Heading to Venezuela? We share the best places to visit in Venezuela so you can plan a trip and enjoy all the best things to do in Venezuela.
Why visit Venezuela?
Venezuela, or the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, is a gorgeous country to visit on the northern coast of South America. Venezuela is full of vibrant culture, a wealth of natural habitats, and dry, tropical weather. The geography is very diverse, ranging from archipelagos, valleys, deserts, jungles, and mesas. These traits make tourists from all over the globe plan trips every year to visit Venezuela. But with all the exciting things there, it might be hard to decide what to do when you plan your trip there. We’re here to make things a little bit easier. Here are the top things to do in Venezuela!
Top things to do in Venezuela
1. Try the Venezuelan Cuisine
Venezuelan cuisine is influenced by many different cultures, from their pre-Colombian roots to European and West African cuisine. Depending on where you go, regions of the country could also have widely different cuisine!
One food Venezuela is known for is its variety of fresh white cheese. A keystone of Venezuelan culture, the country has the most variety of cheeses in South America. One traditional cheesy dish that you can try is Cachapa.
A popular roadside meal, Cachapa is a dish made of corn dough pancake filled with traditional Venezuelan cheese, Queso de mano. Other fillings that go well with Cachapa are roast pork, jam, and cream. For a plate of Cachapas that you’ll never forget, Cachapera Doña Ines in Carretera de La Unión is the place to go. With their Cachapa recommended by ten food critics, you know you’re in for a treat.
For something a bit more filling, you can try out their national food, Pabellón Criollo. Pabellón Criollo consists of rice, shredded beef, and stewed black beans. The flavorful dish is also good with fried plantains, arepas (cornmeal cakes), or eggs.
For dessert, you should try Quesillo, a traditional dessert in Venezuela. Quesillo is a creamy flan-like custard that’s baked in a water bath. It’s Venezuela’s version of flan, with the difference being for Quesillo, the whole egg is used instead of just the yolk. Eating a slice of Quesillo is a sweet, creamy way to end your meal.
2. Visit the City of Caracas
Caracas is the capital city of Venezuela. Also known as Venezuela’s Culture Capital, the city is home to many cultural landmarks to explore.
One place to visit is the Panteón Nacional de Venezuela or the National Pantheon of Venezuela. The grand building was erected in the 1870s and is used to house the remains of Simón Bolívar, a national icon and one of the most revered heroes in South America.
The University City of Caracas is another building of great importance for Venezuelans. It is the main campus of the Central University of Venezuela, the highest-ranking institution in the country. Construction of the project began back in 1945 with the renowned Venezuelan architect Carlos Raúl Villanueva at the helm until around 1960.
The University City of Caracas is a masterpiece of urban planning, becoming an inspiration for Venezuelan architecture. It is also the only university campus in the 20th century to be designed by a single architect. With such impressive feats, it naturally became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2000.
3. Bask in the Sun in Cayo de Agua
Cayo de Agua is a small island in the Los Roques Archipelago, a national park north of Venezuela. The archipelago hosts three important ecosystems, namely seagrass beds, coral reefs, and mangroves. These make the archipelago a crucial natural habitat in the Caribbean Sea.
Wildlife tourists will not be disappointed with the sea life here. The archipelago is home to numerous seabirds and countless sea creatures, dolphins, and plants. Loggerhead, green, and hawksbill turtles use the archipelago as a valuable nesting spot.
To get to Cayo de Agua and the archipelago itself, you will need to join an excursion group or hire a rental boat. But once you get there, the pristine white sands, tropical sun, and turquoise waters are a gorgeous sight sure to be worth the effort. Make sure to bring diving gear, since diving in the clear waters and coral reefs is one of the most popular activities there!
4. Hike Up the Mountain Island of Mount Roraima
Going back inland, the tepuis of Venezuela are some of the most alien and surreal geographies in the world. Tepuis are a kind of mesa found only in and around Venezuela. In the native Pemon tongue, the word tepui translates to “House of the Gods”, with their characteristic steep sides and flat tops, the tepuis are like islands in the sky. Due to their isolation combined with their different elevation, the biodiversity of the mesas can be very different from the surrounding wildlife, being home to endemic and rare plants and animals.
Mount Roraima is one such tepui. This mesa serves as a tripoint of the borders of Venezuela, Guaya, and Brazil, though most of the mountain lies within the Venezuelan border. It is also within Canaima National Park, the second largest park in Venezuela and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, making the park worth a visit all on its own.
Hiking to the tripoint marker in Mount Roraima is an exhilarating experience of traveling to a strange new world. As you ascend the steep sides of the mesa and hike on its top, you can feel your problems vanish as you find yourself immersed in a new world during your 6- to 8-day trek.
5. Travel to Angel Falls
The Angel Falls is a beautiful work of nature located on another tepui, the Auyán-tepui. The Auyán-tepui is also situated within the Canaima National Park and is the most popular tepui to visit. Known as Parakupá Vená or “The Fall From the Highest Point” in Pemon, the Angel Falls is known as the world’s tallest uninterrupted waterfall, with a plunge of 807 meters and a height of 979 meters. Because Angel Falls is in the middle of the wilderness of the Canaima National Park, the trip going there is quite the journey!
You can visit the falls at any time of the year, but you’ll have a different experience depending on when you go. If you go during the dry season (December to April), your trip to the falls will be sunny and pleasant. But if you desire to see Angel Falls at its most impressive, going during the rainy season would be the time for you. Just be warned that there is a higher chance that clouds might cover the majestic falls during your trip there. If you plan on going to Angel Falls or even Mount Roraima, planning and finding a guide is crucial for an enjoyable experience. Getting lost in the Venezuelan wilderness would not be a good time!
Whether food, history, culture, or nature, Venezuela is sure to provide the best. No matter where you go, from the cities to the beaches, jungles, and tepuis, there’s something magical about Venezuela to keep you captivated.
With proper planning, a trip to Venezuela may be the best vacation of your life. Grab some Queso de mano, rent a boat, and explore the lush forests, pristine waters, and exotic wildlife of Venezuela!