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Venezuela travel guide - Travel S helper

Venezuela

travel guide

Venezuela is a South American nation. Venezuela, which borders Colombia to the west, Guyana to the east, and Brazil to the south, is located on the main sea and air routes connecting North and South America. The Caribbean islands of Aruba, Bonaire, Curaçao, and Trinidad and Tobago are located off Venezuela’s coast.

Angel Falls (Kerepakupai Vená), located in the Guiana Highlands, is the world’s tallest waterfall and a popular tourist destination in Venezuela.

Venezuela’s economy is highly dependent on oil exports. Venezuela thrived during a period of record oil prices, and its left-wing government made a variety of essential goods accessible to the populace at artificially cheap rates. When oil prices collapsed in 2014, the value of Venezuela’s bolivar currency fell, resulting in widespread shortages of essential goods in shops. There is rampant crime, long lines for meager supplies, and critical medications are sparse or unavailable. Rather than Colombians sneaking into Venezuelan stores to purchase at enticing, discounted rates, Venezuelans are fleeing the country since the shelves are empty.

Venezuela is home to the world’s tallest waterfall, Angel Falls, as well as the Orinoco, South America’s second longest river. It also boasts the Caribbean’s longest coastline. Venezuela is the world’s fifth-largest oil exporter and has huge undeveloped natural gas reserves. Venezuela is considered one of the world’s 20 Megadiverse nations, with protected areas covering more than 40% of its national land.

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Venezuela - Info Card

Population

28,199,867

Currency

Venezuelan bolívar (VED)

Time zone

UTC−4 (VET)

Area

916,445 km2 (353,841 sq mi)

Calling code

+58

Official language

Spanish

Venezuela | Introduction

Tourism in Venezuela

Has grown significantly in recent decades, owing to its advantageous geographical location, diversity of landscapes, richness of plant and animal, creative expressions, and the country’s fortunate tropical environment, which offers each area (particularly the beaches) year-round.

Margarita Island is a popular tourist location for fun and relaxation. It is an island with a contemporary infrastructure, gorgeous beaches ideal for extreme sports, and culturally significant castles, fortresses, and cathedrals.

Morrocoy and Los Roques

Los Roques is an archipelago made up of islands and cays that is one of the country’s most popular tourist destinations. Exotic, unspoilt beaches. Morrocoy is a park made up of relatively tiny adjacent islands to the mainland that have quickly evolved to become one of the Caribbean’s most popular tourist destinations.

Canaima

Canaima National Park, which extends over 30,000 square kilometers to the border with Guayana Esequiba reclamation region in Guyana and Brazil, is regarded as the world’s sixth biggest national park because to its vastness. Tepuis, or rock plateaus, cover about 65 percent of the park. These are a one-of-a-kind biotic habitat with significant geological significance. Its sheer cliffs and waterfalls (including Angel Falls, the tallest waterfall in the world at 1,002 meters) provide for magnificent scenery.

Geography Of Venezuela

Venezuela is situated in northern South America, with its landmass resting on the South American Plate. It is the world’s 33rd biggest nation, with a total size of 916,445 km2 (353,841 sq mi) and a land area of 882,050 square kilometers (340,560 sq mi). It governs the area between latitudes 0° and 13°N and longitudes 59° and 74°W.

The nation is generally shaped like a triangle, with a 2,800 km (1,700 mi) coastline in the north that includes many Caribbean islands, and a border with the northern Atlantic Ocean in the northeast. Most observers divide Venezuela into four distinct topographical regions: the Maracaibo lowlands in the northwest, the northern mountains that extend in a broad east-west arc from the Colombian border along the northern Caribbean coast, the wide plains in central Venezuela, and the Guiana Highlands in the southeast.

The northern mountains are the far northeastern extensions of the Andes mountain range in South America. Pico Bolvar, the country’s highest peak at 4,979 m (16,335 ft), is located in this area. The divided Guiana Highlands to the south include the northern outskirts of the Amazon Basin and Angel Falls, the world’s tallest waterfall, as well as tepuis, huge table-like mountains. The llanos, or vast plains that extend from the Colombian border in the extreme west to the Orinoco River delta in the east, define the country’s core. The Orinoco, with its rich alluvial soils, connects the country’s biggest and most significant river system; it begins in one of Latin America’s greatest watersheds. Other significant rivers are the Caron and the Apure.

Venezuela is bounded to the west by Colombia, to the east by Guyana, and to the south by Brazil. Near the Venezuelan coast are Caribbean islands such as Trinidad & Tobago, Grenada, Curaçao, Aruba, and the Leeward Antilles. Venezuela has territorial issues with Guyana (previously the United Kingdom), mostly over the Essequibo region, as well as with Colombia over the Gulf of Venezuela. After years of diplomatic attempts to resolve the border dispute, the dispute over the Essequibo River border from Venezuela flared up in 1895, and it was submitted to a “neutral” commission (composed of British, American, and Russian representatives and without a direct Venezuelan representative), which decided mostly against Venezuela’s claim in 1899.

The most important natural resources of Venezuela include petroleum and natural gas, iron ore, gold, and other minerals. It also has a lot of water and arable land.

Climate In Venezuela

Venezuela lies completely in the tropics, stretching from the Equator to approximately 12° N. Its climate ranges from humid low-elevation plains with average annual temperatures as high as 35 °C (95.0 °F) to glaciers and mountains (the páramos) with average annual temperatures as low as 8 °C (46.4 °F). Annual rainfall ranges from 430 mm (16.9 in) in the semiarid northwest to over 1,000 mm (39.4 in) in the far east’s Orinoco Delta and the Amazonian Jungle in the south. Precipitation levels are lower from November to April and later in the year from August to October. These are known as the hot-humid and cold-dry seasons. Another feature of the climate is the variance across the nation caused by the presence of a mountain range known as the “Cordillera de la Costa,” which runs from east to west throughout the country. These mountains are home to the vast bulk of the people.

The nation is divided into four horizontal temperature zones, mainly based on elevation, including tropical, dry, moderate with dry winters, and arctic (alpine tundra) climates, among others. Temperatures in the tropical zone are high, with annual averages ranging between 26 and 28 °C (78.8 and 82.4 °F) below 800 m (2,625 ft). The temperate zone extends between 800 and 2,000 m (2,625 and 6,562 ft), with typical temperatures ranging from 12 to 25 °C (53.6 to 77.0 °F); major Venezuelan cities, including the capital, are located in this zone. Colder temperatures range from 9 to 11 °C (48.2 to 51.8 °F) in the cool zone between 2,000 and 3,000 m (6,562 and 9,843 ft), particularly in the Venezuelan Andes, where pastureland and permanent snowfields with yearly averages below 8 °C (46 °F) cover land above 3,000 meters (9,843 ft) in the páramos.

The highest temperature recorded was 42 °C (108 °F) in Machiques, and the lowest temperature recorded was 11 °C (12 °F), it has been reported from an uninhabited high altitude at Páramo de Piedras Blancas (Mérida state), and lower temperatures in the mountains of the Sierra Nevada de Mérida are known.

