If you’ve been watching the news, you’ll know that Venezuela is currently going through a difficult time period. We’ve pulled together a list of places to visit in Venezuela, but we would strongly recommend booking your holiday in advance with careful planning and consideration. We would also suggest that you research and book with a reputable tour company to ensure your safety at all times. Venezuela is an incredible country with a rich history and culture. It is also high on peoples ‘wanderlust wish list’ so we’re glad that you can still enjoy everything that Venezuela has to offer and be safe at the same time. We’re sure that you’ll fall head over heels with the country, culture, and people of this fascinating country. So, without further ado, let’s delve in and discover the best places to visit in Venezuela.
Uniquely, this whole area is a World Heritage Site. It was the first site in Venezuela to be bestowed with the title. The cobblestone streets and restored houses enjoy the views of the sea. This pretty colonial city is also a perfect base to explore the sand dunes in Parque Nacional Médanos de Coro. During your time in Coro, we’d recommend visiting Cruz de San Clemente and Iglesia San Francisco. It is worth noting that Coro is listed as ‘at risk’ of being lost, so be sure to visit and see these beautiful colonial buildings with your own eyes.
2. Margarita Island
Looking for the most relaxing site in Venezuala to visit? Look no further than the pristine Margarita Island which is located 12 miles (19 km) north of the Península de Araya in northeastern Venezuela. This traditional-style location is an excellent opportunity to see real-life pearl fishing, which is still an important industry. The sandy streets brush up against the terraced concrete houses. An ideal spot for a relaxing holiday and strolling along the numerous beaches and harbors.
This old town is known historically as the oil center of Venezuela. Similar to Coro, the streets are lined on either side with impressive colonial-style buildings. When you’re here, be sure to visit the expansive General Rafael Urdaneta Bridge which is also known as the Maracaibo Lake bridge. Visit this site at sunset if you are looking for Insta-worthy photos of the 5-mile (8.6 km) long bridge which connects Maracaibo to the rest of the country. Maracaibo is the second-largest city in Venezuela.
4. Guayana City
Nestled at the connection point of two rivers, Río Orinoco and Río Caroní, most people tend to stay in Guayana City so that they can access excellent transport routes to explore further afield. This city is actually made up of two towns, Puerto Ordaz and San Félix. Surprisingly, these twin cities seem very different. On one hand, San Félix has a deep history but Puerto Ordaz is much more modern. It is interesting to see history and modernity juxtaposed in such close proximity. During your time here, be sure to visit La Llovizna Park and Waterfalls, and explore Parque Cachamay.
5. Ciudad Bolívar
This important city is the birthplace of the Venezuelan Republic and it is the capital of the Bolívar State. It also lies on the banks of the Orinoco River. We recommend visiting the Plaza Bolivar, which is surrounded by colonial-style buildings. Also, if you are interested in finding out more information about the local history, then a trip to the Casco Historico (Historic Center) should not be missed. If you are heading to Angel Falls or the Parque Nacional Canaima, then an overnight stay in this historical city is definitely worth it.
This urbanized city may seem like rows upon rows of concrete, but it is also home to the Bararida Zoological Institute and Botanical Garden. Who knew that you can be in Venezuala and see tropical mammals such as pumas, manatees, and hippos. Originally built in the 1900s as a hospital, the now called Museo de Barquisimeto always holds unique exhibitions worth exploring for a few hours. Another favorite tourist hotspot is the glasshouse structure that was created in 2000 for the World Expo. A visit at night will give you beautiful Instagram-worthy photos as the whole area is bathed in different hues of light.
Address: 3001, Lara, Venezuela
7. Los Roques archipelago
Looking for a beach-style holiday in Venezuela? We would definitely recommend to you the breathtakingly beautiful Los Roques National Park. This archipelago is in the Caribbean Sea and it has more than 300 islands. The protected coral reef is popular during the summer months, with tourists looking to get active with watersports. Here, you can try windsurfing, fishing and sailing. Of course, you could choose to simply lie down on the beach, relax and sunbathe. Whatever you prefer, we know that you’ll fall in love with the beauty of the area.
Officially known as Santiago de los Caballeros de Mérida, this city is nestled in the Andes Mountains. It is a popular tourist area thanks to the beautiful Spanish colonial architecture, lively nightlife, and cultural activities. There is a university located in the city and so you can expect there to be a bit of a student buzz on a Friday and Saturday. If you are looking for a base from which to explore the surrounding nature parks, Merida is the perfect pit-stop. This area is surrounded by micro-climates, the snow-topped mountains sit high in comparison to the warm Palmarito Beach below. Your Insta-fans and family will thank you for these photos, believe us.
The third-largest city in Venezuela is situated on the Cabriales River, and as such, there is plenty to see. If you’re looking for some good entertainment and shopping, we recommend making Sambil Mall your first port of call. Throughout the year, a popular local spot to escape the hub-bub of the city is the relaxing Parque Fernando Penalver. You can also visit one of the best churches in Venezuela, namely Catedral de Valencia. The ornate detailing of this Catholic Church can be best enjoyed while doing the audio tour.
