This town is mostly of interest to business travelers: It's the region's commercial center, located 210 mi/340 km southwest of Caracas. However, Barquisimeto is often used as a base for tourists visiting nearby towns—all within an hour's drive to the west—known for marvelous handicrafts. These include Tintorero for weavings and ceramics, Quibor for ceramics, Guadalupe for wood carvings and furniture, plus stringed instruments throughout the area. If you enjoy wine, plan to visit Carora, home to the Bodegas Pomar winery (winner of numerous international awards) and a beautifully preserved historic zone.

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