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Venezuelan Amazon Rainforest

The Amazonas state, located in southern Venezuela, is made up of four departments within the Amazon basin: Casiquiare and Río Negro. They border in the south with the Brazilian Amazon.


Amazon-Venezuela state map

Amazonas-Venezuela state map. Source: Millennium Dark [ CC BY-SA 4.0 ]

The Venezuelan Amazon Region (RAV) is basically the Río Negro municipality which covers a little more than 30% of the state territory; however, it also includes part of the states of Bolívar and Delta Amacuro.

The capital of the Amazon state is Puerto Ayacucho, where more than 60% of the state’s population lives. Puerto Ayacucho is located at the junction of the Amazon River and the Orinoco River, which is shared with Colombia.

Flora and fauna of the Amazonas state-Venezuela

The Amazon forests are part of what has been called the “Green Lungs of the Planet.” It is one of the most impressive reserves of natural resources in the world.

Emperor’s Cane / Brightly colored flowers in the Colombian Amazon. Source: Jonathan Vélez Giraldo [ CC BY-SA 4.0 ], via Wikimedia Commons

The Amazon’s pluvial forests (rainforest) are 75 million years old. These forests have identical ecosystems along the green equatorial belt of the world that pass through Africa and Asia. The forests interact with the polar zones to maintain the climatic balance of the planet.

In just 100 km2 of jungle there are 1,500 different species of flowering plants; 750 species of trees; 400 species of birds (1,800 in the entire Amazon); 150 species of mammals;, 100 species of reptiles; and 50 species of amphibians.

amazon venezuela
White-throated Piapoco (Ramphastos tucanus cuvieri) Source: Fernando Flores[CC BY-SA 3.0] , via Wikimedia Commons

Amazonas State Tourism -Venezuela

The Venezuelan Amazon region is made up of parks and natural monuments that cover 34% of the state territory.

Original image by: Fernando Flores [CC BY-SA 3.0]

In the Venezuelan Amazon, some of the most beautiful National Parks and natural monuments are the following: Piedra la Tortuga, Serranía La Neblina, Cerro Yapacana, Duida-Marahuaca.There is also Cerro Autana (a tepui, tepuy, or table-top mountain) in southern Venezuela that is approximately 1,300 meters high. The Tobogán de la Selva is a gigantic rock slab that water passes through to form a natural slide, and there is also the natural monument Piedra de Cocuy. For other sites, see tourist places of the Amazon-Venezuela.

Gastronomy of the Amazon state

The gastronomy of the state is based on foods that are within reach. These are mainly fish but also turtle, limpet, and even tapir meat. Tapirs are important for the Amazonian ecosystem. They are threatened, and many tribes and indigenous communities considered them a sacred animal. 

In Puerto Ayacucho, as well as in the interior of the state, there are restaurants that serve typical dishes: turtle prepared in its shell; fish such as morocoto, curbina, and palometa; bocón; caribe; guabina; pavón; and lau lau. Poultry dishes consist of birds such as curassow, wild duck, turkey, and hen.

Different types of bread are also prepared. For example, mañoco that is made with bitter yucca. The processing requires native implements such as the sebucán, the ray, and the budare.

Amazonas has an abundance of fruits: pijiguao, túpiro, cocona, moriche , cupuazú, curuba, manaca, pineapples, and ceje.

The latter is collected throughout the state, especially in the valleys of the Manapire, Casiquiare, Sipapo, Cuao and Ventuari rivers. Ceje oil or extract has medicinal properties.

Traditions of the Amazon state

The customs and traditions of Amazonas come from stories. These stories center on events and knowledge significant to specific indigenous communities, and they are passed down from generation to generation.

Traditions include rituals, prayers, songs, stories, legends, and celebrations. In short, traditions are a vast and rich folklore.In the state of Amazonas-Venezuela there are 20 ethnic groups: Yanomami, Guahito, PiaroaYekuana, Yeral Curripaco, Bare, Baniva, Puinave, Piapoco, Hoti, Warequena, Yaborana—to name a few.
Young man of the Yanomami ethnic group. Original photography by: Christian Caron

Folklore presents itself in native dances and songs with musicians playing typical wind and percussion instruments.

Among the indigenous dances, there is the traditional Ye-kuana dance. This dance  uses musical instruments made of morrocoy shells as well as bamboo flutes.

The Warime Festival, which is celebrated every three years, is a custom common to different ethnic groups. The festival celebrates both a great harvest and new marriages within the community.

Also, when rains arrive during the months of May, June and July, indigenous dances are performed in Puerto Ayacucho and San Fernando de Atabapo.

Crafts in the Amazon

The crafts of the Amazonas state relate to the mythology of its inhabitants. Many crafts are made of different types of palm fronds such as moriche , cumare, seje, cucurito, and chiquichique.

In addition, soft woven fabrics are used for hammocks, bags, baby-carriers, dresses, and guayucos. There are also crafts of pottery and wood carvings.

artisan at dyer
Craft Fair in Tintorero – Craftswoman in Tintorero. Author: Genesis Garcia. CC BY-SA 3.0

Members of ethnic groups living in the Venezuelan Amazon are expert artists. They make body adornments; implements for hunting and fishing; and musical instruments.

Another craft is the pintadera. These are circular or rectangular pieces of carved wood, and they have different designs depending on their future use and function. They were often used to apply dye. Alternatively, they were used with resin as a seal.

The Venezuelan Amazon is an amazing destination to explore spectacular landscapes of both savannah and jungle. There are clear black-water rivers, waterfalls, rapids, and imposing tepuyes and hills.

Ecuadorian Amazon Rainforest

Brazilian Amazon Rainforest

Bolivian Amazon Rainforest

Peruvian Amazon Rainforest

This post is also available in: Español (Spanish)