The Paraguaná Peninsula (Spanish pronunciation: [paɾaɣwaˈna]) is a peninsula in Venezuela, situated in the north of Falcón State. The island of Aruba lies 27 km to the north. Bonaire and Curaçao are slightly further away. The Paraguaná Peninsula is connected to the rest of the state by a natural isthmus of Médanos. The Peninsula contains two oil refineries, in the West city of Punto Fijo. The output of these refinieries is shipped internationally through the ports of Amuay and Cardón. The Peninsula of Paraguana lies in the Caribbean.
Because of it being almost completely surrounded by water, the peninsula is sometimes called an island, and is sometimes considered as part of the Leeward Antilles.
Paraguana currently contains two large oil refineries, and the largest oil refinery complex, the Paraguaná Refinery Complex. Most of the oil that PDVSA acquires is processed in this complex. A lot of engineers that work in the refineries have moved to the United States to work at Citgo.
Paraguana is a duty-free zone, so many international shops, notably Arabian, have opened.
While most of the economy is centered on the oil industry, tourism is growing. While most of the tourists come from other parts of Venezuela, many tourists come from surrounding countries such as Colombia, Aruba, Bonaire, Curaçao, and even a few tourists from the United States. The beaches serve as a large part of tourist attraction. There is a luxury beachfront hotel called Eurobuilding Villa Caribe. Paraguana also takes advantage of the duty-free shopping for tourism and opened a Paraguana Mall which is used for that. Two shopping malls are in the area. The mall, Las Virtudes, attracts a lot of people, and the mall, Sambil Paraguana, attracts many tourists, and has a luxury hotel, Lidotel, in it. Western news sources point to Paraguaná as being an ongoing construction site for launch purposes in connection with Iranian-manufactured and imported ballistic missiles to the Bolivarian Republic under agreement of the late president, Hugo Chavez.
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