Ciudad Guayana, Bolívar State, Venezuela

🇻🇪 Ciudad Guayana is a city in Bolívar State, Venezuela. It stretches 40 km along the south bank of the Orinoco river, at the point where it is joined by its main tributary, the Caroní river. The Caroni crosses the city south-north and divides it on its two main halves: the old town of San Félix in the east, and the new town of Puerto Ordaz in the west. The city was officially founded in 1961 by the unification of this two former settlements, but the history of San Félix goes back to its foundation in 1724. Within the city limits are located the site of Cachamay Falls and Llovizna Falls. There are three bridges across the Caroni and the second crossing over the Orinoco, the Orinoquia Bridge, was inaugurated in the city in 2006. With approximately one million people, it is Venezuela's fastest-growing city due to its important iron, steel, aluminium and hydroelectric industries. Ciudad Guayana is one of Venezuela's five most important ports, since most goods produced in the industry-rich Bolívar state are shipped through it, as ocean-going vessels can sail to it from the Atlantic Ocean up the Orinoco river.

Due to its planned nature, the city has a drastically different feel from many other South American cities. The towers of the Alta Vista district recall Barranquilla, and many of the residential neighbourhoods have architecture and landscaping that are similar to suburbs in the United States in the 1950s, 70 and 80, including 'cookie cutter' homes, sidewalks, and patterned lawns. This is an artefact due to the presence in the 1960s and early 1970s of US Steel, an American company with iron mining operations in the region. US Steel built housing for hundreds of its American immigrant workers and families, who lived in Puerto Ordaz and other communities until the nationalisation of the Venezuelan steel industry forced the company and its workers to leave.

Puerto Ordaz is one of the 2 best planned cities in all of South America, from Mexico to Cabo de Hornos, Argentina. It was designed by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard University. Its internal forest parks look like a fully developed country. And its avenues are extraordinarily planned. The city has strong descendants of Europeans who helped create it, make it grow and give it an air very different from any city in South America, since WW2.

The city is very strategic for Venezuela. Many personalities have visited it during its young history, from Pope John Paul II until many former presidents, such as G.W. Bush, artists, filmmakers like Spielberg who used the city parks to make shots for movies, and others. Guayana City is served by Manuel Carlos Piar International Airport in Puerto Ordaz.

Economy Many of Venezuela's prime industries are based in Puerto Ordaz. These include Alcasa, Venalum, Bauxilum, Carbonorca (primary aluminium manufacturers and anode suppliers for the aluminium industry), Ferrominera (iron ore processing), and Sidor (Orinoco Steelmaking). The country's main electricity producer, Corpoelec, and the regional development office, CVG (Corporación Venezolana de Guayana), are also located in Puerto Ordaz.

Port The port of Puerto Ordaz in a combination of piers (muelles), all under the control of CVG, of which only one is allocated for public use. The others are directly related to the CVG production companies, in principal all aluminium-related, approximately nine piers in total. One of the most frequently used piers is Ferrominera at the mouth of the Caroni river. Another is Ternium Sidor (recently nationalised into a CVG company, and the only steel works) at mile 197.

Hydroelectricity The city hosts the headquarters of CVG Electrificación del Caroní (CVG Edelca), Venezuela's main electricity producer, which manage several hydroelectric power plants along the Caroní river basin. Two of them, Macagua and Caruachi, are located within city limits. The easy of access to Macagua from the city centre makes it a tourist and educational destination, and a public park and museum were added to the complex.

Edelca also builds and administers two more dams upstream from the city: Tocoma and Guri. The latter is currently (as of 2018) the fourth-biggest hydroelectric power station in the world in terms of generation capacity, and gave origin to the Guri reservoir, the second biggest lake in Venezuela.

Tourist Industry Inside the city both the Llovizna and Cachamay Parks are located displaying their picturesque waterfalls. Other local attractions are the Caroní Ecomuseum located at the Macagua Dam. Near the city from the Angosturita bridge to the San Félix port the union of the Caroní and Orinoco rivers can be seen; the different colors of the water of both rivers make a very distinct demarcation line. Taking Puerto Ordaz as a starting point, the Orinoco Delta can be visited as well as Canaima's National Park and Guri's reservoirs. Other points of interest are the colonial castles at the Orinoco riverside and the "Cerro del Elefante" (Elephant's hill) which can be reached in a 4x4 vehicle. The Castles of Guayana are located at the right side of the Orinoco River, about 35 km from San Félix.


Ciudad Guayana is rated E by the Global Urban Competitiveness Report (GUCR) which evaluates and ranks world cities in the context of economic competitiveness. E cities are regional gateway cities. Ciudad Guayana has a population of over 850,300 people. Ciudad Guayana also forms the centre of the wider Ciudad Guayana metropolitan area which has a population of over 918,000 people.

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Text Atribution: Wikipedia Text under CC-BY-SA license | GUCR

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