All Other Destinations and Attractions in Venezuela
Venezuela is a land of diverse landscapes and unique traditional cultures. Located along the northern coast of South America the country has a little of everything - mountains, plains, desert, deltas, forests, and 2800 km of Caribbean coastline.The country's population is estimated to be 23.5 million, with a large percentage of the people living in and around Caracas and most of the population living within a short distance of the north coast. The Indians, living mainly in rural areas in the delta region or the plains, make up only 1 % of the population.The Venezuelan economy is based primarily on oil. The discovery of oil in 1914 turned Venezuela into one of the richest countries in South America. Recently there has been a rediscovery of what is often referred to as Venezuela's "new oil", which is cacao. Many of the cacao plantations which were abandoned in the 1920s for the oil industry are now being taken up again. Venezuela produces some of the highest quality cacao in the world. Other natural resources in the country are iron ore, gold, and diamonds.
Archipielago Los Roques
This chain of islands lies approximately 160 km north of the central coast of Venezuela. It is known primarily for it's white sand beaches and coral reefs. The islands are usually reached by aircraft from Caracas since there is no ferry service from the mainland. The airport is located in the islands main town, Gran Roque.
Gran Roque is the principal town on the island of the same name in the Archipiélago Los Roques. This small fishing town maintains a population of approximately 1000 people. Boats can be chartered from the town's waterfront area for those interested in visiting some of the surrounding islands. Of interest are the brightly painted houses which line the streets and an 1870s lighthouse outside of town which offers great views of the surrounding area.
As the name suggests, this area encompasses a portion of the Andes running from the state of Trujillo to the Columbian border. One of the principal destinations in this region is the city of Mérida, with an excellent central location in the mountains.Most tourists are attracted to the region for its hiking, incredible mountain views, fishing, or a chance to see the ways of rural Andean life.
Mérida (pop. 250,000) is a popular tourist destination in the Andes region. The city is situated at 1625 m and maintains a mild to cool climate. The surrounding mountains provide a spectacular setting and offer a variety of recreational opportunities. The world's highest and longest cable car, the teleférico, runs to the top of Pico Espejo at 4765 m.
The Northwest is characterized by beaches, islands, rain forests, waterfalls, caves, desert and dunes, and Lago de Maracaibo - the largest lake in South America. The major cities in this area are Maracaibo, Barquisimeto, and the colonial city of Coro. Morrocoy National Park is also a popular destination in this area for people interesting in hitting the beach.
Maracaibo is the second largest city in Venezuela with 1.3 million people. This area prospered in the early 1900's with the discovery of oil. The city itself does not have a lot of tourist attractions but does have developed tourist facilities and may make a good base for people interested in exploring this part of the country.
Valencia is the state capitol of Carabobo State and the third largest city in Venezuela. Valencia was founded on March 25, 1555. The city was besieged in 1561 and raided by French pirates in 1677, who burned down the City Hall destroying any documents pertaining to the early settlement of Valencia.The downtown area has beautiful buildings including University of Carabobo and Cathedral of Valencia.
Located at the base of Península de Paraguaná is the colonial city of Coro (pop. 140,000). Established in 1527, the city was the first capital of Venezuela. It still maintains some of the best preserved colonial architecture in the country.
The Llanos are low-lying plains, sparsely populated and inhabited mainly by cattle farmers. The area lies primarily between the Andes and the Orinoco Delta. The region is also known for it's wildlife - capybara, caiman, monkeys, anacondas, big cats, and bird life - making tours to the area a popular option during the dry season.The major centers in this region include San Fernanado de Apure and Guanare, although most visitors to the area stay in hatos (ranches) which offer tours of the Llanos.
Located in the northwest corner of Los Llanos, Guanare (pop. 130,000) is a major pilgrimage site. The Virgen de Coromoto is said to have appeared near the town in 1652. It is still an important spiritual site and gained even more prominence when the Virgen de Coromoto became Venezuela's patron saint in the 1940s.
San Fernando De Apure
There is very little to see in the city itself but it is the only place of any size in the region. Nearby hatos (ranches) offer tours of Los Llanos and wild life viewing excursions.
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