Caracas covers 20 kilometers (12 miles) along the valley in an east-west direction. The city center is made up of skyscrapers from the neighborhoods of El Silencio to Chacao, areas crammed with banks, offices, shops, restaurants, and public buildings. The historic quarter is west of the city center, and to the east the district Los Caobos is known for its museums. The Sabana Grande neighborhood is a pedestrian mall, filled with shops and restaurants. To the east of the city center are the commercial districts of Chacao and Chacaíto. South of these areas lie El Rosal and Las Mercedes with many well-known restaurants. The wealthy residential neighborhoods are the Caracas Country Club and Altamira, located to the north. The Parque Nacional El Ávila to the north is uninhabited.
Because it did not have the riches or sophisticated native populations of other Latin American countries, Caraqueños did not have strong ties to the old colonial buildings and way of life. They actually embraced modernity, much more so than their counterparts across the continent. Therefore, colonial Caracas exists only in a small area of town around the deteriorating La Pastora neighborhood and Plaza Bolivar, downtown in the city center.