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Venezuela's bustling capital of Caracas is situated in a beautiful valley on the country's northern coast. The city boasts some of South America's most stunning modern architecture, as well as large expanses of shantytowns, locally known as pavelas.

Apart from the Petares district, Caracas retains little of its colonial heritage, but there are some interesting sights. The city's marvelous 17th-century cathedral is situated on Plaza Bolívar, while the Santa Capilla is a neo-Gothic church that was modeled on Paris' Sainte Chapelle. It was built in the 19th century. Also worth a visit is the birthplace of Simón Bolívar, the man who liberated Venezuela, as well as Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and Bolivia from the Spanish in the 1820's. The building is known as the Casa Natal de Bolívar. The Palacio de Miraflores was the residence of former leader Joaquín Crespo. There are two lovely spots in Caracas where you can get away from all the busy traffic and pollution; the sacred Panteón Nacional, where many eminent Venezuelans are interred and the Parque Central, or Central Park, although there you will find a lot of people who also try to escape the noises and hassles of the big city.

There are countless hotels and restaurants in Caracas, many of which are located in the suburbs. Be very careful to wonder out on the streets alone there, especially at night, as mugging and petty theft are widespread. The districts of Las Mercedes, El Rosal, La Floresta and La Castellana are the best places to go if you want to experience Caraca's nightlife.

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Miscellaneous Information

Latitude:    10 30 N
Longitude: 66 56 W
Elevation:  1,042 m (3419 ft.)

Population: 5,000,000
Cost-of-living compared to Washington D.C.: 80%

Hours from UTC: -4
Daylight savings time: n/a

City phone code: 2
Country phone code: 58

Average Weather Patterns

January18.6°C (65.5°F)2.3 cm (0.91 in)
April21.4°C (70.5°F)3.3 cm (1.3 in)
July20.8°C (69.4°F)10.9 cm (4.29 in)
October21.1°C (70°F)10.9 cm (4.29 in)

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