Traveling through Coro, Morrocoy, Valencia and Maracay

Morrocoy Travel Blog

 › entry 4 of 6 › view all entries
Desert in Coro
So much to say. Now that I’m taking a moment to step back and reflect on this opportunity – I am realizing how fortunate I am for this astounding experience. My number one priority still remains the same, learning Spanish. I want it, bad. Whether it is a tool I can use for a future job or just to speak in another language, it is where my head is right now. Fortunately, minus the studying of grammar, nouns, and vocabulary the rest is just conversing. Although it can be frustrating to not be able to express myself in the same intensity and capacity as I can with my foreign tongue, it is extremely rewarding and fun to recognize the progress.

The 5th of July is Venezuela’s Independence Day. So a couple friends and I have been traveling the past few days. Unlike Europe, trains are extremely rare in most of South America and to my knowledge, nonexistent in Venezuela.
shopping district of Valencia
Bussing around is the common means of transportation everybody does it. We left Merida on a bus around 7pm for a 12 hour bus ride to the city of Coro. The seats reclined and there was leg support which made sleeping for most of us fairly easy. The cost of the bus ride was 45,000 Bolivar’s, which when converted back to an excellent black market exchange rate, cost me about $12US. As you may know, unlike most other currencies, Venezuela does not allow there currency to float freely. They have declared there ~2150 of their currency to equal $1US dollar. Because of this, a black market is in existence and locals are willing to pay a premium (up to 80%) to exchange there (risky) currency for a more stable one. I was able to get 3700 at the Caracas airport. That is an awesome deal which took some serious negotiation.
Hike in the enchanting Henri Pettier National Park


Anyways, Coro was a fairly interesting smaller town with an extremely friendly community, however we didn’t stay long. After eating a few empanadas on the street, we went for a small gold sanded desert. As Grossman would say, it was like a joke. You have yourself a typical smaller town and then out of nowhere, they have a small desert-like area in the northeast part of there city. We made it there by about 9 am, but by 10:30 we were getting pounded by the sun and none of us had a compass. Shortly after exploring the town, we took another bus to Chichiriviche, a nothing special town but a necessity to get to several fantastic islands. We negotiated to have a guy transport us out on his fishing boat for thirty minutes to Cayo Sombrero.
Interesting tree in Parque Nacional de Henri Pettier
We brought the bare necessities to the island and therefore I didn’t have my camera. However in short, the white sand, palm tree’d beach surrounded light green water made snorkeling a treat. We camped out on the beach that night and awoke shortly before 6am to watch the sunrise. We made friends with an older Columbian woman from Calí who hooked us up with some sweet bread for breakfast as there was no food on the island until later. I went for a solo walk along the beach afterwards. It was peaceful and invigorating. I bumped into an older Jewish couple from France and Morocco who now live in Venezuela. They said many Jews are leaving or have left Venezuela for the unsettled political climate and unwelcoming of Jews in the country. This is a shame as at one time there was a tight knit community of well over 10,000.
Parque Nacional de Henri Pettier
Surprisingly she said many have migrated to Mexico, Israel, and then throughout the states. I befriended a girl my age from Maracaibo, Venezuela and we hung out for most of the afternoon.

We had a boat transport us to town and then we took a 2 hour bus to Valencia the third largest city in Venezuela after Caracas and Maracaibo. Every single bus and most taxi’s in all of Venezuela have enormous Kevin Goldberg sound systems. Its really quite funny, you hop onto a 1982 multicolored retired school bus and inside it has 4 subwoofers and plenty of speakers throughout. The drivers will pump Salsa, Meringue, and Reggaeton and drive recklessly like it’s a game. Even back here in Merida, all the small local buses that I take everyday have sound systems and don’t hesitate to crank them.
traveling mate from England, Murray.


The four of us split a very basic 4 bed room for less than $5 US a person. We were glad to have a shower and looked forward to catching up on rest in beds. Valencia is a faster paced city and the speed in which most speak is also faster. We were all appreciative of the people of Merida during those conversations. Although everyone in Valencia and everyone in Venezuela for that matter has been extremely welcoming and helpful despite the disagreements between our governments. We didn’t spend as much time as I would have liked in Valencia, but we did catch a few minutes of a service in a beautiful 18th century Roman Catholic church. Saturday we went to Maracay (not Morocoy) and enjoyed the beautiful Henri Pettier National Park.
The roots of MLB baseball.
We went on a rewarding hike filled with mist in which had reminded us of a rainforest. It reminded me how much I love the solitude that nature can provide. My British friend Murray is shown in one of the pictures from our hike.

After, we took a bus back to Valencia to grab dinner and watch the Venezuela/Uruguay futbol match that didn’t turn out in our favor. Following, we bumped into three cute girls in a pickup truck that gave us a ride to the bus station for our 7th bus in four days. 10 hours later, we were back in Merida. The night buses aren’t bad, because of their comfort and ease of resting.

When I went to buy my guitar a week or so ago, looking for directions to the store, I chatted with a girl from here. We got together tonight in one of the local plazas. I brought my Spanish dictionary and she brought her English dictionary – it was pretty funny. Afterwards we saw Oceans 13 which was pretty good. Movies are a great language opportunity because of the subtitles.

As my Spanish has gained a bit of momentum, I enjoy chatting more with my family here. The parents are very warm and patient. Although it seems as though my mom wants to get me hooked on the delicious café we have large volume of. I can’t sit around without her bringing me food continuously. Also, she does my laundry behind my back. With most meals we have Batidas, something like a smoothie. Our freezer is filled with various cut up fruits. Each day, she makes a different Batida which is overwhelmingly refreshing, healthy, and delicious. I might have to get the old Jack Lalanne juicer going once I come back.
Join TravBuddy to leave comments, meet new friends and share travel tips!
Desert in Coro
Desert in Coro
shopping district of Valencia
shopping district of Valencia
Hike in the enchanting Henri Petti…
Hike in the enchanting Henri Pett…
Interesting tree in Parque Naciona…
Interesting tree in Parque Nacion…
Parque Nacional de Henri Pettier
Parque Nacional de Henri Pettier
traveling mate from England, Murra…
traveling mate from England, Murr…
The roots of MLB baseball.
The roots of MLB baseball.
Morrocoy
photo by: sethmiller