Originally posted on January, 2016 on Plank.
Point of View
Maracaibo is the capital city of Zulia state in Venezuela, for hundreds of years it was the main door for Spaniards arriving to America, and as a port city, Maracaibo monopolized the economical aspect of this region. Today, with more than 1.500.000 inhabitants it has maintained its metropolitan character mixed with traditional values inherited from their indigenous ancestors most of the times, present in their food and music.
Tips and suggestions
- Use sun protector: The average temperature in Maracaibo is 30 ºC, it has even reached more than 40 ºC, as the rest of Venezuela, there are no seasons in Maracaibo, just hot and more hot. Using sun protector is a must!
- Take care of your stuff: As the rest of Venezuela, you should take care of your stuff when you walk, so try to avoid empty streets and lonely places.
- Try a cepillao’ and enjoy coconut water: Cepillao’, which written in well Spanish is
“cepillado” is a common name for a beverage generated scraping ice bar with a large brush with metal bristles produce solid ice which is put on a plastic glass and mixed with different flavors, because always-sunny weather Maracaibo’s people use to buy a cepillao’ on the streets and continue to their routines. Cepillao’s can be bought to cepilladeros, men who are around Maracaibo on a bike with a particular and colorful structure.
Similar situations with coconut water and this one is more healty!
- Talk vos: Vos is the remain of the Spaniard voice “Vosotros” which means “you”. In Maracaibo as some other regions of South America the voice “vos” is friendly and used daily.
- Don’t be shame: People in Maracaibo are very familiar and talkative, if you get lost don’t be ashamed to ask for addresses, they will help you!
- Second biggest city of the country: Maracaibo has more than 1.500.000 inhabitants, which means 39,4% of the population in Zulia state. Maracaibo is also second city with more inhabitants in Venezuela.
- Rafael María Baralt: This guy was a Historian, Journalist, Writer and Poet, he was also author of the first Dictionary of the Spanish Gallicisms and the first Latin American to hold a chair at the Royal Academy of the Spanish Language.
- Lía Bermúdez: She is a plastic artist who has dedicated to make sculptures with iron. Nowadays, one of the largest art centers in the city has her name. A really nice place if you decide to visit Maracaibo.
- Huascar Barradas: He is a flutist who started his career in the Venezuelan program well known as El Sistema. Today, decades later, he has released 18 records
- Deynis Luque: He’s the youngest one in this category and his merit lies in being is the only deaf dancer Venezuela. Besides dancing, he’s a teacher and choreographer in one of the biggest universities in Maracaibo.
- Maracaibo’s Lake is the biggest one in South America
- In 1950, Maracaibo had the first mechanical stairways in Venezuela
- Maracaibo had the first supermarkets in Venezuela, owned by the Rockefeller family.
- In 1969, Maracaibo is chosen to install the tracker station that allowed to South America to see on television the first man on the moon.
- In 1888, Maracaibo became the first city to have electric lighting in Venezuela.
- Visit La Vereda: This is a public park located in the shore of the Lake of Maracaibo. It’s really beautiful and big; you can enjoy different kind of activities from walking to kayak.
- Go to La Basílica: La Basílica is located in the downtown, is a big catholic church with a nice history. The biggest celebrations are every year in November-18th, the day of Chiquiquirá Virgin, gaita, the typical music from Zulia, and massive attractions are played in La Basilica.
- Walk around Rosario de la Virgen de Chiquinquirá Square: This is one the biggest structures in Maracaibo, it doesn’t matter if you’re not a religious person, you’ll enjoy the view and the historical tips. People go there to walk and because is located in the downtown, you can buy clothes in really cheap prices!
- Love the night life at Calle Carabobo: This is one the most musical places in Maracaibo, from salsa to rock; you’ll find your place to spend the night. Isn’t even necessary to enter to a nightclub, you can walk around and listen to local musicians playing their instruments on the street.
- Enjoy the beautiful of the Botanical Garden: It is located outside of Maracaibo and was designed by Roberto Burle Marx, a known Brazilian landscape architect , this Botanical Garden has an important reserve of tropical dry forest (a forest in danger of extinction).