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Caracas spectacular setting

Unique Venezuela

Caracas, officially Santiago de Leon de Caracas, is the capital and the largest city of Venezuela. Caracas is located along the Guaire River in the northern part of the country.

Many people pass through Caracas, on their way to other destinations, such as Angel Falls, Margarita Island or Los Roques. However, the city is a mix of modern development as well as a colonial and historic center around the Plaza Bolivar, it is well worth adding a day or two to your itinerary.

The plaza Bolivar marks the spot where Diego de Losada founded the city in 1567. Public buildings like Capitolio Nacional, the Foreign Office and the Palacio Municipal surround the square.

With its original facade dating from the end of the 17th century, the imposing Metropolitan Cathedral grounds the place. The main altar is a magnificent Baroque creation covered with more than 300 pounds of gold leaf.

The central nave of the Panteon Nacional, formerly a church, is dedicated to Simon Bolivar, with paintings depicting his life and accomplishments. The ceremonial changing of the guard is worth seeing.

La Iglesia de San Francisco is the national monument site of Simon Bolívar's proclamation as El Libertador. The church, which is one of the oldest in the city, is a marvelous example of colonial architecture.

The National Art Gallery, across the circular Plaza Morelos and the Museum of Natural Science, displays more than 4,000 works of art from Venezuela's proud past. It shares a building with the Museo de Bellas Artes.

Located at the foot of Caracas' Avila Mountain, Parque Los Chorros includes the only natural waterfall in a capital. The landscape has a descent of more than 100 steps, tunnels, bridges and benches from which to contemplate large trees, mountain springs and lush vegetation.

Take the Teleferico cable car up to the top of the Ávila National Park's mount for spectacular views of Caracas and the mountains. On clear days, you can see the Caribbean.

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