Although Caracas has a high crime rate and volatile political climate, it remains one of the major cosmopolitan cities in South America. Take the right precautions before you go to ensure you'll have a great time once you arrive.
Step 1: Visit the U.S. State Department website If you are American, visit the State Department website to learn about travel safety issues in Venezuela. Foreigners can be vulnerable to crime even upon arrival at the airport. Register at the State Department's travel registration website. This easily allows the State Department to assist United States citizens in an emergency.
TIP: Some Americans have been turned back at the airport due to passports expiring within six months of their arrival date.
Step 2: Be cautious when traveling from the airport Be cautious when traveling from the airport. Traffic in Caracas is difficult to navigate at all hours.
TIP: If you choose to rent a car, make arrangements with an international car rental company before you leave.
Step 3: Visit travel websites Visit travel websites for hotel recommendations. Foreigners and tourists tend to stay in Chacao and the section of Chacao known as Altamira, where many of the nicest hotels are located.
Step 4: Carry as little U.S. currency as possible Carry as little U.S. currency as possible. Find a currency exchange house recommended by your hotel.
TIP: You risk arrest if you exchange dollars with "street" money changers.
Step 5: Walk the city in a group Explore the city with a group if you can, even when visiting major tourist attractions like El Avila Park. Be aware that petty theft is commonplace, especially after dark, so stay alert and be aware of your surroundings.
Step 6: Take licensed taxis for transportation Ask hotels and restaurants to contact licensed taxis for your nightlife transportation. Do not flag down a taxi off the street. Put common sense into practice for a safe trip.
FACT: The world's highest waterfall, Angel Falls, near Caracas, was named after American pilot Jimmy Angel who landed at the falls' summit.