Choroní is a popular beach destination in Aragua state in Venezuela.
Although Choroní is generally known as one of Venezuela's best Caribbean beaches, the hamlet itself actually sits slightly inland, boasting some fine colonial houses around a quiet central plaza. Instead, it is the neighbouring fishing village of Puerto Colombia just beyond Choroni where the palm tree-lined beaches lie and most accommodation is found. Framed by the tropical rain forest of Parque Henri Pitier, the beaches around Puerto Colombia are some of the most stunningly beautiful in the country.
From Maracay, buses leave the terminal every couple of hours for Choroní (more at weekends), wending through the dense mountainous cloudforest of the Henri Pittier National Park. The 45-km road is very narrow and full of hairpin bends - at some points the bus has to stop and reverse a few yards in order to negotiate the bend in two manouvers. It is not a journey for the faint-hearted. The alternative - taxis - is little better as drivers race into blind bends with little concern for oncoming traffic. Driving your own vehicle may be preferred but extreme caution is needed on the roads. The journey is about 2 hours by bus from Maracay or 1.5 hours by car.
The size and small streets of Puerto Colombia mean cars are best left at the posada. Everywhere can be reached on foot. To reach the most beautiful beaches you need to hire a small boat, or "lancha." Cepe (30 minutes away) or Chuao (20 minutes) are popular options.
- Playa Grande is the main attraction in Choroní - a beautiful horseshoe of a golden sandy beach backed by the steep hills of the lush Henri Pittier National Park.
- Tambores, or drums, on the seafront at weekends is the focus for nighttime entertainment, with local youths performing rhythmic dances to the beat of the hollowed out drums.
Fried fish with fried plantain on the side (tostones) is a must at any beach resort in Venezuela. Finger-lickin' good.
- Empanadas de cazon
- Arepa domino
- Arepa reina pepiada
- Dorado (mahi mahi), its always caught fresh the same day!
Guarapita - a powerful local concoction made from rum, passion fruit juice and other good ingredients. Dangerously easy to drink.
- Hostal Colonial, Calle Principal, Puerto Colombia, ☎ 0243 2185012 ([email protected]). Bs.60,000.
- Hostal Costa Brava, Calle Morillo No 9. Puerto Colombia., ☎ 0243 9911057 or 0414 4518022 ([email protected]). Clean, decent and roomy, with ample parking. 8 rooms, of which 3 have their own bathroom and others share. Communal TV room. Proprietor Sr. Francisco Suarez. Double rooms without bathroom are Bs.50,000 ($25), or Bs.70,000 with bathroom..
- Posada de Trino, You have to ask. Bs.5,000.
- La Parchita, Calle Trimo Rancel, Choroni., ☎ 0243 9911259. A colonial house with 6 rooms facing onto an attractive central courtyard. Meals included.
- Posada Hans, 50m before the National Guard post at the entrance to Puerto Colombia on the Avenida Principal., ☎ 0243 9911157. 14 rooms. Rooms have air conditioning and some have sea views. German spoken.
- Posada Lemon Tree, Calle Jose Martin #3, Puerto Colombia., ☎ 0243 9911123. Perennially popular.
- Quinta L'am. Budget-Mid Range posada with 4 double rooms, swimming pool surrounded by hammocks and fruit trees. All rooms with private bathroom, hot water, mosquito nets. Breakfast included. Superb service from posada owners - they go out of their way to help.
- Tahiti, Calle Los Caobos, ☎ (02143)9911306 ([email protected]). checkin: 3pm; checkout: 12am. Budget-Mid Range posada with 12 double, triple and quad rooms, swimming pool surrounded by trees and loungers. All rooms with private bathroom and hot water. Breakfast included. White Tuscan feel to the place, clean and plenty of parking. 1500Bs per night for 4 people.
- La Bokaina, ☎ +58(0)414-453 92 20, . Rooms with private bath, hot water, a/c, Wifi internet, pool, great garden and calme surroundings yet close to Playa Grande and the town. Bs. 300,000 for a double for the weekend, incl breakfast..
- Posada Pittier, 200m from the PDV gas station between Choroní and Puerto Colombia, ☎ 0243 2328694 or 0414 5894119. 9 rooms with private bathrooms, a/c, hot water, good food, garden and hammocks. Bs.160,000 for a double.
- Small boats leave from the malecón taking tourists out to the nearby beach at Cepe, about 30 mins from Puerto Colombia. The ride costs about Bs.10-15,000 pp, with each boat taking about 10 people.
- Chuao is also accessible by boat from Pto Colombia. The colonial village itself is 5km inland from the beach area but worth a visit to see where some of Venezuela's best cacao comes from. Chuao also has a lively devil dancing celebration on Corpus Cristi.