The biggest lake in South America. The highest waterfall in the world. A vast wealth of oil. Crushing, ubiquitous poverty. Venezuela is a land of extremes, both in natural wonders and economic contradictions.
Crime is a valid concern for travelers to Venezuela, as muggers, pickpockets and corrupt, unsympathetic officials are an undeniable reality. Many visit southeast Venezuela to see Angel Falls. Sixteen times higher than Niagara Falls, its waters crash from the Auyantepui Mountain 979 meters down to the depths of Devil’s Canyon. The falls are accessible by air or canoe. Venezuela is rich with rainforests, beaches, rivers and mountains. It boasts over 60 national parks and nature reserves. One can snorkel or scuba at the Isla de Margarita, or brave the subterranean labyrinth of the Cueva del Guácharo, the longest of Venezuela’s many cave systems. At the peak of the Cordillera de Merida skiers can glide down snowy slopes year round. A river tour through the Amazon offers the experience of commingling with local tribes. In the capital city of Caracas, one rubs elbows with the obscenely rich and the tragically poor. Life can be harsh in this city without pity, but here one glimpses a candid look at urban life in Venezuela.