Venezuela has everything you can think of. Mountains, beaches, jungle, snow, deserts, the climate is not too cold but also not too hot and the best part; its people. Everything in 24 states. Let me introduce you to my homeland.

Venezuelas Natural Beauty

Venezuela is a country on the northern coast of South America, at the edge of the Caribbean Sea. It shares borders with Colombia, Guyana, and Brazil.

Venezuela is known for its geographic diversity, which includes the Andes in the west, plains in the center of the country, the Amazona jungle in the south, and beautiful beaches throughout the north. It is also the location ofst and biggest lakes in South America, Maracaibo Lake, one of the olde and Angel Falls, the highest uninterrupted waterfall in the world. 

I am not going to pretend that everything in my home country is perfect. Venezuela has problems, both economically and politically as well. The years from 2013 to 2018 were particularly harrowing, marked by a dire lack of essentials: compromised safety, water shortages, prolonged power outages, scarce food supplies, restricted freedom of speech, rampant robberies, and kidnappings. It was during this period that protests erupted, driven by citizens, especially students, clamoring for a brighter future. The government’s response was ruthless, resorting to violence against those who dared to stand up. I speak from experience, having participated in a couple of these protests. By 2023, an estimated 7.7 million Venezuelans had left the country in search of better prospects, myself included. Over time, the fervor of the protests waned as people grew weary. Yet, a shift is underway, and there’s a sense of cautious optimism as conditions begin to improve.

Venezuela’s spirit, resilience, and the warmth of its people shine through, painting a picture of a nation rich in potential and heart.

A little bit of history…

Marked by indigenous tribes, namely the Timoto-cuicas, the Caribes and the Arawacos, Venezuela’s history starts thousands of years ago. These original groups developed complex societies and maintained a profound respect for the earth that they habited, leaving a legacy that is present today in Venezuelan culture.

The arrival of Christopher Columbus in 1498 marked the start of the Spanish colonial era, in which Venezuela became the center of their economic activity, especially for the exploitation of cacao and coffee in the Caribbean country. This arrival was the jumpstart of the mixture of cultures, especially due to the Spanish who came to grow businesses in the country and brought African slaves with them. This mixture of Indigenous, African and Spanish cultures gave birth to an unique identity, characterized by a rich diversity in music, art, gastronomy and traditions which has lived on till today. In 1811, Simon Bolivar was the one who made the country’s independence possible. 

The discovery of big oil reserves at the beginning of the 20th century transformed Venezuela into one of the richest and most prosperous countries in Latin America, becoming an attractive destination to immigrants from all around the world (especially from Europe during the Spanish Civil War and World War II). This new wave of influences enriched even more the cultural diversity of the country, introducing new customs, languages and traditions.

Nowadays, despite facing economic and political challenges, Venezuela still has an extraordinary cultural diversity, in which Indigenous and African people, Spanish and European citizens, such as Italians, Portuguese and Germans are intertwined to create a unique vibrant social tissue. Most Venezuelans describe themselves as “mestizos” (half-breeds). The music, from joropo to salsa, the gastronomy such as arepas and pabellón criollo and the festivities reflect the wealth from a nation in which, despite all adversities, its multicultural heritage is constantly celebrated with pride and joy.

From Parranda to Arepas: Venezuelan traditions can be described as a joyful symphony


Venezuelan music includes a wide variety of styles and genres which range from the traditional to the contemporary. The joropo is considered to be our national genre, combined with instruments such as the harp, the cuatro (a small guitar of 4 chords) and the maracas. Other popular musical genres include the Venezuelan merengue, (different to the Dominican!) and the gaita zuliana. The latter is typically heard during Christmas time and celebrates the legacy and Venezuelan identity with its joyful rhythms. 

Our festivities are an expression of our wealthy cultural and religious heritage. The Carnaval is one of the most spectacular events, especially in the coastal regions like El Callao, where the streets are filled with music, dances and colorful parades. Normally it takes place in February (to be more precise 40 days before Easter).

The Feria de la Chinita in the Zulia state (where my mom’s family comes from) is another important event that marks the beginning of Christmas time with gaitas (style of Venezuelan folk music as already mentioned), masses and fireworks. 

The Diablos Danzantes del Yare from Corpus Christi is a unique tradition, in which “devil’s’ ‘ secret societies wore colorful costumes and masks to dance on the street, to symbolize the triumph from the good over the bad.


The Venezuelan gastronomy offers flavors that are party for the senses. The arepa, a round and plain corn flour “bread” is the most iconic dish. It can be served with a variety of fillings that goes from cheese and meat to more elaborate options such as reina pepiada (chicken salad with avocado). If you are vegetarian or vegan, make sure to ask for meatless options which based on our rich vegetation leaves enough options to try out. You can eat the arepa for breakfast or dinner (sometimes even lunch).

Don’t leave Venezuela without tasting arepas and pabellón criollo.

Then we have the pabellón criollo, considered the national dish. This is a very comforting food combined with rice, shredded beef, black beans and fried plantain. Since it is a very big lunch, just order it without the meat if you are vegetarian or vegan and it will still fill you for many hours.

In addition to savoring freshly picked fruits straight from nature, we also love to use them for juices and beverages like papelón con limón, a refreshing juice with the ingredients sugar cane and lemon plus passion fruit or mango juice.

