When most people think of Venezuela the first thing that comes to mind is oil, and the sometimes strange comments and actions of its president, Hugo Chavez. To be sure, Venezuela has plenty of both, but there is so much more to this beautiful country.
Venezuela’s varied landscape includes the rugged Andes Mountains, parts of the Amazon Jungle, a diverse selection of National Parks, and an almost perfect Caribbean coastline. Major attractions include Caracas, and the cultural attractions and shopping venues; the world renowned Angel Falls; Isla Margarita with its miles of unspoiled coastline and sandy beaches; Andes Mountain vistas, including Pico Bolivar; the Orinoco River, and the Guiana Highlands with its wonders of the Amazon Jungle.
The plankton-rich Caribbean waters off the north coast of Venezuela drift west and flows over the natural ocean ridge named El Placer (meaning The Pleasure), it’s a natural phenomena similar to that found at the Zane Grey Reef on the west coast of Panama as well as parts of the Galapagos Islands. The El Placer Bank in La Guaira holds one of the world’s most impressive billfish concentrations found anywhere. This underwater fishing paradise rises nearly 50 fathoms from a 140-plus fathoms depth of the surrounding bottom.
About 4 miles wide and 14 miles long, La Guaira Bank is just a brief 30 to 40-minute run from where the boats are docked at the marina. Aside from the incredible blue marlin action, the run of white marlin that takes place in La Guaira during the fall (August – December) is unparalleled. Many anglers easily amass double digit releases during thses months and some boats have recorded over 30 in a single day. Sword fish, sailfish, wahoo and tuna are all available in the same area throughout the year.
A note on Caracas
Sadly, the city of Caracas has undergone a lot of changes over the past five or six years and not all of them are good. Caracas has become a risky proposition due to the dramatic increase in street crime and its now at the point that we do not recommend that guests overnight within the city. It is no longer safe to walk around downtown, particularly at night. We hope that this situation will change, and soon, but until it does, the hotel we use for all our guests overnights in country is located about 30 minutes outside the city. The Ole Caribe overlooks the ocean and is located about 15 minutes from the airport.
The hotel is very comfortable, has a great pool and a couple of bars. The food is excellent! This situation is a real shame because Venezuela is a beautiful country and the problems facing Caracas are not reflected in the rest of the country. The country is safe. It’s just that its capital city is not! We will monitor this situation closely.