Getting around Caracas
Visitors need to rely on public transport in Caracas to get around as the city's attractions spread far and wide. The clean, cheap and efficient Metro de Caracas (tel: +58 212 206 7741; www.metrodecaracas.com.ve) runs from early morning around 0530 until 2300. The metro does not cover the whole city but connects with Los Teques Metro at Las Adjuntas Station, with links between the city of Los Teques and Caracas.
It has more than 45 stations and five functional lines, with a sixth under construction. The same company has a connecting bus network above ground called Metrobús, which can take you on to your final destination. There are plenty of cheap independent buses too, their destinations given in the front window. The Metro is generally safe during daylight hours, although pickpockets do operate. City buses are regularly held up by gunmen and are best avoided.
For savings in both time and money, pick up a multiabono (multiple ticket) that pays for 10 metro rides of any distance. A multiabono integrado can also be used on Metrobús.
Every third car is likely to a taxi in Caracas, and fares are inexpensive. You're expected to decide a price with the driver before setting off, so have your haggling skills at the ready. Always use official company cabs (white with yellow plates) that sit in ranks outside malls and big hotels rather than the many independent taxis. Booking ahead is often the safest option, reputable companies include Movíl-Enlace (tel: +58 212 577 0922), Taxis Altamira (tel: +58 212 267 4253) and Taxis El Rosal (tel: +58 212 952 0079).
You have to be brave to get behind the wheel of a car in Caracas. Bad signposting, gridlocked streets and poor driving combine to make driving here very hard work, though it's a good way to get about beyond the capital. If you do drive, choose manned car parks.
Most major national and international car hire companies have offices at the airport and in the city itself. Many top hotels also have a desk or two. You need to be at least over 21 years of age to hire a vehicle here; some companies only take drivers over 25.
Cycling isn't recommended in Caracas unless you're happy taking your life into your own hands in the chaotic streets. Hiring bikes is also difficult.