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Lake Maracaibo, Venezuela, South America

April 15th, 2006 / / Links: Google Earth, Google Maps, Yahoo! Maps, Virtual Earth / Nearest places

Lake Maracaibo is a large body of water in northwestern Venezuela. If considered a lake, it is the largest lake in South America. However, by some definitions it should be considered a sea because it is connected by way of a 54-km (34-mile) strait to the Gulf of Venezuela, and thence to the Caribbean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean. Its main tributary is the Catatumbo River, but several other rivers flow from the nearly surrounding Andes mountain ranges.

Lake Maracaibo lies roughly at 10°39' N latitude and 71°36' W longitude.

Lake Maracaibo acts as a major route for sea traffic to the ports of Maracaibo and Cabimas. Located in the center of the prolific Maracaibo Basin it contains large reserves of crude oil which makes the lake a major profit center for Venezuela.

Lake Maracaibo was first discovered for Europeans in 1499 by Alonso de Ojeda.

(Source: Wikipedia)

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