Caracas - Capital of Venezuela
Typical Venezuelan Food - Traditional Meals, Snacks & Desserts
- Recipe - Arepas - How to make Venezuelan Arepas
- Typical Food of Venezuela Quiz - A fun quiz to test your knowledge
Typical Venezuelan Drinks - From Milkshakes to Rum
National Anthem - With its translation in English.
Venezuela received its name from the first Spanish conquistadors who saw houses built on stilts out of the water and thus named it "Little Venice".
In general Venezuela has a very underdeveloped tourism industry. You might find getting around the country to be rather difficult, as the all inclusive package option doesn't really exist. However, the effort and time spent there is rewarded by truly breathtaking landscapes.
The country is undergoing many changes currently under the post Chavez administration, so it is best to stay up to date on your politics both during the planning of your trip and while you are there. Many of the major industries are changing from private business to government ownership.
The people are known for their openness and laid back approach to life. During the summer everyone flocks to the beach to kick back relax and enjoy the sun. We recommend that you brush up on your Spanish before you go, as everyone you meet will want to stop whatever it is that they are doing to have a chat with you.
Geography and Climate
Land of the Caribbean... Grand coast with valuable scenery, where the marine ambiance shows off its biological riches. A country where the river Orinoco runs through the Amazon in dense tropical forests, valleys, mountains and waterfalls. The diverse territory and the friendly people of each region makes this land and it's nature a jewel for the world.
Venezuela is waiting for you on the north side of South America, where the continent meets the Caribbean. It's varied scenery which is united by a grand diverse flora and fauna makes this a unique country. Venezuela offers white sandy beaches, crystal blue water, lush green rainforests and mountainous areas that makes Venezuela a grand tourist destination.
The welcome you receive when you first arrive in Venezuela is breathtaking. Imagine a blue carpet wrapped around various islands and you sitting on the white sandy beaches sipping on a Margarita. The sun and surf is great for honeymooners, the mountains are great for adventure and nature lovers. And for those fishing experts Venezuela is also recognized as a great fishing destination.
If you want to experience Venezuela's natural beauties, be sure to visit islands La Tortuga, Los Testigos y Las Aves. Here you can find white sandy beaches, numerous bird species and marine tortoises. You will notice during this journey that the environment has not been tarnished by human intervention leaving these islands in their primitive state.
A third of Venezuela is made-up of grassy mountain plains where the weather can be extremely unpredictable; in summer it is very hot and dry, whereas in the rainy season the weather is extremely wet, many rivers over-flow causing massive flooding. This is where you will find the anacondas and other snakes, tigers and pumas, and rivers which are infested with piranhas and stingrays, oh, and there are lovely birds and exotic looking insects. A great destination for nature lovers!
In the upper regions of this country you will find the beautiful city of Mérida. you will be amazed at the lush vegetation; here the weather is hot during the day and cold at night. You can choose to travel through this region in a four-wheel drive car or hike through the rainforests. This city has many buildings where you will notice the footprints of Colonial times. The architecture of the buildings, chapels and churches show that the Catholic religion is extremely strong in this city.
If you look up towards the sky you will notice birds hovering the Andes mountains; condors, eagles, and if you patiently look towards the mountains you might catch sight of a deer and/or rabbits. The rivers and lakes in this region makes Mérida another perfect destination for fishing.
Baseball is a national pastime in Venezuela unlike all the other countries of South America. They have both a local professional league, with a season running from the end of October to the end of January every year. (The off season for the U.S. Major league, so that many players from the states often play here to stay fit. It is worth it to catch a game here, as the league in general has a lot of great players and it is a unique experience that you won't find in the rest of the continent.
Recommendations for visitors
You can change you USD in any money exchange center (casa de cambio) and in some of the bigger hotels. Credit cards are accepted in most restaurants, shops and hotels.
It is recommended that you always carry your passport with you whilst in Venezuela.
Venezuela is a tropical country, therefore it is recommended that you wear lightweight clothes, in the evenings it gets colder so be sure to take a jumper or sweater. If you are planning to visit the Andes mountains be sure to take a parka, waterproof pants and a woolen hat.
If your trip is towards the Amazon or near rivers/lakes be sure to take with you insect repellent, a sun hat, trekking shoes and binoculars. You must never forget your sunscreen especially if you are going to the beach.
If you need to hire a vehicle you can drive with your overseas license or an international license (remember to have your passport and credit card with you).
Venezuela's cuisine has been influences by Europe, Asia and the Indigenous people. I recommend you try the pabellón, las cachapas and the arepas rellenas. Although you can find a large variety of meals in the larger cities.
If you are hiking be sure to take a first aid kit and bottled water. If you are not sure of what to take you can always check with your tour guide.
Do NOT purchase animal parts; such as feathers, beaks, claws or fur. This is against the law and many of these animals are becoming extinct. Also you will normally have it confiscated when you return to your home country (and sometimes be fined) so save yourself unnecessary problems and don't buy them.
In case of emergency while in Venezuela call 171. The police, fire department and ambulances are all integrated. The phone operator most likely won't speak any English however, so your best bet might be contacting your hotel first.
Did you know...?
- The largest waterfall in the world, The Angel Falls (El Salto Ángel) is in Venezuela
- The largest lake in South America is Maracaibo, also in Venezuela
- The third largest river in South America is in Venezuela called Orinoco
- The longest and highest cable railway in the world; is the Mérida found in Venezuela
- The oldest rocks found in the planet, were found in Venezuela in the Escudo Guayanés
- 43 national parks and 21 natural monuments are also found in Venezuela
- The official language spoken in Venezuela is Spanish although in some major cities people do speak basic English.
- Venezuela has a large range of accommodation available from lush hotels to camping sites near tourist locations.
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