Colonia Tovar



Set in a high, steep valley 45 mi/70 km west of Caracas, this village was settled in 1843 by immigrants from Germany. Accessible only by mule trails until 1963, the town was so remote that it was virtually impossible to reach and so insular that marriages outside the community were forbidden until the 1940s. Today a narrow, paved and scenic (in parts) road leads from Caracas to the town, which is often jammed with visitors. Most people go to savor the cool climate and to dine on traditional German food. Be sure to try the excellent homemade jams and sausages. Venezuela's first beer was brewed in Tovar and is still a local specialty. Souvenir, pottery and handicraft shops line the street. The whole town is very touristy but fun. Nearby are some petroglifos, or indigenous rock paintings. For a relaxing escape, visit on weekdays when there are fewer tourists, but be aware that many shops are closed then.

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