Venezuela, the location of some of South America's most incredible landscapes, rightly features a terrible image problem at this time. Hyperinflation has resulted in a dramatic drop in living standards and difficulties with the supply of basic goods, while personal safety, especially in Caracas, is worse than somewhere else on the continent. Thousands of a unique citizens have fled the continent and spread
throughout South America (it's estimated over two million have remaining since 2014). While visiting is usually incredibly cheap due to black-market valuation on the dollar/euro, safety factors are a serious concern. Few countries on the planet have this a higher level natural beauty: Andean peaks, Caribbean coastline, idyllic islands, grasslands teeming with wildlife, the steamy Orinoco Delta and also the world's highest waterfall, Angel Falls. We cannot recommend traveling only at present, but hopefully you like that the future holds amazing tourist possibilities.
Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Caracas
Occupying the eastern end from the Parque Central complex, the Museum of Contemporary Art is in no way the best in the continent, though it is usually a little tricky to locate amid the concrete jungle. In a dozen halls on five levels, you’ll find functions many prominent Venezuelan artists, like Jesús Soto, famous for his kinetic pieces, plus multiple paintings by international stars for example Picasso, Chagall, Mondrian and Léger.
This leafy square would be the nucleus in the old town. It's always alive with huddled sets of caraqueños engaged in conversation and kids feeding freshly popped corn for the black squirrels from the trees. Vendors hawk lemonade and cepilladas (shaved ices) within the sidelines, as well as the whole scene is shaded by African tulip trees and jacarandas. Golden cherubs gather throughout the fountains at every corner from the square.
In the center will be the obligatory monument to Bolívar - the equestrian statue was cast in Munich, shipped in pieces, and at last unveiled in 1874 following your ship carrying it foundered within the Archipiélago los Roques. The plaza is often a favorite stage for political visionaries and religious messiahs, who deliver their passionate speeches to your casual audience. In recent years it is often a focus for supporters of Venezuela's left-wing government, with stalls selling videos, paintings and photos in the late Hugo Chávez alongside saints and musical legends.
Fundación Bigott in Caracas
If you’d love to dig just a little deeper into traditional Venezuelan culture - perhaps learn to play the joropo music together with the bandola llanera (a string instrument) inside the style of Anselmo López, or tips on how to create your own Festival de los Diablos Danzantes masks - you’ll need to pay a visit to Fundación Bigott. In a restored colonial home sitting prominently on richly preserved Plaza Sucre inside the independent colonial city of Petare, Fundación Bigott offers extensive workshops in traditional Venezuelan culture, including traditional celebrations, music, gastronomy, popular arts and artesian crafts. Workshops generally last ninety days and cost a measly BsF15, but one-day is sometimes offered. There is also a thorough research library open to your public (2pm to 6pm Monday to Friday) plus a small store which you could pick up CDs, books along with fundación-sponsored cultural items.
Salto Ángel (Angel Falls)
Thundering Angel Falls may be the world's highest waterfall and Venezuela's number-one tourist attraction. Its total height is 979m (3211ft), which often the uninterrupted drop is 807m (2646ft), about 16 times the height of Niagara Falls. The cascade spills over heart-shaped Auyantepui, one in the largest on the tepuis (sandstone-capped mesa), into Devil's Canyon.
Angel Falls will not be named after having a divine creature, but after an American bush pilot, Jimmy Angel, who crash landed his four-seater airplane atop Auyantepui in 1937. The waterfall is positioned in a distant, lush wilderness without any road access. Most visitors vacationing in by boat elect to stay overnight in hammocks at one in the camps at the base on the falls. The canoe trip upriver, the encompassing area as well as the experience of staying in the camp are nearly as memorable because the waterfall itself.
Parque Nacional Sierra Nevada
The most widely used high-mountain trekking area will be the Sierra Nevada national park, containing all of Venezuela's highest peaks, including Pico Bolívar (5007m/16,427ft), Pico Humboldt (4942m/16,214ft) and Pico Bonpland (4883m/16,020ft). Climbing these peaks should not be attempted without having a guide, if you don't have climbing experience. Guided trips can be obtained by nearly all of Mérida's tour operators. Pico Bolívar, Venezuela's highest point, is one in the most popular peaks to climb. Given the nation's mania for Bolívar monuments, it's not a surprise which a bust with the hero may be placed for the summit! An easier destination is Los Nevados, a captivating mountain village nestled at 2440m (8005ft). The hike is usually done as being a two-day loop that has rides by cable car, mule and jeep.
Iglesia de San Francisco
Just south from the Capitolio Nacional, the Church of San Francisco was built inside 1570s, but was remodeled on several occasions throughout the 17th and 18th centuries. Guzmán Blanco, struggling to resist the love for modernizing, placed a neoclassical facade about the church to suit the just-completed capitol building. Fortunately, the interior from the church didn’t undergo such a comprehensive alteration, so its colonial character and of its old decoration have already been preserved. Have a look in the richly gilded baroque altarpieces distributed along both sidewalls, preventing at the statue of San Onofre, inside the right-hand aisle. He would be the most venerated saint inside the church as a result of his miraculous powers of bringing health, happiness plus a good job.
Gran Roque will be the main island and population center, and exudes a distinct Caribbean feel. The sandy streets with the fishing village are lined with single-story, brightly painted concrete houses as well as the waterfront comes complete with fishing boats and visiting yachts - all protected by a vast army of pelicans.
Unlike one other islands, that are sandy and flat, Gran Roque has several massive rocky humps along its northwestern coast cliffs that plunge vertically in to the sea. Climb the hill crowned having an old lighthouse, known because Faro Holandés, for sweeping views in the village, islands, coral reefs plus the crystal-clear turquoise sea. Gran Roque could be the place to grab yacht charters or organize snorkeling or snorkeling trips.
Centro de las Artes
On the southern edge with the colonial sector would be the tree-shaded Plaza Miranda. Positioned on the halfway point between cathedral and also the cemetery, back in the day known since the Plaza Descanso (rest), because funeral pallbearers would halt to break here along the route to burials. A sizable building on its eastern side was constructed in 1870 being a hospital, but it really never served that purpose. It has a bizarre number of tenants instead, previously being used like a prefecture, theatre, army barracks and police station. Eventually it opened in 1992 because Centro de las Artes and stages temporary exhibitions of contemporary art, although it was being given a renovation on our last visit and will reopen again this year.