Top events in Venezuela

August
24

A country fair, based on the annual spawning of the sapoara fish on the Orinoco River, at the riverside city of Ciudad Bolívar. Activities include...

August
25

Pilgrimages in honour of the patron saint of Venezuela. Thousands travel from all over Venezuela and beyond, to visit the shrine of the Virgin of...

September
01

Music festival showcasing everything from folk to classical to rock and jazz.

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Venezuela Travel Guide

Key Facts
Area

912,050 sq km (352,144 sq miles).

Population

28.9 million (2014).

Population density

31.7 per sq km.

Capital

Caracas.

Government

Republic.

Head of state

President Nicolás Maduro since 2013.

Head of government

President Nicolás Maduro since 2013.

Electricity

120 volts AC, 60Hz. North American-style plugs with two flat ins (with or without grounding pin) are the most commonly used fittings.

With its reputation for violence and political instability, many travellers opt to give Venezuela a wide berth. But those brave enough to visit this feisty South American nation will discover a country of extraordinary diversity and abundant natural beauty; a land of lofty Andean peaks, mysterious Lost World plateaus, wildlife rich rainforests, vibrant cities and idyllic Caribbean islands.

At the heart of all this lies Caracas, Venezuela’s thronging capital. A hotchpotch of hillside favelas, crumbling colonial buildings and glistening skyscrapers, the city has much to offer visitors; there’s a fine collection of museums, galleries and historic monuments, not to mention a pulsating nightlife. Even the food’s good, nowadays. But for all its appeal, most of Venezuela’s attractions lie beyond the capital city, hidden away in national parks and reserves which cover an impressive 40% of the country.

The lush tropical lowlands of Los Llanos harbour abundant wildlife, with eco-conscious hatos (ranches) offering safaris to view caiman, puma, anaconda, capybara, hundreds of birds and much more. Then there are the table-top mountains of the Guyana Highlands, whose summits loom over golden savannahs and bristle with prehistoric flora and fauna. These towering peaks spawn dramatic waterfalls, including the awesome Angel Falls, officially the world’s highest.

Those with an appetite for adventure can be sated with an excursion into the virgin rainforest of Amazonas, Venezuela’s least-visited region, where indigenous communities cling onto traditional lives in the jungle. Alternatively, head to Mérida to tackle the soaring Andean peaks or go piranha fishing in the Orinoco, South America’s second longest river, which empties into the wildlife-rich wetlands of the Orinoco Delta.

Beyond that, the clear waters of the Caribbean lap onto Venezuela’s stunning coastline, where numerous offshore islands provide ample opportunities for reef diving, partying and pandering to pleasure. Amongst them the Los Roques archipelago, which is the epitome of Caribbean island idyll and a very long way from the unsavoury headlines of the mainland.

Travel Advice

Last updated: 01 July 2015

The travel advice summary below is provided by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in the UK. 'We' refers to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. For their full travel advice, visit www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice.

There is an underlying threat from terrorism. Attacks could be indiscriminate, including in places frequented by expatriates and foreign travellers. Be vigilant and look out for suspect packages.

There is considered to be a heightened threat of terrorist attack globally against UK interests and British nationals, from groups or individuals motivated by the conflict in Iraq and Syria. You should be vigilant at this time.

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