Biodiversity In Venezuela

Venezuela is located in the Neotropic ecozone, and vast areas of the nation were formerly covered by wet broadleaf forests. Venezuela’s ecosystems span from the Andes Mountains in the west to the Amazon Basin rainforest in the south, through vast llanos plains and the Caribbean coast in the middle to the Orinoco River Delta in the east. In the far northwest, there are xeric scrublands, while in the northeast, there are coastal mangrove forests. It has especially rich cloud forests and lowland rainforests.

Venezuelan animals include manatees, three-toed sloths, two-toed sloths, Amazon river dolphins, and Orinoco crocodiles, which may grow to be 6.6 meters (22 feet) long. Venezuela is home to 1,417 different bird species, 48 of which are unique. Ibises, ospreys, kingfishers, and the national bird, the yellow-orange Venezuelan troupial, are all important birds. The gigantic anteater, jaguar, and capybara, the world’s biggest rodent, are also notable animals. The Amazonian woods south of the Orinoco hold more than half of Venezuela’s bird and animal species.

R.W.G. Dennis gave an account for the fungus, which has been digitized and the information made accessible online as part of the Cybertruffle Robigalia database. This database contains approximately 3,900 fungus species reported from Venezuela, although it is far from comprehensive, and the actual total number of fungal species previously known from Venezuela is likely greater, considering the widely accepted estimate that only around 7% of all fungi globally have been found.

Over 25,000 kinds of orchids may be found in Venezuela’s cloud forest and lowland rainforest habitats. The national flower is the flor de mayo orchid (Cattleya mossiae). The araguaney is Venezuela’s national tree, and its distinctive lushness following the rainy season inspired writer Rómulo Gallegos to call it “[l]a primavera de oro de los araguaneyes” (the golden spring of the araguaneyes).

Venezuela is one of the top 20 endemism-rich nations in the world.

Its creatures are endemic in 23 percent of reptile and 50 percent of amphibian species. Although the available data is relatively limited, a first attempt has been made to determine the number of fungal species indigenous to Venezuela: As of now, 1334 fungus species have been tentatively recognized as potential endemics to the nation. Venezuela is home to 38% of the world’s 21,000 plant species, which are all unique to the nation.

Demographics Of Venezuela

Venezuela is one of the most urbanized nations in Latin America, with the overwhelming majority of Venezuelans residing in northern cities, particularly Caracas, the capital and biggest metropolis. In northern Venezuela, around 93 percent of the population resides in cities, and 73 percent lives fewer than 100 kilometers (62 miles) from the ocean. According to a research conducted by sociologists at Venezuela’s Central University, about 1.5 million Venezuelans, or approximately 4% to 6% of the country’s population, fled Venezuela after the Bolivarian Revolution. Despite the fact that almost half of Venezuela’s geographical area is south of the Orinoco, just 5% of Venezuelans live there. Ciudad Guayana, the sixth most populated conurbation, is the biggest and most significant city south of the Orinoco. Barquisimeto, Valencia, Maracay, Maracaibo, Mérida, San Cristóbal, and Barcelona–Puerto la Cruz are other important cities.

Ethnic groups

Venezuelans are descended from a diverse set of ancestors. The bulk of the population is said to be of mestizo, or mixed, ethnic origin. Nonetheless, the word mestizo was removed from the responses in the 2011 census, when Venezuelans were asked to define themselves based on their traditions and heritage. The majority identified as mestizo or white, with 51.6 percent and 43.6 percent, respectively, claiming to be mestizo or white. [1] Almost half of the population identified as moreno, a word used across Ibero-America that meaning “dark-skinned” or “brown-skinned,” as contrast to having lighter complexion (this term connotes skin color or tone, rather than facial features or descent).

Ethnic minorities in Venezuela are mostly descended from African or indigenous peoples; 2.8 percent classified as “black,” 0.7 percent as afrodescendiente (Afro-descendant), 2.6 percent as indigenous peoples, and 1.2 percent as “other races.”

Wayu made up 58% of indigenous people, Warao made up 7%, Karia made up 4%, Pemón made up 4%, Piaroa made up 3%, Jivi made up 3%, Au made up 3%, Cumanágoto made up 3%, Yukpa made up 2%, Chaima made up 2%, and Yanomami made up 1%.

According to an autosomal DNA genetic research performed by the University of Brasilia (UNB) in 2008, the makeup of Venezuela’s population is 60.60 percent European, 23 percent indigenous, and 16.30 percent African.

During the colonial era and until after WWII, many European immigrants to Venezuela came from the Canary Islands, which had a major cultural influence on Venezuelan food and traditions. Venezuela has been dubbed the “eighth island of the Canaries” as a result of these effects. With the beginning of oil extraction in the early twentieth century, US corporations started establishing operations in Venezuela, bringing with them US people. Later, both during and after the war, additional waves of immigrants arrived from various areas of Europe, the Middle East, and China, many of whom were encouraged by government-established immigration programs and liberal immigration laws. Venezuela, like the rest of Latin America, welcomed millions of European immigrants throughout the twentieth century. This was particularly evident after World War II, as a result of a war-torn Europe. Venezuela attracted millions of immigrants from Ecuador, Colombia, and the Dominican Republic during the 1970s, when the country was enjoying an oil-export boom. Some Venezuelans were opposed to European immigration because they believed it would lower wages. The Venezuelan government, on the other hand, was aggressively recruiting immigrants from Eastern Europe to address a shortage of engineers. Millions more Colombians, as well as those from the Middle East and Haiti, would continue to migrate to Venezuela until the early twenty-first century.

According to the World Refugee Survey 2008, released by the US Committee for Refugees and Immigrants, Venezuela housed 252,200 Colombian refugees and asylum seekers in 2007, with 10,600 additional asylum seekers entering Venezuela. It is believed that there are between 500,000 and one million illegal immigrants in the nation.

The country’s indigenous population is estimated to be about 500 thousand individuals (2.8 percent of the total), divided among 40 indigenous peoples. The country’s multi-ethnic, multi-cultural, and linguistic nature is recognized in the Constitution, which contains a chapter dedicated to indigenous peoples’ rights, which opened up areas for their political participation at the national and municipal levels in 1999. The majority of indigenous peoples live in eight states along Venezuela’s borders with Brazil, Guyana, and Colombia, with the main tribes being the Wayuu (west), Warao (east), Yanomami (south), and Pemon (southeast).

Religion

According to a 2011 survey (GIS XXI), 88 percent of the population is Christian, with the majority being Roman Catholic (71 percent) and the remaining 17 percent Protestant, mainly Evangelicals (in Latin America Protestants are usually called Evangelicos). Venezuelans without religion account for 8% of the population (atheists account for 2%, while agnostics or indifferents account for 6%), while other religions account for almost 3% of the population (1 percent of them are of santeria).

