40 Vacations - Travel Guides - Destination Venezuela
Originally inhabited by Carib and Arawak Indians, the land of Venezuela was claimed as Spanish territory by an expedition lead by Christopher Columbus in 1498. Amazed by its beauty, the explorer and his colleagues christened the land Venezuela, as the native houses in the coastal areas greatly resembled a ‘small Venice'. Home to a population of around twenty-three and a half million, Venezuela has a remarkable variety of must-see sites, attractions, and natural wonders. The country houses some of the richest oil reserves in the western hemisphere and was one of the founding members of the OPEC. Venezuela is one of the most modern and developed countries in Latin America, owing its success to its oil reserves.
From tropical white sand beaches to immense plains and mysterious mesas, from enormous rivers, flooded plains and jungles to waterfalls and great mountains, Venezuela offers a myriad of landscapes and experiences. Crystal clear, warm waters of its Caribbean coastline are perfect for snorkeling and diving activities, while its several islands off the coast invite visitors to explore. The tropical lowlands are home to a large array of wildlife that thrives in the lush green vegetation of rainforests. Venezuela houses forty-three national parks and a score of other natural monuments and protected areas making it a fabulous destination for nature lovers, bird-watchers, and adventure travelers. The high snowcapped Andean peaks provide a challenge to trekkers and mountaineers.
Venezuela is home to the world's highest waterfall, the Angel Falls (about 16 times higher than Niagara Falls). It also harbors the world's longest and highest cable car, carrying tourists from the university town of Mérida to the 4765 meters (15,629 feet) high Pico Espejo. The capital, Caracas, boasts fine historical monuments, an outstanding collection of museums and art galleries and gleaming skyscrapers, the contrasting example of old and new architecture.
Tourists have the choice of enjoying a relaxing resort experience, by either exploring the city's cultural terrain or undertake numerous adventurous activities. Whether they desire to experience one, or all of the above, Venezuela has more than enough to offer on all counts.