Barquisimeto is the capital of Lara state. The city is located in a mountain valley at the northern end of the Cordillera de Mérida mountains in western Venezuela, about 360 km from Caracas.
According to computerdo, it was founded in 1552. Today, Barquisimeto is the fourth largest city in Venezuela. and a major agricultural center, which is surrounded by fertile valleys with coffee plantations, fields of sugar beets, potatoes and other agricultural crops. The main attractions of the city are the 75-meter Obelisk, erected in 1952 in honor of the 400th anniversary of the founding of the city, the Cathedral of the mid-20th century, the Historical, Archaeological and Paleontological Museums and the monument of the Divine Shepherdess (La Divina Pastora), depicting the Virgin Mary with a baby in her arms surrounded by sheep. The monument is a copy of the statue of the Divine Shepherdess, especially revered in these places, which is kept in the nearby village of Santa Rosa. Every year in January, the statue of the Virgin Mary is carried along the road from the village of Santa Rosa to the Cathedral of Barquisimeto. Several million pilgrims take part in this procession. Barquisimeto is known as the “musical capital” of Venezuela, because in every square of the city you can listen to the performances of numerous local musical groups.
Southwest of Barquisimeto lies the Quibor Valley, famous for its traditional crafts. Here you can buy a variety of souvenirs: rugs, hammocks, wood and clay products. Northwest of Barquisimeto, the city of Carora is interesting (Carora), famous for its colonial architecture. Carora’s cobbled streets are lined with the early 17th century church of San Juan Baptista (John the Baptist), the Calvari Chapel, the Casa Lara Library, and many colonial-style houses.
Barquisimeto is surrounded by 5 national parks. To the south of the city are the Yacambu National Park, El Guache National Park, Terepaima National Park and Tirgua General Manuel Manrique National Park, and to the north is the Cherro Sarosh National Park (Cerro Saroche National Park). The national parks of Yacambu, Guache and Terepaima are located on the slopes of the northernmost spurs of the Cordillera de Mérida mountains. Mountain forests (about 600 species of plants in total), river banks that are important for this agricultural region, several hundred species of birds, including rare craxs, and many mammals, including rare spectacled bears, are protected here. In addition, picturesque waterfalls are interesting in Guache National Park, Lake Blaquito (Laguna El Blanquito) with campsites and specially equipped picnic areas in Yacambu National Park, and go to Terepima National Park to look at various types of orchids. Tirgua National Park is located on the slopes of another mountain range – the Coastal Andes. It is designed to protect the biodiversity of the banks of the Tirgua River flowing in these places. The arid foothills of the Andes are protected in the Cherro Sarosh National Park. Mostly xerophytes grow here.
To the east of the Cerro Sarosh is the state of Yaracuy, where the Andes Coast and the Cordillera de Mérida meet. The state capital is San Felipe. It was founded in 1729 by the Capuchin monks. In 1812, an earthquake occurred here, as a result of which most of the city was destroyed. Today, the ruins of the old city can be seen in El Fuerte Park. In the vicinity of San Felipe is located the Park of Exotic Plants – one of the most beautiful and extensive parks in Venezuela. The park contains about 250 species of tropical plants from different regions of the world. In addition to the abundance of plants, the landscape design of the park, made with the participation of the French architect Toze, is truly amazing. Also in the park is a restored monastery, founded in 1720 by one of the Capuchin missionaries. Now there are several restaurants famous for their cuisine, and a small museum. Small sightseeing cars and horse-drawn carts run around the park. Also, you can walk through the park on foot.
North of San Felipe, on an area of 23,670 hectares in the Andes Coastal, is the Yarubi National Park. (Yarubi National park). The park is designed to protect the ecosystems of the coast of the river of the same name, which is the main source of fresh water for the city of San Felipe. Here you can see many orchids and humid “foggy” forests, which are home to ocelots, tapirs and possums and more than 60 species of birds.