Venezuela

Venezuela
Called "Land of Grace," the South American country of Venezuela doesn't fit into just one category of travel destinations. Because of the wide array of options available to travelers to this region, you're sure to find something to satisfy your all travel needs. Whether you're looking for a backpacking adventure or a relaxing beach sojourn, you're likely to find many reasons to visit Venezuela. Here are just 11 of them:

1. Angel Falls

Venezuela's gorgeous Canaima National Park inspired Sir Arthur Conan Doyle to write "The Lost World," and it's also home to Angel Falls, the world's largest waterfall. This spectacular 3,212-foot waterfall is one and a half times higher than New York's Empire State Building and a whopping 15 times higher than Niagara Falls. Angel Falls is accessible by plane or boat, with local agencies offering tour packages to the falls that often include an overnight stay in a nearby location.

2. Beaches

The beaches on Venezuela's Caribbean coast enjoy a hot, dry and tropical climate, and there are plenty of spots in the sand to choose from. Venezuela has approximately 1,860 miles of coastline as well as hundreds of small coastal islands. Isla de Margarita is the top destination for beach lovers, with 151 miles of coastline featuring everything from pristine secluded beaches to bustling water sport destinations. The archipelagos that make up Los Roques, another top beach spot, is the Caribbean's biggest nature reserve and boasts coral reefs, lagoons and mangrove islands.

3. Mountains

The Andes mountain range runs through Venezuela, giving hikers and other adventurers a chance to see the spectacular spines of the Sierra Nevada, Sierra de Santo Domingo and the Sierra de La Culata, which rise over 16,400 feet. When traveling to the Andes, stay a spell in the nearby town of Merida, a progressive and picturesque college town cradled in a valley in the shadow of the mountains. Further off the beaten track you'll also find indigenous villages that may give you a glimpse into a wholly different way of life.

4. Los Roques Islands

Chill out, lay back and laze on some of the most fantastic beaches. Enjoy the water sports or go island hopping in a small boat. Or plunge beneath the surface of the waves and explore an untouched marine paradise full of interesting fish and strange creatures.

5. Roraima

Roraima inspired Conan Doyle’s fictional ‘Lost World’ adventure. Today you won’t be accosted by pterodactyls and dinosaurs though; you’ll discover some of the world’s oldest geological formations and a unique diversity of flora and fauna that is only found on this spectacular plateau. Worth the climb.

6. National Parks

Venezuela boasts 40 national parks, where people can go to relax, hike, bird-watch and try their hand at amateur wildlife photography. Canaima National Park is Venezuela’s largest park, offering the photographer or wanderer over 6,000 different varieties of plants to look at. The area is also host to hundreds of animal species. Canaima National Park features the world’s highest waterfall, Angel Falls.

7. Tourism and the Locals

The Venezuelan government doesn’t encourage mass tourism because it wants to preserve the country’s natural resources, but small groups of tourists are welcome. Some of the country’s indigenous people even host visitors in their villages. Those that welcome tourists often sell handmade pottery, musical instruments, baskets and woven fabrics. Others act as guides through the region, helping outsiders to spot native wildlife and flora they otherwise wouldn’t notice. Many locals still hunt and fish to make a living.

8. Table Top Mountains

Cerro Autana is a tabletop mountain — a quartzite-sandstone tepuy — located in western Venezuela. The local Piaroa Indians worship it as the stump of the tree of life. Another tabletop mountain, Mount Roraima, is on the border of Brazil, Guyana and Venezuela. You can easily reach the top via natural staircases on the Venezuelan side. Reaching the summit from the other countries is more difficult.

9. Margarita Island (La Isla Margarita)

This is one of the most popular things to do during your Venezuela travel.  It is an island that sits just north of the Venezuelan coastline that is a popular getaway for locals as well as tourists.  The crisp blue waters will remind you of the Bahamas and the breathtaking scenery will make you want to come back every year.  The endless nightlife will punish your inhibitions as well as your plastic with duty free shopping.  There are at least 50 magnificent beaches to explore with the most popular being Playa Puerto Cruz.  Windsurfing is world reknown as well as great opportunities to dive and snorkel.  Don’t forget to see sightsee the Castle of la Asuncion and Juen Griego.

10. Cuare Wildlife Refuge

Admire large colonies of pink flamingos and scarlet ibis at the Cuare Wildlife Refuge, a coastal reserve adjoining the Parque Nacional Morrocoy, about four hours north of Caracas. Best glimpsed in September, the flamboyant fowl are among many water birds that congregate in the lagoons near Chichiriviche and along the mangrove canals.