Maracay is located on the edge of Valencia Lake and, as such, it enjoys a number of different water sporting activities. You can sit back and unwind on the beach on a sunny day. There are a few museums nearby, but we think the best one is the Aeronautics Museum. Maracay is home to the two largest airforce bases in Venezuela and so you can discover lots of interesting insights into airforce life at the museum. Similar to Caracas, Maracay also has a very classical cathedral that is worth a visit. Maracay is also famous for its large-scale art murals which can primarily be found on the side of tall buildings. You can easily spend a day walking around Maracay on an art hunt. Simply follow the art and you’ll be able to discover a whole new side of the area.
Maturin is primarily known for its involvement in the petroleum industry. One of the popular reasons to head to Maturin is to undergo the challenge of a hiking tour. The surrounding area is of incredible natural beauty and it is great for an outdoor holiday. For something a little bit easier, spend an afternoon strolling around the modern and elegant cathedral. The cathedral stands proud in the center of a classically designed square which is a hub of activity. We love to people watch, so grab a coffee and take a seat around the square to watch the locals go about their daily business, and the tourists explore.
12. Puerto La Cruz
We think that the most attractive area of Puerto La Cruz is the waterfront. This port town sees many boats and ships, both private and charter, come and go. Sit in a restaurant at the waterfront and watch the world pass by. In the evening, the waterfront bars and restaurants will jump into action to serve both locals and tourists alike. From Puerto La Cruz, you can visit Isla de Margarita within three hours and the Mochima National Park. You have the best of both worlds right on your doorstep; the water and nature.
The history books tell us that Cumana was the first city in Venezuela to be founded by the Spanish. However, it is not just for this reason that Cumana is of huge historical importance. Antonio Jose de Sucre was also born here and you can learn all about his life at the Museum Antonio José de Sucre. You’ll notice that Cumana is mainly a flat land apart from one hill, on which sits a castle. Walk up the hill and you’ll be rewarded with fantastic views over the whole city. On your way back down, be sure to stop in at Santa Ines Church which is known as the most beautiful in the city.
Barcelona feels like the premier city of Venezuela. With its unique urban planning, Barcelona is by far the most beautiful of the urban sites and it borders the popular tourist destination of Lecheria. Lecheria, itself is the base of hundreds of canals that connect and intertwine across the city. Together, this area is home to both locals and international tourists who stay in condos, apartments, and hotels. Barcelona is the perfect place to stay if you are looking for additional tourist facilities and ease of transport.
15. San Cristobal
In the late 1800s, this city discovered oil and so, to many people, it is known as La Petrolera. Thanks to this discovery, San Cristobal quickly became a trading hub. This is even more so thanks to its close links to Colombia. February is the best time to be in San Cristobal as the city celebrates Feria de San Sebastián. Otherwise, it is mainly seen as a layover between destinations. If you’re driving, be sure to visit Chorro del Indio, a remote mountain waterfall that is beautiful in the summertime. This is also a good destination if you’re looking for a few days of relaxation and unwinding.
Set in the middle of the luscious green countryside, you’ll find the city of Turmero. There are lots of local events that take place here and this is a great place to meet locals. There are also a number of fantastic restaurants to choose from. Again, if you are near Lake Valencia (Lago de Valencia) you can enjoy unwinding by the water’s edge and still have main city amenities including supermarkets nearby. If you have children be sure to take them along to Aquatic Park for a fun day out enjoying the waterslides.
Cabimas is fairly small and it can be easily seen in a day, but we like the feel of the city. As it is located on the shore of Maracaibo Lake, the views are impressive as well. Restaurants mainly consist of fast-food joints but that doesn’t mean that they offer good food at a cheap price tag. Head to Queens Coffee Barc and Bistro to sample the locals’ favorite. You can also see the amazing General Rafael Urdaneta Bridge from Cabimas. Finally, if you want to get a last bit of shopping done, Costa Mall is the place to go.
18. Punto Fijo
This pretty beach area is an option for those of you looking for a package holiday. There are a number of hotels directly on the beach. After a busy day (doing absolutely nothing, except relaxing) hit the shops at one of the two shopping malls. Sambil Paraguana has a cine-complex, food court and a number of shops from everyday names to a few designer stores. Las Virtudes has more of a community feel, with small concerts being held regularly.
There are a lot of fun activities in Barinas so we’re sure that you’ll find something that everyone will love. First, you can go rafting down the river and enjoy the thrills of the rapids. If that is a little bit too much energy for you, then how about a stroll around the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Pillar? This pink pillar stands out against the backdrop and you will enjoy the colonial architecture. Barina is located as a great base point for entry into the National Park where you can enjoy hiking and exploring.
Guanare is the capital of the Portuguesa State. It is also an important historical area that is home to the national shrine to Our Lady of Coromoto, the patron saint of Venezuela. Hundreds of people come here to pay their respects on pilgrimage. As such, Guanare is also known as the Spiritual Capital and gives visitors a unique insight into the religious traditions of Venezuela.
21. Puerto Cabello
Whether you are looking for a city break or a beach holiday, Puerto Cabello can offer you the best of both worlds. Playa La Rose is a fantastic local, quiet beach that is perfect for sunbathing and unwinding. If you’re looking for a bit more action then head to Balneario Quizandal beach where there are generally more tourists. Or, if water activities are what you’re searching for, then Isla Larga, where you can go scuba diving, might be your ideal spot for the day. Once you get tired of the beaches (if that is even possible) we recommend visiting Fortin Solano. This 18th-century colonial building is atop a hill and boasts great views of the city.
22. Los Teques
Our first stop in this capital city would be the cultural site of Villa Teola. This landmark was once nearly demolished but has been restored and now hosts regular cultural activities and events. Be sure to check online to see what is happening at the villa during your stay. Catedral San Felipe Neri is an excellent example of colonial buildings in Los Teques, and thanks to the salmon pink color, it too has become a national landmark. If you’re interested in local theatre and cultural performances then a visit to either the Ateneo de Los Teques or Lamas Theatre is an ideal way to spend an afternoon. We also love the umbrella avenue that leads to Lamas Theatre. This art installation was made by women and workers of the Guaicaipuro municipality.
A trip to Acarigua wouldn’t be complete without a visit to see the impressive Statue of Portuguesa located on December 5 Square. Another must-see is the Museum of Art. For over 25 years, this museum has been focusing on bringing the best national and international artists to Acarigua. There is a permanent collection that includes works by Jesus Soto, José Antonio Hernández Diez, and Francisco Salazar. After that, why not enjoy a local movie at the Cine Mall. This cinema is one of the last few surviving independent family-run cinemas in Venezuela.
The coastal city of Carupano is a great base if you’re searching for a beach holiday that still has direct access to all the amenities you would expect in a city. The city has a rich history which includes La Casa del Cable, the site where the first telegraph cable from Europe to South America was laid. If you are planning your trip around Easter time, make sure to check the dates of the infamous Carúpano Carnaval which sees thousands of people descend on the area every year before Lent. For the most relaxing beach time, we recommend Playa Medina, which is a more popular tourist hotspot.
25. El Tigre
This town is mainly a layover en route to other destinations. If you’re on a long trip, it’s a good place for a pit stop. There are local supermarkets, a few open-air markets, and other local amenities. There is a small park where, on any given day, you might see some locals playing a game of basketball or football. Stop by the church to see if they have any local events happening when you are in El Tigre.
26. San Felipe
San Felipe is the capital of Yaracuy state. We think that the best thing about San Felipe is the Exotic Tropical Flora Park. This park once began its life as a Catholic Mission but it was rebuilt with a multitude of flower varieties. You can choose to take a gentle stroll around the gardens or even ride on one of the horse-drawn carts. Be sure to keep on the lookout for animals as you may see a number of exotic birds and monkeys. There are restaurants on-site and a few extra facilities so you can have a great day out. If you’re more interested in history than flowers, visit the Archaeology Park of El Fuerte. This site stands in memory of the original 1812 San Felipe community of 528 houses, which was destroyed during an earthquake in 1812.
Valera is the gateway to the Andes in Venezuela, so most tourists are either city visitors or those preparing for a mountain hike. It is also known for its local produce such as cacao, coffee, and sugarcane. There are some nice independent and boutique stores in Valera. For example, at Handmade Zaperoco, you can pick up handmade wines, sweets, and small carvings. If you’re more interested in clothes shopping, stop by Sugar Sweet to pick up a great deal from local clothing designers. Finally, be sure to visit San Juan Bautista Cathedral for photos of the impressive architecture.
Throw yourself into the capital of Caracas which is both an important political and cultural hub. Located at the base of a mountain, we recommend taking the cable car to the top for an incredible birds-eye city view. The Museum of Modern Art is another must-see as many local and international artists are represented. In fact, there are over 3,000 pieces of work. Caracas was also the birthplace of Simón Bolívar, The Liberator, and you can still visit the house where he was born and the area where his body was laid to rest.
Caracas Sightseeing Tour Including Cable Car Ride and Lunch
Duration: 8 hours
Venezuela: a fascinating country
Venezuela is a fascinating country that is going through a difficult period. We would strongly recommend that you book and pre-plan your trip in advance and with a reputable company. Be sure to read all the safety information and notices issues by the government of your country before your trip. All you need to do then is decide which locations to visit and start planning for your unique excursion to these places in Venezuela. Book today and start planning your once-in-a-lifetime dream holiday to this unique country.
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