Venezuela, is a federal republic located on the northern coast of South America. It is bordered by Colombia on the west, Brazil on the south, Guyana on the east, and the islands of Trinidad and Tobago to the north-west. Venezuela’s territory covers around 916,445 km2 (353,841 sq mi) with an estimated population around 33,221,865. Venezuela is considered a state with extremely high biodiversity, with habitats ranging from the Andes Mountains in the west to the Amazon Basin rain-forest in the south, via extensive llanos plains and Caribbean coast in the center and the Orinoco River Delta in the east.
Venezuela is a federal presidential republic consisting of 23 states, the Capital District (covering Caracas), and federal dependencies (covering Venezuela’s offshore islands).
Shaped roughly like a triangle, the country has a 2,800 km (1,700 mi) coastline in the north, which includes numerous islands in the Caribbean, and in the northeast borders the northern Atlantic Ocean. Most observers describe Venezuela in terms of four fairly well-defined topographical regions: the Maracaibo lowlands in the northwest, the northern mountains extending in a broad east-west arc from the Colombian border along the northern Caribbean coast, the wide plains in central Venezuela, and the Guiana Highlands in the southeast.
The northern mountains are the extreme northeastern extensions of South America’s Andes mountain range. Pico Bolívar, the nation’s highest point at 4,979 m (16,335 ft), lies in this region. To the south, the dissected Guiana Highlands contain the northern fringes of the Amazon Basin and Angel Falls, the world’s highest waterfall, as well as tepuis, large table-like mountains. The country’s center is characterized by the llanos, which are extensive plains that stretch from the Colombian border in the far west to the Orinoco River delta in the east. The Orinoco, with its rich alluvial soils, binds the largest and most important river system of the country; it originates in one of the largest watersheds in Latin America. The Caroní and the Apure are other major rivers.
Venezuela borders Colombia to the west, Guyana to the east, and Brazil to the south. Caribbean islands such as Trinidad and Tobago, Grenada, Curaçao, Aruba, and the Leeward Antilles lie near the Venezuelan coast. Venezuela has territorial disputes with Guyana (formerly United Kingdom), largely concerning the Essequibo area, and with Colombia concerning the Gulf of Venezuela. In 1895, after years of diplomatic attempts to solve the border dispute, from Venezuela, the dispute over the Essequibo River border flared up, it was submitted to a “neutral” commission (composed of British, American, and Russian representatives and without a direct Venezuelan representative), which in 1899 decided mostly against Venezuela’s claim.