Airport / Arrival, Caracas
My ticket showed a flight from Caracas to Bogotá (Colombia) what in reality I found departing 25 min. earlier (same flight number!). I found myself clever always coming to airport early enough! So, be careful about Venezuelan flight schedule!
It is a nightmare to go from La Guaira where the Airport is located to Caracas. A major bridge is collapsing and who knows how long it would take to fix it. They are talking about 3 years to fix?..wao....Anyway, it is sucha a short distance to go from the airport to Caracas that now is taking more than 3 hours. The alternate route is an old road "Carretera Vieja de la Guaira". Supposedly is a bumpy and narrow road. Trucks are traveling at nights and cars in the day time. The old road is surrounded with poor people's houses that they built themselves and is not very safe to be in that area. It is a big inconvenience specially for people who live in La Guaira and commute to Caracas. What a nightmare!!!
Maquetía is the name where the Caracas Airport is located, actually the airport's official name is Simon Bolivar Airport. It is very faraway from Caracas downtown or everywhere in Caracas, you will have to cross a huge range of mountains until you get to the city!!!
No wonder that taxi charges you a real fortune!!! You will spend around 50-60 dollars just for one ride!!!
And the worst thing is that you will have to deal with the driver and negociate, and they are not good to bargain!!!
I found a solution!!!
There is a trade complex which looks like an old shopping center that they call CENTRO COMERCIAL PARQUE CENTRAL, close to the MUSEO DE NIÑOS or Children Museum.
There you will find under a bridge, a little agecy that offers shuttle buses to the Airport and they ONLY CHARGE 5000 bolivares (or 5 BOLIVARES FUERTES).
The taxi costs 150 000...so taking a bus is really better and the buses are quite confortable and it is air condioned!
Here is their contact:
Avenida Sur 17, entre Mexico y Avenida Lecuna
Terminal Almirante Brion
The subway station nearby is BELLAS ARTES, from there you just cross a big avenue and get to the PARQUE CENTRAL SHOPPING MALL. Remember!!! They call it as CENTRO COMERCIAL (never say SHOPPING MALL).
IF YOU ARE AT THE AIRPORT AND WANT TO GO TO CARACAS DOWNTOWN, get informed where the UCAMC bus stops!
Their telephone number is +58212 576 9851
We took a taxi to and from the airport and it proved to be one of the scariest moments I have had on a road. Many of the taxi's in Caracas are in poor condition and most of the drivers don't seem to notice or care about the lines in the road, they drive wherever they want.
Local taxas are payable when departing from Caracas airport (and other airports in Venezuela). These vary according to destination - 23 Bolivars for a domestic flight to Puerto Ordaz, 115 Bolivars for an international flight to London.
On payment you will be given a receipt with a barcode - you need to place this under a scanner in order to get through the turnstile into the departure lounge.
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.
Aserca, LASER, Rutaca, Santa Barbara airlines, Aeropostal and Conviasa (the latter owned by Mr. Chávez....) are the main domestic airlines.
Personally I would prefer Aserca, LASER or Rutaca as being the "most reliable", although all domestic airlines suffer from frequent delays. I was always just in time to take the previous scheduled flight.....
Mind that airport taxes (national departures and international departures) can only be paid in cash in bolivares.
When connecting in Caracas international to domestic, there is an inside walkway between the international terminal to the national (domestic) terminal: turn left immediately after passing customs. Allow plenty of time, especially when connecting on the return flight, domestic to international. In that case after retrieving luggage DON'T leave the luggage reclaim area but go back inside the (departure) lounge and turn left in order to use that inside walkway towards the international terminal.
More info on the website:
Info January 2011
Los vuelos con siglas "TUY" significan que llegaran al Aeropuerto Caracas en Charallave
Los Vuelos con siglas "MIQ" llegaran a Maiquetía.
Horarios Vuelos Nacionales
Vuelo Frecuencia Ruta Hora de Salida Hora de Llegada
S3 511 DIARIO VIG-TUY 06:00 06:40
S3 511 DIARIO TUY-MRD 07:10 08:36
S3 514 DIARIO MRD-BRM 09:00 09:54
S3 514 DIARIO BRM-MIQ 10:20 11:16
S3 515 DIARIO MIQ-MRD 11:45 13:15
S3 516 DIARIO MRD-TUY 13:35 15:00
S3 519 DIARIO TUY-MRD 15:30 16:55
S3 520 DIARIO MRD-TUY 17:15 18:40
S3 507 DIARIO TUY-LSP 19:45 21:00
S3 502 DIARIO LSP-TUY 06:15 07:30
S3 503 DIARIO TUY-LSP 07:50 09:05
S3 1311 DIARIO LSP-AUA 09:35 10:02
S3 1301 DIARIO AUA-MAR 10:30 11:30
S3 5241 DIARIO MAR-SVZ 12:15 13:08
S3 5241 DIARIO SVZ-MRD 13:30 14:08
S3 5241 DIARIO MRD-BRM 14:30 15:24
S3 5241 DIARIO BRM-VLN 15:50 16:25
S3 5241 DIARIO VLN-TUY 16:50 17:25
S3 5241 DIARIO TUY-MIQ 17:50 18:25
S3 521 DIARIO MIQ-BRM 19:00 20:05
S3 521 DIARIO BRM-VIG 20:25 21:25
S3 510 DIARIO VIG-MRD 06:40 07:05
S3 512 DIARIO MRD-TUY 07:20 08:45
S3 5251 DIARIO TUY-VLN 09:15 09:50
S3 5251 DIARIO VLN-BRM 10:15 10:50
S3 5251 DIARIO BRM-MRD 11:15 12:08
S3 5251 DIARIO MRD-SVZ 12:25 13:05
S3 5251 DIARIO SVZ-MAR 13:30 14:25
S3 1300 DIARIO MAR-AUA 15:20 16:18
S3 1312 DIARIO AUA-LSP 16:50 17:20
S3 506 DIARIO LSP-TUY 17:50 19:05
S3 506 DIARIO TUY-MIQ 20:00 20:35
S3 1503 DIARIO TUY-AUA 07:50 10:02
S3 1506 DIARIO AUA-TUY 16:50 19:05
S3 1506 DIARIO TUY-MIQ 20:00 20:35
You dont have to give a tip to the taxi driver who is taking you to Caracas. In the fare everything is included.
Same thing when you take a taxi to move around in the city. No need to tip the driver.
The few ocations I've given them a tip is, for example, if we get stucked in a traffic jam, it takes hours to get where Im going, and the taxi driver has been extremely well educated and pacient. Always I give him more money. At least 25% of what the fare was.
Although, tips ("to improve promptness") are always welcome... Specially for by the taxi drivers that bring you and take you to the airport with your luggage.
Caracas Airport, not only a hub for international flights...
... but also for flights to and from Isla Margherita and the Amazon Forest.
Either you take the plane, from caracas ´there are many daily flights, or the ferry boat from Puerto de la Cruz takes you a few hours!
public bus system is quite good - or you can rent a car!