traveling to Venezuela

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1. 7 THINGS NOBODY TOLD ME ABOUT VENEZUELA

Venezuela; a vast, largely unexplored country famed for it’s towering peaks, tumbling falls and insane inflation. Almost everybody I met told me not to travel to Venezuela, some people even made it their mission in life to scare me out of visiting this amazing country. Despite all of the out of date Venezuela travel guide’s that I read, all of the information and mis-information, that was thrown at me, there were seven facts about Venezuela which nobody bothered to tell me…

1. 60 Litres of fuel is less than 1 cent

Yeah, that’s not a typo people. I was told that the fuel was cheap; sure I got that, message received. Nobody told me it was cheaper to fill up a car than to buy a bottle of water. Venezuela has the largest oil reserves in the world and cheap, nearly-free, fuel is pretty much seen as a Venezuelan birth-right. I was absolutely amazed when I first pulled up to a gas station and my buddy filled up the car with the ‘higher quality’ fuel – it cost under 2 bolivars, a little less than 1 cent at the black market rate of 230 bolivars to the dollar.

2. Venezuelans’ want to chat about Politics


I was extremely surprised to find out that most of the Venezuelans I had the pleasure of bumping into were more than up for discussing the political situation in the country. I spoke to die-hard Chavistas, left-wing protestors and everybody in between; the one thing they all had in common was that they were extremely grateful to have somebody listen to their side of the story. On numerous occasions, Venezuelans themselves would actually initiate the conversation which was not what I had expected. In the past, when visiting ‘dangerous’ countries, I have found locals to be very quiet when it comes to discussing their government due to an inherent fear of reprisals. Venezuela was refreshingly different and I felt that, despite the huge amounts of conflicting information thrown at me, I came away from the country with a better understanding of what is actually going on.

3. Powdered Milk is more expensive than an internal flight

I had been warned in advance that getting toilet paper in Venezuela was a real pain in the ass (ha!) to get and that one would have to queue for hours in order to buy some. It turns out that you can actually get toilet paper relatively easily on the black market but that, for a pack of 12, you would end up paying a fair whack. Even more expensive was powdered milk, which is one of the main illegal imports from Colombia and could cost up to $6 for a 2 kilo bag if bought on the black market. A one hour internal flight, on the other hand, comes in at around the $5 – $8 mark. Sure, the planes may have been terrifyingly juddery (tiny planes with propellers) but heck, they sure are cheap!

4. Not every Venezuelan woman is a ‘Miss World’

“You’re going to Venezuela? Aw dude, I heard the girls are stunning there!” – OK, I don’t want to ruffle any feathers here, there were plenty of Venezuelan girls who were giggly, pretty, funny and approachable. However, on the other hand, for every potential Miss World (which has been won by Venezuelans more times than any other nation) there were half a dozen women who would be better off aiming for the Miss Obesity pageant… Seriously, I was totally shocked at the amount of overweight people in Venezuela. Perhaps it’s due to a bad diet, maybe exercise simply isn’t part of the culture, whatever the reasons, there’s no denying it – Venezuela has more than it’s fair share of fatties. Please direct your hate mail to Mount Doom.

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2. A SHORT GUIDE TO TRAVELING IN VENEZUELA – HOW, WHERE & FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

When our friends found out that we are traveling to Venezuela, it wasn’t the usual reaction we get. They were pretty worried and in fact, advised us to bring our own tissue, water, and food. We took necessary precautions and brought supplies, just in case. But to our surprise, we didn’t really need to bring all of those.

There were actually a lot of supplies available to us in Venezuela and our experience didn’t differ much from the other South American countries we’ve already visited, aside from the unique experiences the country itself has to offer. Of course, we’re not disputing that times are hard, economically and politically, for many Venezuelans, but as tourists there we felt like we had reasonable access to everything we needed.

