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The Republic of Venezuela is the sixth largest country in South America, but in variation, its landscape rivals that of the much larger countries like Brazil and Argentina. In fact, comparing its geography really does not do it justice: the country is simply unique. Anyone who has ever seen a tepuis rising above Venezuela's Gran Sabana can testify that there is nothing really like it, anywhere.

Venezuela lies at the northern extreme of South America, bordered by Colombia to the West, Brazil to the South, Guyana to the East, and the Caribbean Sea to the North. In all, the country is just over 900,000 square kilometers and divided into 23 states. Its borders seem to hold all of South America in miniature: there are fine stretches of the Andes, huge areas of Amazonian rain forests, fertile plains known as llanos, miles of Caribbean shoreline, and even a small desert. The nation also has a few geographical superlatives, including the world's highest waterfall and South America's biggest lake.

Venezuela is as much a Caribbean country as it is a South American one. Parts of its shoreline could easily be mistaken for that of some paradisiacal Caribbean island, and at night, the discos in Caracas come alive with rhythms from all over the Caribbean.


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