Things to do in Maracay
Henri Pittier National Park
This was the first national park in Venezuela and opened in
1937. It is a haven
for tourists and scientists because of the mountainous regions
and the coastal plains.
The park is very
important for irrigation purposes to the country and also
contains one of the finest cocoa plantations in the world.
Set in the hot spot of the Andes Mountains, the tropical
location creates a diverse biological ecosystem that brings
scientists from around the world to study.
The "cloud" forest that sits there holds over 150
different species of trees and the nino or cucharon is the most
are over a 140 species of mammals living there, as well as 580
different species of birds, 97 reptiles and 38 various
amphibians. To make
it even more fantastic is the fact that over 1 million species
of insects live and thrive in the park area.
There are many threatened or endangered species living
there including the plain-flanked rail, yellow-faced siskin, the
red siskin, the white bellied monkey, long haired spider monkey,
bush dog, tapir, American crocodile, Veragua stubfoot toad and
the Hercules beetle.
Many species are symbols of the park and these include;
the jaguar, red howler monkey, trogon, harpy eagle and
national park itself is on the verge of endangerment because of
forest fires, hunting and pollution and finally human
Caribbean Sea is the northern boundary, and while the majority
is within the Aragua state, some is in the Carabobo state; which
makes the park the biggest protected area of the coastal
mountain range. The
elevation goes from the interior heights of the mountain range
down to the sea level which is by the sea; the cloud forest on
the mountain sides, then deciduous and semi-deciduous
forestations, savanna vegetation and along the coast thistles
and thorn bushes.
There is a gap in the mountain range known as the Portacheulo
Pass that allows the birds, insects and bats to migrate from the
It is a shame that this park is located in the confines of a
country that is very unstable and always seems to be on the
verge of revolution; because of the dictators that take over the
government in promise of better conditions for the people.
Unless a government that remains stable and consistent is
brought to rule then the condition of this forest, park, animals
and other ecological treasures could become extinct.
More emphasis needs to be placed on saving these
countries from themselves then the oil rich mega messes in the
Mideast. The only
endangered species there are the nomadic peoples that have been
fighting for centuries and regardless of who tries to come in
and change the way they run their country, the outcome will
always be the same.
It was at the end of the Korean conflict, the Vietnamese
conflict, the Iraq conflict and it certainly will be for the
For a country to go into Afghanistan, after two other
countries have fought there and left without any significant
results is bordering on either stupidity or outright lunacy.
It is your choice.
Aeronautico Colonel Luis Hernan
The museum is located on the former air
force base and the first air force military school in Aragua
state and is the only museum that is devoted to the rise of
aviation in Venezuela; and the third most important in the
continent. It is
found in the city of Maracay, Venezuela where Colonel Luis
Hernan Paredes was a civil aviation teacher in one of the old
Rodriguez was the school commandant from 1946 until 1963, when
the then Lt. Col. Paredes took over command to preserve, restore
and conserve the many kinds of flight equipment that could be
found in the country.
The official museum was started by various men in the
government in 1963 for the special purposes of saving their
Inside are over a hundred various weapons related to aircrafts
and aircrafts that were used by the Venezuelan pilots from 1920
until 1970; including a French airliner from the early 20th
century, a replica of Jimmy Angel's plane and the Holy Cow, the
plane that General Marcos Perez Jimenez left the country in
1958. There is a
statue of General Juan Vicente Gomez there which is the only one
in the city.
Hidden deep within the forests of the Henri Pittier National
Park, a strange sights awaits visitors that come here, either by
chance or by knowledge.
It is a long three storied concrete building that looks
very odd sitting in the middle of the jungle with just a dirt
path going along the front of the place.
It seems that sometime in the 1930s, Juan Vicente Gomez,
the dictator ruling Venezuela, decided that a luxury hotel
should be built here in the jungle for wealthy visitors coming
to appreciate the unique and beauty of the national forest park.
Unfortunately for him, however, he died in 1935, and
since he was using slave labor to build the hotel, everyone left
after he died. It
was never finished, although the third floor did get to a stage
of becoming a biological station to research the many wonders of
this jungle. On the
lower two floors, there are a few cots in one room, but the rest
of the area is empty with a few places where the floors have
rotted through. The
mold and fungus has taken over most of the place, although many
people have been known to stay overnight here, if they are able.
After getting permission from the authorities to do this,
the eerie feelings, the weird noises and musty strange smells
have created some very scary situations for those staying here.
It is as if the slaves that died here, are still visiting
the area in their spirit forms.
Although the strangeness of the hotel causes some concern
among the few visitors that come here, the cloud forest that
surrounds it abounds in exciting quantities of monkeys and more
exotic birds than you could find anywhere else in the world.
The rarity of many of these birds brings birdwatchers to
this area since some of the birds that are seen here, cannot be
found anywhere else.