Valencia Tourist Attractions and Sightseeing

(Valencia, Carabobo, Venezuela)

It is rather surprising that Valencia isn't more of a touted tourist destination. The city offers a pleasant range of attractions, from public parks right on the edge of the city, to interesting historic sites that reflect its colonial past.

The highlight of Valencia is probably the Aquarium (Acuario), which is the largest tourist attraction of its kind in Venezuela and comes with its own collection of zoo animals. Dunas Park (Parque Dunas) is a popular amusement park with exciting rides, a water park and other fun distractions. For recreational space around the city, head to the Metropolitan Park (Parque Metropolitano) or the Cerro Casupo Municipal Park (Parque Municipal Casupo).

Aquarium and Zoo (Acuario / Fundacion Seijas)

Address: Avenida Fernando Figueredo, Valencia, Venezuela, VE
Tel: +58 0241 857 4739
Valencia's aquarium is the main tourist attraction in the area and well worth a visit, particularly if you are holidaying in the city with young children. This is currently Latin America's biggest aquarium attraction and the Acuario contains a very comprehensive collection of native fish from numerous countries, including piranhas (caribes) and eels from around Venezuela. This is the only place in the world where you can watch trained freshwater Amazon dolphins (toninas) perform a show. There is also a play area for children and even a small zoo with a decent roster of animals, such as pumas, monkeys, tapirs, turtles, caimans, exotic birds and snakes, all of which live in natural environments.
Open hours: Monday to Friday - 09:00 to 16:40, Saturday and Sunday - 10:00 to 17:30; dolphin shows Tuesday to Friday - 11:00, 14:00 and 16:00, Saturday and Sunday - 11:00, 13:00, 15:00 and 16:30
Admission: charge, discounts available for children, children aged under two years old are free

Dunas Park (Parque Dunas)

Address: Avenida Principal de Manongo, Valencia, Venezuela, VE
Tel: +58 0241 842 8907
On the northern end of Valencia is this popular amusement park. There is a wide range of things to do at the Parque Dunas, with younger kids enjoying the plentiful fairground rides and attractions. A huge miniature golf course is one highlight, as is the water park, with its fun slides and pools. You can also ride a train around Dunas Park, race each other in go-karts, go bowling and enjoy a variety of other rides. There are inflatable boats, rope slides, baseball batting and pool tables, as well as an amusement arcade. A choice of amusement park food and drinks will keep you powered up for the day.
Open hours: daily - 09:00 to 17:30
Admission: charge

Cerro Casupo Municipal Park (Parque Municipal Casupo)

Address: Parque Municipal Casupo, Four Avenidas, Valencia, Venezuela, VE
This impressive public park forms much of the north-western side of Valencia, where it is centred around the Casupo Hill (Cerro Casupo). Its vast 693 hectares / 1,712 acres is filled with rolling hills, grassy clearings and hiking trails. The locals love to come out here to take a walk along the woodland trails and riverside pathways, or to enjoy a picnic at the weekend whilst admiring the surrounding natural scenery. If you need a little exercise or want a break from the concrete of the city, then the Parque Municipal Casupo is the best bet in town.
Open hours: daily - 24 hours
Admission: free

Metropolitan Park (Parque Metropolitano)

Address: Avenida 94 Paseo Cabriales / Avenida Circuvalacion Este, Valencia, Venezuela, VE
Lying on the northern side of the city is the Metropolitan Park. Far more than just a public space to relax and take a walk, this is a comprehensive cultural entertainment centre with excellent sports facilities, including a velodrome (velodromo) cycling arena and the Gimnasio Teodoro Gubaira fitness complex. The Parque Metropolitano is also the place where the city holds its big music concerts, international festivals and other special exhibitions. On the southern side of the park is the Parque Humboldt and the Secretaria de Cultura building.
Open hours: daily - 24 hours
Admission: free

Bolivar Square (Plaza Bolivar)

Address: Plaza Bolivar, Valencia, Venezuela, VE
As with so many important Venezuelan cities, the Plaza Bolivar forms the heart of historic Valencia, with its typical arrangement of surrounding architectural gems and attractions, such as the city's cathedral. Honouring the great political and military leader Simon Bolivar (1783 to 1830), this busy public square is home to a rather prominent marble column, which towers for some 10 metres / 32 feet high and was erected at the end of the 19th century. The Plaza Bolivar was thoroughly revamped in 2010 at the cost of more than five million Venezuelan Bolivars.
Open hours: daily - 24 hours
Admission: free

Fernando Penalver Park (Parque Fernando Penalver)

Address: Avenida Paseo Cabriales, Valencia, Venezuela, VE
Directly to the north of the Parque Metropolitano, the Parque Penalver is the place where the residents of Valencia come to get their exercise. You can too, or just come out and watch the locals at play. This is a relaxing park with plenty of paths for walking, benches for sitting and other kinds of recreational attractions. There is usually something going on in the park, especially on weekends and holidays. Next-door, the Black Park Hippolyta (Parque Negra Hipólita) enjoys a pretty setting alongside the River Cabriales and contains a number of government offices, an art gallery operated by the Children's Foundation, and a statue of its namesake, Fernando Penalver (1765 to 1837), a famous independence leader in Venezuela, known for his part in the War of Independence.
Open hours: daily - 24 hours
Admission: free

National Racetrack (Hipodromo Nacional de Valencia - HINAVA)

Address: Avenida Monsenor Adams, Valencia, Venezuela, VE
The Hipodromo Nacional de Valencia is located on the easterly outskirts of the city and has long been one of the biggest horse racing tracks in the country. This racetrack was established in the 1970s and following a substantial investment of approximately 400 Venezuelan Bolivars in the early 1980s, the oval of today was created. The grounds cover more than 150 hectares / 370 acres and as well as being used for weekly horse racing, are also used for dressage training and other equestrian-related events.
Open hours: Thursday and Friday - from 18:30
Admission: free