Best time to travel to Venezuela

Catatumbo Lightning in Venezuela

The statement about lighting never striking the same place twice is proved wrong—heavily electrified storms reoccur at Lake Maracaibo every other night

Best time: May–November

Catatumbo Lightning
Catatumbo Lightning
Catatumbo Lightning
Catatumbo Lightning
Catatumbo Lightning

Lake Maracaibo is notorious for its never-ending storms. It's the world's lighting capital and the most electrified place on Earth. Unlike any other place, lighting storms reoccur here extremely often—half of the nights in a year if to be more precise. According to statistic data, there are around 250 lighting strikes per square kilometres per year. The fact is that it happens in one and the same place makes the area a truly unique natural site.

Scientists attribute this unusual natural phenomenon to local topography and maritime factors. However, it happens that even experts can't explain some unpredictable changes, as it was, for example, in 2010, when lighting storms stopped from January to March.

The most convenient time to see the lightings is the wet season that is from May to November, and peak falls in October. Then you may be lucky to see 26 lighting flashes in a single minute. Even if you don't belong to storm-chasers, it would still be a lifetime memory, beautiful and scary at the same time.

Practical info

When is the best time to witness the Catatumbo Lightning in Venezuela?

The best time to see the Catatumbo Lightning is during the wet season from May to November in Venezuela. The highest incidence is in October when it is possible to observe 26 flashes per minute. The lightning frequency is lower during the rest of the year, and it may not be visible. Show more

How often do the lightning storms occur at Lake Maracaibo?

Lake Maracaibo is known for lightning storms that occur in half the nights of a year. The place records around 250 lightning strikes per square kilometre annually, making it the most electrified place globally. Visitors can witness a lightning show every other night at the same spot, making it a unique natural wonder on the planet. Show more

What makes Lake Maracaibo a unique natural site?

Lake Maracaibo is like no other place globally due to its endless lightning storms that happen extremely frequently. In half of the nights of a year, visitors can witness lightning at the same spot, making it the capital of lightning worldwide. The local topography and maritime factors contribute to this unusual natural phenomenon. Show more

What factors contribute to the occurrence of the Catatumbo Lightning?

Catatumbo Lightning is a natural phenomenon caused by the meeting of warm and moist air from the Caribbean Sea and cold air from the Andes Mountains. These factors create an electrical charge, producing lightning storms. Scientists attribute these unpredictable changes to the local topography and maritime factors. However, some events such as the 2010 episode with no storms from January to March remain unexplained. Show more

How many lightning strikes occur per square kilometre in Lake Maracaibo per year?

Lake Maracaibo is known for over 250 lightning strikes happening per square kilometre yearly, making it the most lightning-struck place on Earth. This unique natural phenomenon is so frequent that every other night, lightning storms reoccur at the same spot, making it a must-visit destination for storm-chasers worldwide. Show more

Ask a question

Find hotels and airbnbs near Catatumbo Lightning (Map)

Last updated: