La Vela de Coro is a seaside town 12 kilometres from Coro which - together with Santa Ana de Coro - is now part of the Unesco world heritage list. About La Vela, it has to be said that the inscription is not only due to the architectural merits of the town - but also and especially for its historical merits. it is here, in fact, that in 1806 the flag of Venezuela was raised for the firs time. The man behind the deed? Francisco de Miranda
Los Medanos de Coro is the only sahara-like landscape in Venezuela. it became a National Park on 6 February 1974. It's about 15 minutes from Coro town... first you see buildings, then the edge of the town, then a long straight road.. and suddenly there's only sand around you.... sand dune after sand dune, 42.160 hectares of sand dunes! It's like a world apart - it's nice to get off the car and go for a walk, or even better a "desert" run and roll
It's possible to visit a Marian shrine when in Coro - if you desire so (or, as in my case, if you stumble upon it). It's more or less on the way from La Vela de Coro to Santa Ana de Coro.
To be fair, the church is not really much to look at from the exterior... the interior is much better. The Shrine is located outside, in the garden, and it's overlooking the sea.
While you are driving along the narrow strip of land (isthmus) that connects Coro with the
Paraguana Peninsula - not only you'll cross sand dunes and a desrt-like landscape... you'll also pass some little salinas. Only some of them are "in operation", mainly because there are much larger salt deposits on the Paraguana peninsula.
It's a sight I liked a lot: sand, sand, sand... and then these white-ish spots here and there... like snow on the dunes. Suggestive
Visit the salt mines and flamingos on Peninsula de Paraguana at Cumaraguas. Unfortunately it did rain a lot before we visited the mines - so we discoverd only unattractive view instead of colorful water ;-(. On the way to Camaraguas you can see lots of flamingos close to the road.
Los Medanos is a small park which gives access to the only sand dunes in Venezuela. Take a bus to the monument at the entrace of the park and walk (10 min).