Aguaro-Guariquito National Park is located in Venezuela northwest of the country’s center point. The park covers an area of 2,261 square miles (5,857 sq km) making it the sixth-largest national park in the country.
The park is comprised of diverse ecosystems that are spread out across extensive flatlands. These plains are blanketed with savanna vegetation and deciduous forests. The area is recognized as a vast tropical grassland plain locally known as a Llanos.
Additional ecosystems arise out of the abundant rivers, lagoons, and other waterways which give way to gallery forests, rainforests, and additional varied species of plant life. Although, the foundation of the park is grounded in the flat land of the plains, there are hills found within the park area.
The varied habitats provide an excellent opportunity for experiencing complementary diverse wildlife. The river is a habitat for river dolphins, river otter, and a wide variety of fish. Some of the popular species on land include the Onca tiger, the cougar, palmetto bear, giant armadillo, and a variety of monkeys.
There are a variety of bird species that add to the color and sounds of the picturesque landscape. The landscape also provides tremendous vegetation for grazing which is leveraged by ranchers who allow the cattle to feed.
The rainy season brings flooding and more challenges for enjoying the national park, whereas the dry season makes it easier to explore and increase the chances of seeing wildlife along the various waterways.
The park is extensive and reflective of the Venezuelan terrain that accounts for about a third of the country’s landscape. One of the main highlights of the park is the eclectic engagement with nature that includes savannah, riverside forests, rainforest, shallows, estuaries, and more.
Additionally, the varied habitats and warmer equator climate give way to amazing colors provided by the diverse species of flora.
Cerro Mapurite is the tallest point in the park reaching an elevation of 778 feet (237.13). There are 4 other locations in the park that reach heights of 700 feet (213.36 m) or higher. Being the tallest point in the park, it makes this a highlight for some people.
Trails of Aguaro-Guariquito National Park
Hiking is one of the ways that people engage in the diversity that is offered by the national park. Along with boat rides on the river, this is one of the main ways to experience the park.
Cerro de Manirital Trail: This is a trek about the peak known as Cerro de Manirital. The elevation gain is over 600 feet (182.88 m) and is not a difficult trek.
Cerro Punal del Norte Trail: This is another journey up the peak of Cerro Punal del Norte. The elevation gain is similar to Cerro de Manirital providing a similar type of experience trekking through the park.
Aguaro-Guariquito National Park National Park was created to protect a unique collection of the terrain and picturesque landscapes of the extensive flatlands that represent about one-third of the country’s terrain.
The park was created to secure the picturesque landscapes, diverse ecosystems, and unique wildlife for future generations.
- Landscape representation
- Rich diverse flora
- Cerro Mapurite
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- National Parks Traveler, Venezuela’s Imperiled National Parks, https://www.nationalparkstraveler.org/2019/03/traveler-special-report-venezuelas-imperiled-national-parks, retrieved September 2020.
- Peak Visor, Aguaro-Guariquito National Park, https://peakvisor.com/park/aguaro-guariquito-national-park.html, retrieved September 2020.