Money and duty free for Venezuela
Currency and Money
Bolívar Fuerte (VEF; symbol Bs.F.) = 100 céntimos. Notes are in denominations of Bs.F. 100,000, 20,000, 10,000, 5000, 2000, 1000 and 500; coin denominations are Bs.F. 500, 100, 50, 20 and 10; 50, 25, 12.5, 10, 5 and 1 céntimos.
MasterCard, Visa and American Express are accepted in the main cities and tourist centres. However, some outlets may have difficulty accepting foreign cards. Venezuela is a cash-dominated society and you may be better off with dollars in most instances.
Most major banks have ATMs and they're generally available throughout major cities. ATMs have extremely low limits for cash withdrawals on international cards and queues are frequently targeted by criminals. If you’re heading to the Amazon basin, or rural areas where access to cashpoints will be limited, be sure to stockpile some cash beforehand.
Venezuela also has a serious problem with card fraud and cards being cloned. Take care when using credit or debit cards.
These used to be widely accepted, but as their usage declines, there are fewer places accepting them and the places that do, may ask you to produce a receipt of purchase. American Express is the standard; other types of traveller's cheques may not be accepted. A commission of 3% or more is charged. To avoid additional exchange rate charges, take traveller's cheques in US Dollars.
Strict controls are in place on the exchange of local and foreign currency in Venezuela.
Banks and casas de cambio (exchange offices) will exchange cash; some, such as Italcambio, convert traveller's cheques as well. High-end hotels can also change money, though often at a less favourable rate. Travellers are advised to bring currency in US Dollars. It is illegal to exchange money on the black market, and it’s worth noting that if you want to change any money back into dollars, you will need to produce an official receipt of the original exchange.
Venezuela duty free
The following items may be imported into Venezuela without incurring customs duty:
• 200 cigarettes and 25 cigars.
• 2L of alcoholic drinks.
• 4 small bottles of perfume.
• Goods up to a value of US$1,000.
Narcotics are prohibited.
Restricted items include dairy products, flowers, animals, birds, weapons and artworks.