Venezuela is a federal republic on the northern coast of South America and has a population of almost 32 million. While political riots in the city can be frequent at times, we found it very safe to travel in the between the cities by both air and road. Even the random police checks on the highways were a simple experience and the officers inspecting the vehicle and our identification were polite, friendly and happy to have a casual chat with us in Spanish. Exploring Caracas itself is best advised with a knowledgeable guide, who understands where to go, when and how. The local people we met along the way were wonderful, traveling was extremely affordable and the raw, authentic beauty of the country actually made it one of our top must-visit destinations.

QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS ABOUT VENEZUELA

Venezuela is bordered by several different countries. You have Colombia on the west, Brazil to the south, Guyana on the east, and the island of Trinidad and Tobago to the north-east.

We can’t really say it’s perfect for solo backpackers and hitch-hikers at the moment, however, the condition of the country fluctuates, so what you read in the media is often reflective of something that happened weeks, months or even longer before. It’s important to find current information about what is going on at the time you’re planning to go there so that you can make an informed decision. Like in any part of South America, or the world for that matter, there are areas which you should stay clear of. We decided that we wanted to travel there with someone local who knows the country inside out, understands the situation and also knows how to use that knowledge to make a safe and exciting experience without feeling like a guided bus tour.

After a small amount of research we contacted Osprey Expeditions, who have been a leading guide and travel specialist in Venezuela since the 1990’s, have the the top Lonely Planet reviews and are the advisors of choice for travel writers looking to document Venezuela, even when government travel advisories tell you to stay away! Osprey Expeditions also offer tours and travel services all over South America.

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3. 15 Best Places to Visit in Venezuela

There are many beautiful and varied regions of Venezuela to explore. It has the Andean mountain range, the Caribbean coast, inland dunes, and the anaconda filled wetlands. It’s a tropical country with incredible biodiversity that you’re sure to fall in love with. Famous as the birthplace of Simon Bolivar, the liberator of many countries in South America from Spanish rule, you’ll find tributes to him in almost every city and town. Though the country has been struggling in recent years with inflation and rising crime, Venezuela remains a destination spot and the rewards of travelling here are amazing – it’s full of “trip of a lifetime” places you can’t afford to miss.

1. Angel Falls

Venezuela is home to the world’s highest waterfall. Needless to say, this is the most popular destination in the country. With nearly a 1 kilometre drop, spectacular is really the only word to describe it. Located in a rather isolated jungle in the Canaima National Park, the falls are on the Orinoco River. Hikers will love the trek out to this UNESCO World Heritage Site. To cool off you have the option of taking a dip in the white sand beaches around the lagoon or the natural pools at the base of the falls.

2. Mérida

Calling all adventure sports lovers! You’ll want to spend time in the progressive town of Mérida. This rather affluent city has both fantastic mountain vistas and an unhurried and cultured vibe. The energy is youthful and friendly, thanks in large part to the university here. Mérida has a gorgeous climate which attracts the outdoor enthusiasts looking for top quality activities to choose from. Try rafting, canyoning, mountain biking, hiking, and paragliding – the city’s specialty. Stay here if you’re looking to take lightening-viewing trips to Catatumbo or wildlife trips to Los Llanos. After you’ve indulged your sense of fun, enjoy a rather fast-paced nightlife.

3. Coro

This small and somewhat deteriorating town on Venezuela’s coast is a UNESCO World Heritage Site due to the colonial architecture. Coro also boasts wonderful museums and a lovely cathedral. This is a city for walking and you’ll really enjoy Zamora, where the historic mansions are. Coro is the starting point for the fabulous sand dunes found in Parque Nacional Médanos de Coro and it’s also a nice base camp for exploring areas like the Sierra de San Luis Mountains or the Península de Paraguaná.

4. Los Roques, Venezuela

After your visit to the Archipelago of Los Roques National Park you’ll always think of it as one of the most beautiful places on Earth. Incredible shades of blue in the surrounding waters, white sand beaches, the vibrant green of the mangrove swamps, and the otherworldly shapes and shades of the coral reefs all combine to make the park truly breathtaking. You’ll quickly see that it’s an area of bright and gorgeous contrasts. There are over 1,000 keys here and you can find a landscape to suit your preferences – everything from sand beach, good surf, rock beach, still water bays, coastal barrier, lagoons, salt mines, and more. Don’t leave without trying the fishing, sailing, diving, lobster catching, and windsurfing on offer.