There are tiny but powerful Muslim, Buddhist, and Jewish populations in the area. More than 100,000 Muslims live in Nueva Esparta State, Punto Fijo, and the Caracas region, with the majority being of Lebanese and Syrian ancestry. More than 52,000 Venezuelans follow Buddhism. The Buddhist population is mostly made up of Chinese, Japanese, and Koreans. Buddhist centers may be found in Caracas, Maracay, Mérida, Puerto Ordáz, San Felipe, and Valencia. The Jewish population in Venezuela comprises about 13,000 people and is mostly centered in Caracas.

Internet & Communications in Venezuela

By phone

Venezuela has an international country code of 58, three-digit area codes (including an initial ‘0,’ and phone numbers of seven digits.

Area codes starting with ’04’ – for example, 0412, 0414, 0416 – are for mobile phones, while area codes beginning with ’02’ – for example, 0212 (Caracas), 0261 (Maracaibo) – are for land lines.

The majority of the nation uses a single emergency number 171 for police, ambulances, and firemen.

Venezuela’s international phone number format is +58-(area code without a ‘0’)- (phone number)

  • To dial to another area code: (area code starting with ‘0’)-(phone number)
  • To dial to another country: 00-(country code)-(area code)-(phone number)
  • Directory enquiries/information (in Spanish): 113
  • Emergency service for mobile phones: (in Spanish): 911 (Movistar), 112 (Digitel), *1 (Movilnet)

Prepaid cards, which cannot be recharged, are used by public payphones and are widely available at shopping malls, petrol stations, and kiosks, among other places. Phone boxes are prevalent in cities, however they do not take coins. The overwhelming majority are operated by the previous state monopoly, CANTV, but some boxes, especially in rural regions, are managed by Digitel or Movistar. Prepaid cards from CANTV may only be used in their booths.

Today, the omnipresent ‘communication centers,’ or clusters of phone booths placed inside metro stations, malls, or like a regular shop on the street, are more popular. Most of these communication centers are run by CANTV or Movistar, and they provide inexpensive phone calls from regular phones in cozy booths with seats. All of your calls are recorded, and you pay when you leave the shop.

Many street sellers, known as buhoneros, also provide phone calls via portable (antenna-based) land lines put up at makeshift booths. Calls are billed per the minute.

Mobile phones

Movilnet, a subsidiary of CANTV, operates mobiles that begin with the 0416/0426 code and utilize the CDMA 800 MHz system and GSM/HSDPA 850 MHz. Telefónica Movistar, previously Telcel, uses both CDMA and GSM/HSDPA (GSM/HSDPA 850 MHz) and starts with 0414/0424. Digitel is another GSM/HSDPA (GSM/HSDPA 900 MHz) network provider whose phone numbers begin with 0412. It is possible to purchase a pay-as-you-go SIM card for Digitel’s GSM phones, but you must first ensure that your phone is unlocked. When purchased from an authorized merchant, a pay-as-you-go Digitel card is immediately operational. The card costs about 20 VEF (new bolivares). Top-up coupons worth ten VEF. A text message costs 0.3 VEF when sent from overseas. Please keep in mind that you cannot send text messages from your Movilnet phone to virtually any European network. A Digitel phone can send a text message to nearly any European network (tested), while Movistar can send a text message to almost any European network but is not as dependable as Digitel for this purpose.

You may use your phone when traveling with a foreign SIM card. For information on roaming to Venezuela, visit www.gsmworld.com or contact your operator. For European customers, Movilnet and Movistar will need quad-band phones, while Digitel will accept any European phone. Tourists from countries other than Europe should verify their phones to see whether they are compatible with the following bands.

Internet

Internet cafés, which are often integrated into the aforementioned ‘communication centers,’ are becoming more widespread, and even small towns typically have at least one location with more or less good connections.

Postal offices

Venezuela’s state-owned postal service is sluggish, unreliable, and seldom utilized. Although post offices are few and few between, they are still your best option for mailing postcards back home. Courier services such as MRW, Domesa, and Zoom are the most popular for sending inside Venezuela. These almost always ensure next-day delivery.

Economy Of Venezuela

The Central Bank of Venezuela is in charge of establishing monetary policy for the Venezuelan bolvar, which is used as currency. The money is mainly produced on paper and disseminated across the nation. The President of Venezuela’s Central Bank is currently Eudomar Tovar, who also acts as the country’s representative to the International Monetary Fund. According to the Heritage Foundation and the Wall Street Journal, Venezuela has the world’s lowest property rights, rating just 5.0 on a scale of 100; expropriation without compensation is frequent. Venezuela has a market-based mixed economy driven by the petroleum industry, which accounts for approximately a third of GDP, over 80% of exports, and more than half of government income. In 2009, the country’s per capita GDP was US$13,000, placing it 85th in the world. Venezuela boasts the world’s cheapest fuel since the consumer price is substantially subsidized.

More over 60% of Venezuela’s foreign reserves are in gold, which is eight times the region’s average. The majority of Venezuela’s gold stored overseas is held in London. On November 25, 2011, the first of US$11 billion in returned gold bullion landed in Caracas; Chávez described the repatriation of gold as a “sovereign” move that would help safeguard the country’s foreign reserves from the instability in the US and Europe. However, government actions rapidly depleted this repatriated gold, and in 2013, the government was compelled to add the dollar reserves of state-owned enterprises to those of the national bank in order to reassure the foreign bond market.

In 2006, manufacturing generated 17 percent of GDP. Venezuela produces and exports heavy industrial goods such as steel, aluminum, and cement, with production centered at Ciudad Guayana, near the Guri Dam, one of the world’s biggest and the source of about three-quarters of Venezuela’s energy. Other noteworthy production includes electronics and cars, as well as drinks and consumables. Agriculture in Venezuela accounts for about 3% of GDP, 10% of the working force, and at least a quarter of Venezuela’s geographical area. Venezuela exports grains, maize, fish, tropical fruit, coffee, cattle, and pigs. The nation lacks self-sufficiency in most agricultural sectors. Total food consumption in 2012 exceeded 26 million metric tonnes, representing a 94.8 percent increase from 2003.

Venezuela has been one of the world’s major oil exporters since the discovery of oil in the early twentieth century, and it is a founding member of OPEC. Previously an undeveloped exporter of agricultural commodities like as coffee and cocoa, oil rapidly came to dominate exports and government income. The 1980s oil glut resulted in an external debt crisis and a long-running economic catastrophe, with inflation peaking at 100% in 1996 and poverty rates rising to 66 percent in 1995, while (by 1998) per capita GDP had fallen to the level of 1963, down a third from its 1978 high. In the 1990s, Venezuela also had a severe financial crisis in 1994.

The rebound of oil prices after 2001 strengthened the Venezuelan economy and enabled social expenditure. Venezuela originally achieved headway in social development in the 2000s, especially in sectors like as health, education, and poverty, thanks to social initiatives such as the Bolivarian Missions. Many of Chávez’s and his administration’s social initiatives were inspired by the Millennium Development Objectives, a set of eight goals agreed to by Venezuela and 188 other countries in September 2000. The sustainability of the Bolivarian Missions has been questioned due to the Bolivarian state’s overspending on public works and because the Chávez government did not save funds for future economic hardships like other OPEC nations; with economic issues and poverty rising as a result of their policies in the 2010s. Hugo Chávez’s administration imposed currency restrictions in 2003, after a depreciation of the currency due to capital flight. This resulted in the establishment of a parallel dollar market in the years that followed.

