According to a study conducted by researchers at the University of Surrey in the United Kingdom, simply planning a trip in advance creates positive feelings and emotions, making people feel much happier with their lives in general.
In 2021, South America received around six million international tourists, making it one of the regions that receives the most visitors on the entire continent. Among the thirteen countries that make up South America, is Venezuela. Officially, the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, it is the sixth largest country in the region. Recognized for its richness of flora and fauna, geographical position and diversity of landscapes.
Below, learn about some of the most recommended places to visit in five beautiful destinations in that country: Caracas, Valencia, Maracaibo, Barcelona and Barquisimeto where you can travel with Copa Airlines.
Caracas, full of magic and history
With a population of more than three million inhabitants, Caracas is the capital and most populated city in Venezuela. Santiago de León de Caracas is its official name, a destination located in the middle of a valley surrounded by beautiful mountains. This means that, throughout the year, its climate remains in the same conditions. Caracas is known as 'the city of four climates', as you can experience a tropical climate in the lower parts of the city, to a cooler climate in its mountainous areas.
When touring the city, it is suggested to visit Plaza Bolívar, a place full of history and charm, recognized for being one of the most important public spaces in the city, located in the historic center of the city. In the center of the square, there is an equestrian monument to the liberator Simón Bolívar, an illustrious person for the country and Latin America. Also, you can find a fountain and a varied amount of trees, which cool and provide shade to the space. From this square, you can visit relevant places in the city such as the
Federal Legislative Palace, the Principal Theater, the Yellow House and the Archbishop's Palace, buildings that stand out for preserving colonial architecture.
As an interesting fact, Caracas is a city in which its inhabitants really enjoy baseball, considered the national sport of Venezuela. Therefore, those who visit the city must plan to visit the University Stadium, where matches between local teams take place. One of the most recognized teams is Leones del Caracas.
Valencia, connects people with nature
Valencia, capital of the state of Carabobo, is a city located in the Central region of the country. Founded in 1555, it is 12 years older than Caracas, so before the 20th century, there was a certain rivalry between both cities. It is known as the 'industrial capital of Venezuela', since it has different companies and industrial zones in the country. In the 20th century, textile companies settled in the city, which made it different from the rest of Venezuelan cities.
A place of interest to visit in the city is the Negra Hipólita Park, northeast of Valencia. This place is special for locals and visitors, since it has a diversity of flora and fauna, where children can come into contact with nature. Opened in its first part in 1983, the park has trails, a bamboo forest, exercise space, kiosks for parties, bicycle routes, shops and artistic exhibitions. The park is located on the banks of the Cabriales River, which crosses the city of Valencia from north to south.
An interesting fact is that the Venezuelan orchestra Billo's Caracas Boys adapted the song Palmira Señorial, written by the Colombian composer José Barros, to release a new version titled Valencia Señorial and dedicate it to the city. This is the reason why it is also known as that.
Maracaibo, a city full of wealth and faith Capital of the state of Zulia, Maracaibo is a city located in the northwest of Venezuela. With more than two million inhabitants, it is the second most populated city in the country, as well as the
most relevant economic center in western Venezuela, due to the oil industry that is developed on the shores of Lake Maracaibo, which has one of the areas with the greatest oil wealth on the planet. With around 13,820 km 2, this lake is considered the largest in Latin America and number 19 on the list of the largest lakes in the world.
If you want to know a little more about the history of the city and its religious buildings, it is recommended to visit the Santa Ana Church, which dates back to the 17th century, between 1602 and 1606. This is one of the oldest buildings in the city, which is why it preserves original elements of its construction (Mudejar art and Spanish-Muslim style). Because it has been considered a National Historical Monument since 1960, it is visited by many tourists.
Another recommended place to visit is the Basilica Nuestra Señora de Chiquinquirá. Founded in 1943, it is the most visited Catholic temple in the state of Zulia, in the center of Maracaibo. The construction of the basilica is dedicated to the Virgin of Chiquinquirá, patron saint of Zulia, affectionately known as La Chinita. Every November 18 it is visited by thousands of pilgrims, because its patron saint's day is celebrated on that date. Likewise, she is patron of the Bolivarian National Guard.
