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Venezuela - Traveling

Contents extracted from the comprehensive atlas of international trade by Export Entreprises

Entry requirements

Organizing your trip

Means of transport recommended in town

A bus network covers all the cities in the country. Most buses are air-conditioned and comfortable. There are also metros in several cities. Taxis are a practical means of transport but as a security measure it is recommended that you order one by telephone. In most districts it is not advisable to go out on foot. For the last few years, Venezuela has seen its crime rate rise considerably. Kidnappings, hold-ups and all sorts of aggression have multiplied. You should always make inquiries before you go into a new district. Travel agencies on the spot are best placed to tell you what parts of the city are dangerous or practicable.
Maps of urban networks: Maporama

Means of transport recommended in the rest of the country

The road network is widespread but badly maintained. It is better to rent a pick-up truck to avoid being stuck on muddy or uneven roads. The bus is the most commonly used means of transport. There is a small railway network, especially for transporting goods. Many cities are accessible by airplane, but there are numerous areas that can only be reached by vehicle. To move around the islands off the coast or around the Orinoco, the "lancha", a small motor boat, is a fast and pleasant means of transport. On the whole, the means of transport are inexpensive, especially the car, given the low cost of fuel.
Airlines
Name Type Domestic flights International flights
American Airlines Major No Yes
Aeropostal Major Yes No
Avensa Major Yes No

Traveling by yourself

Recommendation: There are many car hire companies: you can rent a car or order a taxi on arrival at Caracas airport. Travel agencies and hotels also offer this type of service. Regarding security, you should always lock your car doors from the inside and preferably not drive at night. Avoid wearing jewelry or showy accessories and do not carry your passport with you.
Road maps: Interactive map

Visiting

Different forms of tourism

Historical: The city of Caracas must be visited, even though a big part of the old centre was destroyed by the earthquake in 1812; however, the Cathedral, the "Panteon Nacional" (in Spanish) and the Parliament were saved. To find out about all the capital's tourist sites, visit the  Caracas Virtual website.
Cultural: There are museums of contemporary art and pre-Columbian art. The artistic centers website, lists Venezuelan museums: see Museos de Venezuela.
Nature: There are many, very diversified flora and fauna in Venezuela. There are many protected parks: list of parks. Large parts of the Orinoco remain wild and there are excursions of several days to explore the surrounding area. The Salto Angel is the highest waterfall in the world. The landscape is very diversified: the Caribbean coast, the wide open spaces of the "llano" (the plains), the mountains and the jungle.
Religious: There are many churches and cathedrals built by Spanish settlers as soon as they arrived: see the list of churches and cathedrals
Beach: All of Venezuela's Caribbean coast, as well as several islands, are known for the beauty of their beaches. The island of Margarita is very popular. Morrocoy is known for its small protected islands which you can only go to by small boat. See the link about the islands.
Outdoor activities: There are many sports facilities in the country's large cities. Baseball, horse riding and dance are favorite Venezuelan activities.

 See this link.

Tourism organizations: Venezuelan Tourism Board

Living conditions

Health and safety

Health precautions: There are no requirements regarding vaccination. There is a risk of a benign form of P. vivax malaria all year round in some rural areas of the States of Amazonas, Apure, Barinas, Bolivar, Sucre and Tàchira. The risk of P. falciparum malaria is limited to towns situated in jungle areas. Isolated cases of falciparum malaria resistant to chloroquine have been reported. Preventive treatment recommended in areas of risk: CHL for P. vivax; C+P for P. falciparum.
Observe elementary hygiene precautions (only drink water in sealed bottles if hygiene conditions do not seem to be observed), avoid fruit juices and raw vegetables, especially in the hot season. Anti-rabies vaccination is strongly advised.
For further information on sanitary conditions: Centre for Disease Control and Prevention

Time difference and climate

Map of the time zone: Caracas (GMT-4)
Summer time period: Strictly speaking, there is no summer. The dry season is the hottest and goes from November to April.
Climate: The climate is tropical, hot and humid. On the heights, temperatures are more moderate. They vary between 18 and 35 degrees.
Useful links:

Eating

Food specialties: Venezuelan food is famous for being very aromatic. Most dishes are indeed sprinkled with saffron and cumin on top.
Local culinary specialties:
Tequenos: fried cheese fritters
Arepas: traditional bread made of fried corn flour.
Tostadas: plantain which has been cut into sections and fried, often served with cheese.
Guasacaca: avocado-based sauce
Pabellón criollo: minced meat served with fried plantain, rice and black beans.
Hallaca: Christmas and New Year's Day dish: pork, beef, ham and green peppers sprinkled with corn flour on top, which is then used as a stuffing in banana skins.
Parrilla criolla: barbecued marinated beef.
Puree de apio: Venezuelan puree.
Drinks: Venezuela produces a renowned brown rum. Coffee is drunk very strong and very sweet. Batidos are excellent fruit juices. Chicha is a sweet drink made from a rice paste and cinnamon.
Dietary taboos: No specific culinary restrictions in Venezuela.

Speaking

Getting some knowledge: See the following link.
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