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Santiago de Leon de Caracas, Venezuela's capital, sits in Cerro Avila Valley, where mountain ranges soar 8000 feet from the Caribbean. Once inhabited by Toromaimo Indians, the city was founded by the Spanish in 1567. Chacao is the see-and-be-seen place to eat, drink and socialize, but restaurant destination Las Mercedes is one of the few places safe to walk around. Iglesia de San Francisco is a beautiful example of colonial architecture. Mountainous Parque Nacional El Avila teems with tempting trails.
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