When the first explorers arrived, they saw houses over the Sinamaica lagoon (Zulia State), close to Maracaibo; those houses reminded them of the city of Venice. They called the region "Little Venice", which in Spanish would be Venezuela.Venezuela is the most accessible of the South American countries. With cheap flights from both Europe and the USA and an excellent road network, the incredible diversity of the Venezuelan landscape is well within the reach of most travelers. Close to 90 percent of the population lives in the northern part of the country, while the rest of the land features great tracts of wilderness and maintains to explore; there is something for everyone.
Venezuela has a diverse geography: beaches, plains, and mountains. The weather also varies very much from one place to another. Venezuela has wonderful beaches (playas), especially at the east (playa Colorada), in the islands (Margarita, Coche) and in the central-west region (Morrocoy, Cata, and Choroní) In the Caribbean, north of Caracas, is located the Archipielago of Los Roques with its white sand beaches and its crystalline waters.
One of the interesting regions in Venezuela is the Gran Sabana. Located in the southeast - Bolivar State - this region has flat top mountains called "Tepuy". "Angel" Falls ( 3000 ft), the highest cataracts in the world, are located here. Bolivar Peak is the highest point in Venezuela ( 5002 meters). A cable car can take you, in one hour, from the city of Merida to the "Pico Espejo". Venezuela has also deserts and dunes. One of the most interesting trips you can make is to the Coro Dunes (Medanos de Coro). Next to the highway from Coro to Punto Fijo you can slide from the top of these sand hills.
Venezuela's cities are full of life. Caracas, the capital, with more than 4 million inhabitants, is the political and economic center of the country. In the west are located Maracaibo (the oil capital), Barquisimeto (the city of the sunsets), Mérida (tourist and student centers), San Cristobal, Valencia, and Maracay. In the east: Maturín (challenging Maracaibo´s oil leadership), Puerto La Cruz (tourist center). To the South are located Ciudad Bolívar and Ciudad Guayana (steel center).
Venezuela has a rich and varied fauna. Its tropical birds (Toucans, flamingos, guacamayas); mammalians, reptiles (crocodiles or snakes), and fishes (attention snorkeling lovers) delight nature lovers.
Venezuela is a country with many natural resources. In addition to oil, the major resource in Venezuela, there is gold, bauxite, iron, coal, hydroelectric resources, and others.
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