Our well traveled intern, Temo, has written another great blog for us about his time spent in Venezuela. Read more about his adventures in his previous blog posts, Climbing El Pico de Orizaba and Exploring Northern Baja.
To me summer vacations stand for long adventures and exploring foreign countries. When I was growing up, my family and I lived in Venezuela for over 4 years. I have some incredible memories and great friends from that period of my life. A couple of years ago my family and I went back to visit the country and decided to go explore the land that English author Sir Arthur Conan Doyle dubbed as "The Lost World."
Venezuela is a beautiful country in the northern end of South America, right next to Colombia and just north of Brazil. It has some of the most varied and spectacular natural environments in the world. You have crystal waters in the Caribbean Sea, vast floodplains in the Llanos, one of the largest rivers in the world that slices the country in half, the Orinoco, and the Venezuelan Andes in the east. In the south of Venezuela you will find a vast wilderness area part of the Amazon Rainforest known as the Gran Sabana, one of the most important natural attractions in the country.
Established in 1962, Canaima National Park is located in the south east state of Bolivar close to the borders with Brazil and Guyana. It is a place of unique beauty in the world. It encompasses most of the Gran Sabana and with almost 7.5 million acres; it is considered one of the largest national parks in the world. The park was conceded World Heritage Status by UNESCO in 1994. Canaima holds some of Venezuela's most beautiful attractions.
So for our vacation, we flew from Mexico City on the direct overnight to the capital, Caracas, and immediately transferred on a regional flight towards our old home of Puerto La Cruz in the north coastal state of Anzoategui. After visiting old friends and enjoying the Caribbean beaches for a couple of days we set off on the two day drive south towards La Gran Sabana.