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Holiday Guides for South America - Venezuela

The Caribbean Islands Of Venezuela

The islands of Venezuala charmed Christopher Columbus hundreds of years ago - and will do the same to any traveller who visits these relatively untouched gems.

The islands of Venezuela offer a relaxing, scenic paradise for holidaymakers in the Caribbean Sea.

A total of 72 Caribbean islands lie off the coast of Venezuela, with Isla Margarita the largest and most populated. The Caribbean islands are laidback, charming and welcoming, with a rich history and indigenous culture.

Venezuela is located at the top of South America, bordering Brazil and Colombia to the south. North of the coast and the Caribbean islands lie the islands of Aruba, the Netherlands Antilles and Trinidad and Tobago.

The country is a federal republic and former Spanish colony famous for its breathtaking landscapes and islands, with an economy based on petroleum and tourism.

Christopher Columbus arrived in Venezuela in the 15th century and was taken by the beauty of the country. The country is believed to have been named by cartographer Amerigo Vespucci after the city of Venice in Italy.

Venezuela declared independence from Spain on July 5th 1811 under the leadership Simon Bolivar. The country underwent a lengthy period of political instability and military rule, but had enjoyed relative peace and prosperity as a democracy since 1958.

The islands themselves are peaceable, with a multicultural population and a charming mix of Latin American and Caribbean culture. The official language of Venezuela is Spanish, but an array of indigenous languages are also used.

Los Roques is an archipelago of around 40 coral islands and a further 250 islets that lie within the stunning Archipelago Los Roques National Park and feature stunning white sand beaches, surrounded by crystal clear sea. The rest of the islands comprise Isla Magarita, the archipelago of Las Aves, the national parks of Morrocoy and Mochima and the large islands of La Tortuga, Los Testigos, La Blanquilla, La Orchila and Aves.

The majority of the Venezuelan Caribbean islands offer exceptional snorkelling and scuba-diving opportunities and a host of other water-related activities, including yachting, powerboating, swimming, water-skiing, windsurfing, deep sea fishing and kayaking. There are a number of sailing, diving and watersports schools dotted around the islands for those wanting to learn new skills or improve on existing ones.

Venezuela has more coastline and islands than any other Caribbean destination, offering tourists an unlimited supply of nature, activities, views and places to see. The myriad flora and fauna of the tropical islands, many of which are sparsely populated, and the rich array of marine life surrounding them are a popular draw.

Accommodation in the islands tends to be clean, comfortable and basic, with guest houses located in charming coastal towns and villages. The larger, more populated islands have bars, restaurants and shopping, while the smaller islands offer secluded beaches and peace and quiet.

The fishing village of Mochima is particularly charming, while Isla Margarita offers busier resorts, national parks, mountains and golf course.

The sunny southern Caribbean Islands tend to be warm year around, with a pleasant tropical climate. A growing number of travel and cruise companies offer holidays to the Caribbean islands of Venezuela and flights are available from Europe to Caracas, with transfers to the major islands.