The aftermath of the 2008 global financial crisis resulted in a fresh economic slump. Despite disputed statistics provided by the Venezuelan government indicating that the nation had halved malnutrition in response to one of the UN’s Millennium Development Goals, shortages of basic commodities started to develop in Venezuela, and malnutrition began to rise. Venezuela depreciated its currency in early 2013 as a result of increasing shortages in the nation. The shortages included, and may still include, essentials such as toilet paper, milk, and wheat. Fears of a toilet paper shortage were so intense that the government seized a toilet paper plant and maintained preparations to nationalize other industrial elements such as food delivery. Venezuela’s credit ratings were also downgraded many times in 2013 as a result of actions made by President Nicolás Maduro. One of his choices was to push shops and warehouses to sell all of their goods, which resulted in even greater shortages in the future. Most bond-rating agencies have also assigned a negative rating to Venezuela.

Entry Requirements For Venezuela

Visa & Passport for Venezuela

Citizens of the following countries do not need a visa to visit Venezuela for up to 90 days for tourist reasons (a tourist card will be given instead): Argentina, Australia, Austria, Barbados, Belgium, Belize, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, Chile, Costa Rica, Denmark, Dominica, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Grenada, Hong Kong, Iceland, Iran (max. 15 days), Ireland, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Korea (South), Lithuania, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Mexico, Monaco, Netherlands, Netherlands Antilles, Nevis, New Zealand, No. Business travelers nearly always need to get a visa before entering the country.

Passengers in Caracas walk through immigration in the newly renovated arrivals hall before proceeding to baggage claim. Officers will inspect your passport and may interrogate you. If a customs officer or anybody else inquires about your visit, tell them you are simply there for tourism. Before handing over your tax form to customs authorities, you must match the luggage tag on your airline ticket to the bar code on your bag at baggage claim.

Many people may approach you following your arrival, offering to help you find a cab or exchange money. It’s better not to engage with anybody who approaches you. Even airport employees with valid identification may try to direct you to different parts of the airport where you may exchange money on the black market. Always agree on a price before getting into a taxi from the airport, and only hire cabs with the official yellow oval stamp.

How To Travel To Venezuela

Vaccinations
Before traveling to Venezuela, several airlines require customers to present a valid Yellow fever vaccination certificate. Although this is not an official entrance requirement, the CDC recommends Yellow fever vaccine “for all visitors to Venezuela over the age of nine months, excluding those visiting the northern coast. Caracas and Valencia are not located in the endemic zone.” Following a national immunization campaign in 2006, a valid measles vaccination certificate may be needed to board flights out of the country, although foreign visitors are generally excluded.

Get In - By plane

Simon Bolivar International Airport (also known as Maiquetia Airport), (IATA: CCS), is the primary international airport in Vargas state. It is about a 30-minute drive from Caracas. During the day, buses leave from Parque Central and the Avenida Lecuna bus stop, which is located adjacent to Calle del Sur. Buses operate from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. and cost 40BsF per person. A cab from the airport costs Bs. 300,000 (BsF. 350) / US$7 (official currency rate) and US$5 (unofficial exchange rate) during the day, and Bs. 400,000 (BsF 400) / US$8 (official exchange rate) and US$5,7 (unofficial rate) at night. International flights to Maracaibo, Porlamar, and Valencia are available, although the options are restricted.

From the United States and most major European cities, you can travel nonstop.

United Airlines has daily flights from Caracas to Houston and weekly flights from Caracas to Newark (seasonal). American Airlines has daily flights from Miami, Puerto Rico, Dallas, and New York JFK. Delta Airlines operates a daily service from Atlanta. Four times each week, Air Canada provides a direct flight from Toronto.

Nonstop flights are available from Paris (Air France), Rome and Milan (Alitalia), Madrid (Iberia, Air Europa, CONVIASA, Santa Barbara), Tenerife (Santa Barbara), Santiago de Compostela (Air Europa -Seasonal Service-), Frankfurt (Lufthansa), and Lisbon and Oporto (Lufthansa) (TAP).

Flights to the remainder of Central and South America are provided by Aeropostal, CONVIASA, Avianca, Copa Airlines, Lloyd, LAN, and Aerolneas Argentinas.

Copa Airlines has daily flights from Caracas, Maracaibo, and Valencia to Panama, with connections to the rest of South America, Central America, and the United States.

American Airlines operates a daily flight from Maracaibo to the United States.

The airport fee for foreign departures (at Maiquetia Airport) is Bs. 137.00 / US$53.49 (official currency rate) and US$23 (unofficial exchange rate), while the departure charge is Bs. 46 / US$21.4 (official exchange rate) and US$9.2 (unofficial exchange rate) (unofficial exchange rate). These taxes are paid at the airport, despite the fact that many airline tickets include them. Only American Airlines is now permitted to include the airport fee in the ticket price. All other foreign airlines are unable to incorporate this tax in their ticket prices.

When leaving Venezuela, it is a good idea to have at least $50.00 US on hand. If the costs rise, or you are forced to pay both the airport and the exit tax, you may go into the main lobby area, where many merchants would gladly exchange fifty dollars for 250 bolivares fuertes, enough to cover the bill. If you don’t have any cash, you may ask an Air Canada staff to charge your credit card and provide you cash to pay the airport tax. When using this approach, request ‘efectivo.’

The airport tax for domestic flights (at Maiquetia Airport) is Bs. 23. (BsF. 23) The main domestic airlines in Venezuela include Aeropostal Alas de Venezuela, Santa Barbara Airlines, Avior Airlines, Conviasa, and Aserca Airlines.

Get In - By car

Venezuela has road connections to Colombia and Brazil. The road crossing to Brazil, not far from the border town of Santa Elena de Uairén, is a considerable distance from most tourist attractions in Venezuela and therefore not a popular entrance point. Border procedures are strict, and all visitors coming from Boa Vista are required to obtain a visa. The Venezuelan consulate is located on Av Benjamin Constant in Boa Vista.

Venezuela’s primary link with Colombia runs from Ccuta to the border town of San Antonio del Táchira, which is approximately 50 kilometers from the bustling Andean metropolis of San Cristóbal. A day trip to Ccuta does not need a visa, but border procedures are very strict, with numerous inspections. Visitors are urged to travel through the border region swiftly since it may be hazardous. JULY 2012: Border restrictions are now much more relaxed, and I was not stopped or searched on my trip from Venezuela to Colombia.

It is possible to take a local bus straight from San Cristobal to Cucuta for 25 BSF (a cab costs 250 BSF), but keep in mind that locals do not need to have their passports stamped, and the bus will not wait for you while you are going through the migration formalities. If you are departing Venezuela by road from San Antonio to Cucuta, you must pay the inconvenient BSF 90 exit fee, so do not exchange all of your bolivares in Venezuela. In fact, you will get lower rates in Cucuta. (At the moment, 1 bolivar is worth 195 pesos.)

