Maracaibo, Venezuela

  • Maracaibo is a city and municipality located in northwestern Venezuela off the western coast of the Lake Maracaibo. It is the second-largest city in the country after the national capital Caracas and the capital of Zulia state. The population of the city is approximately 1,495,200 with the metropolitan area estimated at 2,108,404 as of 2010. Maracaibo is nicknamed La Tierra del Sol Amada ("The Beloved Land of the Sun").

    The name Maracaibo is said to come from the brave cacique (Indian chief) Mara, a young native who valiantly resisted the Spaniards and died fighting them. It is said that when Mara fell, the Indians shouted "Mara kayo!" (Mara fell!), thus originating the city name. Other historians say that the first name of this land in the local language was "Maara-iwo" meaning "Place where serpents abound".

    It has more than 2 million people and it's famous for its typical music, big shopping malls and beautiful parks. It is called "La Primera Ciudad de Venezuela" (The Most Important Venezuelan City) because of its development.

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