11. Joropo dancing in Los Llanos

Catch a display of joropo, Venezuela's national dance, in Los Llanos, the vast plains region where it originated. The flamenco-influenced step is accompanied by ensembles playing harp, guitar and maracas and singing in a high-pitched nasal style. Local joropo groups perform at family parties and street concerts throughout the country, but the best places to see it in Los Llanos are in Guanare and San Fernando de Apure.





























Highlights
- Angel Falls, the world’s highest waterfall
- Los Roques, an archipelago of small coral reef islands, a paradise for diving
- Los Llanos, here you can find a lot of wildlife
Geography
Venezuela lies at the northern extreme of South America, bordered by Colombia to the West, Brazil to the South, Guyana to the East, and the Caribbean Sea to the North. Its borders seem to hold all of South America in miniature: there are fine stretches of the Andes, huge areas of Amazonian rain forests, fertile plains known as llanos, miles of Caribbean shoreline, and even a small desert. The nation also has the world's highest waterfall, which you must visit and South America's biggest lake, where you can relax and enjoy the sunset.
Language
Spanish is the main language of Venezuela. However, Venezuelan Spanish differs in pronounciation from the Spanish spoken in Spain. Venezuelans call their language castellano. Besides Spanish, there are over 30 native Indian languages, of which several have common origins. In more remote areas, some Indians still only speak their own language and have no knowledge of Spanish, visiting these places will certainly make your holiday a true experience.
Climate
Because of its proximity to the Equator, Venezuela experiences few climatic variations. There are really only two seasons: dry and wet. The dry season lasts from December to April, the wet one from May to November. The average temperature is about 27C, but cooler temperatures you can find in the Andes. If you want to visit the Andes you should take some warmer clothes with you.
Gastronomy
The food in Venezuela is generally easy and full of flavour. Caracas has a great variety of restaurants. Venezuelan cooking has European, indigenous, and African roots. Some native dishes you should try are:
• Pabellon - stewed and shredded meat accompanied by rice, black beans, and banana
• Hallaca - a traditional Christmas dish.
• Cachapa - a type of sweet corn pancake served with cheese.
• Arepas - a type of round cornmeal biscuit
History
In ancient times, Venezuela was paradise for the Indians who lived on its beaches, in its tropical forests, and on the gentle grassland of the llanos.

Many famous men have marked the history of the country. The first one was Christopher Columbus, he came in 1498 during his third voyage to the New World, and landed on the Peninsula de Paria. The second one was Simon Bolivar, the man who would one day turn the empire on its head by liberating Colombia in 1819, Venezuela in 1821, and Ecuador, Peru, and Bolivia in 1825.

An oil boom in the mid-1970s saw enormous wealth pour into the country. Oil prices dropped in the late 80s and once again the country was thrown into crisis. Right now, the nation's stability and future are uncertain, but still it has so much to offer to the tourists as you can see on out excursions list of Venezuela.
Religion
The vast majority of the people are Roman Catholics. Some Indian people continue to practice their traditional religions, but many have converted to Catholicism, especially those in settlements clustered around riverside mission stations.
Culture
If you want to experience as much culture as you want you should explore the culture of Venezuela. Venezuelan culture is a mixture of three main cultures: Indigenous, African, and Spanish. The African influence was mostly found in the dancing, food, language and musical instruments such as the drums. The Spanish influence was the heaviest, and in particular the influence of the regions of Andalucia and Extremadura from which most of the colonial people came. Examples of the Spanish influence is easily found in the religion, language, architecture, music, food and other aspects of Venezuelan culture which you will certainly encounter on our tours.

Like many Latin American countries, Venezuela was also enriched by other European cultures, especially by the French. Venezuela is so rich and mixed that it is a must to visit and explore more further if you have the chance.
Music
Several styles of traditional Venezuelan music, such as salsa and merengue are common to its Caribbean neighbors. Perhaps the most typical Venezuelan music is the llanero music, which comes from the llanos or plains. Another very popular music in Venezuela is the gaita. This genre originated from the region of Zulia state and is very popular during the Christmas season.
Wildlife
Venezuela is home to an enormous variety of animals and plants, and is one of the most biodiversity regions in the world.
Today, there are about 250 species of mammal in Venezuela, including the jaguar, puma, capybara, manatee, howler monkey, sloth and two species of fresh water dolphin. The country is also home to the giant otter or 'water-wolf', which is the rarest otter in the world. The bird population consists of over 1,200 species, among which are the condors, hoatzin, flamingo, pelican, several species of parrot, macaw, toucan and the oilbird. Venezuela's reptiles include five species of cayman, the common iguana, rattlesnake, boa and the largest snake in the world: the anaconda.
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