Area: 433 km2
Time Zone: GMT 04:30
Officially named Santiago de León de Caracas, Caracas is located in the northern part of the country, following the contours of the narrow Caracas Valley on the Venezuelan coastal mountain range (Cordillera de la Costa), separated from the Carribean Sea by a steep 2200m high mountain range.
While areas of Venezuela have been inhabited by indigenous peoples for more than 15,000 years, Caracas was founded by Spanish Captain Diego de Losada in 1567. The city was the centre of Venezuela's struggle for independence in the early 1800s, which saw the country break free from Spanish rule and saw it become the capital when Venezuela gained full sovereignty in 1930.
The country's largest city and one of five others with a population of more than one million inhabitants, Caracas is the cultural hub of Venezuela as well as its administrative centre.
The city boasts numerous sporting clubs and professional teams, with football and baseball being the two most popular sports, while basketball also boasts a high level of popularity with the Cocodrilos de Caracas being the capital's top representative in Venezuela's professional basketball league.