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Municipalities of Zulia
The state of Zulia or Estado Zulia is one of Venezuelamarker's 23 states . The state capital is Maracaibomarker. In 2007 it had an estimated population of 3,620,200, giving it the largest population among Venezuela's states. It is located in the northwestern part of the country. It is also one of the few (if not the only one) states in Venezuela where voseo is widely used.

The Zulia state is a federal district located northwest of Venezuela, around Lake Maracaibomarker. This lake is the largest water body of its kind in Latin America and its basin covers one of the largest oil and gas reserves in the Western hemisphere.

Zulia is a large border state, separating Venezuela from Colombiamarker in the east of the country. It is bordered to the northwest by the Guajira Peninsulamarker and the Perija mountains, to east by the states of Falcon and Lara, and to the south by the Andean Venezuelan states of Táchira, Mérida, and Trujillomarker, with Lake Maracaibo as a territorial state border.

Zulia is a territory that has brought huge wealth to the country due to its oil and mineral exploitation, but it is also one of the major agricultural areas of Venezuela, highlighting their contribution in areas such as livestock, bananas, fruits, meat and milk among others.


Lake Maracaibomarker, the largest lake in South America, lies within Zulia. The Lake Maracaibo Basin covers one of the largest oil and gas reserves in the western hemisphere. A long and mostly uninhabited border separates Venezuela from Colombia to the north and west from the Guajira Peninsula to the mountains of Perijá. Venezuela's Andean states of Táchira, Mérida and Trujillo border Zulia State at the Southern end of Lake Maracaibo and finally the states of Lara and Falcón complete the boundaries of Zulia.

The name Venezuela also comes from the Lake Maracaibo area. Spanish Conquistadors sailing into this area found the indigenous peoples living in communities of huts supported by stilts along the shores of the Lake over 500 years ago and promptly named this new territory "Little Venicemarker" (Pequeña Venecia) or Venezuela.

Due to the size of Lake Maracaibo size and geographical conformation there also exist islands of moderated extension which some are populated.


The name "Zulia" is a vocal transliteration from the chibcha aborigine origins, which is the name they called an exotic plant known as "Edging Lobelia"(Lobelia erinus), which is cultivated in Colombia as well as in Venezuela's western region for ornamental purposes, due to its beautiful blue color flowers.

It had been said that was also named after the Zulia river, which in Colombia is known as Batatas and leads into the Catatumbo River; even though another history tells that both names, river and state name came from the princess Zulia, daughter of a famous Cacique Cinera a Tribal Chief. He was an important leader of a tribal federation located in what is now Republic of Colombiamarker's Norte de Santander Department, the princess Zulia was well know due to her physical and moral qualities, formidable temper, and bravery. By the time her father dies courageously in combat against the Spaniards, a ceremonial customary funeral to honor and bury tribal leaders was held, she buried her father and swear over her father's remains to revenge his death.

Legend also tells that Guaimaral, son of the legendary Cacique Mara, was in pilgrimage near the Pamplona region, and he married the beautiful Indian Zulia, who he love deeply, but unfortunately she was killed in a battle against the conquerors. Sadly Gaimaral returns to his father's domains naming rivers, towns and regions with his beloved name.

It must be remarked that the theory that the name Zulia came from an Indigenous princess still doesn't stand a serious analysis and lack of veracity.


From Europe's point of view, Zulia was first seen in 1499 during an expedition commanded by Alonso de Ojeda. During the Spanish colonial period, its lands were part of the Venezuela Province until 1676, year in which its lands were added to the Province of Mérida del Espiritu Santo de la Grita, lately also known as Espiritu Santo de Maracaibo. In 1789 this province extended through the actual Venezuelan states of Zulia, Apuremarker, Barinasmarker, Táchira, Mérida and Trujillo. In 1810 was separated from Mérida and Trujillo. On January 28 of 1821, the Zulia province decided to obtain independence from Spain. During the Gran Colombia in 1824 received the name of "Departamento del Zulia" honoring the Zulia River. With the dissolution of the Gran Colombia in 1830, was named Maracaibo Province which was one of the 11 provinces of Venezuela during this period.

The Zulia's State category was given from the Venezuela's Federal constitution in April 22 of 1864, where the denomination of Province "Povincia" was changed to State "Estado" conforming the Estado of Maracaibo, conserving the previous Province's territory. At the end of the same year the state's legislation determined to change the name to The Sovereign State of Zulia but it just last few months last. In 1874 its name again became Zulia State. In 1881 due to federal government orders the Falcon-Zulia state was created; at this time was definitely configured its Autonomous State status until April 1 of 1890 when congress billed the separation of the Falcon-Zulia State. But suffered some conformation changes during the end of the 19th century, lastly in 1899 the actual delimitation was finally draw and the name has remain as Zulia State "Estado Zulia".


In the septentrional sector conditions of a semi arid climate prevails with an irregular pluviometric regime. With annual medial precipitation registered in Maracaibo city between 358 and 666 mm, with median temperature of 82.4 °F (28 °C). The precipitation rates increases in the western and eastern regions of Lake Maracaibo forming a tropical rain forest savanna climate, with annual average temperatures from 27° to 28° and rainfall superior than 1,000 mm, registered in Mene Grande. In the southern lake region and increase of the rainfall conforms a tropical rain forest and jungle climate, like in the El Tokuko region, with an annual average of 2,556 mm surpassing the 3,500 mm/year in the prominent heights of the Serrania de Perijamarker

Municipalities and municipal seats

Zulia is comprised by 21 municipalities (municipios):

Municipality Seat
1. Almirante Padilla El Toro
2. Baralt San Timoteo
3. Cabimas Cabimasmarker
4. Catatumbo Encontrados
5. Colón San Carlos del Zuliamarker
6. Francisco Javier Pulgar Pueblo Nuevo / El Chivo
7. Jesús Enrique Lossada La Concepción
8. Jesús María Semprún Casigua el Cubo
9. La Cañada de Urdaneta Concepción
10. Lagunillas Ciudad Ojedamarker
11. Machiques de Perijá Machiquesmarker
12. Mara San Rafael del Moján
13. Maracaibo Maracaibomarker
14. Miranda Los Puertos de Altagracia
15. Páez Sinamaica
16. Rosario de Perijá La Villa del Rosariomarker
17. San Francisco San Francisco
18. Santa Rita Santa Rita
19. Simón Bolívar Tía Juana
20. Sucre Bobures
21. Valmore Rodríguez Bachaquero

External links


  1. Dictionary of European Imperialism google Books
  2. Venezuela Barinas supreme court Historic references
  3. History of the Zulia state, lang:Spanish by Dr. Ernesto Garcia McGregor
  4. Venezuela's Gobierno en Linea web page -Perfil Zulia

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