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Mention you’ll be crossing the border at Maicao, and the first response of Colombians and Venezuelans is silence. Then they’ll advise you, “Get in and out as fast as possible.” Many Maicao natives take offense to this negative characterization. They’ll be quick to point out attractions like the beautiful mosque, which is the second most important in Latin America.

Maicao’s negative reputation is based on years of contraband running, drug smuggling and robbery. The paramilitary presence since the 1990s has caused a great migration from the city, especially of the Muslim community. Even though its citizens claim it has become a more tranquil place, you are still counseled to be inside before nightfall. Despite all its problems, Maicao continues to be an important land port between Colombia and Venezuela for both legitimate and “other” commerce.La Guajira Peninsula.

Altitude: 20 m

Population: 114,000

City Code: 5


Other places nearby Maicao: Cabo de Vela, Manaure, Riohacha, Nazareth And Parque Nacional Natural Macuira, Uribia and Palomino.

By Lorraine Caputo

Upon re-declaring her independence at age 29, Lorraine Caputo packed her trusty Rocinante (so her knapsack's called) and began...

15 Feb 2012

VIVA Colombia
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