Welcome to Ciudad Guayana
Officially ‘founded’ in 1961 to serve as an industrial center for the region, Ciudad Guayana sits on two rivers, the Río Orinoco and Río Caroní, and encompasses the unlikely twin cities of Puerto Ordaz and San Félix. The colonial town of San Félix, on the eastern side of the Caroní, is a working-class city with a historical center, but little tourist infrastructure and a reputation for being unsafe. Puerto Ordaz is a wealthy and modern prefab city, with a large middle-class population. Neither is frankly of much interest to visitors, but it's a useful transport hub, being the gateway to Venezuela's spectacular Gran Sabana. Travelers may need to overnight here between bus rides south or flights to Caracas. Your best bet for accommodations is La Casa del Lobo, the city's long-established German-run backpacker option. From the city's bus station, there are regular buses to Santa Elena de Uairén (nine to 11 hours, US$7), as well as connections to Ciudad Bolívar (US$0.50, 1½ hours) and Caracas (US$8, 11 hours), although most visitors fly the last route.