10 reasons why you should travel to Maracaibo instead of Caracas

Priyam Lahon10 March 20216654 views8 min. read
10 reasons why you should travel to Maracaibo instead of Caracas
tourist attraction, but frankly, from the inside, it will be so underrated. After all, Maracaibo is that area of Venezuela known for its oil industry and drug trafficking, so how come Maracaibo will hold its interest in the face of the tourists? That’s what you must also probably be thinking. Like I said, that is oh-so-very wrong. A nation located in South America and shares its shoreline and the North Atlantic Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, that’s what Venezuela is, and Maracaibo is one of the renowned cities (second largest city) in Venezuela. Apart from Maracaibo, only the capital of Venezuela, Caracas is bigger - though, it’s interesting to know that Caracas, as a city, is very much bland compared to Maracaibo, and the surrounding landscape is a bit dangerous for tourists. Other than the occasional nightlife, Caracas is best avoided as a tourist destination no matter how vibrant the city is. But does this mean that you also can’t travel to Maracaibo? No - Venezuela might be not the safest of nations, but that is not an excuse to avoid Maracaibo. After all, Maracaibo as a city has a lot to offer to the tourists - so much that, this city is one of the renowned major tourist attractions in Venezuela. But of course, that doesn’t mean that you will overlook your safety. Before we get to the reasons as to why you should include Maracaibo in your travel bucket list, your safety should and always be your first concern.

Is it safe to travel to Maracaibo?

police Although Maracaibo is a safe city, Venezuela is dangerous. Traveling to Venezuela as a tourist has its risks. Both petty and violent crime is a daily occurring in the nation, more so, in Caracas itself - and as a foreigner, you will be a prime target. If by some bad luck, you happen to be a victim of crime, don’t think about justice - that’s because only a few to little cases result in convictions and trials. Also, the neighborhoods surrounding the capital of Venezuela, Caracas are extremely dangerous, and it’s best to avoid them, when you plan to travel to Venezuela. The moment you land in Venezuela - as a tourist - you have to be on your guard.  Maracaibo may be a safe city in Venezuela, but you must still take the necessary precautions for your own safety. Under no conditions should you walk alone at night, and even if you plan to go in groups, it’s not safe; but if it’s a necessity, you should always hail a cab. As long as you are not being careless and take the necessary precautions to protect yourself, I don’t see why you shouldn’t travel to Venezuela and give Maracaibo a chance? Home to some of the most gorgeous activities and sights, Maracaibo is a wonder that is very less understood. Boasting of giant shopping malls to attractive parks, Maracaibo has a modern skyline that hugs an eponymous lake’s shore. It may be a hub of Venezuela’s oil industry, but Maracaibo has its reasons (ten, exactly!) as to why it is one of the most renowned tourist attractions in Venezuela.

1. General Rafael Urdaneta Bridge

rafael bridge Covering more than 5000 square miles over Lake Maracaibo, this bridge is the most significant feature of this spot.  For decades, Lake Maracaibo cut off the city of Maracaibo from the rest of Venezuela, but after the completion of this bridge in 1962, it has offered an easy connection between Maracaibo and the rest of the world.  This bridge is a feat of modern engineering and construction - running more than 5 miles and a single span of more than 750 feet in length, this is one of the first foremost places to see in Maracaibo.

2. Parque La Marina

parque la marina You can’t say that you are planning to travel to Maracaibo if you haven’t included ‘Parque La Marina’ on your list. Situated close to Lake Maracaibo, this park offers beautiful and unbelievable views of the lake. One of the eye-catching features of this park is that it is home to a 46-foot tower, and from where, the visitors can look over the lake and enjoy the city skyline. One of the best places to see in Maracaibo, no trip to Maracaibo is complete without visiting this park at least once.

