The natural symbols of Zulia are a set of their own and typical elements that identify this Venezuelan state, located in the west of the country. These elements are made up of species of flora and fauna and various natural monuments.
Among these symbols, the coconut tree stands out, declared a typical emblem of Zulia along with the cayenne flower and the pelican.
Natural phenomena also stand out, such as the Catatumbo lightning, the Maracaibo lake, the Sinamaica lagoon, the Olivitos swamp, the Perijá mountain range and the El Samán cave.
Likewise, the Ojo de Agua El Cardón Park, Zapara Island and the Aguaro-Guariquito National Park are also considered natural symbols of the state of Zulia.
Zulia is one of the most important states in Venezuela because it is the largest oil producer in the country. It is also a large producer of cattle (meat and milk) and various agricultural items.
The 10 main natural symbols of Zulia
1- The coconut tree
This palm tree belonging to the Arecaceae family , unique in its kind, was declared an emblematic tree of the state.
It can grow 30 meters or more. It is found on beaches that border Lake Maracaibo and other areas of the state, where it is cultivated for commercial purposes.
It has long leaves (about 3 meters) and its fruit, the coconut, is large-seeded, fleshy and juicy. It grows in this region due to the prevailing climatic conditions: high temperatures, high humidity and light soils.
2- The pelican or buchón bird
It is the typical bird of the Zulia state. It belongs to the Pelecanidae family and its main characteristic is its long beak, which has a bag that serves to keep its prey, usually fish. It is also known by the name of alcatraz.
Unlike other water birds, it has four webbed toes joined by a membrane. The pelican has the peculiarity of transforming the salt water it swallows into fresh water.
It is usually found on the shores of Lake Maracaibo. It served as the emblem of the Eleventh Bolivarian Games of 1988.
3- The cayenne
It is the typical flower of Zulia and belongs to the Malvaceae family. This Asian plant is also known by other names: cayenne, china rose, hibiscus, cucarda, sanjoaquín and papo.
The cayenne flower is produced by a shrub that can measure between 2.5 to 5 meters in height.
It has glossy green leaves and the flower comes in a variety of colors: red, pink, yellow, pure white, and orange. It is used as an ornamental flower and in some places it is eaten.
4- Lake Maracaibo
This immense body of water is the most representative symbol of the state of Zulia. It has an area of 13 820 km², which makes it the largest lake in the Western Hemisphere.
The largest reserve of light oil in the country is concentrated in its bed, and from there 80% of the national production is extracted.
All the development of this region, since its discovery in 1499, has been linked to Lake Maracaibo, as it is a maritime route par excellence for exports from the interior of the country. In its narrowest part, it is joined by the Rafael Urdaneta bridge.
It is estimated that 45 billion barrels of oil have been extracted from this lake in the last 95 years, in addition to coal deposits.
5- The lightning of Catatumbo
This spectacular meteorological phenomenon unique in the world occurs in the Catatumbo River, particularly in the town of Congo Mirador.
It produces 1.5 million electric shocks every year that can be seen up to 400 km away.
In 2005 it was declared a natural heritage site and ecologists consider it to be the main regenerator of the planet’s ozone layer. It is currently being sought to be declared a World Heritage Site by Unesco.
The electrical storms that it produces can be observed between the months of April and November, 240 nights a year in total. These can be seen from 8 at night until the wee hours of the morning.
6- The Sinamaica lagoon
It is a mirror of water that has an area of approximately 50 kilometers. The Sinamaica lagoon and its stilt houses are a natural symbol of the Zulia land.
It is located in the northeast of Lake Maracaibo and is the territory of the Añú-Paraujana ethnic group, a name that means “people of water.”
The origin of the name Venezuela is attributed to this lagoon, because the natives called it Veneciuela .
There is another version of the origin of the name of Venezuela: the conquerors Alonso de Ojeda and Américo Vespucio saw the palafitos and they remembered the city of Venice. For this reason they called this land “little Venice.”
7- The Ciénaga de Los Olivitos
This wildlife refuge and fishing reserve is a protected natural and tourist monument of the Zulia state that occupies an area of 260 km². In 1996 it was declared a Ramsar site.
It is the ideal habitat that serves for the feeding, refuge and nesting of flamingos and other endangered species. It is also considered a symbol of nature and Zulian relief.
8- The Sierra de Perijá National Park
It was declared a national park in 1978 to preserve its biodiversity. It is located in the Cordillera de Perijá, an extensive mountain range that extends over some 2,952 km².
The Sierra de Perijá National Park has heights that vary between 800 and 3500 meters, with Cerro Pintado (3650 meters above sea level) and Pico Tetari (3750 meters above sea level) being its highest almost vertical mountains.
9- The cave of El Samán
This natural space is another of the symbols of the Zulia landscape and is located within the Sierra de Perijá National Park.
It is an almost virgin cave, very little explored, in which very rare species of birds are found, such as the guácharos birds.
It is the longest cavern in Venezuela, since it stretches for 18.2 km. Inside there are 99 caves, all connected to each other.
10- The Ojo de Agua El Cardón Park
This natural park located near the town of the Ziruma Council has a vast natural wealth of flora and fauna, distributed over 92 hectares.
There are myths and legends about this place, many due to its giant tree species such as the carob and the emblematic cabimo or copaiba, which reach up to 40 meters in height.
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- Natural Symbols of the Zulia State. Consulted of notilogia.com
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