Paria in Venezuela

The history of Paria

The Paria region is located in the northeastern coast of Venezuela. This area covers approximately 145 square miles and belongs to Sucre state, whose capital is the coastal city of Cumana. Historians believe that Columbus first landed in what today is Venezuela via the Paria region. In a letter that he wrote to the King of Spain in 1498, Columbus spoke of this region “the land of grace”, although the area's name was subsequently changed to Paria, the name used by the indigenous people of the region. In 1738, a mission was established in the village of Macuro, where Columbus is thought to have set foot first. A century and a half later, Macuro became an important trading hub thanks to the creation of a port, which exported cocoa and cotton harvested in Paria. Nowadays, Paria is a popular tourist destination for visitors interested in beach life and the outdoors.

The weather in the Paria peninsula

Like most of Venezuela, the Paria peninsula is characterised by its tropical weather, which is typically warm and humid all year round. Average temperatures in the Paria region range between 15° C and 26° C (59°F to 78°F), although these can drop in the early mornings and in the evenings in the mountainous areas of Patao and Cerro Humo. In the coastal areas, it is not uncommon to see the temperatures reach 85°F in the daytime. The weather in the Paria peninsula is affected by rainfall. The wet season runs between June and late October, and at this time heavy rains and thunderstorms are common in the area, although they only last a few hours and are quite predictable. The majority of tourists choose to visit the area during the dry season (November to May), particularly those interested in pursuing outdoor activities.

Nature and animals in the Paria region

A large percentage of the Paria region is a protected area that falls within the jurisdiction of the Paria Peninsula National Park, created in 1978. The park was created with the objective of creating a safe environment for the fauna and flora of the peninsula, much of which is endemic to this area. There are two distinct habitats in the Paria region: dry tropical forests and pre-montane wet forests. This area is known for its biodiversity, both in terms of fauna and flora. The plants and trees found in the Paria region are similar to those found in the Amazon, although approximately 29 per cent of all plant species in Paria can only be found there. The cloud forests of Paria are home to many species of ferns, orchids, and pineapple trees. The vegetation in Paria is dense and therefore provides a suitable habitat for numerous animal species. It is believed that there are more than 360 bird species in the region, as well as mammals like sloths, anteaters, howler monkeys, armadillos, jaguars, dolphins, and humpback whales.

About Rio Caribe

Rio Caribe is a fishing town and the gateway to the most remote part of the Paria region. The town was founded by the Spaniards in 1713, and some beautiful examples of colonial architecture have been preserved to this day. Popular tourist activities in Rio Caribe include sunbathing, swimming, visiting cocoa plantations, and going on fishing trips.

About Playa Medina

Playa Medina is one of the best-rated beaches in Venezuela, but due to its relative inaccessibility and isolation it remains a quiet and remote destination. This crescent-shaped beach is fringed by tall coconut trees and flanked by two hills covered in exuberant vegetation. The small settlement in Playa Medina consists of a few cabanas and eateries serving freshly caught fish and seafood, along with other typical Venezuelan dishes. Fishing trips can be easily arranged here, and the beach is popular with surfers at certain times of the year.