Lastly, we have the hallaca, our Christmas and New Year’s dish. It is a corn dough filled with a meat and pork stew that you wrap in a plantain leaf before boiling it. Christmas is the best time of the year because of that dish. We serve it with a chicken salad and ham bread on the side. It is a tradition that the families gather to make the hallacas together, as it is a very long process that normally takes 2 days. For vegetarians, hallacas can be made with a vegetable casserole or a tofu stew instead of the meat; and you can serve it with alternative sides from the mentioned above.

From Andes to Amazonas: Venezuela’s Natural Wonders

Venezuela is a blessed country with a diverse geography and spectacular natural wonders, that ranges from impressive mountains from the Andes, vast forests and jungles to paradisiacal Caribbean beaches. Especially if you are a nature and adventure lover, I want to invite you to discover my home country. 

The Venezuelan Andes are extended through the west of the country, offering a landscape of majestic mountains, fertile valleys and picturesque Andean villages. Mérida, renowned as one of the most prominent cities in the area, is famous because of its cable car that brings you to the highest elevation of the country: Pico Bolívar. It is the longest ride in the world in a cable car (a route of 12,5 km) and the second highest in the world. It offers incredible views of the cordillera de los Andes. This region is a paradise for you if you love hiking. But also relaxing here is possible: the national parks of Sierra Nevada and Sierra de la Culata (in Mérida), offer a rich biodiversity of breeds of birds as an ideal atmosphere for calming down and escaping the busy city. 

Home of an incredible variety of flora and fauna such as 1,420 bird species and of several indigenous communities that still live in the rainforest, the Amazonas rainforest offers a unique setting to explore rivers, jungle and wildlife. Seeing these wonders with your own eyes will definitely convince you of the importance of the conservation efforts to protect our vital ecosystem. 

Another natural gem in Venezuela is located in the national park of Canaima, in the southwest of the country. This landscape is characterized by its extensive savannahs interrupted by Tepuyes (plateaus with flat tops and vertical sides), rivers and waterfalls. We are very proud that El Salto Ángel, the biggest waterfall in the world with a height of 979 meters, is one of the 7 Wonders of the World (for a better idea, Canaima is one of the locations in the Disney movie “Up”). This region is the home of the Pemones, today’s largest indigenous community in the country.

From the Paraguana península to the Archipealogo los Roques, Venezuela offers thousands of kilometers of white sand beaches, crystal water and vibrant reefs. These coastal paradises are ideal for diving, snorkeling, sailing and simply relaxing under the Caribbean sun. Our most famous beaches are located in Falcón state, with Morrocoy and Chichiviriche, Margarita Island and Los Roques. All of these places are a collection of beaches with multiple islands and cays (so many that we cannot count them), hence they all have their hidden gems, which are less crowded. I personally highly recommend Coche Beach in Margarita Island.

As already mentioned, Venezuela is one of the most biodiverse countries in the world, being the home of thousands of species of plants and animals. The conservation of these ecosystems is vital, especially when currently facing challenges such as deforestation, illegal mining and rising temperature. Through the creation of national parks and ecological reserves, the country takes some steps to protect its natural heritage. Local and international organizations, such as Acoana and Fundación Tierra Viva, are working on conservation and environmental education projects, emphasizing the importance of preserving the treasures of the country for future generations. 

Caracas – My crazy city

Caracas, the capital city of Venezuela, is a beautiful valley surrounded by the national park El Ávila, which separates the city from the Caribbean Sea.

The city has one of the most pleasant weathers in the world, ranging between 17 and 28 degrees Celsius during the year. El Ávila, the guard of the city, is not only the emblem for the caraqueños, but also a place of recreation for the urban life, offering hiking, panoramic views from the sea on one side and the city on the other, and a great connection with nature.

Caracas architecture shows a fascinating contrast between the old and the new, from squares to colonial buildings that narrate the history from its origins to the modern skyscrapers that symbolize its economic and urban development. This mixture offers a unique landscape, where history and modernism coexist.

Nevertheless, Caracas faces significant challenges, like compromised safety for its citizens, traffic and very marked differences of social classes, which impact the life of its inhabitants. It has a very difficult political and economic situation. However, what makes my city special is the hope of the people. Despite the challenging circumstances, the kindness and resilient spirit of us continue to be the driving force behind the nation’s heart. Even without decent salaries and an inflation almost at 500%, which makes the city very expensive; we joke, and we help, we show happiness and dedication. And that is what makes us so special. Every time I return to my home country, I am amazed again by how much life I can observe. Nothing can take the spirit from these people.  It is my crazy home.

It is something…

There aren’t enough pages to adequately talk about my country. Besides all of the natural landscapes we have and the local history that each of the 24 states tell, we, the Venezuelan people, will make you feel like you are local, no matter where you come from. 

Anakarina Duarte

This article is written by Anakarina. She is a Venezuelan girl currently finishing her bachelor’s degree in Advertising and Public Relations in Spain. She loves challenges, so with 19 years she moved to Germany alone, then to Spain and hopes to return back to Germany this year. A born communicator, Anakarina loves meeting new people all around the world, getting to know their cultures and taking deep care of her loved ones.