The Laguna de Tacarigua National Park is located in Miranda State, north central Venezuela, between 10 ° 11'30'' 10 ° 20'20'' north latitude and between 65 ° 41'10'' 65 ° 57'20'' west longitude. Includes a permanent coastal lagoon 7,800 ha and an average depth of 1.2 m, separated from the sea by a sandbar or shoreline barrier 28,8 km long and 300-1000 m wide that was formed by the action of the ocean current that runs along the coast from East to West. South of the lake stretches an area dominated by dry forests and north area,marine area of 20,700 ha .. In total the park covers 39,100 ha. Approximately 4,000 ha of the park are covered by mangrove forests growing on the banks of the lagoon and even form dense islands to the center. The lake is fed primarily freshwater Guapo River but also from other tributaries as Pirital, San Nicolás pipes,San Ignacio and Chaguaramal broken. At its north-western sector of the lagoon communicates with the sea through a mouth. In times of severe drought in the Guapo river basin, the decrease in freshwater input and accumulation of sediments cause the seal of the mouth,and consequently the increase in salinity of the waters of the lagoon.
The geological origin of the lake is relatively recent. The area occupied by the park is within the depression Windwardan alluvial plain of great extent that has been forming deposits from the Cordillera de la Costa in the last two to four million years. The coastal bar that separates the park from the sea originated during the transgression of the Caribbean in the Holocene,even today continue deposited sands that cover. Tacarigua Lagoon is part of a complex that also includes coastal lagoons Unare Píritu and lagoon.
The weather in the park is hot and humid with an average annual temperature of 26 º C (between 24.8 and 27,5 º C) and mean annual precipitation of 1,000 mm. There is a rainy season from June to December is observed in 85% of the annual precipitation. The wettest month is November (169.5 mm) and the driest March (14.3 mm). For the location and orientation of the coastal zone (285 °), the park is heavily influenced by the northeast trade winds (Conde 1996).
In the Laguna de Tacarigua nest four species of sea turtles: Chelonia mydas, Caretta caretta,Dermochelys coriacea and Eretmochelys imbricata. The first two species are globally threatened, being the last two in critical danger of extinction. In the park alligator inhabits the coast (Crocodylus acutus), also endangered. This species is found in densities of up to 6 individuals per hectare in areas of full protection (Puerto Escondido, Canos Pirital,San Ignacio and San Nicolas) and populations are growing, what makes Laguna de Tacarigua the most important refuge for alligator populations from the coast in the country. Another 15 species of reptiles and amphibians, 52 fish, 17 crustaceans and molluscs four have also been reported for the park.
You can also watch the paují topknot (Crax daubentoni) globally qualified low risk of extinction. In 1984a population of 2,500 flamingos but no signs of reproductive activity was estimated. However, rangers reported seeing flamingos nest in the last three years.
You can see over 20 species of mammals including the brocket deer (Mazama americana), the fishing bat (Noctilio leporinus), the crab-eating fox (Procyon cancrivorus), capuchin monkeys (Cebus olivaceus) and howler monkeys (Alouatta seniculus), the The world's largest rodent,capybara (Capybara) and the ocelot (Leopardus pardalis) is considered vulnerable to extinction. The bush dog (Speothos venaticus), classified as vulnerable, has been reported in the vicinity of the park, so it is very likely that inhabit the park.
Because being National park use regulations normalizes park access, circulation and ship navigation,recreational and tourist activities (including sport fishing), research, artisanal fisheries and solid waste disposal within the park. Access vessels trawling in the marine area is explicitly prohibited. Traditional fishing methods and permitted species are clearly defined.
Navigation through the winding mangrove channels,extensive beach and observation of artisanal fisheries and varied avifauna, are the major attractions of the park for ecotourism. However, the tourist activity in the park is virtually nonexistent and wasted. The park received 4,751 visitors in 2000,461 of them foreigners. In the past two years the number of tourists exceeded 6,000 mainly distributed at Easter (March-April) and school holidays in August and December. Most visitors are fond of the beach and stay in one of the five hotels built in the 50s and still in use within the park.