• Colombia!

    Colombia: Caribbean Sea coast. Go Now!

    Although most of the people live inland, Colombia also has its share of coastline along the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea (pictured). Go Now!

  • Ecuador!

    Ecuador: Sally Lightfoot Crab. Go Now!

    The Galapagos Islands and Ecuador are home to incredible wildlife, such as the famous Galapagos Turtle and the lesser known, but more common Red Rock or Sally Lightfoot crab (pictured). Begin Your Journey!

  • Chile!

    Chile: Torres del Paine National Park. Go Now!

    The Andes dominate much of Chile, including the breath-taking Torres del Paine National Park (pictured). However, the country also hosts the world's driest desert and a thriving metropolis. Begin Your Journey!

  • Venezuela!

    Venezuela: Los Roques. Go Now!

    Rooted in Europe, Venezuela boasts an impressive history, culture, and beauty, including the Caribbean Coast (pictured). Explore Venezuela!

  • Bolivia!

    Bolivia: Salt flats. Go Now!

    This hidden gem is full of surprises, from the impressive salt flats (pictured) to the migrating flamingos. It also clings to the most historic indigenous culture on the continent. Explore Bolivia!

Geography, Weather, & Wildlife of Venezuela

WARNING: Violence is common in Venezeula, please read this travel warning before going!


Venezuelan Geography - Angel Falls
Angel Falls

Venezuela is a very geographically diverse country as it is home to mountains, rivers, lakes, and lowlands. In the far northwestern part of the country, in the region known as the Maracaibo Basin, the lands are very low and temperatures are high, but this fertile land provides food and easy transportation, making it home to a large number of people.

Just east of this area is a stretch of mountains running from the south to the Caribbean Sea. In this range, which is an extension of the Andes Mountains, is Pico Bolivar, which rises to over 16,400 feet (5,000 meters). There's another set of highlands in the far southeastern part of the country, but this stretch of mountains is in places more dramatic as rivers cut the mountains quite dramatically, most notably in the case of the famous Angel Falls.

The rest of the country is primarily a drainage system for the Orinoco River, which runs from the southwest to the northeast, where it drains into the Caribbean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean. Most of these lands, the Orinoco River region, as well as in the northwestern part of the country are flat lands with fertile soil, promoting the growth of plants, animals, and trees. This provides food for the people and is, not surprisingly the most well populated part of the country.


Venezuelan Geography - Medanos de Coro
Medanos de Coro

Venezuela is hot along the coast and slightly cooler in the mountains, but year round temperatures vary little as the country is extraordinarily close to the equator. The greatest variations come in elevation, although few cities climb to heights that create a noticeable difference, and in season as the wet season can bring regular rains. With a fairly consistent rain pattern, numerous rivers, and the hot temperatures, much of Venezuela, especially along the coasts and nearby highlands are ideal for life. Plants and animals are ever present as the rains guarantee water and food year round.

Venezuelan Geography - Caribbean

The dry season in Venezuela runs from about November to April with the months of January to March receiving almost no rain throughout the country. It can be so dry some years the rivers dry up or transportation on them is impossible due to a lack of water. Temperatures are also quite predictable during this season. Caracas has daily lows of about 60-65° F (16-18° C) and highs of about 80-85° F (27-29° C) in both the dry and the wet season. Bolivar experiences lows of about 74° F (23° C) and highs of 90-95° F (32-35° C), while Maracaibo has lows of about 75° F (24° C) and highs of about 92° F (33° C) year round.

The wet season runs from about May to October throughout Venezuela as the rivers rise and the waterfalls are more likely to gush. The temperatures during these months are nearly identical to the temperatures in the dry season, but the rains are more predictable. In Caracas the months of June to October receive the heaviest rains, in Bolivar June to August gets the most rain, and in Maracaibo most rain falls in October.


Venezuelan Geography - Landscape

Venezuela has a very diverse variety of wildlife since the country has landscapes that include tropical coastline to the high Andes Mountains as well as hardwood forests and rain forests in between. These differences in geography and weather attract a large number of animals and allow many different plants to grow.

Many of the more common mammals are woodland animals such as squirrels, mice, rats, bats, opossums, deer, rabbits, tapirs, sloths, and others. However, the mountains and rain forests attract these animals as well as others, including llamas, alpacas, vicunas (a camel species), cougars (puma), beers, armadillos, porcupines, monkeys, jaguars, and wolves. There are also some rodents unique to South America in Venezuela, such as the chinchilla and capybara.

Venezuelan Wildlife - Capybara

Off of Venezuela's north coast, in the Caribbean Sea there are additional mammals, including whales, dolphins, and manatees. In these waters there are also plenty of fish, shellfish, and other aquatic life, such as coral reefs. The corals bring in a lot of different animals, including surgeonfish and butterfly fish. Other animals roaming these waters include sharks, marlins, barracuda, snapper, mackerel, grouper, shrimp, crabs, seahorses, starfish, eels, rays, jellyfish, and sea urchins.

The bird life is nearly as diverse as the sea life since woodland, mountain, and sea birds are all common. Among these are egrets, eagles, condors, pelicans, partridges, coots, geese, sandpipers, ibis, herons, finches, hummingbirds, toucans, wrens, owls, sparrows, cardinals, jays, orioles, frigate birds, pigeons, parrots, parakeets, flamingos, and woodpeckers.

The reptilian, amphibian, and insect life in Venezuela are also diverse, but the variety of species is somewhat limited. Many of these animals are spiders, including the tarantula and black widow, and snakes, including the rattlesnake, boa, and anaconda. In or near some of the rivers the amphibian population spikes a bit as a number of frogs, iguanas, and lizards are present. The number of insects is quite substantial, including flies, mosquitos, butterflies, ants, beetles, moths, and more.

Venezuelan Wildlife - Vicuna

When it comes to native plant life, South America is home to many famous edible plants and these plants quickly spread throughout Venezuela, South America, and beyond. The pineapple is from the region where Brazil and Uruguay meet while potatoes and tobacco originated in the Andes Mountains. A few others, including cacao trees (used to make chocolate), peanuts, and tomatoes are also from South America, although their actual origin is unknown. Peppers, both sweet and hot peppers are from Central America or northern South America while vanilla, avocado, papaya, and corn (maize) are likely from Central America itself. No matter each food's origin, what is known is that these foods spread throughout the continent and to the country of Venezuela with the help of pre-historic people, animals, and winds. These people have had these foods for nearly as long as people have inhabited the region and each makes an important part of the people's diet and culture now and for thousands of years into the past.

Other plants, although not as edible ones, are also present in Venezuela. Orchids, lilies, rosewood trees, mahogany trees, and thousands of other trees, flowers, and plants can be found in Venezuela.

This page was last updated: November, 2013