Mochima National Park
is located in the States of Anzoátegui
Anzoátegui State , is one of the 23 component states of Venezuela, located in the northeastern region of the country. Anzoátegui is well known for its beautiful beaches that attract many visitors. Its coast consists of a single beach approximately 100 km long...
and Sucre (state)
Sucre State is one of the 23 states of Venezuela. The state capital is Cumaná. Sucre State covers a total surface area of 11,800 km² and, in 2007, had an estimated population of 916,600.-Municipalities and municipal seats:...
, on the northeastern coast of Venezuela
Venezuela , officially called the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela , is a tropical country on the northern coast of South America. It borders Colombia to the west, Guyana to the east, and Brazil to the south...
. The park covers 94,935 hectares and is made up of an exclusively marine area in its western sector (Anzoátegui State), a coastal marine area that includes the Gulf of Santa Fé and Mochima Bay, and a mountainous area that covers the Turimiquire Dam watershed (Sucre State). Mochima Park was created to protect the montane forests of the Turimiquire Range and the country's eastern Caribbean Sea
The Caribbean Sea is a sea of the Atlantic Ocean located in the tropics of the Western hemisphere. It is bounded by Mexico and Central America to the west and southwest, to the north by the Greater Antilles, and to the east by the Lesser Antilles....
marine landscapes, which are exceptionally beautiful.
However, this is one of the most threatened parks in Venezuela. Recently two large construction projects have been in motion which are altering the park permanently. A new national highway is being constructed between Puerto La Cruz and Cumana running directly through the park deforesting a 70+ meter wide swath of parkland along its entire course. Adding to this dilemma is a new natural gas pipeline being built to the east running virtually parallel to the new highway.
Other threats stem from the fact that when the park was created, many human settlements were included inside park boundaries and The National Park Institute (INPARQUES)
has been unable to manage the situation properly. Even though educational policies have improved community relations, INPARQUES is highly deficient in terms of park management and administration.
Named after the town of Mochima, it is one of a number of national parks along Venezuela's northeast Caribbean coastline. Created in 1973 it was the second marine park in Venezuela and encompasses the entire shoreline between Puerto La Cruz
Puerto la Cruz is a port city located in Anzoátegui State, in Venezuela. It is the seat of the Juan Antonio Sotillo Municipality. The city has road connections to the state capital, Barcelona, to Lecheria and to Guanta, and has the potential to become the largest and most important metropolitan...
Cumaná is the capital of Venezuela's Sucre State. It is located 402 km east of Caracas. It was the first settlement founded by Europeans in the mainland America, in 1501 by Franciscan friars, but due to successful attacks by the indigenous people, it had to be refounded several times...
plus 32 islands just offshore.
This coast is a mountainous zone with beaches, gulfs and inlets of extraordinary beauty. Because of various micro-climates, some areas have gigantic cliffs nearly devoid of vegetation dropping into the water while others are lush with jungle vegetation and sandy beaches. Many small towns have sprung up along the 50 km between the cities on either side (Puerto La Cruz and Cumaná).
Year-round temperatures range between 22 and 28 °C. Coastal climate has high temperatures and constant trade winds from November until May, while it is a bit cooler with more humidity from June to October.