Ciudad Guayana



In 1961 Ciudad Guayana was established by presidential decree to integrate the Matanzas Industrial Zone (with enormous industrial plants), Puerto Ordaz (an upscale planned city) and San Felix (considered the "workers' city") into a single 36-sq-mi/93-sq-km metropolis. It has little appeal for visitors except as a departure point for land trips to La Gran Sabana and for some nice parks. There are nearby attractions, however. A little more than an hour south of San Felix you'll find Los Castillos de Guayana, a pair of restored colonial forts: San Francisco lies on the high banks of the Orinoco River, and San Diego de Alcala sits on a nearby hill overlooking the other fort and the river. About 35 mi/55 km south of Ciudad Guayana (roughly halfway to Ciudad Bolivar) is the exit for the Raul Leoni hydroelectric complex, which offers excellent guided tours daily except Monday. It's one of the top power-generating facilities of its kind in the world. Ciudad Guayana is 420 mi/675 km southeast of Caracas.

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