Venezuela is like all of the countries in Latin America combined. A country of contrasts where sea, old-growth forest, desert, mountains and marshland all rub shoulders, Venezuela is unforgettable.
The country has three main regions. The coast and the Andes extend from the north to the west, with the highest point, Pico Bolívar, culminating at 4,981m above sea level. This region is home to the largest lake in Venezuela, Lake Maracaibo, and stretches out towards the east along the coast.
The region of the great plains called Llanos (plains in Spanish) covers the centre of the country and the north of the Orinoco river basin and its tributaries, Arauca and Apure. The river flows into the Caribbean Sea, creating a vast swamp area which covers the entire north-east of the country.
In the south-east, the Guyanese massif attracts large numbers of tourists for its waterfalls, which are 979m high. In fact, Angel Falls (or the 'Salto Ángel' waterfalls) are recognised as being the highest waterfalls in the world.
With 1748 miles of coastline, the Venezuelan coast is the longest in the Carribean. The beauty of its beaches and islands is well-known amongst tourists. Turquoise blue sea, silky fine white sand and delicious shade from palm and coconut trees and warm water all year round: all the ingredients of an idyllic postcard... A good number of visitors, barely off the plane, go straight to the best-known beaches around Puerto La Cruz (Playa Colorada, Playa Arapita) and the National Park at Tacarigua lagoon (Club Miami). The 72 venezuelan islands (the Cayos) equally offer opportunities for sunbathing, diving or underwater fishing.
Wildlife lovers will delight in Venezuela - home to an impressive range of species. The rich selection of birds and animals in Venezuela is greatly favoured by the large variety of ecosystems found within the country. Jaguars, monkeys, Sloths, anteaters, ocelots, bears, deers and armadillos populate this fantastic destination. The large variety of ecosystems also has its influence on the flora: "A full description of the plant-based wonders of Venezuela would tire the reader" said the German naturalist Alexander von Humboldt.