Venezuela, located on the northern coast of South America, covers an area of 912,050 sq km (352,144 sq mi), extending 1,487 km (924 mi) WNW – ESE and 1,175 km (730 mi) NNE – SSW . Comparatively, the area occupied by Venezuela is slightly more than twice the size of the state of California. It is bordered on the N by the Caribbean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean, on the E by Guyana, on the S by Brazil, and on the W by Colombia, with a total land boundary of 4,993 km (3,103 mi) and a coastline of 2,800 km (1,740 mi). There are 72 offshore islands.
Venezuela claims more than 130,000 sq km (50,000 sq mi) of Guyanese territory west of the Essequibo River, constituting over three-fifths of Guyana. In 1985, UN mediation was requested by both countries. Conflicting maritime claims with Colombia in the Gulf of Venezuela remain unresolved, despite negotiations since 1970. Demarcation of the land boundary between the two nations began in February 1982. In August 1987, a Colombian naval vessel entered the disputed area in an apparent attempt to pressure Venezuela to be more flexible.
Venezuela's capital city, Caracas, is located in the northern part of the country on the Caribbean Sea coast.