I have been reading website after website that venezuela is really cheap. Compared to what? A lost island? These prices are absolutely ridiculous. 90 dollars per day to rent a car for a economy. 100 dollars for the cheapest hotel in caracas. Hotels 100 dollars per person per night in alot of places. Los Roques looks nice, but 100 dollars per person per night plus 300 dollars each to fly there? Also everyone says Merida is the cheapest place. Looks nice, but so expensive. I find Margarita Island very cheap though. Go figure. I suggest to go to Panama instead. Only this gripe.....lol
[ Edit: Edited on Jun 6, 2008, at 10:57 AM by way2goeh ]
I agree, we spent 3 weeks in Venezuela in July and the price for accommodation was sometimes FOUR times what it says in our 2007 LP guide book. Merida was great but still not cheap.
We'd changed our money on the black market so were getting a good rate but inflation is really high in Venezuela at the moment - we read in the paper that some food has gone up 40% in 6 months....feel sorry for the locals
Now that I have returned from Venezuela, I have a few things that you all may find helpful.
1. Notes in General. Black Market- Caracas airport was 2,80 and Margarita Island was 3,00. But the prices of food was ridiculous. Dominos Pizza medium was 40 dollars a pizza. Rental cars with insurance was 140 dollars a day (intermediate). Tomatoes 5 dollars a kilo. Meat in grocery stores almost doesnt exist except chicken and fish. Any american restaurant, and there almost every one of them there, cost 3 to 4 times more than in the states. Coke, Pepsi, 7-up and fanta orange and grape are the only NORMAL kinds of pop. Forget the rootbeer and gingerale as they dont exist....lol Subway costs about 40 cents. Buses cost about 1 dollar and you get free salsa music to listen (sigh). Taxis are either cheap or expensive. Cheap if you want to get robbed, expensive if you want to make it back in one piece. Margarita ISland taxis in general are all good and quite cheap (15 dollars for one hour). Buses from Caracas to Puerto La Cruz (sleepers cost about $15 but either the a/c is at full blast or they dont work). Try avoid taking bus back to Caracas during rushhour!!! The ferry to Porlamar is quite good and cheap (about 25 dollars a person for the fast ferry) and comfortable. Tolls cost about 1 dollar too but I only saw one but since it was raining in Merida, we didnt go there. Polar beer costs about 55 cents for 255mls at 4% but Brasilian beer Bramha is 53 cents each for 350ml and 5% alcohol ( go figure). Caracas airport has the worst dutyfree in the world. NO liquor except venezuela wine so buy it in Maragrita Island!!!!!
2. Caracas- There is no reason to STAY in Caracas other than to land there. There is garbage all over the place, people drive crazy and did I mention all the garbage? There is two places I found interesting. The teleferico (gondola) was impressive. Very cheap. Trains and buses as ive said before are cheap. Sabana Grande has more Mcdonalds than you can count. But there are alot of gays there at night. Hotels- Either you spend $150 a night for a good hotel, or $30 a night for Cristal Hotel in Sabana Grande but dont look in the bathroom....lol
3. Margarita Island- What can I say about Margarita Island? It was fantastic!! Despite all the friggin garbage, I had a blast. I stayed at Patrick hotel in Juan Griego for about 40 dollars a night which is cheap, ok room and with A/C. They now have new staff and very very helpful. I certainly reccommend them to anyone who wants to save a buck. Though the beach isnt for swimming as its a fishing village but the nearby beach of Playa de Caribe is very good. Excellent highway on the island and you can rent cars and scooters at Playa El Agua for about $100 at magic tours and 22 dollars for a scooter about 100 metres from them. The beaches, most of them are fantastic. Porlamar and Juan Griego arent good for beaches but I find most on the atlantic side are very good. Playa El AGua is great but the food is VERY expensive and people selling crap on the beach are non-stop and they will ask you if you want each time as they pass you even when you said no 10 minutes ago. I always suggest to look for that special beach that noone knows about if you have a car. We found a fantastic one on the top part of the island but I aint gonna tell you where it is (sorry). But the beaches on the top part are less than impressive except the one we found. The shopping centre Sambil is probably the best mall I have seen in my life (and ive travelled the world). I live in Brasil and to see a Cinnabuns was heaven. Traffic in porlamar is terrible 24 hours a day.
Isla Blanquilla is was absolutely fantastic!!!!!!!!!! Find someone to take you there and have them take you to AMericano Bay. You WONT BE DISAPPOINTED as it was the best beach in the world in my opinion. Los ROques is expensive and for 300 dollars for 8 hours, well, you get it. I still wished I went there but maybe next time.
One note before I go. ALL buses and taxis and on the streets play Salsa music. they wont turn it off but still, just get drunk and enjoy
i almost forgot.. Gasoline costs less than 3 cents a litre.. IM not joking. its practically free!!!!
[ Edit: Edited on Aug 15, 2008, at 7:17 AM by way2goeh ]
Damn, I am sorry to hear about the McDonalds'.....I went to Caracas and many other places in Venezuela in 2000 and was incredibly impressed that the country had NO Fucking Golden Arches.....I have been telling the story about the mythical land without the fucking Clown Restaurant for eight years. I am truly saddened by this....Chavez is a fruitcake of the first order, but I was onside with him about reducing the "American Incursion" of fast food restaurants and the like in his country.
But, listen. Venezuela is far more than Caracas( I used to like ballgames there, though) The REAL Sabana Grande is a heartstopping wonder of nature that can make you re-evaluate you life....The Warao people are a sad and beautiful folk...and the Pemon(accent over "o" but I can't find it) are some of the coolest ever....The Christians would come to convert them....and would build a church...and they would let them...Once it was done they would burn it down and leave the ashes to point out to the next Christians....Fucking cool ass Animists, if'n you ask me.