Venezuela Advice

Travel Forums Central/South America & The Caribbean Venezuela Advice

1. Posted by LexiMStL (Budding Member 13 posts) 13y Star this if you like it!

I will be in Venezuela in October of this year, Specifically Valencia in Carabobo State. I already know which hotel I will be at- Hotel Guaparo Inn (although I will take suggestions for anything safe and cheap down there) I am visiting an old friend who I will be spending a lot (if not most) of my time with. He lives in the Trigal Norte area of Valencia.

My questions are related to the time I will be spending alone. I will not be travelling outside of Valencia alone (only between such outer cities like Naguanagua and Guacara in Carabobo State)If anyone can help with any of these questions, it would be greatly appreciated. I will be there for 3 weeks and possibly staying on MUCH longer.

what sort of budget should I plan for food and daily expenses considering that I will be eating with my friend and his family about 2-3 times per week and breakfast is included at my hotel.

I am professional Salsa dancer. Are there any good Salsa clubs in or near Valencia? All I can find are European style dance clubs.

Any suggestions on public transportation? (Mostly Taxi's for when I go shopping by myself. My friend has a car, but I need to get around while he is working. Unless I can use his car and if so, are US Drivers licenses ok to use in Venezuela?

What do you reccomend regarding storing.carrying my money. Is US currency acceptable to use for tipping, bars etc? Can I use my master card or do I need lots of local currency. I want to split up may money into different forms and keep it in different locations so if something is stolen, I still have some to fall back on.

I will be flying into the Arturo Michelena Intn'l airport, Valencia (avoiding Caracas' airport at all costs). Any info/advice on customs, taxes, security etc.?

Other than that ANY help is appreciated. I want to be completely prepared when I go there.

Thanks so much!!
1st time S.A. traveler.

2. Posted by MibuMike (Budding Member 2 posts) 13y Star this if you like it!

Hey Lexi, I sent you a PM but here is some general info from my dad who just got back from Venezuela last week:

Before you could exchange dollars on the black market for 1US = 2,500 Bolivares. Recently it seems that the black market has been flooded with dollars so the exchange rate is close to the standard bank rate of 2,200. I wouldn't carry more than 50,000 Bolivares with you at any time. Venezuela is still in times of turmoil and there's a lot of petty thieves going around.

That being said, things look like they're getting better. Inflation is crazy so prices are constantly rising but it's still easy to get buy on a cheap budget. A cheap meal will be about 3000-4000 Bs. A nice dinner out will cost about 12,000 Bs. A beer is 900 Bs. I'm not sure about taxis but I've been told that long distance taxis (Over 10 km) can be very expensive. Using buses is a good option.

Valenicia is a very big city so I'm sure you won't have any trouble finding Salsa clubs there. As far as money I would use international ATMs. Carrying lots of cash with you is not a good idea, and even leaving the cash at your hotel is dangerous. Withdraw 50-100 US dollars at a time and that should last you at least a week or much more depending how well you budget.

Hope this helps!


3. Posted by LexiMStL (Budding Member 13 posts) 13y Star this if you like it!

Hi Mike,

Thanks so much for all your help. I spoke to my friend today and it looks like things are really coming together for my trip. It turns out I will only be spending 10 days in Valencia and the rest of the trip at the beach and travelling around. I am so excited. I'll keep you updated and you as well as I understand you will be in Vzla this fall/winter also!