Barcelona, a cultural city
Capital of the state of Anzoátegui, the New Barcelona city of Cerro Santo, is located in the northeast of Venezuela. With a population close to 500 thousand inhabitants, it has interesting places to discover more of the culture and history of the country. One of the notable sites to visit is the Cajigal Theater. With 128 years of existence, this 19th century theater preserves a neoclassical style, where currently, presentations of plays, concerts and cultural events are held, with a capacity for 300 spectators.
In front of the theater, you will find Plaza Rolando, another place of interest to take advantage of and visit in the center of the city, due to its tranquility and the importance it has, since it was built by General Nicolás Rolando Monteverde, one of the leaders. most important military and political figures in the country in the 19th century, born in Barcelona.
In the city's restaurants, you can also discover the different typical dishes that Barcelona and the state of Anzoátegui have, recommended to learn more about Venezuelan gastronomy. Some of the most recognized dishes are: sancocho barinense (soup with beef or pork, cassava, sweet potato, ocumo and ripe plantain); morrocoy cake (pie made from turtle, banana, onion and egg); and goat talkarí (goat meat prepared with tomato, chili, onion, garlic, pepper, salt, lemon and red wine).
As additional information, between 1960 and 1990, Barcelona was the second most visited tourist destination in the country, receiving around four million people annually. Its proximity to the sea also makes it attractive for locals and visitors.
Barquisimeto, surprising with its architecture
With more than a million inhabitants, it is the fourth most populated city in Venezuela. Capital of the state of Lara, it is located in the Central-Western region of the country. It is a city that offers colonial architecture and modern architecture, so its visitors can appreciate incredible buildings. One of the city's flagship works is the Nuestra Señora del Carmen Cathedral. Also known as the metropolitan cathedral of Barquisimeto, its construction was carried out between 1953 and 1968 by the architect John Bergcamp. For his time, it was a fairly advanced work with an interesting complexity, because it was necessary to carry out extensive structural calculations for its construction. Without a doubt, one of the must-see places if you travel to this city.
On the occasion of its 400 years, the construction of the Barquisimeto Obelisk was carried out in 1952.
This structure, one of the most notable in the state of Lara, consists of a 75-meter-high rectangular base tower, built mainly of steel and concrete. It also has an internal elevator and a clock at its upper end. If you want to visit this emblematic place, it is recommended to do so at night, as it lights up with different colors and is an excellent space to take beautiful photographs.
As a curious fact, the Bolívar Railway, built by the English, inaugurated rail transport in Venezuela in 1877. This 232-kilometer-long system had the Palma Sola – Tucacas – San Felipe – Barquisimeto route, which boosted the region's economy by moving merchandise of all kinds. Later, this railway was suspended for economic reasons.
Currently, there is the Central-Western Railway System 'Simón Bolívar', which connects the Central-Western region of the country. This system offers the Puerto Cabello – Barquisimeto section, connecting the states of Carabobo, Yaracuy and Lara.
The above is just a sample of what Venezuela offers, a diverse and charming country. With the aim of continuing to connect travelers with more destinations on the continent, Copa Airlines offers the best options for your international trips through the Hub of the Americas® in Panama, from which you can reach Caracas, 1, with 3 daily flights. daily frequency to Valencia, 4 weekly flights to Maracaibo, 3 weekly flights to Barcelona and from October 17, 2023, with 3 weekly frequencies you can reach Barquisimeto**
Also, the airline offers the option of being part of the ConnectMiles loyalty program for frequent travelers, with exclusive benefits such as complimentary upgrades. Likewise, it offers the option of Executive Class on all routes, enjoying a superior travel experience. On some routes, you can count on Dreams Business Class, with reclining bed-type chairs for better trips.
When planning their next adventures, passengers can think about Panama Stopover, a program that allows them to make a stop in Panama between one and six nights, with the same ticket and with no additional cost on the airfare, even if their final destination is another. .
Fly through the Hub of the Americas® in Panama and connect with 31 countries across the continent. For more information on available flights, go to copa.com