In recent years the Venezuela tourism industry has experienced a significant development. More and more people become familiar with Venezuela and what this country offers. Famous tourist destinations are, Margarita Island, the archipelago of Los Roques, Canaima National Park and the groovy little mountain town of Mérida in the Andes. Since the main subject of this website is Margarita Island and also Los Roques Archipelago National Park has been covered, a short description of the Canaima National Park and the town of Merida is appropriate.
The Venezuelan people have a rich cultural heritage. From the original American Indians to the Spanish and Africans who arrived after the Spanish conquest, the twentieth century waves of immigration brought many Italians, Portuguese, Arabs, Germans, Moroccan Jews, and others from the bordering countries of South America. About 93% of Venezuelans live in urban areas in the northern part of the country. Even though almost half of the land area is south of the Orinoco River, only 5% of the population live in that area. More than 96% of the population call themselves Catholic. The rest belong to other churches, mainly the Protestant church.
The food in Venezuela is generally easy and flavorful. Caracas claims to have a greater variety of restaurants than any other South American city, and it would certainly be a pleasure to try and prove it, even if you failed. Venezuelan cooking has European, indigenous, and African roots - a heterodox cuisine formed over the centuries by immigrants.
The climate varies according to altitude. Lowland areas have a tropical climate, while mountainous regions are significantly cooler. Pack a sweater or jacket if you're planning to spend any time in the Andes. The rainy season runs from May to December. During this period, there is the possibility of flooding in certain low-lying areas, such as the Llanos and in some valleys of the Andes. Various parts of Venezuela, including Caracas and the eastern part of Sucre, are vulnerable to earthquakes, although there have been no serious ones for many years.
There are at least 40 languages around Venezuela, but Spanish is the language spoken by the majority of Venezuelans. The Constitution of Venezuela of the year 1999 declared Spanish and languages spoken by Indigenous people from Venezuela as official languages. Deaf people use a variety of sign language lengua de señas venezolana (LSV).
Venezuela, officially called the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela (Spanish: República Bolivariana de Venezuela), is a tropical country on the northern coast of South America. It borders Colombia to the west, Guyana to the east, and Brazil to the south. Its northern coastline of roughly includes numerous islands in the Caribbean Sea, and in the north east borders the northern Atlantic Ocean. Caribbean islands such as Trinidad and Tobago, Grenada, Curaçao, Bonaire, Aruba and the Leeward Antilles lie near the Venezuelan coast. Venezuela's territory covers around with an estimated population of 29, 105, 632. Venezuela is considered a country with extremely high biodiversity, with habitats ranging from the Andes mountains in the west to the Amazon Basin rainforest in the south, via extensive llanos plains and Caribbean coast in the center and the Orinoco River Delta in the east.
Venezuela was colonized by Spain in 1522, overcoming resistance from indigenous peoples. It became the first Spanish American colony to declare independence (in 1811), but did not securely establish independence until 1821 (initially as a department of the federal republic of Gran Colombia, gaining full independence in 1830). During the 19th century Venezuela suffered political turmoil and dictatorship, and it was dominated by regional caudillos (military strongmen) into the 20th century. It first saw democratic rule from 1945 to 1948, and after a period of dictatorship has remained democratic since 1958, during which time most countries of Latin America suffered one or more military dictatorships. Economic crisis in the 1980s and 1990s led to a political crisis which saw hundreds dead in the Caracazo riots of 1989, two attempted coups in 1992, and the impeachment of President Carlos Andrés Pérez for corruption in 1993. A collapse in confidence in the existing parties saw the 1998 election of former career officer Hugo Chávez, and the launch of a "Bolivarian Revolution", beginning with a 1999 Constituent Assembly to write a new Constitution of Venezuela.
Venezuela is a federal presidential republic consisting of 23 states, the Capital District (covering Caracas), and Federal Dependencies (covering Venezuela's offshore islands). Venezuela is among the most urbanized countries in Latin America; the vast majority of Venezuelans live in the cities of the north, especially in the capital, Caracas, which is also the largest city. Venezuela is a founder member of the United Nations (1945), the Organization of American States (1948), the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) (1960), the Group of 15 (1989), the World Trade Organization (1995), the Bolivarian Alliance for the Americas (ALBA) (2004) and the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR) (2008). Since the discovery of oil in the early 20th century, Venezuela has been one of the world's leading exporters of oil. Previously an underdeveloped exporter of agricultural commodities such as coffee and cocoa, oil quickly came to dominate exports and government revenues. The 1980s oil glut led to an external debt crisis and a long-running economic crisis, which saw inflation peak at 100% in 1996 and poverty rates rise to 66% in 1995McCaughan, Michael. The Battle of Venezuela. New York: Seven Stories Press. 2005. p 32. as (by 1998) per capita GDP fell to the same level as 1963, down a third from its 1978 peak. Kelly, Janet, and Palma, Pedro (2006), "The Syndrome of Economic Decline and the Quest for Change", in McCoy, Jennifer and Myers, David (eds, 2006), The Unraveling of Representative Democracy in Venezuela, Johns Hopkins University Press. p207 The recovery of oil prices after 2001 boosted the Venezuelan economy and facilitated social spending, although the fallout of the 2008 global financial crisis saw a renewed economic downturn.
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