To the north of Caracas, behind the Avila ridge, the Caribbean coast stretches. In 1999, a mudflow caused by heavy rains, this part of the coast was almost washed away from the face of the Earth. The once popular beaches of the port city of LaGuaira and the nearby towns of Macuto, Caraballeda and Naiguata were destroyed. Nowadays, the infrastructure of cities is gradually being restored, however, only local residents relax on the local beaches. The city of La Guaira is also known as one of the best places in the world for deep sea fishing. Off the coast, the village of El Hatillo is interesting, famous for its colonial architecture, restaurants and souvenir shops. East of the Caribbean Sea in the Miranda state is the Tacarigua Lagoon., which is protected by the national park of the same name (Laguna de Tacarigua National Park). Here, on an area of 39,100 hectares, you can see mangroves and tropical dry forests. 4 species of rare turtles, American crocodiles and 52 species of fish live in the lagoon itself, and about 200 species of birds live along its shores.
If you go west along the coast from the port of La Guaire, you will find the magnificent sandy beaches of the states of Aragua (Aragua state) and Carabobo (Carabobo state) – Choroni (Choroni), Kata (Cata), Cuyagua and Puerto Cabello (Puerto Cabello), surrounded by tropical forests and mountains. Choroni, Kata and Cuyagua are small villages, but the city of Puerto Cabello is the country’s largest port. In Puerto Cabello, an ancient fort has been preserved – Libertador Castle, which in the 17th century protected the city from pirate attacks, and Solano Castle of the 18th century, which eventually turned into a vast defensive fortress. The city of Puerto Cabello is bordered by protected forests, lagoons and beaches of the SanEsteban National Park, covering an area of 44,500 hectares. According to a2zdirectory, there are many historical sites in the park. First of all, these are petroglyphs of the pre-colonial period, left on the local rocks by the Indians. There are 26 places here, this is the largest in Venezuela collection of petroglyphs. Within the park is the Piedra Pintada, an open-air archaeological museum with many rocks decorated with ancient petroglyphs. Also in the San Esteban National Park are the home of the national hero, the fighter for independence – General Bartolome Salmon, the ancient trade roads that connected the coast with the settlements of the coastal mountain range, the ancient Passo Hondo bridge over the San Esteban River and coffee plantations of the colonial period.
From the east, the San Esteban National Park adjoins the oldest national park in Venezuela – Enri Pittier (Henry Pittier National Park). The park stretches from the coast to the mountain peaks of the coastal Andes to an altitude of 2346 m and covers an area of 107,800 hectares. It is known for its rich natural world, because on its territory (from the coast to the mountain peaks) several natural zones are replaced. Here there are tropical rainforests, where about 150 species of trees per 0.25 hectares, deciduous forests, savannahs and mangrove forests. Tourists can see all the beauty of these places by hiking along various trails or during a trip from the coastal village of Choroni to the main city of the state of Aragua – Maracay(Maracay). Maracay is notable for the fact that here is the mausoleum of the Venezuelan dictator of the early 20th century – Juan Vincente Gomez, and the country’s largest square – Bolivar Square. A little to the west of the city is the third largest lake in the country – the endorheic lake Valencia (area – 350 sq. km). Unfortunately, active human activity has led to the fact that every year the salinity of the lake water increases, and the level of its pollution is quite high.
From the city of Maracay, you can go to the once owned by the Bolivar family Haciende Bolivar, which now houses two museums: the Military History Museum and the Sugar Industry Museum. At the opposite shore of the lake (western) is the city of the same name Valencia (Valencia) is the capital of the state of Carabobo and the third largest city in the country. The city has interesting museums – the house-museum of José Antonio Paez (one of the country’s first presidents) with paintings depicting scenes of the battles of the war of independence, the Museum of Art and History, located in the colonial building of Celis of the 18th century, and the Anthropological Museum with a collection of pre-colonial art and colonial periods. Also in Valencia are one of the world’s largest bullfighting stadiums – Plaza Monumental, which can accommodate 25 thousand spectators, and the largest Aquarium in Latin America with the world’s only group of trained Amazonian dolphins.
In the vicinity of Caracas in the Central region, it is also worth visiting the capital of the state of Guarico (Guarico state) – the city San Juan de los Morros. It is located southwest of the capital. The name of the city contains two of its main attractions: bizarre limestone mountain formations morros (literally – hillocks) 1060 m high – several peaks that “grew” on the outskirts of the city (one of the hillocks has an observation deck from where a beautiful view of the city opens) and statue of John the Baptist (San Juan Batista) 19.8 m high, located in the city center on Bolivar Square. San Juan de Los Morros is also famous for its sulfur springs with a water temperature of about +34 degrees, on the basis of which a spa center was opened at the Aquas Termales Spa hotel. Here you will find a variety of pools with water from healing thermal springs.