This is one of the favourite destinations of travellers especially because from this city depart two of the most appreciated trips in Venezuela, the one to Salto del Ángel and the one to the Gran Sabana.
For us Ciudad Bolívar was a nice surprise as the city was cute and very charming. Surprisingly as well, because in the travel guide - Lonely Planet - does not mention that ist is a relevant point to stop at. Ciudad Bolívar is on the River Orinoco ( and it was the first time we saw this huge river.
How to arriveTo arrive there from Mérida there is the option to fly to Caracas and from there another flight to Ciudad Bolívar, but this can cost around 300U$.
The bus is the cheapest choice. It takes many hours, but it has been our choice.

The bus terminal in Mérida is far from the city center and to arrive there we paid 5.000Bs for the taxi.

We took a bus at Expresos Flamingo to Valencia, leaving at 19,30 and takes 10 hours and a half including a dinner break. We paid 40.000Bs plus 1.000Bs for exit fee.
Other companies also go to Valencia: Expresos Los Llanos, Expresos de Mérida.
Another posible itinerary would have been Mérida-Barinas-Ciudad Bolívar, but we did not find tickets for this option.

Once in Valencia, the bus left us in the private terminal of Expresos Flamingo which is in front of the main bus terminal of Valencia. A little further (by foot), we found the private bus terminal of Rodovias where we bought the ticket to Ciudad Bolívar (34.000Bs), leaving at 7,30 in the morning and arriving at 7 pm in the evening. In Ciudad Bolívar we took a taxi to the city center which costed us 6.000Bs. Day time it costs 5.000Bs per trip.
Sleeping & EatingWe made a reservation of Posada Don Carlos from Mérida as Ciudad Bolivar is a popular city we wanted to be sure to get a bed in this cute posada with only 10 rooms (building 4 more). It’s a posada that belongs to the German Martin Haars, who has lived in Ciudad Bolívar for many years. It is wonderful as it has colonial style and two inner patios. Moreover they offer dinner service (15.000Bs or 25.000Bs if there is meat) and breakfast (5.000Bs), another option is to cook on your own and use the kitchen for 1.000Bs. Internet is for free and washing the clothes 500Bs per kilo.
A double room with bath and air conditioning costs 50.000Bs. Also you can chose a cheaper option without aircon but with a fan or just an outside hammock.
Posada Don Carlos (Street Boyacá nº 26, with street Amor patrio, detrás Governación, Tel. 0058-285 6326017,, [email protected])

Another much more expensive option and almost luxury is the newly opened Casa Grande ( and link to posadas, Ciudad Bolívar).
Double room costs 140.000Bs if you go directly there, if you try per internet, they told us that the price is almost the double. It has a swmming pool in the terrace with wonderful views of the Orinoco.

To eat you must be aware of the time, as the restaurants close at 7pm, with one exception: Tasca marisquería la Ballena (street Urica with street Zea, sector Casco Histórico, local 12, Tel. 0058-285 6320231) where they serve big portions for a nice price. We also ate for lunch at market Carioca, which is the most typical market in Ciudad Bolívar, where it is better to go only for lunch as it’s far from the centre. There are many restaurants there but we were advised to go to El Rincón de los Papillos, we ate typical fish from the Orinoco: Lau-lau, delicious and also nice price.

We believe that in Ciudad Bolívar there are not enough restaurants, and it’s possibly a perfect solution for investors.
What to seeCiudad Bolívar is a colonial city founded in 1764 on the Orinoco and still keeps its fluvial port character and many buildings from the colonial period.

The city has a long walkway along the Orinoco and just the other side of the street is full of shops. At the end there is a belvedere: Mirador Angostura which is the narrowest point in the river and where it is nice to sit and drink something fresh and observe how children fish and enjoy themselves. You can also see from there the only bridge that crosses the Orinoco and it’s 5kms long.

The city has a lot of way up and down, it is very clean and it’s very well conserved, mostly everything well restaured and painted in nice colours. The city center is organized around Plaza Bolívar where is also the cathedral. All the city centre is full with beautiful buildings: la Casa Piar, la Casa de los Gobernadores, la Casa Parroquial, la Alcaldía de Heres, la Casa del Congreso de Angostura....

Only a couple of kms further following the Orinoco there is the market La Carioca where reside the market itself, there are many fish restaurants.
Curiously in Ciudad Bolívar between 7 and 8 in the evening most of the restaurants close, it was not easy for us to find a place to eat. Actually one of the days we did not eat as everywhere was closed.