Venezuela: Beauty Down South
Venezuela has become famous in recent years due to its beautiful ladies who have been topping various international beauty pageants. More than the beautiful inhabitants, the country itself is rife with exotic locales and rich culture that is uniquely South American.
The Angel Falls, also known as Salto Ángel, has the distinction of being the highest waterfall in the world. It has a total height of 978 meters, with 807 meters of it uninterrupted. Located in the Gran Sabana region of Venezuela, the famous falls can only be reached via dugout canoes, and then several hours hiking through the forest to reach the main viewpoint below the falls. Several tours can be booked, which take care of the details.
Mount Roraima is the highest table mountain (locally called tepuy) on the border of Venezuela, Brazil and Guyana. It boasts an ecosystem that is quite unique from the rest of the world due to its remote location. Species have developed in complete isolation there, with about one-third of the flora unique to the mountain. The only way visitors can reach the top is via Gran Sabana, in Venezuela.
What to Do
Visitors can ride the Teleférico in Mérida, the world’s longest and highest cable car. US$25 can get you to Pico Espejo, with two stops along the way. Once there, you can descend via hiking, mules, or SUV. Be advised, however, that during the busy season, tickets may be sold out days in advance.
For the beach bums, Puerto La Cruz has some of the best beaches in the country. There are various ways to get to the beaches, and it’s all a matter of personal preference. The islands have white sand beaches, while those on the land’s side have brown sand beaches.
What to Remember
Starting January 1, 2008, Venezuela’s new currency, called the Bolivar Fuerte, will replace the old bolivars. The new bills are horizontal on one side and vertical on the other so if your bills are horizontal on both sides, then you have the old bolivar. Note that the old bolivar’s value must be divided by 1000 to convert to the new one. Old bills are still valid until June 2008. Also, travelers in Venezuela are required to carry identification at all times, since there are checkpoints on many roads.
Venezuela is an interesting place to visit. It is a classic example of South American beauty and warmth with some unique treats of its own. Do you know that Venezuela is ranked no.7 in the list of the Top 10 countries with greatest oil reserves… Now you know!