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Venezuela

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Uploaded on Jan 8, 2010

Venezuela is a land of beauty and contrast, a country that contains several unique habitats and is one of the last great natural paradises on Earth. It is also home to the legendary Orinoco River, the second largest river in South America that also forms a natural border with Columbia.

From Puerto Ayacucho, we journey to the remote regions of the State of Amazonas, the country's most southerly province. Extending for 180,000 square kilometers and with only a 100,000 inhabitants, it is one of the most sparsely populated areas in Venezuela.

A short journey by motorboat takes us to the headwaters of the Rio Ventuari. Because the route leads through an extensive maze of canals, it is important that this leg of the journey be taken with an experienced guide who is well versed with the local geography. Following a three hour journey on various tributaries of the Orinoco, we arrive at the small village of the Makiritare Indians.

The natural variety of the underground world of the Los Roques Archipelago manifests itself in the diversity of the numerous coral reefs that grow there. Apart from a particular fire coral, each one of them belongs to a single species that is known as the 'flower animal.'

East of the Venezuelan Andes, in the vast plains of the Llanos, the scenery is entirely different. It is almost reminiscent of America's Old Wild West. The Llaneros is South America's version of the legendary cowboy and the use of the Llanos as pasture land was introduced in the 18th century and covers a third of Venezuela.

It is believed that a number of Andalucian families moved into the plains in 1548, as they were more interested in agriculture and cattle breeding than the Conquistadores who sought only gold.

There is almost no other country in the world that contains so many diverse and fascinating landscapes as Venezuela, the land of the Indios and Llaneros and a land full of outstanding cultural contrast and natural splendor.

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