|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.|
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.
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.)