Valencia, the capital of Carabobo, Venezuela is located in a central valley and surrounded by the Coastal Mountain Range. Even though it is just a mere 112 miles from Caracas, the capital city, Valencia has made a unique name for herself. Valencia's has become the industry and manufacturing heart of Venezuela,and is sometimes referred to as "la Pequeña Detroit," or the Little Detroit. Valencia has become very affluent as of late, due to the increase of industry. As such, there are various shopping opportunities, such as the upscale Sambil mall located in the north end of the city.
Although earning its reputation for industry, Valencia has plenty for nature lovers to enjoy. On the outskirts of the city lies the nation's second largest lake, Lake Valencia, and to the South of the city is a grassland area, known to the locals as los Llanos. The Cabriales River runs through the northern parts of the city, dividing Negra Hipólita Park and Fernando Peñalver Park, which both feature gardens, children's play areas and cultural centers in addition to public areas to enjoy the river. Valencia is also very close to the Caribbean coast, and day trips to the beach are feasible from the city.
Valencia is very proud of her rich history and her famous sons, many who have played or currently play baseball for Major League Baseball in the United States. Perhaps the most famous is Félix Hernández, the Cy Young award–winning starting pitcher for the Seattle Mariners. Valencia is also home to many prestigious museums and parks. Among these, the Museum of History and Anthropology celebrates Venezuelan history from pre-Columbian times to Colonial Venezuela. Another historically significant point of interest is the Páez Mansion, which once belonged to Jose Antonio Páez, one of Venezuela's first presidents and a leader in her wars for independence.
Must see: Fernando Penalver Park is a well kept, attractive park in Valencia that is home to the Cabriales Festival, which presents live music every Sunday morning during the dry season. Plaza Bolívar is in the heart of Valencia and boasts many beautiful historic buildings and cathedrals, while Casupo Park offers hiking up the nearby mountains for a breathtaking view of the city.
Lodging: Hesperia WTC Valencia boasts 294 rooms, Atmosphera, an outdoor terrace restaurant, intimate fine dining at Orion, it's in house restaurant and dancing with city views at Sky Bar. Hesperia WTC also has an in house salon with a variety of services.
Ground Transportation: Taxi service is readily available from the airport and can take you anywhere you wish to go. Metro service is under construction but some metro stations are in service.
Packing Tips: Warmer weather, natural fiber clothes are needed, as year-round temperatures are in the 70s and 80s, and humidity can be high. Be sure to bring bug repellant, as mosquitoes are common.
Recommended Books: To better understand Venezuela and her history, Bolívar: American Liberator by Marie Arana is recommended.
Currency: The Bolívar Fuerte is the local currency.
Calling Code Venezuela: 58
Best Travel Dates: The best time to travel to Valencia is during the dry season, from December to May.