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Maracaibo is the Venezuelan oil industry’s center and the second largest
city in the country. The city is known for its traditional music, modern
shopping malls, huge parks, and has a buzzing nightlife. The main
attractions here are found in the downtown area around Plaza Bolivar. Santa
Lucia and Carabobo are the two main streets where you will come across many
colonial buildings and architectural gems. The Aquamarine water park in the
lakefront Vereda del Lago Park is a popular tourist attraction. Other
highlights in Maracaibo include - the Botanical Gardens, Zulia Metropolitan
Zoo, La Marina Park and its lookout tower and Centro Sambil.
Things to do in Maracaibo
Considered to be among the world’s oldest lakes, Lake Maracaibo is South
America’s largest lake. Many rivers flow into the lake, the largest among
them being Catatumbo. The lakeside environment is completely tranquil, and
it is the perfect picnic spot on a pleasant day. It is a birdwatcher’s
delight as rare birds like the buffy hummingbird, vermillion cardinal and
pygmy swift can be spotted here. The lake is also used as a shipping route
to the port of Maracaibo. The Village of Lake Maracaibo has evolved into a
huge park nearby where visitors engage in activities like paintball,
mountain climbing, cycling and exercising among other activities. Visitors
will also see next to the lake, the biggest concrete bridge in the world,
the General Rafael Urdaneta Bridge.
Baralt Theater opened its doors in 1883 and was the venue for the very
first movie screening in Venezuela in 1896. The current building is a
reconstruction of the original, which was demolished in 1928. The theatre
is a National Monument and is popular as one of the country’s most
significant cultural venues. Currently, the theatre is managed by the
Baralt Theater Foundation and plays host to several musical, dance,
theatrical, and film performances.
Basilica of Our Lady of Chiquinquira
Located in the middle of shopping malls in the Santa Rosalia sector, the
Basilica of Chiquinquira or La Chinita was built in 1836. Symbolic of the
Zulia region, the elegant yellow structure has elements of Greco-Roman as
well as Neoclassical architecture. It houses art from the 19th
and 20th centuries, an image of the virgin and an 18-carat gold
crown. The feast day of the Basilica is on 18th November and is
among the busiest days of the Catholic Church.
Best Time to Visit Maracaibo
The weather is warm all year round with low chances of rain. The best time
to book Maracaibo flights is from December to May during the dry season
when you can enjoy the beaches and go for sightseeing. It is advised to
book flights from Miami to Maracaibo in advance to avoid paying more at the