Venezuela is located on the northern coast of South America, bordering the Caribbean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean in the north and northeast. The country has four distinct geographical regions: the Venezuelan Highlands, the Maracaibo Lowlands, the Orinoco Plains, and the Guiana Highlands.
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Landforms of Venezuela
Sometimes referred to as Amazônia, the Amazon Rainforest is a natural region and biome in northern South America that occupies the Amazon Basin, a drainage basin of the Amazon River and its tributaries. Nine countries have some parts of the Amazon region within their borders.
The Andes Mountains are the longest continental mountain range in the world. They form a continuous highland along the western coast of South America. The Andean Region extends from Caribbean Venezuela, through the Atacama Desert to cold, windy and wet Cape Horn.
The Guiana Shield is one of the three cratons of the South American Plate. It is a 1.7 billion-year-old Precambrian geological formation in northeast South America that forms a portion of the northern coast. The higher elevations are known as the Guiana (or Guyana) Highlands.
The Gulf of Venezuela is an inlet of the Caribbean Sea bounded by Venezuela and Colombia. It is a shipping route for the petroleum-producing Maracaibo region. The Guajira Peninsula is located in northern Colombia and northwestern Venezuela.
Lake Maracaibo is a large brackish tidal estuary and an inlet of the Caribbean Sea. Variably considered a bay or lagoon, it lies in the Maracaibo Basin of northwestern Venezuela. It is connected to the Gulf of Venezuela by the Tablazo Strait.
Los Roques is an archipelago off the northern coast of Venezuela with over 300 small islands, cays and sand banks that ring a central shallow lagoon. Los Roques Archipelago National Park was created to protect its marine ecosystem of coral reefs, mangroves and seagrass beds.
Mount Roraima is the highest of the Pacaraima Mountains, a chain of tepui plateaus in South America. It serves as the tripoint of Venezuela, Guyana, and Brazil. These tabletop mountains are considered to be the oldest geological formations on Earth.
Margarita Island, Cubagua Island, and Coche Island are the largest of 70 islands comprising Nueva Esparta state, situated off the northeastern coast of Venezuela in the Caribbean Sea. Margarita Island was discovered by Columbus in 1498 and is known as the "Isle of Pearls."
Beginning high in the Sierra Parima Mountains of Venezuela and Brazil, the Orinoco River flows in a giant arc before discharging in the Atlantic Ocean in Venezuela. Its tributaries are the major transportation system for eastern and interior Venezuela and the llanos of Colombia.
The Río Negro, the largest blackwater river in the world, is a major tributary of the Amazon. The source of the Río Negro lies in eastern Colombia's rainforests. At Manaus, the Río Negro joins the Solimões River to form the Amazon River. It is at this point that the "meeting of the waters" phenomenon takes place.