The Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela
The Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela is a country on the Caribbean coast. It is one of the most mysterious countries in the world, where you can still see Indian tribes with ancient beliefs, take an unforgettable journey along jungle paths or even learn how to get clean water from lianas. After all, it is one of the few countries where the most remarkable feature isn’t colourful architecture, but virgin nature with tumultuous waterfalls, rainforests, savannas and abundant fauna.
The history of Venezuela goes 15 thousand years back. At that time its territory was inhabited by the Indians: the Caribs and the Arawak people. The country’s name has come to be known thanks to Italian cartographer Amerigo Vespucci. In the middle of the 15th century, he came to these lands and saw pillars holding up houses of local people above the water – they reminded him of the famous Italian city, so he called this area "Little Venice". In Spanish it sounded like Venezuela. Since then the country has been known like that.
Present-day Venezuela is a country of mountains, plains and forests. It consists of over 40 islands, a dense network of rivers, waterfalls and spacious savannas. Here you can see the world's highest waterfall, Angel Falls, which drops to the valley from a height of 1054 meters. Angel Falls is located on the territory of Gran Sabana region, one of Indian centres. You’ll have an opportunity not only to see this natural wonder, but also you’ll be offered to try BASE jumping, an extreme activity for those who are fond of extreme sports. You are advised to come here in the period of time from July to November, when the waterfall is fed by tropical rains. Another interesting waterfall in Venezuela is [[Aponwao]Апонувао] of 60 meters high. Thus, travellers have an opportunity to swim as close to the precipice as possible. Moreover, on the waterfall’s top, the observation desk is equipped so you should expect unique views from there. Both waterfalls are located on the territory of Canaima National Park, a wonderful one.
Plenty of parks and protected areas are another feature of Venezuela. Thus, the area of one of them – Canaima National Park – is more than 3 million acres. Its rock formations belong to the Guayana Shield that was formed two million years ago. Their beautiful scenery is completed thanks to tepuys, table-top mountains. They resemble carved out of the mountains pyramids with steep slopes and flat tops. Tepuys protect unique species of plants and animals that have been growing and living here since prehistoric times! You’ll have an opportunity to climb one of the highest tepuys, Roraima. In addition, in Canaima you’ll be offered to make a trip by canoe or safari on a colourful local off-road vehicle.
The archipelago of Los Roques that occupies the territory of 340 islands is another amazing natural park, which has brought fame for Venezuela. There you can find 61 species of coral reefs, totally stretching to 145 kilometres. In January, the Los Roques host an annual festival of diving, which attracts divers from all over the world.
The Orinoco Delta is an extremely rich and colourful area. This unique corner of nature abounds in verdure: mangrove brushwood, freshwater marshes and high palm, as well as swampy, savannah and evergreen tropical forests. Once you have come to the Orinoco Delta, you will have an opportunity to learn local traditions and way of life. Also here you will be able to learn how to get clean water from lianas or go hunting for piranhas and caimans, relatively small crocodiles. In addition, you may see from a safe distance anaconda, the world's largest snake, or capybara, the world's largest rodent up to 80 kg.
However, Venezuela has got a jewel resort – the island of Margarita – located near the equator. It has been discovered by Christopher Columbus and named after Princess Margaret of Austria, who the famous explorer was in love with, according to local legends. This island is one of the oldest centres of pearl hunting. In addition, amazing beaches with white sand await you and blue waters of the ocean offer you to learn the basics of surfing and kiteboarding.
The country has also gained its fame thanks to the Merida Cable Car, the world's longest cable way. This cable road of 12.6 kilometres long connects the centre of Merida city with Pico Espejo, the second highest peak of Venezuela. By the way, the mountains of Venezuela make this country especially charming. The Mountains of Mist, a range of picturesque mountain peaks, was formed on the site of a sea millions of years ago. On the territory of Venezuela there is another peak – Merida Mount with large botanical garden around it. Its natural collection numbers over 8000 different species of plants. Finally, in Venezuela, you can also see the Andes, famous mountains, 400 km of which run through its territory.
Along with the pristine jungle and rich nature, Venezuela is famous for its cities and towns. Caracas, a capital of the country, is quite contrasting among other cities. Four different districts are located within this city, ranging from ordinary residential buildings to El Centro, a central district. Parque Central, a cultural district, where all theatres and museums are located, and Las Mersedes, a district famous for dozens of trendy shops and entertainment centres, can be noted by you in the capital as well. Another interesting city is Coro, the oldest and best preserved in Venezuela. In 1993, it was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. In this city, you should definitely visit [[St Francis]святого Франциска] and [[St Clement]святого Климента] churches, as well as the oldest cathedral in Venezuela.
Any travelling through Venezuela won’t be completed without visiting Valencia, a city, where one of the world's largest arenas for bullfighting – Corrida de Toros – is located. It is the most popular entertainment in the country. The stadium in Valencia simultaneously seats up to 27.000 people! Maracay, San Cristóbal and Maracaibo have got large arenas as well. Incidentally, amusement and festivals are considered to be an integral part of Venezuela. Venezuelan Carnival is undoubtedly the most famous of them. It is traditionally celebrated in February. Each city holds the Carnival on their own way ranging from a grand musical show to a coloured masquerade or street festivities. Another popular festival is Semana Santa, a week before Easter. At this time the Venezuelans go to local beaches and celebrate it for a whole week.
Beauty contest Miss Venezuela, a kind of national holiday, has been annually arranging here since 1952. This country is well known for its beautiful women. Such world famous contests have brought to the country six Miss’ Universe, six Miss’ World and six Miss’ International. For a reason Venezuela is referred to as home of beauty queens.
The most popular local dish is corn tortilla that is stuffed with anything ranging from cheese to octopuses. Other famous Venezuelan dishes are avocado stuffed with shrimp or crab meat with white sauce, thick soup with vegetables and meat or fish. Rice and beans with chopped beef and cut into slices fried ripe bananas is popular as well. Traditional drink is chicha, milk with vanilla, sugar and rice paste. Batida, milk with sugar, ice and fruit pulp, is delicious as well. In addition, you can sample here the world's best rum and most popular cocktails on the basis of egg liquor and rum.
Beautiful nature, unique landscapes, picturesque villages and their very friendly residents are among numerous features of Venezuela so loved by tourists.
Administrative division — Venezuela
Caracas Population: 5905463
- Dependent Federal Territories Population: 2245
- Barinas State Population: 756600
- Amazonas Population: 142200
- Anzoategui Population: 1447900
- Apure State Population: 473900
- Araqua State Population: 1665200
- Bolívar Population: 1620359
- Carabobo State Population: 2227000
- Cojedes State Population: 324260
- Delta Amacuro Population: 166907
- Falcon Population: 966127
- Guárico Population: 802540
- Lara Population: 2700000
- Merida Population: 843000
- Miranda Population: 2987968
- Monagas Population: 908626
- Nueva Esparta Population: 462480
- Portuguesa Population: 873400
- Sucre Population: 916000
- Tachira Population: 1177300
- Trujillo Population: 765964
- Vargas Population: 332900
- Yaracuy Population: 6465980
- Zulia Population: 3821068