Venezuela or officially the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela is a state in the northern part of South America washed by the Atlantic Ocean and the Caribbean Sea. It borders Colombia, Brazil and Guyana. The capital city is Caracas.
The climate in the country is mainly sub-equatorial. The best period for visiting the beaches of the country is from November to May and a wet season is ok for excursions.
The official language is Spanish.The majority of the population are the Christians and the most widespread confession is Roman Catholic.
Venezuela attracts the tourists with its diversity and contrasts. On the Margarita Island, you can have a lazy time on the beach. Those who are planning to go trekking or hiking, should visit Barinas State, Santa Elena de Uairén or Maracaibo. In Los Llanos, the tourists can go piranha fishing.
The lovers of ecological tourism or those who just like nature should visit the national parks of Valencia, Cumana, Los Roques and Merida.
In the authentic villages such as Warao village in Orinoko, you can get to know the everyday life of the people of Venezuela.
The coast of Puerto la Cruz and the Coche Island offers everything you need for surfing and other water activities.
Go to an excursion tour to the capital city of Venezuela, Falcon State, Ciudad Bolivar and Maturin.
Enjoy the amazing view of the Llovizna Waterfalls in Puerto Ordaz. In the Andes Mountain Range, there is a ski resort where you can have winter activities.
There are no direct flights between Venezuela and CIS countries. The travelers will have to take a transit flight. Air France, British Airways and Lufthansa offer transit flights from Moscow and Kiev. Austrian, KML and Belavia fly from Minsk and you can get to Venezuela from Astana with the Turkish Airlines and Air Europa.
The travelers from Europa can take direct flights to Caracas from Paris with Air France, from Frankfurt with Lufthansa and from Madrid with Conviasa.
The tourists can to Venezuela by sea from the USA, France and the Caribbean Islands. The ships arrive at the Port of Maracaibo, La Guaira and Puerto Cabello.
You can travel to Venezuela from Brazil and Colombia by car or an international bus.
The citizens of the EU, Russia and Belarus do need to obtain a visa provided that they stay in Venezuela is not more than 3 months.
The citizens of other CIS countries and those who are planning to stay in the country for a longer time must submit documents for a visa.
Normal time for processing the documents for a visa is within 7 working days.
A tourist visa can be extended in the Ministry of Interior and Justice of Venezuela. To obtain a visa, it is required that in the passport there are, at least, two free sheets for the stamps.
The customs legislation of Venezuela does not restrict the amount of imported and exported currency. The sums exceeding 10.00 US dollars must be declared. Precious metals and jewelry also must be declared.
The tourists can bring in Venezuela duty-free the following goods:
- a limited amount of tobacco and alcohol;
- maximum 4 bottles of perfume;
- personal clothes and shoes;
- goods in their original package with the total cost of 1.000 US dollars maximum.
It is strictly prohibited to import:
- meat and vegetables;
- plants and goods of plant origin;
- art objects and items with historical and archaeological value;
- psychotropic medications.
It is prohibited to export from the country:
- live animals, skins and stuffed animals;
- plants, flowers and fruits;
- any meat products;
- art objects and items with historical and archaeological value.
The national Venezuelan cuisine is a mix of cooking traditions of Africa, Asia, India, America and Spain. The staple foods in Venezuela are rice, maize, potato, beans, bananas and meat. The Venezuelans richly spice their dishes and the gastro-tourists will sure be pleased with a great variety of dishes.
In Venezuela, you will have a chance to try Pabellon criollo with beef, rice, beans and cheese. Enjoy the taste of stewed beef with vegetables Ceviche, pork or chicken stew Chicharron and chicken salad Ensalada de Pollo. In Venezuela, they cook an unusual beetroot salad with beef tongue Lengua de Res. For breakfast, order scrambled eggs with onion and tomatoes Perico.
If you stay in the sea resorts of Venezuela, you will be offered dishes with fish, crabs and shellfish. A must-try dish is Pargo and sea bass prepared in accordance with a traditional recipe.
When it comes to soups, you will be served a cabbage soup with pickled beef liver and celery Sopa de mondongo, a fish soup Hervido with vegetable, hot chicken broth with potatoes Pisca Andina and Sancocho.
Traditionally, any dish is served with bread Pan Dulce, Pan Chabata or Pan Siciliano. Do not miss a chance to try the Venezuelan flatbread Arepas with or without stuffing and fried pies Empanadas.
Try fired bananas Tostones as a side-dish, pasta Jojo with plantain and cheese and mashed potatoes Noquis.
At the end of the meal, try a cake with caramel Quesillo, a sweat roll Brazo gitano and cheese dessert Torta de queso and fruits.
We recommend trying milk cocktails Merengada and Batidos with fruits.
The local alcoholic drinks are rum and cream liqueur Ponche crema.
The official currency is bolívar (VEB) which is equal to 100 centimos. The Central Bank of Venezuela issues the bank notes from 2 to 100 bolívars and coins from 1 to 50 centimos and 1 bolívar.
In large tourist areas, US dollars and Euros are accepted.
The tourists can exchange the currency at banks or in exchange offices, in stores, hotels and airports. Be aware, that non-residents of Venezuela can exchange maximum 10.000 US dollars a year and when you convert national currency for foreign currency when leaving the country, the sum is restricted to 25% of the original amount. We recommend the tourists against using the services of the locals when exchanging the money, especially outside big cities.
The holders of the cards Maestro and Cirrus can use the ATMs which are located in large cities. In small towns and villages, you will not be able to withdraw cash from your card account.
Traveler's checks are accepted at large banks and in tourist resorts. Have checks in Euros to avoid additional commissions and charges due to the currency rate volatility.
Due to the unfavorable criminal situation, the tourists are strongly recommended against walking in the cities at night.
Details of interest
Sightseeing in Venezuela
In Venezuela, there are three UNESCO sites. The first two are the cultural monuments and the third is a natural site.
- We recommend you going to an excursion to the University City of Caracas. This complex was built in the capital city in 1960. This is a masterpiece of modern architecture which integrates many buildings and tropical nature into a clearly articulated ensemble. The most interesting buildings are the Olympic Center and the Aula Magna of the University of Caracas.
- The other UNESCO site is the city of Santa Ana de Coro or shortly Coro and its port. This is one of the oldest cities which was built in 1527. Today Coro is world known for its colonial architecture. The port is 12 km from the central part of Santa Ana de Coro.
- The Canaima National Park is the main destination for the ecological tourism. It is situated in the Bolivar State and covers almost 30.000 square kilometers. The main thing that attracts the tourists are the table-top mountains Tepui. On the territory of the park, there is the highest Angel Waterfall in the world.
In Venezuela, you can also see the candidate UNESCO sites.
- The Vargas State and the city of La Guaira. This is an architectural complex of historical buildings in the Colonial style. In the city, there is the San Pedro Apostle Cathedral, El Carmen Hermitage, the House of the painter Emilio Boggio and Fort of San Agustin.
- The village Hacienda Chuao is also of a great interest for the tourists. It is famous for its cocoa trees plantations. You can go hiking to the village through the mountains or have a boat trip to this village. There are no roads to Hacienda Chuao.
- Ciudad Bolivar in the narrowness of the Orinoco River is located on the rocky plateau which is the oldest geological formation in the world.
The tourists can also visit the Morrocoy National Park, Caracas Museum of Contemporary Art, go climbing the Mount Roraima and visit the Orchid Island Margarita.
- handmade crafts;
- jewelry, precious stones;
- musical instruments;
- ritual masks.