When you get there, there isn't any there there.
— Gertrude Stein, 1874 - 1946
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Venezuela

Background

Venezuela

Venezuela was one of three countries that emerged from the collapse of Gran Colombia in 1830 (the others being Ecuador and New Granada, which became Colombia). For most of the first half of the 20th century, Venezuela was ruled by generally benevolent military strongmen, who promoted the oil industry and allowed for some social reforms. Democratically elected governments have held sway since 1959. Hugo CHAVEZ, president since 1999, seeks to implement his "21st Century Socialism," which purports to alleviate social ills while at the same time attacking capitalist globalization and existing democratic institutions. Current concerns include a weakening of democratic institutions, political polarization, a politicized military, drug-related violence along the Colombian border, overdependence on the petroleum industry with its price fluctuations, and irresponsible mining operations that are endangering the rain forest and indigenous peoples.

About

Venezuela is a country in South America. Having a shoreline along the Caribbean Sea and the North Atlantic Ocean, Venezuela borders Colombia to the west, Guyana to the east and Brazil to the south, and is situated on the major sea and air routes linking North and South America. Off the Venezuelan coast are the Caribbean island states of Aruba, the Netherlands Antilles and Trinidad and Tobago.

The Angel Falls (Churun Meru) in the Guiana Highlands is the world's highest waterfall and one of Venezuela's major tourist attractions.

Read more about Venezuela in our Venezuela travel guide »

Featured journals from

Venezuela

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Featured hotels in

Venezuela

VenezuelaEurobuilding Hotel and Suites 

Final Calle La Guairita Chuao
Caracas 1010A
Venezuela

Price (US$): $250 - $534 / night

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Location. Located in Caracas, Eurobuilding Hotel and Suites is in the business district and close to Centro Comercial Sambil Caracas, Caracas Stock Exchange, and Plaza Altamira. Nearby points of interest also include East Park and University Stadium. Hotel Features. Eurobuilding Hotel and Suites's restaurant serves breakfast and lunch. A bar/lounge is open for drinks. Room service is available 24 hours a day. The hotel serves hot and cold buffet breakfasts in the restaurant (surcharges… more »

VenezuelaRenaissance Caracas La Castellana Hotel 

Av Eugenio Mendoza Con Calle Urdaneta La
Caracas 1060
Venezuela

Price (US$): $397 - $599 / night

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Location. Renaissance Caracas La Castellana Hotel is a business friendly hotel located in Caracas, close to Plaza Altamira, Centro Comercial Sambil Caracas, and East Park. Additional points of interest include Caracas Stock Exchange and University Stadium. Hotel Features. Renaissance Caracas La Castellana Hotel's restaurant serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner. A bar/lounge is open for drinks. Room service is available 24 hours a day. The hotel serves buffet breakfasts each morning in the… more »

VenezuelaJW Marriott Hotel Caracas 

Avenida Venezuela Con Calle Mohedano
Caracas NA
Venezuela

Price (US$): $382 - $383 / night

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Location. JW Marriott Hotel Caracas is a business friendly hotel located in Caracas, close to Caracas Stock Exchange, Centro Comercial Sambil Caracas, and Plaza Altamira. Additional points of interest include University Stadium and Olympic Stadium. Hotel Features. JW Marriott Hotel Caracas features a restaurant and a bar/lounge. Room service is available 24 hours a day. Recreational amenities include an outdoor pool, a health club, and a sauna. Spa amenities include spa services, beauty… more »

VenezuelaGran Melia Caracas 

Ave Casanova Calle El Recreo
Caracas 1050
Venezuela

Price (US$): $394 - $475 / night

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Location. Gran Melia Caracas is a business friendly Caracas hotel in the business district and close to University Stadium, Olympic Stadium, and Universidad Central de Venezuela. Additional points of interest include Caracas Stock Exchange and Caracas Museum of Fine Art. Hotel Features. Gran Melia Caracas features a restaurant, a poolside bar, and a bar/lounge. Room service is available 24 hours a day. The hotel serves buffet breakfasts (surcharges apply). Recreational amenities include an… more »

VenezuelaLIDOTEL Hotel Centro Lido 

Chacao, Avenida Tamanaco, Urb. El Rosal
Caracas
Venezuela

Price (US$): $357 - $473 / night

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Location. Lidotel Hotel Centro Lido is a business friendly hotel located in central Caracas, close to Caracas Stock Exchange, Centro Comercial Sambil Caracas, and Plaza Altamira. Additional points of interest include East Park and University Stadium. Hotel Features. Lidotel Hotel Centro Lido features a coffee shop/cafĂ© and a bar/lounge. Room service is available 24 hours a day. The hotel serves a complimentary buffet breakfast each morning in the restaurant. Recreational amenities include a… more »

Browse more hotels in Venezuela »

Venezuela

Full name
Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela
Capital
Caracas
Location

Northern South America, bordering the Caribbean Sea and the North Atlantic Ocean, between Colombia and Guyana

Geographic coordinates

10 30 N, 66 56 W

Area comparative

slightly more than twice the size of California

Border countries

Brazil 2,200 km, Colombia 2,050 km, Guyana 743 km

Coastline

2,800 km

Climate

tropical; hot, humid; more moderate in highlands

Terrain

Andes Mountains and Maracaibo Lowlands in northwest; central plains (llanos); Guiana Highlands in southeast

Lowest point

Caribbean Sea 0 m

Highest point

Pico Bolivar 5,007 m

Natural resources

petroleum, natural gas, iron ore, gold, bauxite, other minerals, hydropower, diamonds

Population

27,223,228 (July 2010 est.)

Ethnic groups

Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, Arab, German, African, indigenous people

Religions

nominally Roman Catholic 96%, Protestant 2%, other 2%

Languages

Spanish (official), numerous indigenous dialects

Government type

federal republic

Independence

5 July 1811 (from Spain)

National holiday

Independence Day, 5 July (1811)

Chief of state

President Hugo CHAVEZ Frias (since 3 February 1999); Executive Vice President Elias JAUA Milano (since 26 January 2010); note - the president is both the chief of state and head of government

Head of government

President Hugo CHAVEZ Frias (since 3 February 1999); Executive Vice President Elias JAUA Milano (since 26 January 2010)

Internet country code

.ve

Internet users

8.918 million (2009)

Airports

409 (2010)

Ports and terminals

La Guaira, Maracaibo, Puerto Cabello, Punta Cardon

Other countries in the region