Caracas Airport: The only hussle is the waiting line to get ur passport checked. Expect to waste a couple of hours there. After u get ur luggages a somehow official guy approaches u (they all take turns) who might even speak english to help u out on taking a taxi. DO change ur euros! Ask him to change euros in a better rate than the official. Official is 3, his friends will give u 7. Later on on ur trip u might find rates closer to 8. Not such a big difference. So, do change 200-300 euros to be certain that u have enough money. Since all the guys are connected and they know u'll pay the taxi with the money they just gave u i don't think that there going to be fake money. Expect to pay something like 150-170bolivares (20euros) to get u to the city.
Nothing to freak out about, don't get stressed, just use ur common sense as u do while in your own country. Is as simple at that.
Fondest memory: We stayed in Altamira and we didn't feel any danger at all! We walked to restaurants, bars, malls , clubs and returned by foot at 4am for 3-4 nights. No problem at all! Since there are so many people walking by in the Altamira area I think it's pretty safe.
We had a very good time in Caracas and this whole mountain/capital and many things to do would probably get me back to Caracas. The funniest thing is because all blogs write about how dangerous Caracas is during our 4days of stay we only saw 1 foreigner!!
We liked it, because unlike the rest of the country (at least where we went) it was more of a city--a weird one, but still a city. Has its cinemas, clubs, italian bistros... When i travel i love having this option too. Makes me feel less of a tourist and more like a local guy...
And by the way, the women especially in Caracas are super hot!
My name is Julio Jiménez. My telephone at work is (0212) 205 56 33. My cel phone is 0416 718 64 34.
I live in Caracas, La California Norte and I am always happy to meet people coming to Venezuela.
Fondest memory: Walking around...
Not the whole country, but specially in Caracas....There PEPSI COLA RULEZ!!!!!!!
Chavez does not like Coca Cola, yes, the goverment is comvincing people to make a boicot!!!
VERY FEW PLACES IN THE CITY SELLS COKE!!!
It was a real suffering for me as I am an assumed addicted!!!
Thanks God, on the slopes of Avila in a little village of Gallipan I foud one little tavern that understand that THE GOVERNMENT HAS TO KEEP GOING, BUT COCA MUST BE SAVED!!!!
It was one of my happiest days in Caracas!
APRIL 15TH - 2008
Why should you come to caracas? Short answer, you shouldn't.
My first trip to south america. I came to Caracas for 6 months for work and left after 3 months. I had my watch stolen and was robbed by the police. The only tourist attraction here is the airport because you can leave the country. I've been to some third rate countries Indonesia, Africa, India, Bangladesh to mention a few and can say without a doubt Caracas is the worst place I have ever been to.
The place is full of crime and corrupt police. If your reading this and your in caracas, then good, it means your still alive, now hop on the next plane out of the place.
Fondest memory: Leaving.
Favorite thing: What to say, this is the first time I practically thanked VT that it exists and that we meet people from the area and if you are lucky you may also be offered a guided and motorized tour of the city. I was lucky too that Kelly was taking a break for few weeks from her busy life. Thanks Kelly for a wonderful tour.
Favorite thing: But the guy at the reception has been really very helpful in drawing me a quick map to buy one from near-by shop. He also wrote down what I was supposed to say and I just gave it to the shop-attendant and got one. Now you can see that in the picture.
Favorite thing: The area Sabana Grande where the hotel is located in, is not the dangerous zone but not the safest zone either. It is located in between centre (the most dangerous zone even in daylight crowd!) and Altamira (the residecial area of upper middle class and good shopping mall). In Altamira accommodations are expensive and you perhaps don’t get to see the real Caracas. I found some regular and relaxed motorcycle-police around and haven seen anything to be cautioned off. Well, I just did not show my camera and like all over Latin America, people get the first impression as if I am a Latino! So, it was easy to blend in.
Favorite thing: The first morning in my hotel I had a stroll around the area and found many cheap eateries. The problem with the meat and ingredient inside. Its not easy to get the idea. But yes, I knew empanada de pollo which has chicken inside and had this wonderful meal. Coming from Cuba I found Venezuela cheap. There are quite a few restaurants and café in the area and always full of people. I would not say the area was nicely maintained but rubbish here and there.
Favorite thing: The Hotel is a busy lower-end commercial area and the pedestrianised streets get occupied by the street vendors who sell everything ranging from fashionable women clothes put on maniquin to the cell-phone cover to the cheap food. This is not the picture from Caracas but the one from La Paz which gives you the idea. I was a little scared to show off my camera for the fear of security. And in the beginning of the journey I did not want to lose anything.
Favorite thing: Security remains a issue in Caracas. Even the guidebook advises you might get into touble with a small daypack in downtown Caracas. But since there is no historic site in the centre, you may easily avoid that area. Some luxurious hotels do exist in the centre but in that case you are not walking around you are taking a taxi from the hotel. 70% of Police force in this country are said to be corrupted and you are more likely to get into trouble instead of receiving help from them. But outside Caracas Venezuela is safe and people are very friendly, again, as the guidebook says!
Favorite thing: Venezelan Bolivares is a overvalued currency. At a official rate, so with the credit card payment you receive nearly 20% less than the open market rate. But if you are on a short trip, don’t make it a big deal. Many policies of current president Hugo Chavez made the rich community insecure and that’s how he intends to prevent quick outflow of foreign exchange.
Favorite thing: Instead of carrying your passport, leave it at the hotel and carry the photocopy of your passport. In all countries its more or less advisable also carry the address card of your hotel, so in case you do have distant access of your passport.
Favorite thing: Venezuela is a oil rich country and oil is higly subsidized in the domestic market. Kelly says the whole day of moving around would cost here only 4 USD, can you imagine! This also makes this country as a good place for car-hire.
Favorite thing: There is no official and very limited tourist service, i.e. no city tour service or so. It might be dangerous because the transport may some under attack with the writing tourist/ tour! But the government does have a plan to introduce city tour in 2006 with security. I doubt how well it will work.
Visas: US nationals, Canadians, Australians, New Zealanders, UK nationals, South Africans and most Western and Scandinavian Europeans do not require a visa if they fly directly to Venezuela.
All foreigners entering Venezuela by land require a valid visa; get one before you leave for South America.
Health risks: Cholera, dengue fever, hepatitis, malaria, yellow fever
Time: GMT/UTC minus 4 hours (minus 5 hours in summer)
Electricity: 110V, 60 Hz
Weights & measures: Metric
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