Officially referred to as the Bolivian Republic of Venezuela, Venezuela is a country on the northern coast of South America. The biosphere of Venezuela is extremely diverse with wide varieties of flora and fauna and habitats including the Andes Mountains, Amazon Rainforest, plains of Illinois, Orinoco River delta and the Caribbean Coast.
The country was first colonized by Spain in 1522 and was also the first Spanish American colony to declare independence. The country was dominated by dictatorships in the 19th centuries like other countries of South America. The country has had democratic governments since 1958.
Venezuela is the most urbanized countries in South America and a leading exporter of oil. The country also exports coffee and cocoa.
Regarding tourism Venezuela is home to the most beautiful tourist attractions of the world. It is a perfect potpourri of scenic beauty, art, culture and food. Some of the best tourist attractions of the country are:
Let us begin with the largest waterfall in the world. It is unarguably the most popular tourist destination in Venezuela. Angel falls has a free falling drop of 979 metres. Think Niagara Falls and then think fifteen times of it and you will be able to picture Angel Falls.
Angel Falls is located in Canaima National Park in Bolivar state, an approximate 3000km from Caracas, the capital of Venezuela. The place gets its name from James Angel who tried to land a plane near it which actually sunk into the marshy ground. They had to travel through the jungle for eleven days to find civilization. The forest around is rich in flora and fauna. One can expect to see the poison arrow frog, pumas, jaguars, three toed sloths, otters and various species of orchids.
La Isla Margarita
It is situated north of the Venezuelan coastline. The pure clear water and a picturesque view of the coastline is what La Isla Margarita has to offer. It is a perfect example of natural beauty. La Isla Margarita is called “Pearl of the Caribbean.” There are beautiful white sandy beaches which offer a perfect opportunity to get a tan. Windsurfing, diving and snorkelling are popular activities in the area.
Pico Bolivar is considered to be the most beautiful and serene places in the world. It is a perfect setting in the lap of nature. It is 4,765 metres high and is located in the north-eastern part of The Greater Andes.
Mochima National Park
It is in the state of Sucre and Anzoategui. It occupies a huge area of coastal and marine habitat in the Mochima Bay. It is mainly made up of mangroves, mountainous coastlines and sandy coves. Dense shrubs, trees and grasses are scattered all over this dry terrain. It also houses 28 species of reptiles and 78 species of mammals.
Roraima is the place that inspired Arthur Conan Doyle’s Lost World. However the place is not inhabited by dinosaurs as mentioned in the book but a wide variety of flora and fauna have made it their habitat. You’ll also be able to explore some of the world’s oldest geological formations.
As mentioned before the Venezuela isn’t all hills and beaches but also has plains. You can witness cowboys riding the plains of Los Llanos. The plains are home to the green anaconda and 50 other species of mammals and reptiles.
Let’s talk about food now. Venezuela has the same diversity in its cuisine as it has in its culture and geography. The cuisine has both indigenous and European influences. The staple food includes corn, rice, plantain, yams, beans and meat. Potatoes, tomatoes, eggplants, onions, squashes and zucchini work as delicious sides.
In the eastern, south-eastern and northern states there is a dominance of seafood such as fishes and crustaceans. The use of tubers such as potato and yam is also abundant. Pasta is extremely popular making Venezuela the second highest Pasta consumers in the world after Italy. Corn and rice is also commonly consumed. Fruits such as lettuce, tomatoes and plantain are also widely consumed. In the west goat and rabbit meat are widely consumed. Cheese and plantain is commonly used. The cuisine in the west is influenced by Columbian and indigenous styles. In the plains of Llanos beef, deer, lapa and morrocoy meat is consumed. They are mainly grilled or roasted. Other foods that are commonly consumed are corn and white cheese. In the Andes there is a remarkable use of tubers such as potato and yam. Wheat, beef, chicken and lamb is also commonly consumed. There is not much seafood as it is not along any coast, however trout is commonly consumed which is raised in the fish farms in the region.
Some of the delicious dishes to savour include:
- Cachapa-Maize Pancakes
- Caraotas Negras-Black Beans
- Pasticho-Venezuelan style of lasagna
Some other things that you can do in Venezuela are:
Caribbean Horseback Riding
On the La Isla Margarita, you can discover the whole island on the back of a horse. You can ride through the beaches and the mountains.
Cueva Del Guacharo was the first national Venezuelan monument. The limestone cave is located at the centre of the park and hiking it offers the opportunities to explore various rock formations and you can see oilbirds during the night.
Venezuela is a perfect blend of beauty, culture and aesthetics. One must visit Venezuela atleast once during a lifetime.