Ve n e z u e l a
Sitting on the north-eastern shoulder of South America, Venezuela borders the Caribbean to the north, and the Amazon basin to the south. A spur of the Andes crosses the western edge of the country with peaks reaching 5,000m, several with permanent snow. The endless plains of the Llanos teem with wildlife, and in the south-east theextraordinary table mountains (immortalised by Conan Doyle in his ‘Lost World’) rear above the savanna. Such geographical diversity coupled with a good network of internal flights makes Venezuela an ideal introduction to South America. A visit to Venezuela can be combined with Ecuador and the Galapagos, or Guyana.
Climate and when to go
As it is only just north of the Equator Venezuela has ahot climate all year. Increasing altitude in the Andes can mean cool nights and the coastal regions are hotter with very little rainfall at any time. There is a rainy season from May/June to October when short tropical downpours can be expected, and this is consequently a good time to see the waterfalls.
Ve n e z u e l awww.lastfrontiers.com/venezuela
Caracas and Los Roques
Caracas has a pleasant climate because of its position high in the hills above the coast. The city fills several valleys, and is about an hour from the international airport. Apart from a few remnants of its colonial past and some interesting handicraft shops there is little to detain the tourist. 90 nautical miles north of Caracas, the Los Roquesarchipelago comprises around 42 reefformed islands, the largest of which is Gran Roque, and many smaller islets covering a total area of 400 square kilometres. The water is crystal-clear and there are many exotic fish around the coral, wonderful for snorkelling and diving. On the cayes themselves there are miles of pristine, white sandy beaches (although very little natural shade).
The Caribbean CoastThe coast stretches over 2,000km from Lake Maracaibo in the west (where oil was first discovered in 1914) to the Paria Peninsula in the east, whose tip is only a few miles from the islands of Trinidad and Tobago. West of Caracas, the bustling fishing village of Choroní is close to some pretty beaches framed by the stunning backdrop of coastal mountains. It borders the Henri Pittier National Park,more than 100,000 hectares of cloud forest which is home to 6.5% of the world’s bird species. Further west you can see the giant dunes at Coro, or explore the wonders of the Morrocoy National Park - a beautiful collection of islands and mangrove swamps often full of flamingos, scarlet ibis and frigatebirds. To the east of Caracas, a short drive from Barcelona, is the Mochima National Park, made upof a series of small, mostly uninhabited islands with white sandy beaches, offering excellent fishing, snorkelling and diving. The island of Margarita, ringed by beaches, is a popular destination both for mass market packages and Venezuelans on holiday. While parts of the island have been spoilt by uncontrolled development, there are now some pretty posadas (inns) which provide a friendly basefor exploration.
On the beach of Gran Roque island, Los Roques. A pretty blue and white guest house with 4 simple but charming rooms, each with a ceiling fan and bathroom (cold water only). Small roof terrace with views over the sea. Snorkelling, diving, ﬁshing, boat trips to the cayes. VILLA MAJAGUAL
On a private peninsula in the Mochima National Park. Rustic butcharming cabañas with private bathrooms, hot water, ceiling fans and veranda.Very secluded setting, excellent food and great attention to detail, ideal for honeymoons.The park has some of the ﬁnest beaches in Venezuela, most of which are only accessible by boat. Snorkelling, sunbathing. Diving, beaches (by boat).
A short walk from Playa Caribe,...