I first mentioned Chuao when I described visiting the banana plantation behind this picturesque Venezuelan village. Now, it is time to describe the village itself.
Chuao was founded in the 16th century and the village is probably most famous for its cacao plantations where some of the finest cocoa beans in the world are said to be produced. The village is surrounded by the mountains and dense rainforests of Henri Pittier National Park to the south and by the Caribbean Sea to the north.
There is no road access and so one must make their way here by boat from the town of Puerto Colombia along the coast, or by foot, crossing the mountains and the lush cloud forests from Turmero near Maracay.
We made our way to Chuao by taking a boat from Puerto Colombia:
Upon arriving in Chuao, it is hard not to admire their bay:
A fisherman on Chuao Bay:
Along the waterfront:
If people are around, the fishermen will use their boats for transporting people and if fish are around, the fishermen will use their boats for catching fish:
If one walks back from the beach for a few moments, it is easy to get a sense of how the locals live:
One may not see homes like this in Manhattan or Mayfair, but note the all-important satellite dish:
Here as well – although this home is nicer than the previous one:
In Chuao though, I think it is the denizens of the beach that have the right priorities. This dog was yawning so hard, she could barely stand up to greet us when we approached:
And here as well, backpackers from North and South America have carved out a comfortable niche for themselves… One can arrive with a small amount of money and pitch their tent on the beach without charge. Bananas are easily obtained for free in the plantations behind the village and fish, beer and other food items can be had at absurdly cheap prices in Chuao. If one desires internet access, more variety in shopping options or just more nightlife, they can take the short boat trip to Puerto Colombia. In other words, one could work a summer job fighting forest fires or a temp job or whatever and then come down here for nine months of the year and live on the beach with a pile of books and a decent girl.
These are some of the people that live in the tents pictured above. You want to tell me the guy slaving away in his office cubicle to meet his monthly mortgage and car payment and to pay for his kid’s braces has a better life?
Leaving on one of the fishing boats and heading back to Puerto Colombia: