Carabobo is one of the 23
states (estados) of Venezuela, located in the north of the country, about 2 hours
by car from Caracas.
capital city of this state is Valencia, which is also the country's main industrial
The state's area is 4,650 km² and had an
estimated population of 2,227,000 in 2007.
was the site of the Battle of Carabobo on June 24, 1821. This was a decisive win in the war of
independence from Spain, and was led
Carabobo has 14 municipalities:
||Bejuma, Canoabo, Simón Bolívar
||Güigüe, Belén, Tacarigua
||Aguas Calientes, Mariara
||Guacara, Yagua, Ciudad Alianza
||Bartolomé Salón, Democracia, Fraternidad, Goaigoaza, Juan José
Flores, Unión, Borburata, Patanemo
||Candelaria, Catedral, El Socorro, Miguel
Peña,Rafael Urdaneta, San Blas, San José, Santa Rosa,
The municipalities are made up of one or more civic parishes.
Carabobo has a total of 38 parishes.
Terrain and soil
Around 75% of the region is covered by mountains that make up part
of Venezuela's Cost Mountain Range. The highest peaks are found on the north
and west of the state and south of the Valencia Lake.
The Cobalongo or Caobal peak is the highest
point of the state, at 1990 metres above sea level.
There is a central low plain around the Valencia Lake and towards
the south, where Venezuela's Llanos start.
There is a large amount of anticlinals, synclinals, diaclases,
. One of the most important is the
one of the Victoria, south of Valencia. This area has moderate
Mountains are very steep; some slopes are over 80%. On the plains,
slopes are less than 1%. In the Tocuyito area, slopes can reach
There are a group of small islands
Puerto Cabello. The main ones are Isla Larga, Isla Santo Domingo,
Isla Alcatraz and Isla del Rey. Isla Larga is the largest and is
1855 metres long. It makes part of the San Esteban
There are also a couple of islands on Lake Valencia. Some more have
disappeared after the rise in sea level
since the 1970s. Isla del Burro
("Donkey Island") is the
largest island of the lake.
Carabobo's soils are fertile. Entisole soils predominate (above all
Fluvents and Orthents). There are also threats of vertisoles with
suborders of Usterts.
Fauna and flora
Entrance to Casupo Park
Valencia lake from a satellite
typical in Carabobo include: bengalí
chirulí (Carduelis psaltria
various species of humming birds
guacharaca (Ortalis ruficauda
Reptiles include green iguanas
), tigras mariposa
(Bothrops venezuelensis) and boas
constrictor. There are also coast crocodiles
(Crocodylus acutus), which are under threat.
has a typical tropical vegetation, including prosopis, apamates (Tabebuia rosea), camorucos, mahogany, cedars, guamos Carabobo
palm, and Samanea
On the coast there mangroves
like the red
, as well as
Lake and several main rivers are very polluted.
A large volume of residual water
pours into them without any processing. In the mid-20th century,
people could still bathe Valencia Lake. There have been various
projects for improving the quality of its waters, but little
progress has been made. Sewage
are often ignored. There are some processing plants in the area of
Los Guayos, but this is far from optimal and does not cover all
possible flows into the Valencia Lake.
There are also many unofficial rubbish depots that do not comply
with international standards.The rapid demographic growth has lead
to the loss of large forest and agricultural areas. Even if many
regions around the Valencia Lake have been officially reserved for
agricultural purposes, they are often being turned into urbanized
Petroglyph in Tronconero, San Esteban
Europeans arrived to what would become Venezuela, one of the most
important cultural centres was located around the Valencia Lake.
The native Americans in the region were
hunters, gatherers, but also fishers and farmers. Many petroglyphs
and ceramics remain from this
There are signs of human presence in the Valencia region from the
fourth millennium BC onwards. Humans were also present earlier in other
areas of what is now Carabobo, like in Bejuma.
An important human settlement occurred around the Valencia Lake
between 200 and 1000 AD. These people already practiced some kind
At the end of the first millennium new populations started to
arrive from the Orinoco
region, probably via
the El Pao River. From the eighth century onwards the Orinoco
populations started to merge with the older groups. This fusion
produced what is known as Valenciode culture
.People lived in houses built on artificial mounds in the very
fruitful valleys to the East and West of the Valencia Lake. They
produced specially anthropomorphic sculptures.
Around the year 1200 the Valencoid culture reached the whole area
of the Valencia Lake basin, the centre of Northern Venezuela and
several islands in the Caribbean. The Indians would trade see
products like the (Strombus gigas
salt (specially from the Paraguana Peninsula), turtles and fish
from coral riffs. The trade took place in villages along the
Taramainas, Tacariguas and other tribes inhabited the Valencia Lake
region when the Europeans arrived.The different groups spoke mostly
Arawac languages, but there were also several Carib groups.
The Indians grew maize, a typical product of Western South American
cultures and also Manioc, a typical product of groups from the
East. Many metates or grinding stones for maize as well
as budares for the preparation of cassava remain from those
Indians from Nirgua (now a region
between Yaracuy and Carabobo), would go to the Valencia Lake and
from there through the mountains to the Sea at the level of
Borburata to get salt.
European conquest and colonization
15th and 16th centuries
Villegas founded the town of Borburata in 1548. Seven years later,
in 1555, he founded Valencia in the central plains to the West of
the Tacarigua (Valencia) Lake.
In 1577 and 1583 the region of Valencia suffered a series of raids
by Carib tribes coming from the Low Orinoco
The Spanish troops led by Garci-González repelled and went after
During the late 16th and 17th centuries, the region suffered many
attacks by French and British
. The town of Borburata was eventually abandoned for a
long period, and settlers moved to Valencia, which was less likely
to be raided as it was a day walk from the Caribbean. Some of the
- 1555: French pirates attacked Borburata for 6 days
- 1564: British pirates led by John
Hawkins forced the Borburata settlers to buy his cargo.
- 1566: Lowell attacked Borburata
- 1567: French piates led by Nicolas Vallier invaded Borburata
and the inhabitants had to abandon the town
- 1568: John Hawkins attacked Borburata again and forced them to
buy his cargo again. The main part of that cargo was a group of 400
Africans he had captured and enslaved in Western Africa.
In 1624 Indians to the Northwest of the Valencia Lake established
the settlement of Guacara.
Attacks by English and French pirates continued during a great part
of the century. In 1659, the English pirate Myngs plundered
Cabello on a raid that had taken him to Cumaná and later
In 1677, Valencia was plundered by French pirates, who
burnt down the Ayuntamiento
or "City Hall" and destroyed
most historical documents.
At the beginning of 1694, the governor of Venezuela, Francisco
Berroterán, declared the growing Guacara
and San Diego
, "towns of Indians".
Guipuzcoana de Caracas
, a company organized by Basque
entrepreneurs, received the monopoly of trade between Venezuela and
the rest of the world. In that context, the company built in 1730
the haven of what would become Puerto Cabello.
In 1800, German
scientist Alexander von Humboldt
area in his South American trip.
Carabobo Battle painted by Tovar y
Monument to the Motherland on the
Venezuela's independence was declared on 19 April 1810 in the Casa
de la Estrella, in Valencia. The Independence act was signed there
the next year, 5 July.
Several very important battles between Spanish royalist forces and
the pro-Independence troops under Bolivar took place in the
Carabobo region. The most important was the Battle of
Carabobo, fought on 24 June 1821 and considered a key battle
in the struggle for Venezuelan independence.
battle, what was left of the Spanish forces holed up in the San
Felipe Castle in Puerto Cabello until 10 November 1823, when they
surrendered and left Venezuela.
Post-colonial times and civil war period
On 6 May 1830 the Congress of Valencia takes place. There,
Venezuela declared the independence from the Great Colombia and
Valencia was declared Venezuela's capital.
On 29 March 1832 the central government created the province of
Barquisimeto from a part of Carabobo.
In 1858, during the March Revolution, Valencia became again capital
On 27 April 1881 the central government reforms the administrative
divisions and creates the state of Carabobo, which at that time had
a part that later was given to Yaracuy.
During World War II
, the crews of
several Italian ships and one German ship took refuge on the Puerto
Cabello bay. On 31 March 1941, they set fire to their ships to
prevent US troops from capturing them. A big fire in the haven of
Puerto Cabello ensued. Several hundred marines were captured. Many
of the Italians eventually would decide to settle down in
In the second half of the 20th century, Carabobo experienced a
population explosion. Many immigrants arriving from Europe to
Venezuela after WW2 settled down in Valencia and surrounding areas.
From the 1970s onwards, immigration came mainly from other Latin
The first local elections for governors took place in 1988. Salas
Römer became elected governor of Carabobo.
After the Vargas flood of 1999, thousands of homeless people from
that area moved to Carabobo and settled in slums in the Naguanagua
and Valencia regions.
