Venezuela Travel Guide
Travelers tend to stay far away from Venezuela as the country has a notorious reputation for violence and political instability. While this reputation isn't without a basis, people tend to blow this out of proportion. Many travelers have visited Venezuela and returned safely. So, it's up to you really if you want to go to the country after doing your research.
The key to staying safe in Venezuela is to use your head and be cautious. Don't make yourself a target by displaying or flaunting your phones, camera, and jewelry. Wear simple clothing. More information about safety tips for Venezuela will be discussed in detail later.
People brave enough to visit Venezuela discovered a country with extraordinary landscape and abundant natural beauty. From the vibrant cities to the idyllic Caribbean Islands, lofty Andean peaks, beautiful wildlife, and rich rainforests, there's so much to enjoy in Venezuela.
Capital city: Caracas
Currency: Venezuelan Bolívar (VEF). 1 USD = 567,295.23 VEF. Nearer to the Brazilian border, it is much easier to use Brazilian Reals.
Electricity: Power voltage is 120 Volts. Power sockets type A and B.
Languages: Spanish is the official language of Venezuela. Chinese, Portuguese, and Italian are also spoken.
10 Handpicked Highlights of Venezuela
The experience of Angels falls, highest uninterrupted waterfall, isn’t something you’ll forget anytime soon. As you stand under the mighty drop of water, you hear the melodies of birds and sounds of other animals around you. You get immersed in the scenery around you. When you finally get out of the limbo, swim in the pool underneath the waterfall. It’s a nice way to end your time there, especially during the summer months.
Beyond the waterfall itself, it is a whole remote and wild region you get to visit, enough to make you feel like a true explorer.
If you think you’ve seen all there is to see in Venezuela, then head to the Orinoco Delta. The landscape and experience is unlike anything else in the country. From fascinating flora and fauna to unique animal species like the Orinoco monkey, crocodile, piranha macaw, and colorful birds, the sights in Orinoco are straight out of paradise. Depending on the package you sign up for, you can go out on a boat to see wildlife or visit local Warao people to learn about their ways of life.
The main attraction of the Llanos is the wildlife as there is the opportunity to get close and personal to different species of birds, buffalos, anacondas, capybaras, caimans, and so on. You can also go piranha fishing or explore the vast savannah on the back of horse or inside a 4 x 4. After spending the day exploring and watching animals, you get your well-deserved ear with a cold beer in hand and watching the sunset across the plains.
Canaima Lagoon & Canaima National Park
Canaima National Park is the gateway to Angels falls and you should also find time to explore the park. The landscape and wildlife at the park is impressive and you mmight be able to spot jaguars, giant anteaters, armadillos, porcupines, capybaras, and more – if you are lucky of course. There are also many challenging yet rewarding hikes in the park.
The Canaima lagoon, which is west of the park, is beautiful with its tea-colored water due to vegetation. The lagoon is famous for its series of waterfalls and its beautiful sandy beach.
Canaima National Park is one of the biggest attraction for any adventure-minded traveler in Venezuela, allowing to discover a really unique landscape made of table-top mountains called tepuis, that are almost unique to Venezuela.
Trekking in Sierra Nevada National Park
Lovers of mountains and the outdoors in general will love the Sierra National Park which is home to the famous Sierra Nevada mountain range. While the scenery here is incredible, the real fun is hiking, mountaineering, tandem ziplining, and horseback riding. There is also a cable car ride to the top of the mountain for those not willing to trek. Remember to take warm clothing as the temperatures at the mountains can get really low.
Medanos de Coro National Park
Oh, the massive sand dunes (medanos) of the Medanos de Coro National Park. The dunes can reach 40 m (130 ft) in height and they are constantly reformed and transformed by the wind. The park also boasts of a rare archaeological site.
The best time to visit the park is at sunrise and sunset for the otherworldly scenery. Sunsets are breathtaking here, same as sunrises. It’s recommended you don’t go to the sand dunes alone. Sign up for a tour or have a local guide escort you for security reasons.