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4. The Best Places To Visit In Venezuela (Plus Travel Tips)

Venezuela’s economic problems, bad reputation and political uncertainty haven’t helped in the development of tourism to this Caribbean country. The truth is that, as one of the largest oil producers in the world, the government has focused most of its efforts on the exploitation of oil fields, sometimes to the detriment of other economic activities.

However, the reality could be very different. Venezuela is a jewel to discover, a virtually unexplored territory with places of incomparable beauty. From paradisiacal beaches to impenetrable jungles to vertigo-inducing routes through the Andean highlands, the possibilities for visitors are almost endless.

Places To Visit In Venezuela

If you’re feeling like an adventure to one of the most beautiful countries on the planet, then don’t miss out on these amazing places to visit in Venezuela.

1) Salto Angel

Angel Falls, at 979 meters high, proudly boasts being the highest waterfall in the world. Located in the Venezuelan Gran Sabana, this is a place holding a sacred character for the natives. It is, without a doubt, the country’s biggest tourist attraction.

To get there, you’ll have to navigate up the Carrao River, right in the heart of Canaima Park, until you reach the base of the falls. Inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage list in 1994, this park offers hundreds of cascades of equal beauty, as well as wild rivers and red-water lagoons.

2) The Amazon Rainforest

Mystical and legendary, this dense and humid territory is the largest jungle in the world. Visitors can venture along its rivers to find wild animals, lush plants and tribes that have barely changed their traditions in the last 500 years.

Although uncontrolled logging and the construction of dams are seriously threatening the future of this ecosystem, it’s still possible to visit several protected reserves and enjoy one of the seven new natural wonders of the world. Definitely an amazing spot on the list of places to visit in Venezuela.

3) Cayo Sombrero

Because Venezuela’s coasts are completely bathed by the Caribbean Sea, it’s no surprise that there are plenty of amazing islands and beaches to visit. When you think about a paradisiacal destination, you probably envision yourself lying in the shade of a palm tree on a white-sand beach with turquoise water, right?

That’s the exact description of Cayo Sombrero, a tiny island located a few kilometres off the coast of Chichiriviche, in Morrocoi National Park. Enjoy the peace of this place with no infrastructure, houses, restaurants or hotels. You can easily arrange a boat to get you there, and agree on a time so they can pick you up.

4) Mount Roraima

Mount Roraima, called Tepuy Roraima by the indigenous population, is a majestic table-shaped mountain located right on the triple border point of Venezuela, Brazil and Guyana. The hike will take at least five days to complete. You’ll have to cross wild rivers and walk along steep paths before enjoying amazing views from the summit.

Once you’re on the top, the extravagant rock formations will certainly make you feel like you’re on another planet. It’s easy to understand why this mount inspired Sir Arthur Conan Doyle to write his famous novel

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5. Top ten places to visit in Venezuela


Venezuela has countless beautiful beaches because it has a Caribbean coastline of 2,800 km (1,740 miles) – the longest of any nation. However this country is not just a beach bum’s paradise. Inland there are areas of astounding biodiversity and awe-inspiring landscapes. Here is my top ten list of traveller destinations in Venezuela

1. Angel Falls and tepuis of Canaima National Park

Angel Falls, or Kerepakupai-Meru as it was officially renamed in 2009, is one of the natural wonders of the world; a waterfall which drops from a table top mountain of over 1000 meters. The park has many other table top mountains or tepuis and is located in the jungle and savanna region of Gran Sabana in the south west of the country. The park, which can only be accessed by air, is home to diverse fauna – such as the giant anteater and the giant otter – and the Pemon indigenous people.

