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Venezuela sometimes gets overlooked by travelers looking to visit South America, but it’s an amazing destination that shouldn’t be missed! Located on South America’s northern coast between Colombia and Guyana, this is an ideal place for a backpacking journey, a beach retreat, and a foodie’s paradise. This is a budget-friendly destination with friendly people, tasty local rum, and stunning natural sites.
These are just a few of the places you can visit and the amazing experiences you can have when you travel to Venezuela.
See Angel Falls
Located in Canaima National Park, Angel Falls is the largest waterfall in the world and stands at 3,212 feet. This area provided the inspiration for Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s “The Lost World.” The most popular way to visit the falls is to book a tour package to see them from a boat or by plane. Auyantepui, the mountain that the waterfall descends from, is also a great place for trekking.
Caribbean Coast Beaches
There are over 1,800 miles of coastline in Venezuela and some great beaches to spend time along relaxing. One of the best beach areas to visit is Isla de Margarita, which is great for water sport enthusiasts and vacationers looking for a little peace and seclusion. This exotic area reminds travelers of the Bahamas and is home to over 300,000 people. Snorkeling, bonefishing, diving, and windsurfing are popular activities to try in the area.
Boat along Los Roques National Park
Los Roques is another lovely beach area that is also known for having coral reefs. This means that it’s a top destination for snorkelers and scuba divers. You can reach this area by boat or commercial flight from surrounding towns. Boating is the best way to get around this area because the archipelago is comprised of hundreds of islands. El Gran Roque is the only one that people live on, but you can visit others if you have access to a private or chartered boat.
Hike Sierra de Santo Domingo & Sierra de La Culata
Venezuela is also a very mountainous region, and a wonderful place for hikers. The Sierra Nevada mountains run through this area and hikers can check out the towering Sierra de Santo Domingo & Sierra de La Culata peaks. There are indigenous villages tucked away in these mountains that travelers can explore to see a different side of life in Venezuela. Many visitors to the mountains also choose to check out Merida, a busy college town, and Trujillo, a charming town with little churches.
Eat Pabellon Criolla
The national dish of Venezuela is pabellon criolla, which features shredded beef, rice, beans, and plantains. Other local favorite foods here include empanadas, chocolate, and Arabica coffee. This is an agriculturally rich area, so locally grown produce isn’t too hard to find. Since Venezuela has a colonial history linked to Italy, France, and Spain, you can find many other international foods here too.
Explore the Caracas Neighborhoods
The capital city of Venezuela is Caracas is a must-see for any visitor to the country. It’s on the northern coast and is famous for the National Park of Avila and its scenic mountain range. La Guaira, El Hatillo, and Colonia Tovar are other nearby places to visit to see interesting architecture and habitations. For excellent views of the city, take the cable car ride in Caracas. There’s also a fun nightlife scene in Caracas that’s worth checking out.
Find Peace at Pico Bolivar
Pico Bolivar is also called Mirror Peak and is one of the best places to find tranquility and serenity on your trip to Venezuela. It stands over 15,000 feet above sea level in the high northeastern part of the Andes. This is a place to reflect upon the country’s natural beauty and really get away from it all.
Explore Mochima National Park
Mochima National Park spans over 94,900 hectares of coastal area and marine habitats and mangroves. This is a place to see the diversity of Venezuela’s landscape with everything from sandy beaches, hidden coves, mountains, and tall grasses. Many mammal and reptile species live here, so it’s also a popular place for wildlife watching and animal lovers. Snorkelers and divers love this area because there are shipwrecks in the nearby waters to explore. Along the coast, you’ll find beachside bars and restaurants to try local dishes. Consider joining a camping expedition in the park to see the brightly shining stars over the mountains and valleys.
Kayak the Orinoco Delta
Another great place in Venezuela for wildlife watching is the Orinoco Delta, which is where the river of the same names runs into the Atlantic Ocean. This is home to many diverse species of wildlife including puma, howler monkeys, parrots, and hummingbirds. One of the best ways to see this area is by kayaking, and there are local guide companies that will take you out on the expedition of a lifetime. There are piranhas in these waters so it’s a good idea to hire a guide to stay safe and avoid tipping over.
Walk the Dunes at Medanos de Coro
Many people think that Venezuela is all rain forests, but a trip to Medanos de Coro will quickly change your mind. This area is full of sand dunes, some reaching heights of over 100 feet! There are often high winds here and sparse vegetation. Popular activities to try in the area include sand boarding and renting out a camel for the day to explore the desert region.
Watch Joropo Dancers in Los Llanos
The national dance in Venezuela is called the Joropo, and it originated in the plains region of Los Llanos. It somewhat resembles the flamenco style and can be seen at street concerts throughout the region. Travelers can often watch these performances in San Fernando de Apure and Guanare and listen to the music of harps, guitars, maracas, and singing.
Climb Mount Roraima
Also in Canaima National Park, Mount Roraima is a mountain of over 9,200 feet that connects Venezuela to Guyana and Brazil. This is an interesting spot for geology buffs because the rock formations here date back billions of years. There are many rare plants and animals that call this rainy mountainous region home. This is the place that inspired Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s “The Lost World,” with its waterfalls, rock faces, crags, and wildlife. If you’re up for a physical challenge, join a guided trek of five days or more to explore this region on foot.
Get Underground in Cueva del Guacharo
As you may have noticed by now, there are no shortage of mountains in Venezuela, but there’s plenty going on underground too. Cueva del Guacharo is one of the country’s best cave systems that you can explore. There are nocturnal birds that live inside that gather at the mouth of the cave and screech into the night, an eerie experience you must have for yourself to truly understand.