. 6 # 14-55 Tel. 5722888 FAX: 5722993
  • Hotel Quinta Avenida
  • Hotel Villa Antigua. (Located on the highway to Venezuela).
  • Hotel Arizona Av 0 # 7-67
  • Hotel Bolivar Av. Demetrio Mendoza
  • Hotel Casino Internacional Calle # 2E-75
  • Hotel Acora Calle 10 #2-75
  • Hotel Acuaris Calle 5 # 3-37
  • Hotel Amaruc Av. 5 # 9-73
  • Hotel Chucarima Calle 7 # 2-30
  • Hotel Exelsior Av 3 # 9-65
  • Hotel Lord Av. 7 3 10-58
  • Hotel Luxor Calle 10 # 2-66
  • Hotel Victoria Plaza Calle 8 # 2-98
  • Hotel Paraiso Calle 10 # 5-84
  • Hotel Conquistador Av 11 E. Frente al Parque Simón Bolívar, Colsag.
  • Hotel La Paz Calle 6 Av 3 y 4
  • Hotel Cacique Av 7 calle 9 y 10
  • Hotel El Samán (Prosocial) Autopista Internacional, en Villa del Rosario

Work

Officially it is not legal to work in Colombia without a proper working visa. Visas can be obtained by employers on your behalf.

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