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Islands of the Sea and Sky: The Beaches and Mesas of Venezuela

Whether you’re looking for a dip in pristine waters or hiking in the green wilderness, Venezuela is sure to satiate your needs. Tourism in Venezuela has quickly developed in modern times, in no small part due to the sunny climate and lush landscapes and wildlife in the country. The islands of Venezuela also contribute to this, with white beaches and towering mesas in the sky. From the white sand beaches of the Los Roques Archipelago to the vast plateau of Mount Roraima, each destination is sure to make an impression. Visit Venezuela to those looking for diverse and exotic wildlife. Here’s a glimpse of the best nature destinations that Venezuela has to offer.

The Beaches of Venezuela

As a tropical country, Venezuela is a host to much exotic wildlife and warm, sunny beaches destinations and weather. One of the 17 megadiverse countries in terms of biodiversity, its beaches are home to breathtaking wildlife. The Los Roques Archipelago and Morrocoy National Park are two beautiful national parks to visit for those who want to experience the sun and nature.

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Pristine waters and white sand beaches are always a sight to see

Morrocoy National Park

The Morrocoy National Park is located in the Falcón state and has many mangroves and cays. The climate of the national park is akin to a dry, tropical desert, as it receives only a bit of rain throughout the year. Due to its ecological importance, the area has been declared a National Park. This declaration also included a focus on tourism that maintained the conservation of the ecosystem of the park. 

The breathtaking beaches of Sombrero Cay, Mayorquina, and Mero Beach, to name a few, are host to many kinds of corals and fish for aspiring divers. The park is also host to many turtles such as green sea turtles, hawksbill turtles, and horned turtles. Make sure that your camera is ready when planning a trip there!

Los Roques Archipelago

The Los Roques Archipelago is a group of islets, cays, and islands off the port of La Guaira in the Caribbean Sea. Though the archipelago has only a few land animals, the vast waters of the region have many sea creatures such as dolphins, rays, turtles, and many species of fish. Home to pristine coral reefs and seabirds, the Los Roques has also been declared a National Park. 

Though the visit may be a bit pricey, it may be worth the cost for divers! The archipelago contains the Los Roques barrier reef, one of the best-preserved reefs in the Caribbean. Its clear waters allow divers to experience its lush environment and diverse aquatic life during day and night dives. The archipelago is also a great fishing location. Most visitors arrive at the island by plane, so prepare your equipment with this in mind. If fishing and diving still don’t appeal to you, several islands offer windsurfing and kite surfing. 

 The Mesas of Venezuela

When visiting Venezuela, one should consider going to at least one of the mesas in the region. Having both breathtaking views and ecological importance, these mesas almost unique to Venezuela could be the highlight of your next trip! The mesas of Venezuela, known as tepui, is a type of table-top mountain found in Venezuela and its borders with Guyana and Brazil. 

The name Tepui is a word that translates to “House of Gods”, in the native language of the Pemón, the indigenous people of the Gran Sabana. Ranging from 1000 to 3000 meters in elevation, these mountains jut out of the surrounding land with their flat tops and steep sides, making them akin to islands in the sky. This is not far from the truth. Due to their isolation from the surrounding forests, the tepuis are known as “ecological islands”. 

Their elevation isolates them from the land around them, and each tepui contains a different ecosystem and distinct plants and animals. Even tepuis are not the same. Since these mesas are not connected, each tepui may also have its separate ecosystem of different plants and animals. 

The biodiversity of the mesas is also very unique, having a high number of endemic species. Some such animals are the white-eared opossum and the tepui tinamous bird. Wildlife watchers may want to take note of the Venezuelan Tepuis when planning their next travel destination. 

Here are two popular tepuis that one should consider:

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The otherworldly landscapes of the tepui

Auyán-tepui

Located in the Canaima National Park, the Auyán-tepui translates to “Devil’s House” in the Pemón language. This tepui is the most popular and largest tepui, with a heart-shaped plateau rising 1,600 meters off the ground. Here one can find one of the most amazing waterfalls in the world. 

The most notable landmark at the Auyán-tepui is the Angel Falls, named after the bush pilot Jimmy Angel after he landed at the top when searching for gold. With a height of 979 meters and a drop of 807 meters, the Angel Falls is known as the world’s highest uninterrupted waterfall. Visiting the falls might be a quite challenging endeavor. Surrounded by the wilderness of the Canaima National Park, one must plan a trip to Auyán Tepui and Angel Falls to get the most out of their trip.

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The base of Angel Falls

Mount Roraima

Situated right at the borders of Venezuela, Guyana, and Brazil, Mount Roraima serves as a tripoint for the three countries. While most of the mountain is located within the border of Venezuela, the beauty of the tepui may make those who are planning trips to Brazil consider adding this to their list of destinations as well! 

Taken from the words Roroi, meaning “blue-green”, and Ma, meaning “great”, the massive mesa has lived up to its name, hosting numerous waterfalls and endemic species. The great tepui has inspired many artists with its beauty, notably an inspiration for the Pixar movie, Up, and the setting for Arthur Conan Doyle’s novel, The Lost World. While it may be difficult to hike up Mount Roraima, it is possible for aspiring hikers with enough knowledge and planning.

The Beaches and Mesas of Venezuela

Sunset shining on Mount Roraima

Whether above or right at sea level, the islands of Venezuela are sure to impress even the most well-traveled person. When planning your next trip, make sure to consider visiting the beaches or tepuis of Venezuela for a trip you’ll never forget!

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