2. Los Roques Archipelago National Park

With clear blue waters and white sands this archipelago of 350 islands is a hidden gem of a destination for scuba-divers and snorkelers. The string of coral islands is home to a wide variety of bird and sea life and is located 170km (106 miles) north of Caracas.

3. Coro and the Sand Dunes

Coro is one of Venezuela’s first colonies and here colonial earthen construction buildings can still be seen to this day. The town houses over 600 building which demonstrate a fusion of Spanish and Dutch architectural techniques. Close by are the sand dunes which are located between Coro and the Paraguana Peninsula. The dunes, which can reach 40 meters (130 feet) in height, are the habitat of cactus and a small number of animals such as lizards and foxes.

4. The Orinoco Delta

The longest river in Venezuela reaches the Atlantic Ocean at the eastern tip of the country and split into numerous smaller rivers or distributaries at the Orinoco Delta. On a boat trip you can see piranha catfish and small crocodiles, and the Warao people who live in houses built on stilts.

5. Margarita Island

With Margarita Island, visitors get two destinations in one place. The eastern part of the island is famous for its clubs, duty free shopping, big hotels, colonial towns, and beaches to suit everyone from surfers to sunbathers. The western side however offers travellers a paradise of arid mountains as well as mangrove swamps and lagoons abundant in wildlife like seahorses and turtles.

6. Mochima National Park

The little village of Mochima and the big city of Puerto la Cruz are the jumping off points for boat trips around the countless islands of Mochima National Park. The activities on offer in Mochima include dolphin-spotting, swimming, snorkeling and scuba diving.

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6. Top 10 Natural Attractions In Venezuela

The very best natural wonders of Venezuela
Venezuela is, without a doubt, the most underrated and overlooked tourist destination in all of South America. While its neighboring countries are romanticized for the Carnaval, spicy food and tango, the country’s international reputation usually swirls around the sporadic beauty pageant winner, oil and of course, political conflicts. But, there is so much more to this South American utopia than these causal headlines. After all, it is a country blessed with a wealth of natural wonders and hidden treasures.

The country is home to a cluster of intriguing natural attractions, thanks to its exotic location and staggering diversity. From the world’s highest waterfalls to the world famous Amazon Rainforest, the country has an endless array of natural gems to beckon its visitors. Here are just some of the countless natural attractions you can enjoy in this South American tourist haven. Plan your vacation there right now!

1. The world’s highest waterfall


The thundering Angel Falls is truly the undisputed star of Venezuela’s tourism. A towering South American beauty with a total height of 3,211 feet, this waterfall is 16 times taller than its North American contemporary, the Niagra Falls. Besides its impressive size, the waterfall also captivates its spectators with its lush wilderness. Moreover, the area is rich in tropical flora and fauna, such as porcupines, capybaras, pumas, giant anteaters, orchid species and monkeys.

2. La Gran Sabana

Nestled in Canaima National Parl, La Gran Sabana is a vast and stunning prairie coupled with lush and breathtaking high mountains. Known for its unique and beautiful scenery, this natural wonder was once used as a setting for a blockbuster film known as Jurassic Park.

3. An epitome of a Caribbean beach

Los Roques is a charming Venezuelan archipelago that epitomizes a Caribbean beach. Here, tourists get to lay their eyes on psychedelic coral reefs, pristine white beaches, and crystal clear sapphire waters. Indeed, it is an idyllic utopia to eat fresh seafood get away from the hustle bustle city life. What’s more, it is an amazing place to dive, and swim with spotted eagle rays and turtles.

4. Los Llanos

No list of Venezuela’s top natural attractions is complete without the inclusion of Los Llanos. A vast and opulent tropical grassland, Los Llanos is an exotic delight blessed with colorful animals.

5. The Amazon Jungle

The Amazon Rainforest, or also referred as the Amazon Jungle, is arguably the most popular tourist magnet of the country. As the world’s largest rainforest, this scintillating natural wonder makes up almost half of the rainforest space in the world. Not to mention, it is a host to the planet’s rivers, in terms of discharge and drainage.

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