Barcelona is the capital of Anzoátegui State, Venezuela. Founded in 1671, Barcelona is integrated with Puerto La Cruz. It is in Barcelona where is located the airport that links both cities to other parts of the country.
Unlike Puerto La Cruz, Barcelona has well-preserved colonial architecture.Due to its historical buildings and tourism infrastructure, the city offers an attractive options for the tourists visiting the eastern coast of Venezuela. Colonial buildings surround the Plaza Boyaca, the original plaza built when the city was founded. The city's cathedral, named Iglesia El Carmen, was built between 1748 and 1773; a long period that included extensive reparations for damages caused by an earthquake. The surroundings here are very quaint and picturesque, contrasting with the modernism found in the center of the city.
An interesting colonial building is the Museo de Anzoátegui, the oldest building in the city, built in 1671. Another important historical areas are centered around the three main plazas: Bolivar, Miranda and Boyacá.
On the Avenida 5 de Julio there is La Casa Fuerte (strong house), a national historic monument which was Initially constructed on the the ruins of the old Convento de San Francisco. In 1811, during the independence war, La Casa Fuerte was taken by the founders of the republic and turned into a fortification by Simón Bolívar, being equipped with two canons to defend the city from the attacks of his opponents. After several attacks, on April 17, 1817, the house was taken and destroyed by the royal forces, which then went on decapitating all of its residents. It stands now as a reminder of the independence spirit. There is a statue of Eulolia Buroz, a woman who died in its defense.
Between Barcelona and Puerto La Cruz is the development of El Morro, an immense complex built to house hundreds of tourists in condos, apartments and hotels. Many water channels crisscross the complex, affording every dwelling access to the sea. One of the most ambitious developments within el Morro is the Golden Rainbow Maremares Resort and Spa, a five star hotel with many pools, lagoons, and golf courses. Close to El Morro is located the modern shopping center Centro Comercial Plaza Mayor, built in the colorful Dutch colonial style, similar to those found in Curaçao.
The principal beaches that surround Barcelona and Puerto La Cruz can be found on the El Morro isthmus, and include Isla de Plata, Conoma, Arapito, Cangrejo, Lecherias and playa Mansa. These beaches offer many open-air restaurants that serve delicious seafood dishes. Puerto La Cruz is also the entry point of Mochima National Park, one of the most spectacular in the country. From its port, the tourist can take a ferry to Margarita Island, and also hire a boat to take a ride to the neighboring islands, such as Las Chimanas, Cachicamo and Borracha. At the end of the day, tourists and local people go to the Paseo Colón (Colombus promenade) to take a walk, preparing their appetite for a nice dinner in one of the various restaurants of the area.