South America's Hidden Gem
Venezuela is in South America and its northern border is touches the Caribbean Sea to the North (with 3,000 kilometers of coastline). To the west of the country are the Andes Mountains and the south and east of the country are rain forests. Its neighbours are Columbia to the west, Guyana to the east and Brazil to the south.
Caracas is the largest city and capital of Venezuela. It is to the north of the country, around 25km from the Caribbean Sea. The city lies in the Caracas Valley which is part of the Venezuelan coastal mountain range (the Cordillera de la Costa). The city is more than 800 meters above sea level and is surrounded by the steep coastal range. Mount Avila (2800m) lies between Caracas and the sea. Nearly one fifth of Venezuela’s population lives in the Caracas Valley. The city itself has around 4 million people. Latin American Spanish is spoken (almost exclusively). Venezuela has a diverse ethnic mix of Native Indians, Spanish and Afro-Caribbeans. Most of the population is a mix of these ethnic groups or “mestizo”. Income levels in Venezuela are diverse – there is some extreme wealth and equally acute poverty here.