Venezuela

Located by the Caribbean Sea and the North Atlantic Ocean, Venezuela shares its borders with ColombiaGuyana, and Brazil. The country has

The major attraction in Venezuela is the Angel Falls located in the Guiana Highlands. It is the world’s highest waterfall. The country is also home to the second longest river in South America, the Orinoco. Venezuela is one of the 10 most biodiverse countries world-wide, which is one of the reasons the country is a popular tourist destination.

For enjoyment and relaxations, travelers visit the Margarita Island where they can admire the modern infrastructure and the beautiful beaches. The archipelagos of Los Roques counts with exotic beaches, and Canaima National Park, the world’s sixth largest national park, gives you breathtaking sights, and it is also home to the Angel Falls. No matter what you decide to do, it’s important that you are informed about not only fun and adventurous activities, but also about safety. Below, you’ll find more information on safety and precautions you can take, so you can enjoy your trip.  

SAFETY INDEX

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Is Venezuela a Safe or Dangerous Country?

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) released a map (below) with zones that should be avoided due to the drug activity and the high risk of kidnapping. There’s a high rate of crime in Venezuela, but as long as you use common sense and apply standard safety precautions as you would in any other country, you can enjoy your stay.

 

Crime and Scams

Most of the crimes and scams against foreigners are crimes of opportunity. These semi-professional thieves target unaware travelers in tourist areas and restaurants. Bag snatching is common, so make sure you carry your bag facing away from the street and preferably always close to you. Bus terminals are common places where thieves take advantage of distracted travelers and use their pickpocketing skills. “Accidental” spills are a way to distract you and pickpocket you, so always be vigilant. There are reports of carjacking and robberies by organized criminal groups around the regions of Coroico and Carnavi in Yungas. Other area to avoid due to crime are Coronilla Hill in Cochabamba. Criminals may sometimes pretend to be police officers with false police ID cards, uniforms, and even fake police stations. They may ask for your passport and ask you to get in a taxi where you are robbed or taken to an ATM to withdraw money. Official policemen will be okay with a copy of your documents and won’t ask you to get in a taxi. “Express kidnappings” can occur, especially in La Paz. Victims are grabbed and force to take out as much money as possible from ATMs. The criminals can also contact the victim’s family or friends and ask them to bring all the cash they have in a couple of hours. Once the ransom is paid, the victim is usually released unharmed.

Transportation Safety

Buses are reliable and affordable, and they are an easy way to travel around the country. However, the terminals are very busy and crowded, so always pay close attention to your belongings. Choose a bus line that uses metal detectors and check bags; there have been robberies on buses, so by choosing a line with security, you’ll know that none of the passengers are carrying weapons of any kind. A good option is Aeroexpresos Ejecutivos. Smaller towns don’t have a reliable bus system. You can use cars-for-hire (“por puestos”), which are usually old vehicles and are more expensive than buses. They may be more reliable, but the wait can be a bit long as they usually don’t leave until they have a full car (4-5 passengers). Never travel alone on a Por Puesto, and avoid unofficial taxis. Traveling within the city is easier by taxi. Be aware that taxis do not have meters, and the rates go up after dark. Negotiate the fare before getting in the vehicle. Official taxis have yellow plates, or you can also download Easytaxi (the equivalent of Uber). Always carry any form of identification with you as there are military/police/National Guard checkpoints on many roads.

Natural Dangers

Venezuela is a country exposed to many natural disasters like hurricanes, flooding, and earthquakes.  The hurricane season runs from June to November, and can affect the northern part of the country. The rainy season runs from May to November, which may cause flooding in low-lying areas and valleys in the Andes. Monitor media reports and follow the advice of local authorities.

Political Situation

There are frequent protests throughout the country, especially in Caracas. They tend to be due to political issues and/or economic issues like electricity, water, and food shortages. Protests can turn violent with little warning. Authorities may use tear gas and buckshot. Avoid large crowds and do not cross police lines or civilian-run barricades.  

