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Venezuela's natural resources present visitors with an unmatched variety of landscapes, destinations, and experiences. Long Caribbean beaches, deep jungles, wide plains, towering plateaux, high mountains, the largest lake and the third longest river in South America, the highest waterfall in the world, vibrant indigenous communities, and a magnificent range of tropical plants and animals.

Caracas, the birthplace of the South American liberator, Simon Bolivar, is a modern city of 5 million set in an attractive valley on the north Caribbean coast and the likely starting point for your Venezuelan adventure. And you have several choices. Go up to the Andes for trekking and climbing, head down to the Orinoco River to experience the Amazon and its indigenous peoples, hike out to the 3,000 ft. drop of Angel Falls, visit the colonial architecture in Coro, or travel to the table-top mountains of the Grand Sabana. To relax from the rigors so far, you might consider exploring the 1800 miles of Caribbean beaches that rim the country, or taking the ferry to the coastal islands like Isla Margarita or Los Roques, where snorkeling and sunbathing can fill your time.

Destination Guides

Venezuela has some of the deepest history in the Americas, as well. Columbus walked here and the first European settlement appeared in 1521. After no one could find El Dorado, the city of gold, Spanish and German interests dwindled until Simon Bolivar evicted the Spanish in 1821. The discovery of huge reserves of oil in 1910 rekindled Caracas and pumped money into the hands of the upper classes. Military coups and a series of dictators have not paved an easy road for many in Venezuela, but recent populism has had its say at the ballot box.

For detailed highlights of Venezuela, see our Featured Destination Guides.

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