You’ve voted on the frontside…now the flipside:
Because this accident of nature happens to be on our side of the border, it should be celebrated as the quintessential natural thing to be proud of. Also, Disney’s Up is based on it. #HatersGonnaHate
12The Guri Dam
A really awesome feat of Venezuelan engineering. Back when inaugurated it was the largest dam in the world and is still the fourth largest. And unlike many other candidates on this list, we actually built the thing!
11Puente General Rafael Urdaneta
Literally The Bridge Over The Lake, this construction has inspired more gaitas and pride in maracucho folk than the General it is named after. Its eight and a half kilometers make more famous American counterparts like the Golden Gate and the Brooklyn bridges seem like Lego scales of this behemoth. Amazing someone had the vision to propose this bridge in a serious tone.
10Relámpago del Catatumbo
Or should we say, bat-shit-crazy-never-ending thunderstorm. It’s one of the most breathtaking places on the planet, and a spectacle to anyone who’s ever seen it in person. Epileptics be warned: it gets pretty flashy, mighty quick.
9Universidad Central de Venezuela
The current facilities occupied by the UCV are considered by UNESCO as a cultural heritage site, and by us as home of the encapuchados. Were it not for a government that doesn’t really understand the importance of this, and it’d be way better kept up. Still, it’s a gem worth visiting, large enough to hold over 80,000 students, two professional sporting facilities, the Aula Magna, as well as the occasional political demonstration. Just keep your belongings in your pockets.
The national tree and what makes every doña blush with glee when it flourishes. Its yellow leaves make it stand out of any landscape and any forest. It’s also the source of inspiration for every single painting grandmas hang in their living room. Seriously, it’s an epidemic.
7Oil Well Barroso II
This place, on the eastern shore of Lake Maracaibo, was the epicenter of the eruption that changed Venezuela forever. We became headlines worldwide and a subsequent destination for many foreigners keen on investing in us. We went from campurusos to industrial nuts in a matter of three decades, and it all started there.
6The National Orchestra System
One of the brightest milestones in Venezuela’s history was turning a social program into a model of what music can achieve when properly managed. Nowadays, hundreds of thousands of children are part of this “aguaguarapo” of a project. Them playing el Alma Llanera is more Venezuelan than a Vaca Mariposa playing el Cuatro after eating an arepa, on a chinchorro in Zaraza. Now say that last sentence three times without running out of air.
5Complejo Parque Central
The highest skyscrapers in Caracas are proof of the modernity that took over Venezuela once the OPEC-created oil crisis made us filthy rich. I mean, bolichico rich. Build-twin-50-story-high-skyscrapers-out-of-concrete rich. THAT rich. They’re tall, imposing and most definitely the biggest landmark in the capital that is man-made (no flowers for you, Ávila).
We need more modern history on our bills. This was the biggest test the birth of Venezuelan democracy had to overcome, taking into account the Carupanazo, the guerrilla, and the assassination attempt Betancourt survived. In the end, over 400 people died and nearly a thousand were injured. Héctor Rondón was the other victor of this rebellion, since his now famous image won a Pulitzer Prize in 1963; the only one ever won by a Venezuelan.