Warnings & Dangers

Mid Priority-96 OVERALL RISK : HIGH

Taking normal safety precautions are recommended in Venezuela. Exercise common sense and remain vigilant for suspicious behaviour as you would in any other country. Watch out for pickpockets in tourist areas and protect your valuables. Avoid using your mobile phone or displaying any electronic device or valuable on the street or in a vehicle.

Mid Priority-96 PICKPOCKETS RISK : HIGH

Pickpocket and bag and purse snatching are common in tourist locations and public transportation. Remain vigilant for thieves that use different strategies to rob you.

Mid Priority-96 MUGGING RISK : HIGH

There have been reports of muggings throughout the country. Though most victims are not physically injured, criminals usually do not hesitate to use force if the target does not cooperate; in case of being robbed, do not resist and hand over your valuables. Avoid walking alone after dark. Although kidnapping is not common, express kidnapping involving tourists have occurred in Venezuela. Victims are abducted for a few hours and forced to withdraw money from ATMs in order to be released.

Mid Priority-96 SCAMS RISK : HIGH

As in any other country, taxi drivers will try to take advantage of travelers by overcharging them. Bag snatching is common, so make sure you carry your bag facing away from the street and preferably always close to you.

Mid Priority-96 TRANSPORT & TAXIS RISK : MEDIUM

There are unlicensed taxis in Venezuela, so make sure you pre-arrange a ride or use radio taxis from places like a hotel when possible. There have been reports of taxi drivers exploiting visitors, especially from the airport to Caracas.

Mid Priority-96 NATURAL DISASTERS RISK : MEDIUM

Expect floods, earthquakes, and hurricanes. Rainy season runs from May to November, and the hurricane season runs from June to November.

Mid Priority-96 TERRORISM RISK : LOW

Terrorist attacks are unlikely in Venezuela. However, they cannot be ruled out. Remain vigilant and take advice from authorities, hotels and tour operators.

Mid Priority-96 WOMEN TRAVELERS RISK : MEDIUM

Many women travel safely without any issues. However, if you are traveling alone, it is important to exercise particular care in crowds, on public transportation, in rural areas, and in isolated sections. Avoid traveling alone after dark. Women may get some unwanted attention from men. En savoir plus sur https://safearound.com/americas/venezuela/#xyTCPmjYYAuTgiBL.99

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WHAT TO DO?

Some countries do not need a visa to enter Venezuela for short stays (less than 90 days). US citizens need a visa (US$30 valid for one year. Your passport must be valid for six months beyond your arrival date. www.doyouneedvisa.com is a useful website that can help you know if you need a visa or not based on your nationality and the country you’re visiting.  

Useful Information

Some countries do not need a visa to enter Venezuela for short stays (less than 90 days). US citizens need a visa (US$30 valid for one year. Your passport must be valid for six months beyond your arrival date. www.doyouneedvisa.com is a useful website that can help you know if you need a visa or not based on your nationality and the country you’re visiting.  
The currency in Venezuela is the Bolivar Fuerte ($BsF). The country’s currency is severely inflated, so any price listings you see are probably out of date. Hypothetically, there are two official exchange rates in Venezuela: one for imports of medicine, food, and other essentials which gives 10BsF per US dollar, and another one for all purposes which gives 2970BsF per US dollar. Cash machines are common throughout the country; however, not all ATMs accept foreign cards. As of now, Banco Provincial (BVPP) and Mercantil accept foreign cards. Credit cards are accepted in main cities, but be careful of possible scamming and never leave your card out of sight.  
The weather in Venezuela varies depending on elevation; tropical, dry, temperate with dry winters, and polar climates. The highest temperature reported was 42 °C (108 °F) in Machiques, while the lowest temperature reported was −11 °C (12 °F) in Páramo de Piedras Blancas. En savoir plus sur https://safearound.com/americas/venezuela/#xyTCPmjYYAuTgiBL.99
Simón Bolívar International Airpot and La Chinita International Airport are Venezuela’s major airports. If you’re looking for cheap flight de
As in any country, we advise travelers to get a travel insurance that covers not only medical problems but also theft and loss of personal items. Learn more on our travel insurance page