From Maracay to Caracas and the airport Maiquetía
I had stayed the night at a hotel just half a block from the bus terminal in Maracay so in the morning it was easy to walk there. I went to the old part of the terminal from where there are frequent buses to Caracas. As I arrived I immediately found a bus that was very soon leaving for Caracas. The ticket was 10 BsF (August 2008) and the journey took 1.5 hours.
In Caracas the bus stopped at Terminal La Bandera and I was approached by one of the taxi drivers from one of the cars inside the gates (the secure taxis). But before taking a taxi I wanted to find Expresos del Lagos office to ask about a framed picture I had forgotten on the bus when I changed buses in Valencia the evening before (the bus I had been on continued to Caracas). The taxi driver took me through the huge station to the right place. From Expresos del Lagos office they called the bus driver, who had left Caracas for Maracaibo earlier in the morning. It turned out they had found my picture and he was bringing it back to Valencia. Well, he was not jet in Valencia and from Valencia back to Caracas it would take another two hours so I didn’t have time to wait, but had to go on to the airport. I took the taxi from La Bandera to Parque Central (Calle Sur 17) from where the Airport Buses are leaving. The taxi driver wanted to have 25 BsF for the taxi ride.
At the office I bought a ticket for the bus and it was 15 BsF. Then I bought a coffee form a stand outside and sat down to wait, not very long though. It was Sunday and I had heard there might be lots of traffic from Caracas to the coast, but it was not bad and the bus to the airport took less than an hour. At the airport the bus stopped just outside the International Terminal (the Domestic Terminal is very near also).Related to:
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All over Caracas (and perhaps Venezuela in total), there are 'piratas' (or pirated taxis).
These car-owners simply stick a sign [Taxi] and hook up with those stretchable ropes with hooks on their side windows and Voila!
Prices for taxis have to be negotiated beforehand. That makes it very expensive for tourists as we never know the right price... and believe me, from my experience, it is very expensive for me.
When I got out of the *very dodgy and crazy* bus terminal of Caracas, I was accosted by numerous touts, some rather aggressive. One finally brought me to a waiting taxi. It seems that the waiting taxis pay these touts a price to find them a customer. However, the taxi driver, although he had negotiated a rate for me through the tout, tried to charge me extra for the tout fee that he had just forked out. The nerve... I refused.
At night, the taxi price really increases. Well, if possible, get a well-marked taxi or one called by your hotel. But if not possible, I guess, you have to risk it because the alternative of walking along the streets of Caracas at night is probably even worse.
Well, I paid a lot for a night taxi ride but at the end, he waited until I entered the house, just to make sure I got in safely.
From Caracas to Ciudad Bolivar
I took a night bus from Caracas to Ciudad Bolivar with the bus company Rodovias. There were two different types of buses to chose from, the executive bus which are normal modern buses (cost 46 000 Bs) and the bed bus for 50 500 Bs. I choose the bed bus which have seats that can be leant back very much and extra support for the legs. I normally have very difficult to sleep on buses, but thought this was going to work well. This time it wasn't the seats that made the journey uncomfortable, but the terribly cold air condition (bring many warm sweaters). The bus journey took about 9 hours and along the way the bus stopped at a cafeteria (together with many other buses) for half an hour. There was also a shorter stops. During the stops I went out to be warm again.
There are several night buses every night between Caracas and Ciudad Bolivar.
Rodovias bus terminal is next to Colegio del Ingenieros metro station, a stop on line 1 (orange line). Coming with the airport bus you can go off at one of the metro stations Gato Negro or Bellas Artes or take a taxi from the end stop Parque Central.
In Ciudad Bolivar the bus terminal is situated about 1,5 km south from Plaza Bolivar so I took a taxi to the posada where I was going to stay. It was 8000 Bs. Take one of the taxis next to the place where the buses arrive.Related to:
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Terminal Rodovias de Venezuela
From Rodovias bus terminal you can take buses to many different cities in the country. The terminal is just next to Colegio de Ingenieros metro station. If you come with the airport bus directly from the airport you can take the metro from Gato Negro or Bellas Artes ( I would take the last one as the area lookes more quiet and it is also closer to Rodovias). Take the east bound train (line 1, orange) towards Polo Verde. I took a taxi to Rodivias from Parque central. At the airport they told me it should be 10 000 Bs and absolutly not more than 15 000 Bs. The taxi driver asked for 20 000 Bs, but we agreed with 15 000 Bs. The distance was not very long though.
Arriving at the terminal I bought a ticket for Ciudad Bolivar and then sat down in the cafeteria to wait for four hours. It was absolutly fine to sit in the cafeteria most of the time, eating a little and reading (other people did the same).
After you have bought your ticket you you leave the lugage round the corner. It will be placed with other lugage going with the same bus and it is in a safe area.Related to:
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Airport info Part 3 NO CHAIRS!
The last time in Maquetia I spent 10 hours there to wait my international flight and I was destroyed cause there aren't waiting area, NO CHAIRS in the ceck in area or in the other pubblic area, only some fast food at the 2 floor, so u have to buy something to eat or drink if u want to put your '.......' on a chair!
U can find sitting area in the bording area, but I was in the waiting list and I spent all the afternoon sitting on my luggage, with a wool pull cause the Ac is so high that u cna resist only witha tee shirt ( remember that outside there are 23? minimum!).
Airport info Part 2 Taxes!!!!
Airport tax: for the national flight the tax is 13.600 bolivares that u have to pay before enter inthe bording area ( they accept only bolvares).
For the international flight there are 2 taxes, one of 33.000 bolivares and one of 84.000 bolivares........not all the ticket have the included taxes, so when u do the check in they hostess teel u the amount, so be prepared to pay from 33.000 to 117.000 bls.
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