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Safety in Caracas

Travel Forums Central/South America & The Caribbean Safety in Caracas

1. Posted by sharonann (Budding Member 12 posts) 8y Star this if you like it!

Hi I have heard that flying into Caracas for foreigners is dangerous and Venesuala should be stayed away from. We are two girls travelling alone and wanted some advice. Thanks

2. Posted by way2goeh (Full Member 159 posts) 8y Star this if you like it!

First Caracas. Caracas is not worth the visit anyway, The only thing to do there is to go on the teleferico (gondola). Its a very dirty city and alot of weird people. If you dont look like a foreigner, you should have little to no problems. Just aviod the police at all costs. If you must go to the centre of Caracas, make sure its just for a day. Its best to take a good taxi or should I say an expensive taxi to the centre from the airport ($60 one way). Other kind of taxi charge less and you would probably end up in a bodybag. If you are going to Merida or Margarita Island (which you are probably going to do) then you will have no problems. Like in any foreign country, dont look like a foreigner, flash money or act out or speak english loud. Outside of Caracas, youre saftey should be fine. I hope this helps, but I would reccommend Venezuela to everyone b/c I love the country except Caracas.

3. Posted by BedouinLeo (Inactive 698 posts) 8y Star this if you like it!

Caracas is not the greatest capital city Ive ever been to. I was there just once in 2007 for three weeks.
Like any capital city it has its good and bad areas. Its not a very big city compared to London, or Mexico City with population estimates varying between 2.5 and 4 million and is set in a valley with nice backdrop views of the mountains. I found the night life OK but not as good as in Rio or Buenos Aires. Day trips from the city are very varied and nice. There are some good cheap hotels and the restaurants are plentiful and mostly good.
A trip for me that I liked was to the Avila National Park. The city is high above sea level, about 1000 metres and there are some lovely views looking down on it from the nearby mountains. Car hire in the city is very cheap.
It has a reputation for being dangerous, but I felt safer there than in Mexico City.

[ Edit: Edited on 01-Aug-2009, at 08:01 by BedouinLeo ]

4. Posted by Piecar (Travel Guru 977 posts) 8y Star this if you like it!

Years ago, I went to Caracas as my first trip to Latin America. It was a great learning experience because I was getting ripped off all over the place. I learned my first lesson in the airport, where I got into the wrong cab and ended up getting roughed up for whatever dough was in my pocket by the cabdriver, and his two muscle buddies. Luckily, the money in my pocket wasn't much, and, when they frogmarched me to an ATM to get more I decided I'd rather take a shiv and they weren't ready to go that far.

Downtown is NOT for the faint of heart at night. And I second another's post. There is nothing to see in Caracas anyway. The place USED TO be a rich place and there are several skyscrapers that look great from a distance. Then, when you get up close, you see that there are tons of smashed windows with birds nesting in them and scrawls of graffitti.

Go to Ciudad Bolivar and Kamarata and Los Roques and the coast cities and leave Caracas unless you really really want to one day say : "So, there I was in Caracas when....." Which, I swear, was the only reason I went to Caracas.

On the other hand.....Venezuela has some of the MOST beautiful country I have ever seen. The old man from UP was right, it was a great place to see before you kick.



5. Posted by BedouinLeo (Inactive 698 posts) 8y Star this if you like it!

Yes the country has some of the best scenery on the planet, including the Worlds highest unbroken waterfall.

6. Posted by maddie20 (Budding Member 11 posts) 8y Star this if you like it!

No offense but nothing bad has ever happened to me in Venezuela, my own country, never been robbed never nothing, and I got robbed by a pick pocket at la Tour Eiffel, france, I didn't even notice so...danger is everywhere. It all dependes on where you go, it's obvious that if it's your first time you'll never know exactly where to go. Head to chacao and baruta districts and you'll be ok, avoid libertador. And yes, it may be dangerous, careful with cabs.

7. Posted by Piecar (Travel Guru 977 posts) 8y Star this if you like it!

nice to meet you maddie. It certainly does help when there is someone who is actually from the city to give advice.

So,Calle Sabana Grande at night, thoughts?


8. Posted by sharonann (Budding Member 12 posts) 8y Star this if you like it!

Thanks for all the advise.

9. Posted by maddie20 (Budding Member 11 posts) 8y Star this if you like it!

Hi Piecar, nice to meet you too! ... sorry if i've been a little rude defending my country hehe.

anyways, I would not reccomend Sabana Grande at night, if you're moving with a car it makes it a little safier, as I mentioned , Libertador District may be a little dangerous, Sabana Grande is at libertador. Sabana Grande was many years ago, 15 o 20 years ago, was a great boulevard, it was like Gran Via at Madrid, Spain, today is not so nice, but still a place to walk in the daylight, careful at night.

hope this is useful to you!!! I can help with anything related to Caracas or Margarita Island. Cheers bye =)

10. Posted by eroltoksoy (Full Member 173 posts) 8y Star this if you like it!

I dont know about general safety conditions in Venezuella. But taxi drivers are almost same everywhere. Apart from the threating and beating stuff ofcourse.

Some taxi drivers try to cheat you with night fare in istanbul- turkey( even if you are Turkish) . And also I ve been recently warned by an American friend about cabs in JFK airport New York. He told me that some of them work illegaly and give you the double price of legal cabs.

[ Edit: Edited on 13-Aug-2009, at 01:33 by eroltoksoy ]