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11 Mar 2015

Lightning tourism lights up Venezuela

A town in Venezuela is welcoming tourists to witness the spectacular thunderstorms that take place there, according to the Guardian.

Lake Maracaibo has been labelled the site of “the most frequent lightning in the world” by Met Office expert Graeme Anderson, the publication reports, due to its perfect heat and humidity levels.

Combined with the wind from the nearby Andes, these weather conditions work together to create the most incredible lightning displays in the world, and their predictability has led to some tourists seeking them out directly.

Locals from Mérida have now set about providing tours for travellers that are keen to see the storms up close as its position on the lake’s side makes it the ideal place to embark from.

The storms, which start off in the distance, grow closer and more intense once night falls, creating the perfect stage on which to watch this celestial light show unfold. As the storms approach, tourists are taken out onto the lake via speed boat in order to see the spectacle as clearly as possible.

Known as Catatumbo lightning in the region, these intense bouts of weather have allowed the small fishing communities that lie on the banks of the lake to take advantage of this tourism niche, and many native people have welcomed the steady influx of travellers, according to the Guardian.

The wider region of Mérida is known to be one of the most beautiful in Venezuela as it is blessed with picturesque countryside and dramatic mountain ranges. Bolivar Peak and the Sierra Nevada represent the perfect examples of this stunning region’s impressive surroundings.

The lush climate and dense vegetation in the area also means that flora and fauna flourish here, making it the ideal place for wildlife spotting. Jaguars, alligators and bats are just some of the fascinating animals that live here, deep in the forests of Venezuela.