It is no mistake that Christopher Columbus nicknamed Venezuela The Land of Grace from its shores. Stilted villages of palafitos stretched out into the Caribbean waters while fringes of the Amazon Basin climb rapidly into the inland extensions of the Andes. Travel to Venezuela to experience one of the more urbanized nations in South America, as well as one of the most diverse terrains of any region. Enjoy the icy glory of majestic glaciers one day and the twinkling blue waters of the Caribbean the next.
Nearly Virgin Valleys and National Wilderness in Venezuela
Venezuela is known largely for its geographic wonders and tantalizing landscape. Maracaibo Lake is the largest natural lake in all of South America and also one of only 17 ancient lakes in the entire world, dating back 36 million years. Possibly the second oldest, Maracaibo lake is easily accessible from the Caribbean shore through the Gulf of Venezuela. It is also worth visiting the 16th century town of Maracaibo on the north shore. If you catch a flight or bus into Puerto Ayacucho, the Amazonian rainforest will suddenly be at your fingertips. Let a guide lead you through lush greenery along serenely canopied rivers. You may also come across isolated indigenous tribes in this region.
One of the most famous travel destinations in Venezuela is Salto Ángel (Angel Falls), the world’s tallest waterfall, plummeting 3,211 feet into Devil’s Canyon. The uninterrupted cascade is just about 16 times the height of Niagara Falls! Visitors can opt to spend a night at the base of the falls while the roaring waters and exotic birds lull you off to sleep. Another remarkable overnight stay is at the mouth of Cueva del Guácharo, Venezuela’s longest cave. Watch thousands of the nocturnal Guácharo, or oilbird, exit the cave at night and return before the wee hours of the morning.
For a more serenely tropical adventure, catch a boat out to Archipiélago Los Roques, a national park consisting of mostly uninhabited Caribbean islands. The unadulterated beaches and marine wildlife are here for those tired of high rise hotels and commercial resort refuse. The tropical latitude of Venezuela makes beach vacations a year long treat and the temperate climes of the mountains generally consistent.
Travel Venezuela from Mountains to Metropolis
The urban centers of Venezuela are excitingly lively and full of timeless culture. Architecture in cities like the capital Caracas is inspired by indigenous tribes, Spanish colonialism and African design. Barquisimeto is a popular hangout for younger travelers and locals, where nightclubs and bars line the streets between casual cafes and risqué boutiques. When booking your airfare to Venezuela, be conscious of your arrival time. As a tourist, it is not advised to travel any of the roads at night by taxi, bus or rental vehicle, particularly between Caracas and the International Airport.