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National Park

Cueva de la Quebrada del Toro

* Ubication: Falcón State

* Location

In the Municipality of Unión, Federación District, 15 km. from the village of Santa Cruz de Bucaral.

* How to get there

The park is located in a remote place, far from the main roads of Western Venezuela. Take the road that links Barquisimeto with Coro, and then the one that leads to El Charal and La Taza. The access to the cave is through a dirt road which is not easy with any type of vehicle.

* Characteristics

The main feature of the park is the landscape, characterized by a very uneven relief, with an enormous fault which divides the mountain in two. There is a natural bridge at the summit, called Puente de Piedra, where the Elda Sierra is, as well as two large craters or chasms, Hernández and Antonio José López. The highlight here is the Cueva de la Quebrada del Toro, 2,000 m. long, the most important one in Falcón state and Western Venezuela, and the fifth largest in the country. It is also called Cueva De Bellard, in honor of its discoverer, the Venezuelan speleologist Eugenio de Bellard. This subterranean structure is formed by a main gallery, similar to an immense corridor, perforated by three craters. It is crossed by a torrential subterranean river, parts of which can be navigated in inflatable boats, and where 200 m. lagoons form.

* Vegetation

There are no complete studies of the physical environment or the natural resources of the park; hence, there is no basic information available on important aspects of vegetation and wildlife.

* Fauna

The dominant animal species here is the oilbird, which cohabits with insects and arachnids inside the cave. The oilbird is one that prefers to live in the darkness of deep crevices and caverns. It only leaves them at sundown until dawn, when it flies in search of food in palms and trees. They are the only nocturnal birds which feed on fruit and they always fly in groups. They constantly emit sharp sounds which helps them to guide their flight.

* Recomendations

A special permit is required to spend the night and conduct research in the park. Contact INPARQUES. If going into the cave, please do not direct the light towards the top of the cave where the oilbirds are, so as not to alter their habitat because they get blinded and can knock into things when they lose their sense of orientation.

* Facilities

None. The closest place to spend the night is in the village of Santa Cruz de Bucaral or in Churuguara, 38 km. away.

* Climate

Temperatures range between 18° C. and 24° C. It is cooler inside the cave.

* Surface

8.500 ha.

* Information

INPARQUES
Tlf. (068) 78.582. Fax 78.451 * (02) 285.50.56 *43.60*48.59. Fax 285.30.70.


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