Puerto La Cruz to Araya, route #3: strolling along the Amazing eastern coast of the country.

Puerto La Cruz to Araya: The northern metropolitan area of the state of Anzoátegui, which includes the cities of Barcelona, Lecherias, and Puerto La Cruz, is one of the most important tourist areas in Venezuela. These three cities on the coast of the Caribbean Sea offer great tourism infrastructure, with excellent hotels, incredible national and international restaurants, and a wide range of shopping options.

This makes this area an important starting point for any adventure in the eastern part of the country, and on this occasion, along with the team from XploreVenezuela.com, we are going to undertake our route number 3: from Puerto La Cruz to Araya. A journey of approximately 250km that can take about 3-4 hours to complete, making it ideal to be done in two days, spending a pleasant night in one of the Inns located in the area.

Early in the morning, we prepared to depart from Lecherias, and after checking the vehicle thoroughly to minimize any potential incidents during the journey, we began our route along Daniel Camejo Avenue in Lecherias, which connects us to Paseo Colon Avenue. Crossing the city of Puerto La Cruz, we head towards Cumana via Troncal #9. The stretch of Troncal 9 from Puerto La Cruz to the city of Cumana consists of a series of curves bordering the mountains on one side and the Caribbean Sea on the other.

Along this stretch, we will pass through small towns such as Guanta, Santa Fe, and Mochima. The views of Mochima National Park and all its islands, such as Arapo, Chimana, El Faro, and Los Monos, are incredible. We also pass by picturesque beaches like Playa Conoma, Vallecito, Colorada, and Santa Cruz, all with fine sand and coconut trees providing shade for those who enjoy them. If you prefer, you can also reach the town of Mochima where you can take a boat ride around the islands and enjoy one of the beaches there, all with white sand and clear waters, ideal for spending the entire day relaxed and enjoying the Caribbean.

We arrive in Cumana, the first city founded on mainland Venezuela. The history of this city is incredible, but we will leave that for another article on our blog so that we can give it the attention it deserves. For now, we’ll just stop by the Cristobal Colon Avenue to enjoy some delicious empanadas and fresh orange juice for breakfast, overlooking the Gulf of Cariaco and the coasts of the Araya Peninsula, our next destination.

After such a deserved breakfast, we continue eastward along Troncal 9, skirting the Gulf of Cariaco and continually amazed by the views along the way. Gradually, we come across small villages such as Mariguitar, San Antonio del Golfo, and Cariaco, each with its own peculiar colors reflecting the coastal life where fishing is the main livelihood. Cariaco is where we leave Troncal 9 to head north towards Chacopata/Punta de Araya and start our journey along the Araya Peninsula.

The first part of this route involves following the coastline of the Caribbean Sea, passing through the villages of Campoma and Morahal. At a certain point, we begin to veer towards the sea and arrive at the beaches of El Rincon del Pelicano and Zalaya. From here, we head westward, always keeping the Caribbean coast to our right and the mountains of the peninsula to our left, passing through small deserted beaches and fishing villages until we reach a detour towards the town of Chacopata.

Chacopata is one of the most important fishing villages on the peninsula, where we can observe the Chacopata Cape and La Punta Beach. With clear skies, if we look out to sea, we can see the islands of Coche and Margarita, part of the state of Nueva Esparta, which we will also focus on in the future for other articles.

We continue our journey along the coast to the west, passing through other fishing villages such as Caimancito, Taguapire, and El Guamache, until we reach our destination, the community of Araya. As we approach the town of Araya, we begin to see enormous pink pools, the Araya Salt Flats, one of the largest in the country.

Also, what catches our attention upon arrival are the ruins of the Santiago de Arroyo de Araya Fortress, better known as the Araya Castle. A Spanish fortress from the 18th century built by the engineer Juan Bautista Antonelli to protect the area from pirates and the Dutch, guarding the Araya Salt Flats, which at the time were one of the largest in the New World and the main economy of the region.