Mount Roraima holds the title of being the highest tabletop mountain in the world. The mountain is also the inspiration for Arthur Conan Doyle’s ‘Lost World’. With the routes up the mountain well maintained, you are in for an interesting hike. When you get to the summit, it’ll be like stepping into another dimension and in a sense, you are. To get the best out of your expiration of Roraima, sign up with a reputable tour company.
Mochima National Park
Beautiful coastal and mountainous areas. That’s how to summarize the Mochima National Park in a few words. There are several small islands in the park, all of which are stunning. From the tranquil environment to white sand beach and the beautiful turquoise (I’m brushing up on my knowledge of colors) water, Mochima National Park is a paradise on earth.
Dolphins are a common sight during boat rides! You’ll also see other animal species. Snorkeling is also a common activity as the underwater area of the park is beautiful.
Los Roques Archipelago
If you want a getaway in Venezuela, then Los Roques Archipelago is the place to go. The islands are only accessible by private plane or boat so it’s more expensive to travel there. But the clear light blue waters and white sand that welcomes is an indication you are making the right choice. From diving to windsurfing, snorkeling, and fishing, there’s no shortage of fun stuff to do here. Try to get an all-inclusive deal for travel, food, accommodation, and diving at an agency in Caracas. Booking a hotel yourself may be significantly more expensive.
A Caribbean island of Venezuela, Isla Margarita is one of the most visited places in the country. The island is surrounded by several beaches and you’ll find one that’s perfect for you. Famous for its wind, Isla Margarita is a perfect place for kitesurfing and windsurfing. Fishing, horseriding, and golf are also readily available at the island. Sunbathe to your heart’s desire on the beaches.
Venezuela's Geography & Landscapes
Venezuela can be divided into four regions:
- The Maracaibo lowlands in the northwest
- The northern mountains
- The wide Orinoco plains (Llanos)
- The dissected Guiana highlands in the southeast
As previously mentioned, the landscape of Venezuela is beautiful and diverse. There are rich rainforests, lofty Andean peaks, and beautiful Caribbean islands.
Best Time To Go To Venezuela
Venezuela has a tropical climate and as a result, has two seasons: wet and dry. The dry season runs from November to April while the wet season is usually between May and October. If you want to visit Angel Falls
, the best time to go is during the wet season as the volume of water increases due to rainfall.
If you want to enjoy outdoor activities like hiking or safari, the dry season is the best time to do this. October and November are the best times to visit for both outdoor activities and seeing Angel Falls.
Traveling in Venezuela
To have a fantastic experience in Venezuela, follow the following safety tips:
- Don’t go anywhere at night.
- Speak with your hotel management about areas to avoid.
- Don’t flaunt your belongings. The poverty rate is high in Venezuela and showing off your belongings can make you a target.
- Research the local situation of any town you want to visit.
- Make photocopies of all important documents and carry them with you. The originals should be in a safe place like your hotel room.
- Don’t explore the country on your own. Sign up for tours so you can be accompanied by a local guide at all times.
- Don’t do drugs. It’s a very serious offense in the country.
- The waters in the Caribbean beaches can be deceptive as there are strong currents and undertows in some areas. Be careful about where you swim.
Don’t hesitate to read our detailed article: Is It Safe To Travel in Venezuela? My Recent Experience
Getting to & Around Peru
The main entry to Venezuela is the Simón Bolívar International Airport in Caracas. Another entry point is the International airport in Maracaibo.
Domestic airlines include Aeropostal, Avior Airlines, Albatros Airlines, Conviasa, Aerolínea Estelar, and LASER Airlines.
It is also quite common to arrive in Venezuela by land, from Brazil (that’s what I did!).
Buses are the most popular way to get around and can be found in all major cities and towns. They are also very affordable.
Taxis are another way to travel and taxi prices in Venezuela are generally low compared to other parts of the world. You can also arrange private taxi transfers between cities. You can also rent a car but you must be at least 21 years old and have a U.S. driver’s license.
There are no trains in Venezuela.
The safest way to get around the country is a reliable car and driver, even if it is more expensive. Again, that’s the option I chose.
Hotels are readily available in most cities and towns. Private accommodation are difficult to come by outside of the major cities.