Eat - Among fast food are Arepas
(the famous are Reina Pepiada and Domino), Hallacas (you can eat this on
xmas), Cachapas (with a cheese called "telita" is delicious), also Empanadas
(you can find them in any beach and in street stands, use your good judgement
went you select a street place to eat) and the best "Perros Calientes"(Hot
Dogs). The arepa is the most common Venezuelan food item. It's basically
a biscuit that is made out of cornmeal and you can fill it in with any
type of food that you want, carne mechada which is shredded beef and which
tastes really good. It is called "comida criolla", or Creole food. For
slow food, try delicious fish meals, or shrimp soup Cazuela de Mariscos.
The traditional Venezuelan lunch is El Pabellón, but is not usually
sell at restaurants, just in small family businesses, is mainly rice, black
beans, and meat. You can also find nice sweets made mainly of sugar. Venezuelan
chocolate is really good, specially from a bran named El Rey, they are
not that cheap compared with other venezuelan prices but they are still
cheap compared to American or European prices, and they are worth the extra
Caracas - the capital.
Ciudad Bolivar - stop-off
point for flights to Angel Falls, and a comfortable stoppover on the way
Ciudad Guayana - dominated
by heavy industry, it is the main gateway to the Orinoco Delta and the
Coro - the first capital
of Venezuela and a city of rich colonial architecture and tourist attractiveness
Maracaibo - Venezuela's
second city, swelteringly hot and built on oil.
Maracay - once the capital
of Venezuela, now home to the main military garrison.
Mérida - a charming
university town in the Andes mountains, popular for outdoor activities.
Puerto La Cruz - the main
access point for many beaches in eastern Venezuela.
Valencia - an affluent industrial
Venezuela has its fair share
of poverty and crime. It is necessary to be vigilant when in crowded cities,
as pickpockets and muggers may be around. Most sections of large cities
are not safe to walk at night. Stay in populated areas. Always travel by
veichle in night. The outskirts of many cities are very poor and crime-ridden,
and are not appropriate for tourists. When in doubt, ask local inhabitants
or taxi drivers whether an area is safe or not. In general, if one looks
like a (presumably wealthy) tourist, these sections of town should be avoided.
It is advisable not to wear expensive jewelry or watches. Take care with
taking pictures and unfolding maps in crowds. Pretend you know where you
are going even if you aren't sure. Additionally, one must be wary of corrupt
officials (police and National Guard). Some officials may demand bribes
or otherwise extort travellers. Keep watch of your belongings at all times.
Despite all these recommendations, one is usually quite safe in Venezuela
if they apply a little common sense, and avoid looking overly wealthy when
travelling. Women with big purses are recommended not to walk around alone.
Tourists should avoid walking long distances in the towns and cities unless
you know where you are going. If possible arrange vehicle transport. It
is not advisable for tourists to walk through poor areas or shanty towns
without a local guide.
Above all, when you are
in Venezuela it is very important to use common sense. If you follow the
right precautions, you'll have no problem. Don't look at anybody the wrong
way, and don't look too wealthy. In the sad event you do get mugged, by
all means don't even try to put up resistance, most muggers in Venezuela
carry firearms and don't hesitate to shoot at the slighest provocation,
keep calm and give the mugger whatever he wants, failure to do so is quite
often deadly, also, reporting a mugging to the police is seldom worth the
trouble, it's best to forget it as muggers are only rarely caught
|We advise you to exercise
a high degree of caution in Venezuela because of high levels of serious
crime and ongoing political tensions.
Pay close attention to your
personal security at all times and monitor the media for information about
possible new safety or security risks.
We strongly advise you not
to travel to the border states of Bolivar, Amazonas, Apure, Tachira, Zulia
and Barinas because the Colombian terrorist group, FARC, and narcotics
gangs are active in these areas.
Australia does not have
an Embassy or Consulate in Venezuela. The Canadian Embassy in the Venezuelan
capital, Caracas, provides consular assistance to Australians in Venezuela
(except the issue of passports). The Australian Embassy in Brazil can also
Be a smart traveller. Before
organise comprehensive travel
insurance and check what circumstances and activities are not covered by
register your travel and
contact details, so we can contact you in an emergency
subscribe to this travel
advice to receive free email updates each time it's reissued.
Crime rates are higher in
'barrios' or 'ranchitos' (slum areas) and after dark. Tourist and resort
areas may be targeted by criminal groups.
There have been incidents
of 'express kidnappings', where people are forced to withdraw funds from
ATMs to secure their release. Victims have been killed or injured while
resisting perpetrators' demands.
Petty crime such as pick-pocketing
is prevalent, particularly on public transport in Caracas. Thieves, sometimes
armed, are known to target hotel rooms, safe deposit boxes and rental cars.
Criminals are known to pose
as taxi operators at the airport. Foreigners, including Australians, have
been attacked and robbed. Licensed, radio-despatched taxis can be organised
in advance by hotels or by telephone at the airport. If possible, arrange
to arrive in Caracas during the day. Make the arrangements for transfer
to your hotel before you arrive.
Motorists have been
robbed after stopping to assess damage caused by objects thrown from a
bridge or overpass. Drive with doors locked and windows closed at all times.