Official language: Spanish
Time zone: UTC -5
Currency: Colombian peso (COP)
The full name of the city, San José de Cúcuta, was invented in 1793. It means literally Saint Joseph from a house of goblins. Second part of the name comes from language of autochthonic people of this area, Barí.
During hot days, even shade of trees growing alongside almost each street is too little to feel relief. Take a walk by boardwalk alongside a river – locals are eagerly spending time there, resting from heat.
If you are there during Christmas holidays, make sure to visit a clock tower, that has become the symbol of the city. On the occasion of holidays, it is lovely floodlit.
The city located by border with Venezuela, one of the biggest in the country. In the way of urban development from Cucuta extracted two other cities. It was in Cucuta, where for first time constitution was created, on base of which the Republic of Colombia was established.
First settlement was established there before Hispanics discovered this area for Europeans. Development of the city started only in the first half of the 18th century. A village, thanks to its strategic location for trade, developed quite quickly and became a town.
The battle of Cucuta of 1813 was one of the most important events in history of Spanish-American wars for independence. The battle, that lasted barely a few hours, launched a great campaign of Simon Bolivar. Under his command 400 men defeated 800 soldiers of general Ramon Correy.
If you happen to get there in first week of August, make sure to go to Festival Internacional de la Frontera, an international festival with parades, gigs and dances till morning dawn. By the way, you can buy on stalls products of local craftsmen.
On the turn of months October and November in Villa del Rosaria, 5 kilometres south from Cucuta, there is taking place Cachama Festival, which is a feast of fish pacu – from piranha family, that is bred in village Juan Frio, and is very popular in the whole country. During festival you can taste traditional dishes.
Do you know that Cucuta is one of the most green cities of Colombia? Despite high level of urbanization, it managed to have preserved a lot of greenery. After an earthquake, that in 1975 destroyed a vast part of Cucuta, the city was rebuilt with attentiveness to use every single metre of free space to plant trees. And so many streets are parks are now adorned by acacias and almond trees. The most beautiful of them is the Avenue of Lights.
When you miss sport, step by Ecoparque Comfanorte. You can use there swimming pools with slides and artificial waves, as well as rent canoes or play beach volleyball.