Morrocoy National Park
Morrocoy, Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of
MARINE PROTECTED AREA
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Morrocoy National Park is located in the northwest of Venezuela, between the towns of Tucacas and Chichiriviche, at the south east part of Falcón. Its continental and sea areas include mountains, shoreline, mangrove swamps, coral reefs and little islands called “Cayos”. It has a surface area of 32,090 hectares. It was declared national park by the Venezuelan government on 26 May 1974 in order to protect it from human intervention. Flora and Fauna are considered to be very important by local administration. It is a nature reserve and a tourist attraction. People go there mostly on weekends and holidays to have beach days, see the landscape, do some water sports, etc. People can take their private boats or pay for a boat service to stroll around and get to the "cayos".
Visitors of the Morrocoy National Park have different places to go and activities to do. In the continental area there is the mountain "Cerro Chichiriviche". On the shoreline there are mangrove swamps and lakes. In the sea area, there are the little islands with white sand called "cayos". The main cayos are: Borracho, Punta Gorda, Sal, Los Muertos, Peraza, Pelón, Sombrero, Pescadores, Playuela y Playuelita, Boca Seca, Animas, Suanchez y Punta Brava. Among the activities that can be done is these areas are: beach activities, boat rides, fishing (with permission), scuba diving, swimming, picnic, sailing, etc. There is as well an island called " Isla de Aves", where research and studies related to ornithology can take place, and a cave called "Cueva del Indio" with petroglyphs. To arrive to Morrocoy National Park by car from Caracas, people can take the expressway Caracas - Morón, then go by the "Troncal 3" way in direction to the towns "Tucacas" and "Chichiriviche" and the city of Coro.
The continental area corresponds to dry tropical forest climate. There are as well plants adapted to high salinity and in some areas xerophilous vegetation like cactus. Some examples of plants that can be found are: "Olivo Caparis", "Indio desnudo" (Bursera simaruba) "Saladillo", different types of mangrove swamps (Rhizophora, Avicennia germinans, Laguncularia racemosa and Conocarpus erectus) etc.The sea vegetation includes seaweeds of various types (Fanerógama marina, Thalassia testudinum,Justicia falconensis, Aspilia falconensis, Phthirusa marítima, Lorantaceae, Pitcairnia steyermarki) some only found in this park. The fauna of the park include approximately 266 spices of birds. Among the list of birds are: "corocoras", "tijeretas de mar", flamings, pelicans, herons and much others. As well as the birds, the park has turtles, dolphins, whales, coral reefs and fishes like: "mero", "pargo", "curbina", "sábalo" and sea bass. In the continental area there are mammals like: deers, "araguatos" (a type of monkey) "cunaguaros"(a type of wild cat)and others.
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