Since 1999 and specially after 2004, Carabobo suffered a dramatic
increase in crime. The state is now one of the areas with the
highest murder rates in Venezuela.
's proposal for
constitutional reform was defeated in Carabobo during the 2nd
December 2007 referendom by 52.82% of the population.
On 24 November opposition Salas Feo was elected as new governor of
North of Valencia
The most important industries in Carabobo include food processing
, galvanizing, chemical, petrochemical,
metal-mechanic, car assembling
liquified gas, ceramics
factories. The industrial centres are located in southern Valencia
and in Guacara. The state-owned petrochemical and oil
industrial complex of PDVSA (Complejo de
Refinería El Palito) is located on the western coast, close to
Morón. A major oil distribution centre is in
The region is seat to important shopping and entertainment centres.
Tourism, mainly local, plays an important role.
Carabobo has very productive soils for agriculture. There are
important areas for farming in the North and South of the Valencia
Lake. Unfortunately, high urbanization has led to the loss of very
valuable lands that could otherwise be used for cultivations.
There are many farms of pigs and cows, specially to the South of
the Valencia Lake and on the Western part of the state.
Fortín Solano, Puerto Cabello
- Valencia's historical centre and parks
- Valencia's Aquarium or
Acuario de Valencia, which contains a large amount of endemic fish,
as well as pink dolphins,
an insectarium and a small zoo with animals proper to Venezuela.
University of Carabobo
The main university in the region is the University of Carabobo
, with around
40000 students.There are also a series of private universities and
- Universidad Arturo Michelena
- Universidad José Antonio Páez.
- Universidad Tecnológica del Centro.
- Colegio Universitario Padre Isaías Ojeda (CUPIO)
- Universidad Nacional Experimental Politécnica de la Fuerza
Armada (Núcleos en Valencia y Puerto Cabello).
- Universidad Nacional Experimental Simón Rodríguez (Decanato
Valencia y Nucleo Canoabo)
- Instituto Universitario de Tecnología Valencia
- Universidad Santiago Mariño
- Universidad Alejandro Humboldt
Science and Technology
Among the main research centres Carabobo counts with FUNDACITE
(Foundation for the Development of Technology in Carabobo) as well
as the University of Carabobo,specially the Faculty for Science and
Atheneum of Valencia
Festivities of the Day of the Flowers
Fish with Tostones
Carabobo's folklore shows the influence of Native American,
European and African components, as in most of Venezuela.The
coastal regions have many traditions heavily influenced by African
traditions. The mountain regions have rather European and Native
-based music is very popular in the towns
along the coast, from Morón to the Patanemo area.On the 23rd June,
those towns celebrate the cult to San Juan Bautista
(Saint John the Baptist
village of Borburata is specially known for its festivities.
The town of Yagua has a Festivity of the Flowers (Fiesta de las
) starting with a procession to the nearby mountain,
with a parade
where the most different flower
motives are shown through the village and the usual town
Carabobo's cuisine shares many components with other Venezuelan
regions, like Cachapas
The main newspapers
of the region are
The main channels of the region re NCtv
The journalistic web page is ACN - Agencia
Carabobeña de Noticias
(Carabobo's News Agency)
- Antonio Herrera Toro,
- Braulio Salazar, painter.
- Arturo Michelena, painter.
- Aldemaro Romero, musician
- Italo Pizzolante,
- Vicente Gerbasi, poet.
- Renny Ottolina, TV
Montejo, poet (born in Caracas, but studied
and lived specially in Valencia)
- Guillermo Tell Villegas,
interim president of Venezuela.
- Hermógenes López,
interim president of Venezuela.
- Luis Pérez Carreño,
physician, creator of the Clinic for the Poor Children.
- Robert Machado, MLB player for the Chicago
White Sox, Montreal Expos,
Seattle Mariners, Chicago Cubs, Milwaukee Brewers, and the Baltimore Orioles.
- Ruben Quevedo, MLB player for the
Chicago Cubs and Milwaukee Brewers.
- Pablo Sandoval, MLB player for
the San Francisco Giants.
-  INE]
- Proyecciones Estados
- Environmental report of the Faculty of Engineering
of the University of Carabobo
- Historia de Valencia
- Historia precolombina en Notitarde
-  Cultura valencioide, Andrzej Antczak und
Ma. Magdalena Mackowiak de Antczak]
-  Inter ethnic relationships of Venezuelan
Indians (in Spanish)
-  Pirates in Venezuela]
- Constitutional referendum in Carabobo
- Fundacite en Carabobo
Faculty of Science and Technology