This post is written by Isabel Martinez Leon, a local architect from Cúcuta passionate about fashion, photography, and art which she writes about in her blog, Isamarblog. Isabel is also the owner of an accessories brand, Isamar, created in February of 2018. Each accessory piece explores different colors, geometry, and vintage aesthetics made from non-toxic materials and handmade by Isabel herself. Isabel also has a segment on Tu Kanal Televisión, a local television station in Cúcuta, in which she discusses fashion, style, and current affairs. In this week’s Viva Air Live Local Guide to Cúcuta, Isabel is going to show you all of her local gems in Cúcuta!

Isabel Martínez León

Hello! I’m Isabel and I’m here to show you how great a day in Cúcuta can be. It’s the city where I was born and where I have spent practically my whole life, so I know it very well and it makes me very happy to show you the best places to visit and to enjoy your stay to the fullest.

First, the offer of hotels in the city is quite wide and varied. In the center of the city you will find options for professionals such as the Holiday Inn, Hampton by Hilton, or IBIS. If you prefer a family-style accommodation, I recommend the Hotel Bolivar, a place of tradition in the city with comfortable rooms, pool and restaurant.

For breakfast, check out the Los Caobos neighborhood as there are multiple restaurants and coffee shops. I recommend Café Fruto Bendito, a cozy place with a menu full of incredible options and the best coffee in the city. Without a doubt, you will have a pleasant time and will be eager to return. Its location is ideal because it is near beauty parlors, ice cream parlors, shops full of local products and just a few blocks from Ventura Plaza, in case you need to do some shopping or banking.

Café fruto bendito

The Jardin Plaza was recently opened and located just 20 minutes from the city center, which has become a great attraction for its architecture and outdoor shopping experience. If you have the time, do not miss an opportunity to visit here! You will also find a gym, children’s play area, cinema, and a large food court.

Jardin Plaza Cúcuta

If, like me, you think that to know a city you should visit its most emblematic buildings, a walking tour through the center of Cúcuta is a must-do and where you can visit Santander Park, the Cathedral of San José de Cúcuta, the Mayor’s Office, La Gobernación building, The Clock Tower and the Julio Pérez Ferrero Public Library.

Edificio de la Gobernación en Cúcuta

In Villa del Rosario, a municipality in the metropolitan area of Cúcuta located 15 minutes from the city center, you can visit the historic temple. This is where the Constitution of 1821 was drafted and promulgated and through which Gran Colombia was created. Museum Casa Natal del General Santander is also not to be missed while visiting Villa del Rosario.

If you would like to get out of the city the I suggest walk through the town of Chinácota, with its perfect climate and famous for its strawberries and cream, as well as the wonderful landscape. I recommend restaurants such as Quinta K and Café Sabor A Mí and if you plan to stay overnight then Hotel Monte Gracia, is recommended.

As for the cuisine of the city, I invite you to try traditional dishes such as el mute, los tamales and los pasteles de garbanzo. Irresistible! Although you can also find excellent international cuisine restaurants with great service and a great atmosphere to share a few cocktails or drinks with friends. The Avenue Cero and the Malecón near the Pamplonita River are two main corridors that articulate the city and that you can visit both day and night to have different experiences.

Los Pasteles de Garbanzo

Hope that helps you plan your trip to Cúcuta and enjoy your visit!
-Isabel Martinez Leon

Special thanks to Isabel Martinez Leon for her contributions to this article. Be sure to check her out on Instagram @Isamarblog and on her website