Many people pass through Caracas, Venezuela on their way to other destinations, such as Angel Falls, Margarita Island or Los Roques. However, there are so many things to do in Caracas, Venezuela. The sprawling city, a mix of modern highrises and development as well as a colonial and historic center around the Plaza Bolivar, is well worth adding a day or two to your itinerary.
Take the usual safety precautions for any large city, using the city's efficient subway system during the day, but taxis at night.
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El Teleferico - El Avila National Park
Take the cable car up to the top of Mt. Avila for spectacular views of Caracas and the mountains. On clear days, you can see the Caribbean. While there, enjoy the Avila Magica Park, a meal at one of the restaurants, ice skate at the rink, or shop for handcrafted souvenirs. Take a sweater or a jacket, for it can be cool at 6000' plus.
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The Panteón Nacional, formerly a church, became the resting place for prominent Venezuelans in the 1870s. The central nave is dedicated to Simon Boliver, with paintings depicting his life and accomplishments. The ceremonial changing of the guard is worth seeing.
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The plaza marks the spot where Diego de Losada founded the city in 1567. Public buildings like Capitolio Nacional, the Catedral Metropolitana, the Foreign Office, and the Palacio Municipal surround the square. But, the real meaning of Plaza Bolivar is found in its energy, which keeps Caracas alive.
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Cathedral Metropolitana and Museo Sacro de Caracas
With its original facade dating from the end of the 17th century, the imposing Metropolitan Cathedral grounds the Plaza Bolívar. The main altar is a magnificent Baroque creation gilded with more than 300 pounds of gold leaf.
The former sacristy and ecclesiastical prison adjoining the cathedral is a museum displaying religious statues and colonial costumes. The silver canopy made to cover the statue of Our Lady of the Rosary is particularly ornate.Continue to 5 of 10 below.
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Parque Los Chorros
Located at the foot of Caracas' Avila Mountain, Parque Los Chorros consists of 4.5 hectares of exuberant nature, including the only natural waterfall in a capital city park. The landscape spans several levels with a descent of more than 100 steps, tunnels, bridges, and benches from which to contemplate large trees, mountain springs, and lush vegetation.
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Casa Natal and Museo Bolivar
A memorial to Simon Bolivar, it’s no surprise that great care is taken over the maintenance of his birthplace. The visitor can feel the past in the walls, rooms, interior yards, plants, and decor. Bolivar's great-grandfather built the house and it still holds family portraits and antique furniture. As an additional attraction, there are several magnificent epic paintings by Venezuelan artist Tito Salas.
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Iglesia de San Francisco
A national monument and the site of Simón Bolívar's proclamation as El Libertador and of the funeral 12 years after his 1830 death, the church is a marvelous example of colonial architecture with its richly gilded altars. This church is one of the oldest in the city.
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La Casa Amarilla
To enrich your visit to the historical center of Caracas, you may include the Casa Amarilla, a building that stands on the same grounds where the Caracas Royal Prison was located during colonial times, at the beginning of the 17th century. You will enjoy the traditional style in the construction and furniture, plus you will also have a first-hand encounter with the tireless activity of the Venezuelan Foreign Office. Guided tours are provided by the Protocol Department.Continue to 9 of 10 below.
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Galeria de Arte Nacional
Known around town as the "GAN," the interesting National Art Gallery is one of the best things to do in Caracas. Located across the circular Plaza Morelos from the Museum of Natural Science, it displays more than 4,000 works of art from Venezuela's proud past. It shares a building with the Museo de Bellas Artes, which exhibits a random selection of art from all around the globe. The top floor is a terrace offering views over Parque Los Caobos and much of Caracas.
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Created in 1944, Caracas Botanical Garden is a display of exuberant nature. It contains more than 2,000 native and non-indigenous species as well as more than 100 types of palms and four greenhouses for bromeliads, ferns, orchids, and shade plants. In addition, 100,000 trees belonging to 80 species grow in the Arboretum and more than 100,000 types of plants are found in the herbarium.
Updated September 30, 2016 by Ayngelina Brogan.