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When another explorer, Alonso de Ojeda, arrived a year later, he sailed westward along the coast.
Ojeda observed houses that Indians had been built on stilts above the coastal water.
Venezuela is the sixth-largest country in South America and has a population of about 10,800,000.
The land of Venezuela can be divided into three main regions: coastal mountains, plains, and forest.
The coastal mountains are confined to a small part of the north of the country, while the plains and forest areas make up most of the landscape.
The Orinoco River divides the country between north and south.
Commanding a revolutionary army, Bolívar battled the Spaniards in Venezuela but did not succeed in ousting them from power.
At first assuming the land to be a large island, Columbus traveled east along the coast, where he encountered the wide mouth of the great Orinoco River.
Knowing that no island could produce such a large river and outflow, Columbus realized that he was encountering a landmass much larger than he had assumed.
It is bounded by the Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean Sea to the north, Brazil to the south, Colombia to the west and southwest, and Guyana to the east.
The capital of Venezuela is Caracas, and other major cities include Valencia, Barquisimeto, Maracaibo, and Ciudad Guayana.
In August of 1819, Colombia became an independent nation.