Maracaibo is the second largest city in the country of Venezuela and is also the capital of the state of Zulia. More than one and a half million people live in the city which has been given the nickname of "The Beloved Land of the Sun". The area offers travelers with an exciting view of South American history and has long been a tourist destination for many travelers.
Maracaibo is built on the western side of beautiful Lake Maracaibo and has a sense of isolation from the rest of the world. The city is rich in history as it has been founded by three different peoples. The Germans founded and named the region in 1529 but later evacuated the area. Alonso Pacheco also attempted to colonize Maracaibo but with similar results. Captain Pedro Maldonado finally established a lasting city in 1574 for Spain. The Maracaibo Basin is rich in oil fields which makes it a popular site among businessmen and governments. For many years the city was only accessible by boat travel across the lake as the city was isolated from other societies. This allowed for the culture of the region to be untainted for many years.
Today, Maracaibo is a commercial hub of South America and is comprised of two municipalities: Maracaibo in the north and San Francisco in the south. The city also provides students with La Universidad del Zulia, considered by many to be the best university in all of Venezuela. Tourists are always treated to the rich culture of Maracaibo which has influenced much of the Venezuelan food, living arrangements, fashion, and customs. The original inhabitants of the region are known as Maracuchos and can easily be recognized by their heavy Spanish accents.
Sporting events in Maracaibo offer visitors with the opportunity to witness the athleticism of Venezuelans. The country has long provided American sporting leagues with talented athletes in sports such as baseball, basketball, and soccer. In 2000, the little league organization from Maracaibo defeated an American team from Texas to win the Little League World Series.
Maracaibo is known for its diversity and many citizens are immigrants from distant countries such as Spain, Germany, Italy, Brazil, and many Latin American countries. All visitors feel warmly welcomed when traveling throughout the city of Maracaibo.
The region boasts some of the warmest weather in Venezuela and high temperatures average around 31 degrees Celsius while average low temperatures are about 24 degrees Celsius. These temperatures do not vary much during the year because of the city's location around the equator.
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