San Cristóbal (Venezuela)
San Cristobal is a leafy, prosperous city of west Venezuela. The city is located in a mountainous valley in the temperate green hills of the Andes bordering Colombia. The city struck oil in the late 1800s at a site now known as "La Petrolera", and has attracted investors and business innovation.
San Cristobal is known for its industrious people, relaxed nature and relative safety when compared to the other cities of Venezuela. The city is an attractive haven for Venezuela's emerging middle class and successful business entrepreneurs, particularly those involved in financial services and commodities.
Take a 30 minute drive uphill to "Chorro del Indio", a remote mountain waterfall rich in blue butterflies and people enjoying a bathe in the cool waters often enjoying a cold beer.
Events hosted in the city are either related to Sport, the arts or tie in with agriculture and cattle farming. The big annual events held in the city, reflect this. The city centre of San Cristobal is crowded and somewhat dangerous, therefore many events are held on the edge of the city, and particularly near the Stadia of Pueblo Nuevo, where Tachira state football team play.
"Coleo" or "Tailing", is an animal sport attended by families, particularly those with links to cattle farming. The event is held every December in Pueblo Nuevo (north east San Cristobal). Teams from across the cattling states' universities and farming ranches compete to win points, by making a running bull, fall over and flip over entirely. Riders on horse-back ride along a drag-strip, along with a charging bull, riders from opposing teams compete to grab the bull's tail and pull it towards the from of the animal, so as to make the animal fall over and roll over completely over it's back. Solely making the animal fall does not constitute a "turn".
Also in Pueblo Nuevo "La Corrida de Torros", which is a celebratory fortnight of bull-fighting held in mid January. The Bullfight season attracts the world's best bull-fighters, from the Americas and Spain. During these events temporary arcades and fairground rides are set up making Pueblo Nuevo very busy until the early hours. Both events in Pueblo Nuevo bring a lot of people to San Cristobal, both to enjoy the animal sport, clubs and bars, but also to trade livestock.
The University of Los Andes is in San Cristobal, close to Pueblo Nuevo, and therefore the city homes a large number of students. The popular student and popular culture hangouts, include, the Sambil Mall (in Las Lomas)the various sport clubs (El Democrata, El Latino...) and primarily, La Plaza de los Mangos. The area around Plaza de los Mangos is popular because of its numerous eateries, bars, nightclubs and modern clothes shops. More exclusive night-spots are appearing around San-Cristobal, such as "Cinnamon" and "8 and a half", also hangouts and events are often held at social clubs like at El Latino and El Democrata sport clubs.
Safety in the city has traditionally been good, however frontier problems, FARC activity, "Vaccine" payments, kidnapping threats and exponential population growth has seen the city become a place of increasing unrest and insecurity.