Venezuela is where the Andes meet the Caribbean – a land of astonishing variety and a great introduction to South America. Get there now!
Christopher Columbus described the south-east of Venezuela as “paradise on earth” – and for travellers, his description holds true today.
The country offers amazingly diverse experiences, from delving into the Amazon rainforest to taking a dip in the gently lapping Caribbean sea. In the west is Los Llanos, the great plain where local flora and fauna – such as scarlet ibis and Orinoco crocodile – share their territory with cattle and llanero cowboys.
Further west, at Mérida, you can be whisked off your feet by the highest cable car in the world as it glides up through the mist-swirled peaks of the Andes. Pull on your hiking boots and march out onto the grassy trails of the páramo and the highland pastures studded with wild flowers.
In the east, where Venezuela meets Brazil and Guyana, the Gran Sabana – watered by the mighty cascade of Angel Falls – soars to the flat-topped tepui, including Roraima, the 'lost world'.
A stop on your Venezuelan itinerary should certainly be Mochima National Park on the coast, where you can hire a boat and chug round the clusters of islands until you find a deserted cove where you can drop anchor and spend a day padding across your own beach. Or perhaps head to the spectacular Los Roques archipelago, with miles of pristine white-sand beaches and crystal-clear water.
What are you waiting for?
Colonial architecture in Venezuela (Shutterstock)
Venezuela offers something for everyone, and our intrepid writers have explored each of the country’s distinct personalities.
Paul Morrison, for example, headed to the Sierra Nevada, in the Venezuelan Andes, and eased into the relaxed lifestyle of the colonial city of Mérida, even sampling the city’s legendary garlic flavoured ice cream. It didn’t seem to keep the wildlife away, though, when he popped down to Los Llanos, the plains, and came across family after family of capybaras.
Sarah Neale channeled her inner Indiana Jones and ventured into Roraima, Venezula’s legendary Lost World. Shrouded in mist and mystery, she braved heat, jungle and sandflies to climb the vertical sides of the Tepuis mountains and stand atop their lofty, flat tops.
For something altogether more relaxing, Steve Watkins recommends visiting the splendid isolation of Los Roques archipelago off the country’s northern coast. White sands. Blue seas. And one of the largest marine reserves in the world. It’s the best of the Caribbean, but without the crowds.
Travels in Venezuela – Paul Morrison
Roraima: Venezuela’s Lost World – Sarah Neale
Los Roques archipelago, Venezuela – Steve Watkins
View towards Roraima (Shutterstock)
From the shrouded, mysterious peaks of the Tepui Mountains to sparkling brilliance of the Los Roques archipelago, Venezuela features some of the most epic landscapes on the planet. But how best to capture these sights and imbue them with the majesty they convey?
Thankfully, one of Britain’s most acclaimed landscape photographers, David Noton, is on hand to offer his five tips for taking unforgettable landscape shots.
If it’s inspiration you are after, look no further than the photos taken by our readers on their travels in Venezuela. You’d be Caracas not too.
5 essential photography tips for landscape images – David Noton
Capabara on Los Llanos (Shutterstock)
Ready to start planning your trip? Our Venezuela travel guide is the place to start. Make sure you drop by the Venezuela essential info page as well, for more everyday (but equally vital) information. And we’ve rounded up the latest travel news from Venezuela too.
If you have a particular question about Venezuela, pop over to the myWanderlust Forum where our knowledgeable community are ready to spring into action and share all that they know. Or check out the questions that have already been asked about Venezuela. The answer to yours might already be there.
Venezuela Travel Guide – Wanderlust Team
Venezuela Essential Information – Wanderlust team
View to Paradise Beach (Shutterstock)
Here’s a selection of fantastic tours from our partners. From trekking adventures that take you deep into the Lost World of the Tepui Mountains to tours that sample all of Venezuela’s highlights, there’s something to suit every taste and budget.
Main image: Salto Angel in the morning light (Shutterstock)