Main Page | See live article | Alphabetical index


The Venezuelan State of Zulia is located in the Northwestern part of the country. A quick look at the map of South America shows the large Lake Maracaibo. The lake is the largest body of water of this type found in South America and the Lake Maracaibo Basin covers one of the largest oil and gas reserves in this hemisphere.

A long and mostly uninhabited border separates Venezuela from Colombia to the North and West from the Guajira Peninsula to the mountains of Perija. The Venezuelan Andean States of Tachira, Merida and Trujillo border Zulia State at the Southern end of Lake Maracaibo and finally the States of Lara and Falcon complete the boundaries of Zulia.

This is the remarkable territory that has brought enormous oil wealth to the country, creating today's Venezuela.

The name Venezuela also comes from the Lake Maracaibo area. Spanish Conquistadors sailing into this area found the indigenous peoples living in communities of huts supported by stilts along the shores of the Lake over 500 years ago and promptly named this new territory "little Venice" or Venezuela.