Venezuela is underexposed as a surf destination and although some surfers may have heard of Isla Margarita, the mainland remains a mystery. Talented Venezuelan surfers like Justin Mujica (2004 European Champion) or Magnum Martinez (South American Alas Latin Tour 2004 title) prove that there must be some good surf there. It's like Brazil or Florida, where surfers get year-round, warm-water, small waves to practice getting speed and making big moves. Between 2004 and 2007, the main highway bridge was cut and the 6 million people of Caracas were forced to drive 3 to 4 hours on very steep mountain roads to get to the coast only 20km (12mi) away. On the 18th December, 1999, catastrophe struck after days of unyielding rains caused mudslides that buried whole towns, killing 30,000 people and leaving 200,000 homeless. Since then, the coast has remained a bit of a wreck because governing bodies have decided to develop tourism in other parts of the country like Margarita or Los Roques. However, the Vargas State coastline, overlooked by 2000m (6560ft) high peaks of El Avila Park, provides an incredibly verdant backdrop for surfing this quiet corner of the Caribbean.