3. Estadio Jose Pachencho Romero

romero stadium With a seating capacity of more than 30, 000, "Estadio Jose Pachencho Romero" is a part of a sports complex that is home to other complexes - Gimnasio Pedro Elias Belisario Aponte and Estadio Luis Aparicio El Grande for basketball and baseball, respectively. What’s more, the Romero stadium also has cycling and running tracks and has hosted many famous soccer matches. This is one of the best places in Maracaibo Venezuela, that you can’t afford to miss, if you are a big sports buff.

4. Aguamania

aquapark Maracaibo has a tropical climate, so, what’s better than to cool yourself at Aguamania? Located in the heart of Maracaibo City, this park is one of the great places in Maracaibo Venezuela, to cool yourself during the heat of the day. Featuring various family and kid-friendly offerings, this park offers water slides, that feature both slow speeds for children, and high speeds, suitable for adults. This park is also home to the two main renowned pools - Cienega Children’s Pool and Sinamaica. While the former is suitable for children and has a depth of 20 inches, the latter one is suitable for all, and thus, it features a sand beach, with a maximum depth of about 5 inches.  That’s not all - Aguamania also has a lazy river that’s great for tubing, known as Rio Catatumbo.

5. Calle Carabobo

calle carabobo If you are fond of bright and vivid colors, then, this one’s for you! Located right in the center of Maracaibo city, Calle Carabobo is one such place in Maracaibo, Venezuela, that you can’t afford to miss. Calle Carabobo is a street - a perfect example of colonial architecture, this street features houses, restaurants, art galleries, and shops, but what makes them different from others is that they are painted in bright colors. Just take a walk through the street, and you will feel like it’s an entirely different world!

6. Teatro Baralt

teatro baralt Teatro Baralt is considered to be one of the national monuments in Venezuela.  An honor bestowed in 1981, this monument is built on the demolished site of the Grand Theatre of Maracaibo Barak. It is only in the year 1932, that Teatro Baralt was made public to the masses, with an array of features such as a working theatre, and various design features. Guided tours are also provided by the theatre, and that lasts 30 minutes - they are made available on weekday mornings.

7. Santa Lucia

santa lucia This is a traditional neighborhood - if you are thinking of what to do in Maracaibo as a tourist, then, opt for this one when you have exhausted all your other touristy ones! Home to a traditional neighborhood, waltzing through Santa Lucia is like going back in time. The neighborhood to preserve its uniqueness has been unchanged in decades - the houses are traditional in look, and with their large windows, tile roofs, and high walls, it looks like this street has been untouched for decades and is still the same as in the yesteryear.

8. Castillo de San Carlos de le Barra

castillo de san carlos de le barra Love historical monuments? Then, head to this spot. Built in the 17th century, Castillo Barra is a castle that was built to protect the residents of Maracaibo from pirates - that was during the time when the city was attacked by pirates regularly.  However, as time passed on, the castle began to be used for other purposes in different eras. Like in the 19th century, the castle was used as a military headquarters, and during the dictatorship of Juan Gomez, it served as a political prison. Only in 1965, the castle was declared as a National Historic Landmark, making it one of the must-see places in Maracaibo Venezuela.

9. Plaza del Rosario de Nuestra Senora de Chiquinquira

monument Despite the mouthful of a name, the name is of a beautiful plaza, that is complemented by wonderful sculptures.  One of the most beautiful places to see in Maracaibo, this place is located near the Santa Barbara Church. Made beautiful by various fountains surrounding the plaza, it is home to the Virgin of Chiquinquira’s monument - it stands at around 18 meters tall, with eye-catching sculptures of nymphs, and stands as a tribute to the Virgin.

10. Jardin Botanico

flower Located in the south-western parts of Maracaibo City, Jardin Botanico, also known as Botanical Gardens, is one of the must-visit places in Maracaibo. If you feel like you have run out of places to see, and wondering what to do in Maracaibo, this is the spot that you should head off to. Home to more than 1200 species of plants and thousands of other specimens, these gardens cover more than 200 acres and comprise parkland areas, open spaces for seating with various old trees, and nature trails. A renowned oasis for both locals and tourists alike, no bucket list is complete without adding this spot when you plan to travel to Maracaibo.

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