How To Travel Around Venezuela

Travelers visiting Venezuela must carry identification. There are military checkpoints on numerous routes, so have your passport accessible if you’re traveling by vehicle or bus; preferably, carry a color photocopy of your passport. If your passport is stolen, this will make dealing with your local consulate easier. The military presence is continuous, although it is seldom a source of worry. Having said that, there are crooked authorities. When your possessions are being searched for drugs, for example, it is a good idea to keep a careful watch on them. A Guardia Nacional (National Guard) soldier may manufacture drugs in order to extort a bribe or steal goods. The penalties for drug usage are harsh, and the weight of evidence is on the accused; the police may also seek bribes using the same tactic.

Venezuela lacks a national train infrastructure, leaving three alternatives for travel throughout the country: automobile rental, buses, and cars-for-hire. Venezuelan drivers are usually aggressive and indifferent about traffic laws. Venezuelan traffic is terrible; drivers are hostile, and everyone wants to be the first. As a result, renting a vehicle is not advised in general. The low cost of petrol, on the other hand, makes this a very cost-effective choice. The insurance will be the most costly aspect of renting a vehicle. The price of 95 octane unleaded gasoline is 0.097 BsF/liter, or approximately US$0.022/liter at official exchange. About $0.09 per gallon.

Do not underestimate the utter mayhem that is Venezuelan traffic. The often-ignored road regulations require you to drive on the right unless overtaking and to yield to vehicles approaching a roundabout. On intercity roads, drivers regularly exceed 160 km/h (100 mph). Seat belt laws that require vehicle passengers to wear them are not always followed.

Traffic signals are often disregarded, particularly at night, not due to a lack of patience, but because drivers do not want to stop their vehicle for fear of being stolen.

Be careful that motorbikes (moto taxis) are sometimes observed carrying up to five passengers, typically without helmets, adding to the road hazards.

When approaching a crosswalk in Venezuela, keep in mind that pedestrians do not have the right of way as they do in the United States and many European nations. If you slow down or stop at a crosswalk to enable a pedestrian to cross, you may collide with an unwary driver.

The bus system is large and reasonably priced (in part due to the low price of gas). Bus terminals are crowded, but it is generally simple to locate a bus to any large city that will depart within a short period of time. Short bus rides (2 hours) may cost 30 BsF (30.000 Bs) (approximately US$7 at official exchange and US$3 at unofficial exchange rate), while extremely long bus rides (9 hours) may cost 100 BsF to 150 BsF per person (approximately $23 or US$35 at official exchange or US$10 and 11 at unofficial exchange rate). Larger buses are usually air conditioned. In fact, they are often excessively air-conditioned, so bring a blanket with you. Buses are a quick and simple method to travel across the nation. However, due to the occurrence of thefts on buses in both cities and on highways, adequate security awareness should be maintained. To ensure that no passengers are carrying weapons of any sort, select bus routes that employ a metal detector and a bag check.

If you prefer to go by bus, ‘Aeroexpresos Ejecutivos’ is an excellent choice; they have their own terminal in a residential area of Caracas (Chacao, Bello Campo) ( [www] ), and luggage is checked on the buses (as in an airport). The vehicles are clean, safe, and well-maintained, and the drivers are taught to drive within the speed limit (there are many accidents on regular buses on Venezuelan highways, most of them caused by speeding on poorly maintained roads). They cost more than a normal bus, but are still inexpensive by American/European standards. You may pay with a credit card and purchase tickets over the phone. Aeroexpressos provides somewhat more costly alternatives for many lengthy routes, including semi-cama seats, chairs that recline farther, and more comfortable sleeping on overnight flights.

Buses may not run on a regular basis in tiny communities. In such situations, cars-for-hire, often known as “por puestos,” may be used. These are usually ancient and run-down cars, but they are inexpensive. They are more costly than buses, usually costing 40 BsF each passenger for a one- or two-hour trip (about $9 US at official and $5 at unofficial). The major issue is that they usually wait until they have a full vehicle (4 or 5 people) before embarking on a trip. If you wish to go immediately away, the driver would typically attempt to persuade you to pay for the additional passengers. However, the vehicles are popular, and one does not typically have to wait long for a car to fill up. Por puestos are distinguished by signs displaying the names of the streets or locations through which they usually travel or stop. Traveling alone in a por puesto should be avoided, as should ‘pirates,’ inauthentic, unauthorized taxis that may attempt to rob tourists.

Within cities, taxis are often used. Taxis are the most costly mode of transportation, although they are still less expensive than their North American or European counterparts. A trip across town will often cost between 20 and 120 BsF. (depending on the city). Taxis do not have meters and will charge a higher rate at night. This is typical in Venezuela; nevertheless, since all pricing in the Venezuelan economy are variable, it is a good idea to negotiate the fee for the trip ahead of time. Tipping is not anticipated nor required. The driver considers the tip to be part of the fee he charges and will include it in his negotiations.

Local buses are available and generally link the station to the city center. They usually cost between BsF 2 and 4, depending on the city. Bus routes are generally a mystery to the inexperienced, but you may try reading the symbols in the windows (going to —- coming from).

Caracas boasts a clean, contemporary, and reasonably priced metro system that is presently being extended. Pickpocketing is common in the metro, while armed robberies are virtually unheard of. Typically, delinquents will attempt to distract the passenger before another member of the gang removes the wallet or bag at the appropriate time. It’s better to keep your luggage in front of you and avoid making uninvited eye contact with others.

Get Around - By car

Venezuela is an appealing nation to explore by automobile due to its extensive road network (about 82,000 km) and historically cheap gasoline prices.

Many roads are in excellent shape, but there are some gravel and dirt roads that need an off-road vehicle, particularly during the rainy season, which lasts from May to October. This is why it is essential to travel with a decent road map (e.g., Berndtson & Berndtson’s Venezuela Laminated Map) and to be fully informed on distances, road conditions, and anticipated travel time. Cochera andina’s website provides information on approximately 120 routes across the nation.

You may hire a vehicle for $20 to $50 per day, including insurance and legal responsibility. This may cause you to reconsider renting a vehicle, particularly because hiring a car with a driver typically costs the same.

Fuel costs 0.097 Bs/liter, which is equivalent to 0.022 US$/liter – 0.09 US$/gallon – 0.03 €/liter (at official rates) and 0.01 US$/liter – 0.045 US$/gallon – 0.013 €/liter. There are many petrol stations in the major cities. Fill the tank before leaving for remote regions, or bring a reserve canister with you. In the highlands, gas usage often exceeds 15 litres per 100 kilometers.

To drive in Venezuela, you must have an international driver’s license. During regular inspections, police may often request the license as well as the frame or motor number. In general, traffic regulations adhere to international standards. However, do not underestimate the utter mayhem that is Venezuelan traffic. When driving in Venezuela, be cautious.

