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I took a taxi from Casa Familiar to the terminal in Santa Marta and it was 4000 pesos (August 2008). Brasilia Expresos had a bus to Maicao at 7am for 20 000 pesos. The bus arrived at 7.15 and it was a small comfortable bus. It took four hours to Maicao and I had not even left the bus before men started to call Maracaibo, Maracaibo.
Before going to Venezuela I wanted to change my Colombian pesos for Venezuelan Bolivares and that you can do in an office inside the terminal (It is a better rate here than the money changers have at the border in Paraguachon).
I took a shared taxi to Maracaibo and there was only one other passenger, a woman. The taxi was 23 000 pesos or 40 Bs (August 2008). The other passenger didn’t have to get a stamp in her passport so as I went inside the immigration office on the Colombian side the driver said they were driving on to the Venezuelan side because there were a lot of cars. I was a bit worried about my luggage in the back of the car but as I came walking to the Venezuelan side the car was waiting there and it had already passed the line of cars that were waiting. After leaving the border we were stopped several times, five times I had to show my passport and other times the police only looked in through the window and said we could pass.
About halfway we stopped at a shop (for water and bathroom) and the driver was checking the engine of the car. After that we drove even slower and all other cars (and taxis) passed us. As we reached Maracaibo we went to a gas station and then we stopped along the road to wait for a taxi for the woman who was going to another part of the town. The driver thought I could take a taxi from the same spot but I wanted to go to the terminal as it is not far from the hotel where I stayed. I was dropped only one block from the hotel. The taxi drive from Maicao took more than 3,5 hours.
Written Aug 15, 2008
Zulia’s people, the Zulianos, are well known for their sense of humor and folk music. The state’s traditional music is the Gaita, and consists of improvised rhyming vocals over four-string guitars and maracas. The Gaita is featured in festivals throughout the year and has now become Venezuela’s traditional Christmas music.
In the northwest of Zulia live the Guajira Indians, the largest indigenous group in Venezuela. Living in a matriarchal society, the Guajira move with the limited water supply of the peninsula throughout the year. They are often seen in Maracaibo wearing their traditional dress; women in long, brightly colored dresses and men in loincloths. Many are artisans, and weave tapestries, blankets and hammocks to sell in the Guajira markets and craft shops.
Updated Aug 25, 2002
While we were taking Photos of Maracaibo Bridge a military jeep sped towards us and stopped. They wanted to confiscate our cameras as there was a naval base near the bridge and it was forbidden to take photos.
Written Mar 27, 2012
Be VERY CAREFUL with the people who tells you to go to MAICAO, that is in Colombia and is very dangerous, do not wear any gold or any nice watch, if you go to maicao go with a friend or with someone who knows it never, I repeat, never go alone
Written Aug 25, 2002
Eco-tourism around Lake Maracaibo is still in its infancy, though tours can be arranged to the Ciénagas del Catatumbo National Park and Ciénaga De Los Olivitos Nature Reserve, both of which are home to a variety of wildlife. Los Olivitos was established as a reserve in 1986, and rare species such as manatees, coastal alligators and sea turtles live within its 26,000ha of marine, coastal, freshwater and mangrove habitats. The reserve is also a significant site for migratory birds, notably flamingoes.
Ciénagas del Catatumbo National Park covers 269,400ha, and is situated on the southwest shore of the lake, between the rivers of Catatumbo and Santa Ana. It was granted national park status in 1991 to protect the rich swamp and wetland habitats of the area. The park has a large population of both resident and migratory birds, including species of heron, egret and stork. Mammals are also plentiful and include capybara, raccoon and freshwater dolphins. The area is known as the lighthouse of Maracaibo, as it is subject to regular lightening storms across its delta.
Written Aug 25, 2002
Football (Soccer in USA) is very popular in Venezuela and South America in general, and this year the COPA America 2007 is being hosted by Venezuela in a number of cities. Estadio Jose Pachencho Romero is the name of the multi-purpose stadium in Maracaibo used for this event. Three Group C matches are scheduled, including USA vs Argentina, Paraguay vs USA, and Paraguay vs Colombia. Finals are also scheduled for Maracaibo on July 15th, and given that several stadiums are still under construction (the one in Barinas is particularly behind schedule), Maracaibo could conceiveably be called upon to host more games. The stadium holds 40,000 people. My image is an old one, so hopefully the landscaping and fences around the stadium are in better repair now.
Updated Jun 12, 2007