Canaima National Park
Photograph by Sergio Pitamitz
A land of great contrasts, Venezuela boasts wide beaches and sharp mountains; a booming oil industry and a struggling working class; ages-old cultures and a yearning for modernization. In the balance hangs a nation bursting with potential and endless opportunities to explore.
Photograph by David Evans
A secluded home enjoys a crystalline view of a rainbow in the midst of low-hanging clouds. The rocky peaks of the Andes, the world’s longest exposed mountain range, cut through the western edge of Venezuela as they carve out a trail along the coast of South America.
Photograph by Gilles Rigoulet/Getty Images
While storefronts in Venezuela offer goods from jewelry to hats to meat, the real backbone of the economy lies in the 2.6 million barrels of oil produced each day in the country, most of which is exported abroad.
Photograph by David Evans
Lonely outposts of life, 9,094-foot-high (2,772-meter-high) Mount Roraima and related sandstone tepuis lift harshly beautiful worlds into the sky.
Los Nevados Church
Photograph by Denis Torres, My Shot
A bell tower dating to the early 1900s greets visitors to the remote mountain village of Los Nevados. Accessible primarily by foot or cable car, the town of isolated farmers sits on a steep mountainside and is one of the highest settlements in the country.
Photograph by Paco Elvira/Photo Library
Venezuela’s largest metropolis as well as its capital city, Caracas appeals to visitors with its balance of contemporary attractions and historical gems. The Iglesia de San Francisco, Plaza de los Museos, and Museo Bolívar—birthplace of “The Liberator,” Simón Bolívar—allow visitors to be immersed in local culture.
Margarita Island Macaw
Photograph by Arianna Arteaga, My Shot
Just 20 miles (32 kilometers) off the coast of Venezuela’s north shore, Margarita Island lures Caribbean travelers with its private beaches, pristine island views, and colorful wildlife, such as this macaw. Capitalizing on the island’s economic potential, the government and investors are racing to put up new hotels and attractions.
Photograph by Mark Cosslett
The flight of Angel Falls, the world’s highest waterfall, ends more than 3,000 feet (910 meters) down the face of Auyan-tepui. More than a hundred tepuis—a Pemón Indian word for mountains—rise mainly in southeastern Venezuela; fewer than half have been explored.
Photograph by Rommel Rojas, My Shot
A delicate arrangement of some of the world’s toughest plants takes hold on an oasis of mosses and lichens atop the nearly soilless plateaus of Venezuela’s tepuis. Most plants able to survive on the tepuis are endemic to the area and exist only on the mountaintops.
Photograph by Bobby Haas
Unhalted by a dam anywhere on its 1,300-mile (2,092-kilometer) course, the Orinoco floods annually and prodigiously. When the rainy Venezuelan “winter” arrives, lasting from May through November, the river rises more than 40 feet (12 meters), drowning grazing lands miles from its low-water line.
Photograph by Juan Silva/Getty Images
Known for their stoic ferocity, the Yanomami people of Venezuela believe that humans descended from drops of blood spilled on the dirt in a struggle between mythical beings after Earth’s formation. Because of this legend, violent confrontations between individuals and neighboring villages are part of Yanomami life and heritage.
Photograph by Scott Kleinman/Getty Images
Local bush pilots guide visitors across the Orinoco River to get a close-up view of Venezuela's legendary tepuis rising sharply into the sky. Cloud buildup over tepuis—some lofty enough to create their own weather—releases as much as 150 inches (380 centimeters) of rain a year, feeding the river down below.
Kako Paru Waterfalls
Photograph by Jesus Salazar, My Shot
Inflamed by the presence of jasper, tumbling cascades 30 miles (48 kilometers) southwest of Roraima expose rock sandwiched within the sandstone from which the tepuis are formed. Some of the world’s oldest sandstone, these deposits were laid down at least 1.8 billion years ago atop the Guayana shield, the oldest rock in South America.
2016 National Geographic Travel Photographer of the Year Contest
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