The often-ignored traffic regulations require you to drive on the right unless overtaking and to yield to traffic in a roundabout. Although the speed limit outside the city is 80 km/h and 60 km/h inside the city (50 km/h at night), local drivers regularly exceed 160 km/h (100 mph) on interstate roads. The law requires vehicle passengers to wear seat belts when driving, which is often disregarded. When you’re stuck in traffic, other cars will constantly attempt to pass you. Also, keep in mind that motorbikes may occasionally carry up to five persons without helmets. Pay care at night: roadways, vehicles, and bicycles often have little or no lighting. It’s also worth noting that even “excellent” roads may contain unexpectedly deep potholes. Long-distance interurban vehicle travel during the nighttime hours is not advised for this reason, as well as for security reasons in general.

Only on major routes will you find good signage. The following are examples of common and vital road signs:

  • Curva peligrosa: “Dangerous curve”
  • Sucesión de curvas: “Winding road”
  • Reduzca velocidad: “Reduce speed”
  • Conserve su derecha: “Keep right”

Destinations in Venezuela

Regions in Venezuela

  • Andes
    This area, which includes the states of Mérida, Táchira, and Trujillo, is mountainous and beautiful.
  • Caribbean Islands
    Many of the finest beaches may be found here, since there are around 600 islands or smaller formations.
  • Central
    From Caracas and the neighboring commuter towns of Miranda and Vargas out to the states of Aragua and Carabobo, Venezuela’s most populated region boasts excellent beaches and large cities.
  • Guayana
    The vast and mostly uninhabited region south of the Orinoco River, which accounts for about half of Venezuela’s national territory, contains rainforest in Amazonas, table-top mountains in Gran Sabana and Bolivar states, and flat marshlands stretching out in the Orinoco Delta.
  • Los Llanos
    The states of Apure, Barinas, Cojedes, Guárico, and Portuguesa are made up of vast wide plains that are home to cattle ranching and magnificent wildlife.
  • Northeast
    Beautiful uninhabited beaches near Anzoátegui and Sucre, as well as hills and caves in the state of Monagas.
  • Northwest
    The northwest, which is rich in oil from Zulia state, also has additional beaches in Falcón and a beautiful agricultural landscape in Yaracuy and Lara.

Cities in Venezuela

  • Caracas – As Venezuela’s capital and biggest city, Caracas is regarded as one of the most cosmopolitan and contemporary cities in South America. There are many sites to explore, including theaters, shopping malls, museums, art galleries, parks, well-preserved colonial architecture, and even gourmet restaurants.
  • Coro – Venezuela’s first capital and a city with rich colonial architecture, distinctive natural landscape, and tourist appeal. Its historic center is designated as a cultural World Heritage Site.
  • Ciudad Bolivar – The departure point for flights to Angel Falls, as well as a convenient layover in Brazil.
  • Ciudad Guayana – The most organized city in Venezuela and the primary entrance to the Orinoco Delta and the Gran Sabana, it is dominated by heavy industries. Locals still refer to it as Puerto Ordaz or San Félix.
  • Maracaibo – Maracaibo is Venezuela’s second biggest metropolis, arid and oil-fueled.
  • Maracay – Once Venezuela’s capital, it now houses the country’s major military post.
  • Mérida – Mérida is a beautiful university town in the Andes highlands known for its outdoor activities.
  • Puerto La Cruz – This is the place to come if you wish to see the beaches of Eastern Venezuela.
  • San Cristóbal – San Cristóbal is a green, bustling city on the Colombian border in the Andes Mountains.

Other destinations in Venezuela

  • Angel Falls
  • Canaima National Park
  • Choroní
  • Los Roques Archipelago
  • Margarita Island
  • Mochima
  • Morrocoy
  • Laguna Sinamaica
  • Los Llanos
  • Los Roques
  • Orinoco Delta
  • La Gran Sabana

Accommodation & Hotels in Venezuela

There is a decent variety of 5-star hotels in Caracas, but they are typically pricey. In other tourist areas of Venezuela, posadas (guest homes or bed and breakfasts) are generally the best choice, each with its own unique flair and usually providing breakfast or supper if desired. The price and quality of posadas may vary greatly. Youth hostels are in short supply.

Keep in mind that many hotel beds (usually up to the mid-tier tiers) are nothing more than mattresses on concrete slabs that mimic box springs. They may not be the most comfy for you, depending on your sleeping habits. Something to think about while searching for a hotel to stay at.

Food & Drinks in Venezuela

Food in Venezuela

Arepas, which are thick maize tortillas split and filled with a variety of ingredients, are the classic Venezuelan meal. The “reina pepiada” (shredded chicken salad with avocado) and “domino” are the most well-known variants (stuffed with black beans and shredded white cheese). Hallacas (Venezuela’s native tamale, with pork, olives, raisins rolled in cornmeal and wrapped in plantain leaves to steam) are a traditional Christmas food. Cachapas (corn pancakes often covered with a salty cheese known as “telita” or “queso de mano”), empanadas (savory pastries), and the ubiquitous “perros calientes” (hot dogs) are popular street foods. Slow dining options include excellent fish dinners and a shrimp soup known as “cazuela de mariscos.”

The typical Venezuelan meal is pabellón, which consists of rice, black beans, and beef with fried plantain slices on the side. The meals listed above are known as “comida criolla,” or Creole cuisine.

Venezuela is a major producer of high-quality cacao beans, and Venezuelan chocolate may be delicious. The El Rey brand is known for its high quality.

Drinks in Venezuela

Venezuelan beers may seem light and watery to certain tastes, particularly those who like stronger and more complex beers. Polar is the most popular beer brand, and it comes in a low-calorie form (Polar Light), a light version (Polar Ice), and a premium version (Solera). Other beers available throughout the nation include Zulia and Regional. Whisky is extremely popular among Venezeulans, especially on special occasions. Venezuelan rum is usually black and of high quality. Among the finest is Santa Teresa’s “1796” brand. It’s rum from Solera. Pampero “caballito frenado” and Cacique are two more famous rum brands.

Venezuelans are big drinkers who will often go through a case of beer before breakfast on holiday days, only to follow up with a bottle of rum or whiskey after nightfall.

“Chicha Andina,” a popular non-alcoholic drink prepared from rice or maize flour, is a popular non-alcoholic drink.

Malta, sometimes known as Maltin, is a non-alcoholic carbonated malt drink marketed alongside conventional soft drinks. It is also produced by the Polar business.

Venezuelan coffee is delicious, but make sure you ask for real coffee (machine-made, ‘de la maquina’), otherwise you may be given a ‘negrito’ or ‘guayoyo,’ which may range from weak filter coffee to coffee-smelling brown water.

Money & Shopping in Venezuela

Money

Venezuela’s currency is the Bolivar Fuerte (BsF), which replaced the previous bolivar on January 1, 2008, at a 1:1 BsF to 1000 old Bs exchange rate.

