Why visit Caracas
Straddled across a high plateau beyond the Caribbean Sea and dominated by the imposing Mount Avila, Caracas reverberates as the energetic and fast-paced capital city and gateway to the numerous highlights of Venezuela. Droves of towering skyscrapers punctuate the skyline against a backdrop of shanty towns clinging to the steep valley walls, testament to a city that squeezes the tremendously wealthy and desperately poor into a single chaotic sprawl. Caracas is a city of contrasts, convoluted, chaotic and frantic as most South American towns: irritating and insecure but also colourful and vibrant, inhabited by people who transmit a great joy of living and where the musical rhythms seem to possess everyone’s body and soul.
Caracas basks in a pleasant spring-like climate all year round making exploration of this cosmopolitan city easy. There are plenty of interesting museums and galleries to browse including the Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Caracas Sofía Imber and the Casa Natal del Libertador, the birthplace of Simón Bolívar. Tributes and memorials to El Libertador can be found all over Venezuela and Caracas is by no means an exception from the Nacional Pantheon to Plaza Bolívar, a leafy plaza encircled by a vestige of government buildings, notably the Capitolio Nacional. Escape the bustle of the city and stroll around the Jardín Botánico, festooned with tropical flowers, plants and draped with vines.
- Gain an insight into Simon Bolivar’s life at his colonial house full of period pieces and paintings
- People watch at the historic centre – Plaza Bolivar
- Head north and trek an extensive network of scenic trails in Parque Nacional El Ávila, home to monkeys, hummingbirds and anteaters to name just a few
- Enjoy a German beer at Colonia Tovar, a German community founded in 1843 and of great historical interest for its wooden houses and German food restaurants