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Geography



  • Location: Northern South America, bordering the Caribbean Sea and the North Atlantic Ocean, between Colombia and Guyana.
  • Georgaphic Coordinates: 8 00 N, 66 00 W
  • Map references: South America
  • Area:
  • total: 912,050 sq km
  • land: 882,050 sq km
  • water: 30,000 sq km
  • Area - comparative: slightly more than twice the size of California
  • Land boundaries:
  • total: 4,993 km
  • border countries: Brazil 2,200 km, Colombia 2,050 km, Guyana 743 km
  • Coastline: 2,800 km
  • Maritime claims:
  • territorial sea: 12 nm
  • contiguous zone: 15 nm
  • exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
  • continental shelf: 200-m depth or to the depth of exploitation
  • Climate: tropical; hot, humid; more moderate in highlands
  • Terrain: Andes Mountains and Maracaibo Lowlands in northwest; central plains (llanos); Guiana Highlands in southeast
  • Elevation extremes:
  • lowest point: Caribbean Sea 0 m
  • highest point: Pico Bolivar (La Columna) 5,007 m
  • Natural resources: petroleum, natural gas, iron ore, gold, bauxite, other minerals, hydropower, diamonds
  • Land use:
  • arable land: 2.95%
  • permanent crops: 0.92%
  • other: 96.13% (2001)
  • Irrigated land: 540 sq km (1998 est.)
  • Natural hazards: subject to floods, rockslides, mudslides; periodic droughts
  • Environment - current issues: sewage pollution of Lago de Valencia; oil and urban pollution of Lago de Maracaibo; deforestation; soil degradation; urban and industrial pollution, especially along the Caribbean coast; threat to the rainforest ecosystem from irresponsible mining operations
  • Environment - international agreements:
  • party to: Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Marine Life Conservation, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands
  • signed but not ratified:: none of the selected agreements
  • Geography - note: on major sea and air routes linking North and South America; Angel Falls in the Guiana Highlands is the world's highest waterfall