Courtesy of tucentralonline.com

There are several beaches in this part of the peninsula where you can enjoy a well-deserved rest after completing the journey. You’ll also find several seaside restaurants specializing in seafood from the region. Between Punta Arenas and Punta de Araya, you’ll also find different inns where you can spend the night comfortably in air-conditioned rooms, with breakfast included in most of them. Some of these inns are:

  • Lagunasal Inn: It offers distinguished visitors and tourists comfortable single, double, triple and quadruple rooms with console air conditioning, cable TV and private bathroom, as well as a clean and quiet environment to rest.
  • Araya Mar Inn: Calle Castillo Sector Lisboa, frente a la playa. Península de Araya. Sucre
  • Araya Wind Inn: Sector Lisboa. Calle El Castillo, Araya 6102 Venezuela
  • Paulina Mar Inn: Calle Comando, sector El Castillo, Araya, municipio Cruz Salmerón Acosta.
  • Haraia Inn: +58 424 806.0951
  • Villa Bonita Inn: Calle La Plaza, Araya 6102, Sucre
Courtesy Posada Araya Wind

For those adventurous souls seeking a thrilling escape, consider camping along the picturesque beaches of the peninsula. This region boasts both safety and abundant camping opportunities, especially during peak seasons when fellow explorers dot the coastline with their tents. Having personally embarked on this journey multiple times, I can attest to the enchanting allure of waking up to the gentle glow of sunrise on the ocean’s edge. It’s an unparalleled experience that invigorates the soul and fosters a deep connection with nature. So pack your gear, embrace the unknown, and let the waves serenade you into a realm of pure serenity and discovery.

puerto la cruz to araya

When it comes to our journey back to Puerto La Cruz, we’re presented with two distinct options to explore. The first is retracing our steps along the familiar path we traveled to Araya. Alternatively, we can opt for a scenic ferry ride departing from Araya, transporting us to Cumana, from where we’ll seamlessly transition onto Troncal 9, guiding us back to our destination in Puerto La Cruz. Each route promises its own set of experiences, from the nostalgic familiarity of the known route to the enchanting voyage across the shimmering waters, offering us a chance to savor the diverse landscapes of our journey homeward.

The Araya Peninsula stands as a captivating gem for travelers, boasting a rich tapestry of history and untouched natural splendor that beckons adventurers to delve deeper into its lesser-explored corners. Beyond its surface allure lies a wealth of hidden treasures awaiting discovery, ensuring that every visit leaves a lasting impression, prompting a fervent desire to return time and again.

As you embark on your journey through this semi-desert region, be sure to equip yourself with an ample supply of water to combat the arid climate and ensure optimal hydration throughout your expedition. The importance of staying hydrated cannot be overstated, particularly in such environments where the sun’s relentless gaze can quickly sap one’s energy.

Pack your swimsuit and a cozy towel to fully immerse yourself in the peninsula’s enchanting beaches, many of which remain untouched by crowds, offering a secluded haven stretching for kilometers in every direction. Here, you can revel in the tranquility of your surroundings, with only the gentle lapping of waves as your soundtrack.

Indulge your taste buds in the culinary delights awaiting you at the local eateries scattered across the peninsula. From fresh catches of fish and succulent shellfish to traditional delicacies like arepas, tostones, and empanadas, each meal promises a savory symphony of flavors that will tantalize your palate. Wash it all down with your beverage of choice, whether it be a crisp, cold beer or a refreshing tropical concoction, as you toast to the unforgettable experiences that await you on the Araya Peninsula.

Puerto La Cruz to Araya!!

By Manu

In 1993, Manu, a bold explorer from Venezuela, embarked on a journey initially for academic pursuits. Fueled by an unquenchable thirst for adventure, he traversed an array of landscapes, diving deep into diverse cultures across the Americas, Caribbean, Africa, Asia, and Europe. His vibrant mosaic of experiences ranges from the dynamic cities of the USA to the vivid tapestries of Africa, uncovering hidden treasures in Europe and Asia, and savoring the distinct essences of the Caribbean. Throughout his remarkable journey, Manu's curiosity and open-mindedness served as his guiding star through the intricacies and wonders of the world. His voyage serves as a testament to the profound enrichment found in exploration and embracing cross-cultural understanding. Presently, he spends his days working for the world's largest entertainment company located in Central Florida, dedicating his free time to further exploration through 4X4, motorbike, and bicycle adventures.

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