Bolivars are not readily convertible in or out of the nation due to stringent currency restrictions in place since 2003. The official rate is now 10 BsF per US dollar (provided by banks and a few bureaux de change), but there is a flourishing parallel market that trades at higher rates. These unofficial rates vary in response to general currency demand, inflation, and political unrest. There are three exchange rates on the “parallel market”: tourist, black market (a little higher but hazardous and unpleasant), and bonds brokerage (high amounts in government bonds, when on sale). The highest one, which appears as a reference on certain internet sites, is the government dollar bond rate, which is unavailable unless you purchase thousands of dollars in government bonds via a Venezuelan brokerage company. This is the one that determines the black market and tourist rates. The black market should be avoided unless you are confident in the honesty of the individuals changing your money. They may be con artists, criminals, or even police officers masquerading as merchants. The tourist rate, which is usually supplied by higher-level individuals in the tourism sector, is the safest parallel exchange (hotel managers, posada owners, etc.). Rates fluctuate across Venezuela and from week to week. The tourist rate is seldom variable over time. Once you’ve changed, you won’t be able to change back to euros or dollars unless the tourist operator that swapped it for you is kind enough to accept it back.

In January 2013, the tourist rate was approximately BsF16 to the dollar and BsF20 to the euro. On 27 January 2014, the SICAD exchange rate, which was established on December 24, 2013, was 11,29 BsF. per US dollar; by March 25, 2014, a new exchange rate known as the SICAD 2, had risen to a then-overwhelming 54,8 BsF. per US dollar. By late 2016, with the official exchange rate remaining at 10 BsF per US dollar, the currency was trading informally at 4000 BsF to the dollar and quickly declining, losing more than half its value in a single month. Food and basic commodities are in limited supply at stores, and many necessary medicines are becoming unavailable.

Current parallel market rates are available here. (Seems to be banned in Venezuela; use a proxy server or just search for “dolar paralelo”). Venezuelan currency is also sold on eBay outside of Venezuela at different price points between the parallel black market rate and the official government rate, and is promoted as a collector item rather as travel money. Purchasing before leaving will give you with some spending money until you can locate a trustworthy person to convert money in Venezuela. The gap between black market and official government currency rates is enormous.

Lechuga
Because the government forbids discussing the black market or parallel market, individuals refer to it as the lettuce market, and foreign currencies as different types of lettuce: Dollars are referred to as green lettuce (lechuga verde), whereas Euros are referred to as European lettuce (lechuga Europea)

Visa and MasterCard are commonly accepted, whereas American Express and Diners Club are often accepted at premium restaurants, hotels, and shopping malls. Before processing a credit card purchase, merchants always request identification (a passport will suffice). ATMs may be found all throughout the nation. They only give out Bolivars at the official exchange rate of 4.3. Maestro Debit Cards are the most widely accepted, but Visa Debit Cards are frequently refused because they are a “fee-scam” for sellers (appearing as “Debit” for the buyer and “Credit” for the seller), and some ATMs also require the last two digits of Venezuelan ID numbers as an added security precaution, causing problems for foreigners who do not have an ID number linked to their bank account.

Because many merchants, particularly taxi drivers, seldom have change, it is better to carry little change rather than big notes. Tipping taxi drivers is unusual and may seem odd. Be cautious of taxi drivers, since nearly all of them prey on visitors, especially on the way from the airport to Caracas. Only use the official airport taxis (black Ford Explorers with a vending machine inside the airport). Purchase your ticket there, first verifying the cost based on the destination shown on the counter, rather than immediately asking the teller or taxi drivers. You may also arrange for airport pickup, but it will be more costly (mostly luxury hotels). You may utilize “Teletaxi” in Caracas for a secure taxi service, which you can schedule by phone (0212-9534040). Before ordering the service, please call and inquire about the cost.

Tipping is typically low in restaurants. If a 10% service fee is included, some additional small change may be left on top of the amount, or if not included, a 10% tip is usual.

Handicrafts

Hammocks and dark wooden handicrafts, as well as garish painted statuettes of big-busted ladies, may be found across Venezuela. Some regions, such as Falcón state, have a long history of producing high-quality glazed ceramics.

Festivals & Holidays in Venezuela

  • January 1: New Year’s Day
  • January 14: Feast of the Divina Pastors
  • February 12: Youth Day
  • February 20: Federation Day
  • March 21: Slavery Abolition Anniversary
  • April 19: Independence Movement Day
  • July 5: Independence Day
  • July 24: Birth of Simón Bolívar
  • September 8: Birth of the Virgin Mary and Feasts of the Virgin del Valle and Our Lady of Coromoto
  • October 12: Day of Indigenous Resistance
  • December 8: Immaculate Conception and Loyalty Day
  • December 25: Christmas

Traditions & Customs in Venezuela

Most Venezuelans are unconcerned about racial problems since white or creole people mix in with indigenous and Afro-Venezuelans in daily life (education, living, politics, marriage). As a result, the term “negro” may be used independently of who is saying it or who is being referred to in this manner. Expressions such as “negrito” or “mi negro” are often used as terms of affection. You might hear someone calling a lady “negra,” regardless of her color. In general, Afro-Venezuelans do not find it insulting since the words are just variants on the Spanish term for “black.” Similarly, don’t be upset if someone refers to you as “flaco” (thin) or “gordo” (fat), since both terms are used quite casually and often as a kind greeting.

Most Venezuelans do not see differences between Brits, Americans, or Europeans. As a result, even if you are Russian, you may expect to be dubbed “gringo.” Don’t let this bother you as a non-Spanish speaker.

Venezuelans, like Colombians, Nicaraguans, and Panamanians, have a funny method of pointing to things by pouting their lips and raising their chin, so don’t expect folks to blow you kisses when you ask for directions.

Another important point to remember is that Venezuelan society is deeply divided between “Chavistas” (those who support President Chavez) and “Anti-Chavistas” (those who oppose him), so it is strongly advised not to discuss him and/or his politics unless you are certain which side your Venezuelan friends are on.

Culture Of Venezuela

Venezuelan culture is a melting pot comprised mostly of three distinct families: indigenous, African, and Spanish. The first two civilizations were further subdivided based on tribes. Acculturation and assimilation, characteristic of cultural syncretism, resulted in the present Venezuelan culture, which is similar to the rest of Latin America in many ways, despite significant variations due to the natural environment.

The indigenous impact is confined to a few lexical and gastronomic terms, as well as numerous place names. African influence may also be seen in musical instruments such as the drum. The Spanish impact was strong (owing to the colonization process and the socioeconomic system it established) and came mostly from the areas of Andalusia and Extremadura, which were the origins of the majority of immigrants in the Caribbean during the colonial period. Buildings, music, the Catholic faith, and language are all examples of this.

Bullfighting and some aspects of cuisine are heavily influenced by Spanish culture. In the nineteenth century, Venezuela was further enhanced by various streams of Indian and European heritage, particularly from France. In the most recent stage, oil of American provenance and symptoms of new Spanish, Italian, and Portuguese immigration have added to the already diverse cultural mosaic in key cities and areas. For example, the impact of baseball taste, US-style fast food, and contemporary architectural projects can all be traced back to the United States.

