LaGuaira is not of interest, unless you take a ship's tour into Caracas. And Caracas can be hot, dirty, noisy and beware of pickpockets. Do not attempt to walk around La Guaira. It is not safe. All there is at the cruise terminal (which is safe) is and a bunch of shops.
Printable map of Caracas to take along.
Watch a destination video.
We do not recommend even visiting the port town of La Guaira. It's an extremely dangerous area, day or night.
Take only a cruise line sanctioned tour. Do not attempt to arrange or negotiate a private tour or taxi.
Even if you do tour with an "official" cruise line tour, be careful what you wear. Do not wear anything expensive...expensive rings, ear rings, watches, necklaces, etc. or carry expensive purses or designer clothing. Do not do anything to call attention to yourself or look like a "tourist."
Caracas. Caracas is not one of the top touristic destinations of Venezuela, and travelers often bypass the capital city in order to see the country’s amazing natural attractions. However, the Venezuelan capital can be a fascinating city to explore, replete with excellent art, food and a bustling nightlife.
In Caracas the staggering inequalities of wealth that characterize Venezuela’s economic situation are on display. They range from very poor neighborhoods in the hills west of the city called “barrios”, to the modern business district of El Rosal, or even the huge mansions of the rich eastern neighborhoods.
The city’s streets and highways are always crowded with vehicles, as Venezuela has the cheapest gasoline in the world (at about $0.12/gallon). Subsidized gasoline and inadequate infrastructure have helped spur pollution and big traffic lines in almost all of the inner city motorways.
Visitors need to be aware that Caracas remains one of the most violent cities in the world, with large parts of the city effectively No Go Areas to outsiders.
Venezuela's currency is the Bolivar fuerte (BsF), which replaced the old bolivar on January 1, 2008 at the rate of 1 BsF to 1000 old Bs.
Visa and MasterCard are widely accepted, American Express and Diners Club are usually accepted at upscale restaurants, hotels and shopping centers. Merchants always ask for ID before making a credit card transaction (a passport will suffice). ATMs exist all over the country but most ATMs will ask you the last two numbers of a local ID, making withdrawal with a foreign card impossible.
Spanish is the official language of Venezuela.
Cafes which offer free WiFi for customers are increasingly common, and even small towns usually have at least one spot with more or less decent connections
A single emergency number 171 is used in most of the country for police, ambulance and firefighters.
Shopping hours Mon-Sat 0900-1300 and 1500-1900.
1 Jan New Year's Day.
19 Apr Declaration of Independence.
1 May Labour Day.
24 Jun Battle of Carabobo.
5 Jul Independence Day.
24 Jul Birth of Simón Bolívar.
Oct Columbus Day.
25 Dec Christmas Day.
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