IntroductionThis small fishing town has several colonial structures, including Castillo de San Carlos Borromeo, a 17th-century fort overlooking the bay. Across from the fortress is the Iglesia del Santisimo Cristo del Buen Viaje (Church of the Most Holy Christ of the Good Voyage). Sailors say the crucifix in the church came from a ship that was unable to lift anchor until it left the giant cross behind. The old Casa de la Aduana (Customs House) contains government offices and a gallery highlighting the works of local artists. The Casa de la Cultura next door also features art expositions. At Playa Pampatar, visitors arrive early in the morning to watch fishermen bring in their catches. Swimmers can explore the beach's underwater cave, which—according to legend—holds hidden pirate treasure. Pampatar also has chic restaurant-bars and shops featuring art and exotic imports. Pampatar is about 5 mi/8 km east of Porlamar.
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