Venezuela remains off the beaten path for the American traveler. Its unusual choice as a tourist destination makes it very easy to find value here, as well as uncommon stories and discoveries sure to amaze your friends back home. Here are some of the ups and downs of traveling to this jewel of South America.
Many agents cut the large country into quadrants when discussing vacation options. Enjoy the vibrant urban center Caracás, the beaches of Isla Margarita, the Andigo Mountains in the west, or the tropical woods of Llanos.
If you choose the urban route, Caracás is known for its salsa clubs and world-class hotels and shopping. There are regional festivals to walk through, arts and crafts to buy, and an eclectic choice of restaurants to visit. Unfortunately, there is a substantially high crime rate here also. Take the local’s advice and avoid certain streets at night and wear jeans around the city instead of shorts to look more like a local would.
The beaches offer surf, fresh seafood, and miles of seclusion and relaxation. El Yague offers one of the best spots in the world for windsurfing, and the isolated beaches of Sucre are worth the effort to visit as you will find crystal-clear water and gold sands. Mochima National Park offers countless islands with protected bays that are perfect for dolphin, turtle and manta-ray snorkeling.
The countryside offers resorts in the middle of the forests, where you can eat fresh papaya off the trees and see monkeys and wild horses. There are also mountains to climb and huge waterfalls, such as Angel Falls, the world’s highest waterfall.
Avoid the public hospitals and trade USD with locals as they offer a better exchange rate. Drink Polar beer, the world’s 17th largest distributor of cerbeza. Enjoy soccer matches and premium baseball games. And most of all, have fun while in Venezuela.