Zulia State, in western Venezuela is a
region of tropical contrasts. Maracaibo is Venezuela's
second largest city and Zulia's capital. Multicolored
colonial buildings, indian markets, Gaita music (very
popular during Christmas), cuisine based on coconut milk
as well as a myriad of desserts famous throughout Venezuela
characterize this hot place and the Zulia State in general.
The 64,246 acres Cienaga (swamp) de Los
Olivitos, located some 50 km from Maracaibo, is wild fauna
shelter and fishing reserve surrounded by mangroves, beaches
and dunes. Over 100 species of migratory birds have been
identified here and is a nesting, feeding and resting
place for the flamingo populations of the south caribbean.
The Great-tailed Grackle is only observed in the mangroves
of Zulia State. Coast caimans, occasional marine turtles
and the very vulnerable manatee have been reported as
It has 63,100 square km and an average
temperature of 30ºC, one of the hottest in the continent.
Zulia is one of the richest and most important states
in Venezuela, specially known for mining and oil derived
products. It contains important hydric resources formed
by the Maracaibo Lake's basin, to which a significant
number of rivers flow. Due to its geographic diversity
and fascinating contrasts ranging from tropical beaches
to mountain ridges.
The Maracaibo Lake is 12,780 square km,
making it the biggest one in South America. The General
Rafael Urdaneta Bridge, one of the longest of its kind
in the world with 8,678 m, is located in its narrowest
point and links Maracaibo and western Zulia with the so
called "Eastern Coast of the Lake" and the rest
of Venezuela. An unique attraction is the "Catatumbo's
lightning", a meteorological phenomenon of multiple
flashes of light without any sound.
its great beauty and historic importance, The Sinamaica
Lagoon is one of the most interesting places in Zulia.
This place inspired the european explorers to name the
country "Venezuela", which means "Little
Venice" because of the stilt dwellings of the Añu
and Paraujano indian groups that still inhabit it. Farther
north, the Goajira is home to Venezuela's most important
indian group, the "Goajiros" or "Wayu",
world known for their incredible weavings and tapestries.
is easily accessible by air from most main cities in Venezuela
and combines very well with a visit to nearby Andes. First-class
accommodation is available, as the Del Lago Inter-continental,
our preferred hotel in the city, and the best base for
your explorations of this almost completely unknown region
of Venezuela. The Best Western El Paseo, on the other
hand, features the only moving restaurant in Venezuela.