Art

Religious themes dominated Venezuelan art at first. Artists started stressing historical and heroic depictions of the country’s fight for freedom in the late nineteenth century, though. Martn Tovar y Tovar was the driving force behind this move. In the twentieth century, modernism took control. Arturo Michelena, Cristóbal Rojas, Armando Reverón, and Manuel Cabré are notable Venezuelan artists, as are kinetic artists Jess Soto, Gego, and Carlos Cruz-Dez, and modern artists Marisol and Yucef Merhi.

Music

Venezuelan indigenous musical traditions are represented by the ensembles Un Sólo Pueblo and Serenata Guayanesa. The cuatro is the national musical instrument. Alma Llanera (by Pedro Elas Gutiérrez and Rafael Bolvar Coronado), Florentino y el diablo (by Alberto Arvelo Torrealba), Concierto en la llanura (by Juan Vicente Torrealba), and Caballo Viejo (by Simón Daz) are examples of typical musical styles and pieces that emerged in and around the llanos region.

The Zulian gaita is another famous style that is usually performed around Christmas. The joropo is the national dance. Venezuela has long been a cultural melting pot, as shown by the richness and diversity of its musical genres and dances, which include calipso, bambuco, fula, cantos de pilado de maz, cantos de lavanderas, sebucán, and maremare. Teresa Carreo was a world-renowned nineteenth-century piano virtuoso. Classical Music has seen several outstanding performances in recent years. The Simón Bolvar Youth Orchestra, led by Gustavo Dudamel and José Antonio Abreu, has given a number of outstanding performances in various European music venues, most notably at the 2007 London Proms, and has won many awards. The orchestra represents the apex of El Sistema, a publicly funded volunteer sector music education initiative that is now being replicated in other nations.

In the early twenty-first century, a movement known as “Movida Acstica Urbana” included artists attempting to preserve certain national traditions by writing their own songs but using old instruments. Tambor Urbano, Los Sinverguenzas, the C4Trio, and Orozco Jam are examples of groups in this tradition.

The festivals of the “black folk saints” San Juan and San Benito are most closely associated with Afro-Venezuelan musical traditions. Specific songs are associated with the various phases of the celebration and the procession, when the saints begin their annual paseo – walk – through the village to dance with their people.

Cuisine

Venezuelan cuisine, one of the most diverse in the area, reflecting the country’s climatic differences and coexisting ethnicities. Hallaca, pabellón criollo, arepas, pisca andina, tarkar de chivo, jalea de mango, and fried camiguanas are among them.

Miss Venezuela

Venezuela is well-known for its illusive success in worldwide beauty pageantry, led by famous beauty queen creator Osmel Sousa, who has won 22 championships to date. Furthermore, Miss Venezuela is a highly anticipated event across the country, as well as in other competing countries where Venezuelan beauty pageants are often regarded as the mainstream standard of pageantry.

Venezuela has won the following titles in total:

  • Seven — Miss Universe crowns.
  • Six — Miss World crowns.
  • Seven —Miss International crowns.
  • Two —Miss Earth crowns.

Venezuela is the country with the most international pageant crowns, according to the Global Beauties website. It also has a Guinness World Record, as Dayana Mendoza, Miss Universe 2008 from Venezuela, crowned Stefania Fernandez, also from Venezuela, as Miss Universe 2009, marking the first time in the competition’s 50-year history that a nation has won the title in two consecutive years.

Architecture

Carlos Ral Villanueva was Venezuela’s most significant modern architect; he built the Central University of Venezuela (a World Heritage Site) and its Aula Magna. The Capitolio, the Baralt Theatre, the Teresa Carreo Cultural Complex, and the General Rafael Urdaneta Bridge are other noteworthy architectural achievements.

Stay Safe & Healthy in Venezuela

Stay Safe in Venezuela

Venezuela is not without its share of poverty and criminality. Venezuela has one of the world’s highest murder rates. Pickpockets and muggers may be present in busy cities, so be on the lookout. Most areas of major cities are not safe to stroll through at night. Keep to crowded places. At night, always go by car. Many cities’ fringes are impoverished and crime-ridden, making them unsuitable for visitors. When in doubt, ask locals or taxi drivers if a location is safe. In general, if a person seems to be a (probably affluent) tourist, certain areas of town should be avoided. It is not a good idea to wear costly jewelry or timepieces. When taking photos and unfolding maps amid crowds, use caution. Even if you’re not sure where you’re headed, act as if you do.

Always take a legal taxi (Yellow plates). Taxis with white plates are not authorized and may be hazardous.

Furthermore, one must be cautious of unscrupulous authorities (police and National Guard). Some authorities may demand bribes or extort tourists in various ways. Always keep an eye on your things. Despite all of these warnings, traveling in Venezuela is generally fairly safe if one uses common sense and avoids seeming too rich. Women with large bags should avoid walking about alone. Unless you know where you’re going, tourists should avoid walking large distances in towns and cities. Whenever feasible, arrange for car transportation. Female visitors should avoid walking into impoverished regions or shanty communities unless accompanied by a knowledgeable guide. If they go through certain locations, they are more likely to be raped or sexually assaulted.

Above all, while visiting Venezuela, it is essential to exercise common sense. If you take the necessary measures, you should have no problems. Don’t stare at anybody in the wrong way, and don’t seem to be too rich.

If you are mugged, do not resist and avoid eye contact; most muggers in Venezuela carry firearms and will shoot at the slightest provocation; keep calm and give the mugger whatever he wants; failure to do so is often fatal; also, reporting a mugging to the police is rarely worth the trouble; it is best to forget it as muggers abound.

Despite all of the security concerns, you may escape the most of them by remaining in tourist hotspots or exploring less touristy places with someone who resides in the nation.

Venezuela too has an intriguing cannabis policy. You may own up to 20gr, but be advised that anything more will land you in jail for an extended period of time. Despite the fact that this regulation is fairly permissive by American or British standards, you should keep all cannabis usage secret, if only to avoid unwanted attention.

Avoid long-distance vehicle driving at night since many roadways are unsafe. If you have an issue, Venezuelans are generally eager to assist you. However, they are unlikely to stop for you in the dark since they would risk being attacked for no reason.

Kidnappings and cross-border violence are more common along the Venezuelan-Colombian border. As a result, several countries strongly advise against traveling near the border.

Stay Healthy in Venezuela

You may have diarrhea when adapting to Venezuelan meals and drinks. You should consume bottled water rather than tap water, although iced beverages and salads are usually OK (depending on the water supply quality of your native country). Expired meals and cheeses that are several days old should be avoided. Street vendors selling food along roads are common, and they don’t necessarily have a good understanding of sanitary food handling procedures. When deciding what to eat on the street, use common sense. Keep in mind that owing to the local environment, fresh food and mayonnaise may spoil quickly.

Health hazards include sunburn and tropical illnesses, as they do everywhere in the tropics.

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