The larger indentations are the Gulf of 'Maracaibo, or Venezuela, which extends inland through the Lake of Maracaibo, with which it is connected by a comparatively narrow channel, and is formed by the peninsulas of Goajira and Paraguana; the Gulf of Paria, between the peninsula of that name and the island of Trinidad; the Gulf of Coro, opening into the Gulf of Maracaibo; the Gulf of Cariaco, between the peninsula of Araya and the state of Bermudez; the Golfo Triste, on the E.
The rocks of Falcon are believed by Sievers to belong to the Andean system; while the outlying peninsula of Paraguana probably belongs, geologically, to the same massif as Goajira and the Sierra Nevada de Santa Maria in Colombia.
Between the 5th and 6th parallels the range divides into two branches, the eastern passing into Venezuela, where it is called the Cordillera de Merida, and the northern continuing north and north-east as the Sierra de Perija and the Sierra de Oca, to terminate at the north-eastern extremity of the Goajira peninsula.
The tribes of the Caribbean seaboard, from Chiriqui to Goajira, are generally attached to the great Carib stock; those of the eastern plains show affinities with the neighbouring Brazilian races; those of the elevated Tuquerres district are of the Peruvian type; and the tribes of Antioquia, Cauca, Popayan and Neiva preserve characteristics more akin to those of the Aztecs than to, any other race.
This division of the national territory was modified in 1905, by creating seven additional departments from detached portions of the old ones, and by cutting up the unsettled districts of Goajira and the great eastern plains into four intendencias.
The four intendencias are called Goajira, Meta, Alto Caqueta and Putumayo, and their aggregate area is estimated to be considerably more than half of the republic. The first covers the Goajira peninsula, which formerly belonged to the department of Magdalena, and the other three roughly correspond to the drainage basins of the three great rivers of the eastern plains whose names they bear.