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Cucuta is a Colombian city, capital of the North Santander Department, located in the northeast of the country.Due to its proximity to the Colombian-Venezuelan border, Cucuta is an important commercial center.The city has the constitutional category of Special District.It is located at the most active international border in South America and is connected by roads with Bogota, Caracas and Cartagena.Its air terminal, the Camilo Daza International Airport is one of the most traveled in 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 Cucuta (conformed by other 6 municipalities) has a population of 1,298,187 inhabitants, having the same position in the conurbations.For several years it has had the lowest unemployment rate in the country,which nowadays is 8.6%.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 Tibu, and to the west by El Zulia and San Cayetano.

Cucuta 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.Several 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 Cucuta 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 Cucuta, the House of Santander, and the Park of the Great Colombia.

Cucuta'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.

How to Reach

By Air

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 Cucuta", which connected with Venezuela.

By Road

The highway to Bucaramanga (renovated in January 2007) connects Cucuta with Bogota,Medellin and Cali.The highway to Ocana connects the city with Barranquilla,Cartagena and Santa Marta;the highway to San Cristobal with Caracas.

By Bus

Cucuta is connected by national highways with Bogota (14 hours / 80,000 COP) and Caracas (16 hours / 90 VEF) in Venezuela.Buses arrive to the "Cucuta's Bus Station".

Key places to visit
Santander Park, House of Santander, Church Of San Joaquin, Greater Colombia Park


Places to Visit

Santander Park

Is the main park of the Colombian cities of Cucuta and Bucaramanga,though there are other such parks in Bogota and Neiva.The parks share a namesake with the Colombian departments Santander North and Santander, named in honor of the highly respected hero of Colombian independence, Francisco de Paula Santander, who was born in Cucuta.

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 Cucuta).There you can visit the Historic Church that was the principal sede of the Congress of the Great Colombia (Colombia + Panama + Venzuela + Ecuador).

Church Of San Joaquin

The church of San Joaquin is a must-see place in Curiti.It is located in the central park and is characterized by the beauty of its construction in stone.The people of Curiti (Curitenos) have professed a deep devotion to Nuestra Senora del Rosario de Chiquinquira for the favors and miracles done by that Virgin.

Greater Colombia Park

Is an historical and tourist complex located in the locality of Villa del Rosario (Cucuta.It is in the 6th km of International Highway to Venezuela.The Park houses the House of Santander, where the hero of the independence Francisco de Paula Santander lived his first 13 years; The Historic church, where the Congress of Cucuta was established and where the Constitution of Cucuta was written, also known as the Constitution of 1821, Constitution of Villa del Rosario, or Constitution of the Greater Colombia.The House of the Bagatela, which served as base for the Executive Power in 1821.The Historical tamarind, a tree where the editors of the constitution of the New Granada (then Colombia and Panama) and patriots from Venezuela rested under its shade after the exhaustive meetings.

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