A mountainous, coastal city in Latinamerica boasts many benefits besides a pulsating nightlife and unspoiled views from high-rise condominum complexes. There is every opportunity to explore the culture as well as the natural, physical terrain.

 Parque Nacional de Avila is the gateway to the Avila mountain range and natural preserve areas. The mountains soar to 7800 feet and various topographical zones. Golden prairies, a tropical rainforest, and high altitude promontories are only a few of the areas hikers encounter. Hundreds of trail wind among an arboreal canopy inclusive of primates and an assortment of birds.

If a painting of the Parque Nacional would better strike a visitor's fancy, the Museo de Arte Contemporaneo is likely a better choice. The Museo is situated in the Parque Central. Novice art enthusiasts will be satisfied to find the work of Chagall, Picasso, Matisse, and Kandinsky.

However, the Museo is one of the most highly regarded cultural landmarks in South America.  There are many works by Jesus Soto, a renowned Venezuelan conceptual artist. Best of all, the admission is always free.

Travelers fascinated by the Spanish Conquest or early history should visit the Catedral Metropolitana de Caracas. The influence of Roman Catholicism was inescapable for the Spanish colonies. Venezuela, once under the rule of the Spanish crown and Diego de Losada, was promptly covered with cathedrals. 

The Cathedral is located in  Plaza Bolivar. The 300 lbs of gold leaf that guilds the main altar in a Baroque fashion is one of the many highlights. It is one of the few buildings in Venezuela that has a colonial facade still in tact.