Venezuela, though often overlooked, is a gem of a country situated in South America. With crystal-clear waters lapping at its shores along the Caribbean Sea and North Atlantic Ocean, Venezuela boasts picture-perfect beaches that rival any other nation’s. Furthermore, it shares borders with Colombia to the west, Guyana to the east and Brazil to the south which allows for easy travel between North and South America . Additionally, right off its coast lie Aruba, Bonaire , Curaçao ,and Trinidad , Tobago– all perfect day trip destinations for island lovers!
Venezuela, while not the most secure nation, provides an enormous number of beautiful sights and activities, such as the Angel Falls in the Guiana Highlands, which are among the world’s tallest waterfalls. It’s no surprise that this is one of Venezuela’s major tourist attractions. The country also has a long coast on the Caribbean Sea.
Venezuela is an oil powerhouse, ranked as the fifth-largest exporter in the world. The country also has sizable reserves of natural gas. Not to be forgotten, over 40% of Venezuela’s land is made up of protected areas rich with biodiversity.
Threats & Risks in Venezuela
The overall risk is high.
Although it is not necessarily a dangerous country, Venezuela is not safe for foreign visitors. Keep this in mind as you prepare your trip to your nation, and be on the lookout at all times since both minor and severe assaults are common here. Use all available precautions.
The risks of transportation and taxis are medium.
Pickpockets typically operate in buses and subway stations, so be cautious. Know that the roads are also dangerous since vehicle theft is all too common. Buses and trains have a history of robberies.
High risk of pickpockets
Petty crime, like pickpocketing and bag snatching, is extremely common in Venezuela. To avoid becoming a victim of theft, it’s best to leave anything valuable at home.
The risk of natural disasters is medium.
The following are the natural catastrophes that Venezuelans should prepare for: floods, earthquakes, and hurricanes. The flood season extends from May to December, while the hurricane season lasts from June to November.
There is a high risk of being mugged in this area.
Kidnapping is worryingly commonplace, and there have even been reports of foreigners being tortured until they hand over their credit card details so that the kidnappers can empty their accounts.
The risk of terrorist activity is low.
There have been no terrorist strikes in Venezuela’s recent memory. However, they shouldn’t be taken lightly, so remain vigilant at all times.
There is a very high risk of being scammed.
Beware of “virtual kidnappings”. These are scams designed to get information on you and your family by local people in Venezuela who will never actually follow through with the kidnap. Another scam to watch out for is getting overcharged for airport taxes when flying both domestically and internationally.
The risk for women traveling abroad is rated as medium.
Many women have visited Venezuela without experiencing any difficulties. The fact is that it is no more dangerous for females than males. However, avoid walking alone, especially after dark, since you may be targeted by robbers and muggings.
So, Is Venezuela Really So Safe?
The US State Department has discourages travel to Venezuela due to episodes of crime, civil unrest, deteriorated health infrastructure, and arbitrary detentions of U.S. citizens by the Venezuelan government.
There are numerous regions that are extremely hazardous.
Travel to specific regions of Caracas due to crime is not suggested. The main tourist destinations are safe places, but that’s about it. This nation has one of the world’s top five highest per capita murder rates, with kidnappings increasing by 50% in a year span from 2008 to 2009, and armed robberies being the norm.
Foreign nationals have been kidnapped from their homes, hotels, taxis without proper license plates, and even airport terminals. This refers to abductions that last for a shorter period of time with the ultimate goal being to extort money from the victim.
Criminals select their victims at random, making them withdraw all the money from their bank accounts using their cash cards. The ordeal usually lasts no more than an hour, but those who have been through it report that is often followed by violence and is generally a very scary experience.
Not only do you have to be very vigilant when driving, but you are also more susceptible to danger.
Both day and night, carjackings are a common occurrence. To blend in and avoid being targeted, do not drive or rent an expensive vehicle. Generally, the act of carjacking is carried out by armed gangs who ram into the victim’s vehicle from behind or flag them down. Whatever you do, don’t fight back; it might result in the victim’s death.
Information That Is Useful
- Visas – Most countries need a visa to enter Venezuela and they are not available at airports. Make sure your passport is valid for at least six months after your arrival in Venezuela. If you’re not sure whether or not you need a visa, check out www.doyouneedvisa.com, which will tell you whether or not you require one depending on your nationality and the country you want to visit.
- Currency – There are two money in Venezuela: the Venezuelan Bolivar and the Petro. ATMs can be found across the country, but they don’t all accept foreign credit cards. Foreign credit cards are accepted at Banco Provincial and Mercantil. In most cities, except Caracas, most restaurants and stores accept credit cards.
- Weather – The climate in Venezuela is largely tropical, with the exception of the lowlands. Temperatures can drop as low as 9°C in the mountainous area of the country, which is about 10 degrees colder than elsewhere in South America. The rainy season lasts from May to December, and a hurricane season runs from June to November.
- Airports – Maiquetía’s Simón Bolívar International Airport is the primary airport for Vargas and main international airport for Caracas, located 21 km from downtown.
- Travel Insurance – We suggest buying travel insurance while traveling to Venezuela, just as we would when going anywhere else in the world.