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Can you visit Venezuela????

Toronto
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Can you visit Venezuela????

Are there any boat trips to Venezuela, I guess not? It would have been nice, that country is so beautifull with big reinforest.

Springfield
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1. Re: Can you visit Venezuela????

Here is an exert from:

…state.gov/travel/cis_pa_tw/cis/cis_1059.html

SAFETY AND SECURITY: Violent crime in Venezuela is pervasive, both in the capital, Caracas, and in the interior. The country has one of the highest per-capita murder rates in the world. Armed robberies take place in broad daylight throughout the city, including areas generally presumed safe and frequented by tourists. A common technique is to choke the victim into unconsciousness and then rob them of all they are carrying. Well-armed criminal gangs operate with impunity, often setting up fake police checkpoints. Kidnapping is a particularly serious problem, with more than 1,000 reported during the past year alone. Investigation of all crime is haphazard and ineffective. In the case of high-profile killings, the authorities quickly round up suspects, but rarely produce evidence linking these individuals to the crime. Only a very small percentage of criminals are tried and convicted.

Travel to and from Maiquetía Airport, the international airport serving Caracas, can be dangerous and corruption at the airport itself is rampant. Travelers at the airport have been victims of personal property theft, as well as mugging and “express kidnapping” in which individuals are taken to make purchases or to withdraw as much money as possible from ATMs, often at gunpoint. The Embassy has received multiple, credible reports that individuals with what appear to be official uniforms or other credentials are involved in facilitating or perpetrating these crimes. For this reason, American citizen travelers should be wary of all strangers, even those in official uniform or carrying official identification. There are also known drug trafficking groups working from the airport. Travelers should not accept packages from anyone and should keep their luggage with them at all times.

Because of the frequency of robberies at gunpoint, travelers are encouraged to arrive during daylight hours. If not, travelers should use extra care both within and outside the airport. The Embassy strongly advises that all arriving passengers make advance plans for transportation from the airport to their place of lodging. If possible, travelers should arrange to be picked up at the airport by someone who is known to them. The Embassy has received frequent reports of armed robberies in taxicabs going to and from the airport at Maiquetía. There is no foolproof method of knowing whether a taxi driver at the airport is reliable. The fact that a taxi driver presents a credential or drives an automobile with official taxi license plates marked “libre” is no longer an indication of reliability. Incidents of taxi drivers in Caracas overcharging, robbing, and injuring passengers are common. Travelers should take care to use radio-dispatched taxis or those from reputable hotels. Travelers should call a 24-hour radio-dispatched taxi service from a public phone lobby or ask hotel, restaurant, or airline representatives to contact a licensed cab company for them.

A list of transportation services used by members of the U.S. Embassy community is available on the U.S. Embassy web site at http://venezuela.usembassy.gov/. The Embassy does not vouch for the professional ability or integrity of any specific provider. The list is not meant to be an endorsement by the Department of State or the Embassy. Likewise, the absence of any individual or company does not imply lack of competence.

While visiting Venezuela, Americans are encouraged to carry as little U.S. currency on them as possible and to avoid wearing expensive or flashy watches and jewelry. Due to the poor security situation, the Embassy does not recommend changing money at the international airport. Visitors should bring a major credit card, but should be aware of widespread pilfering of credit card data to make unauthorized transactions. Travelers’ checks are not recommended as they are honored in only a few locations. It is possible to exchange U.S. currency at approved exchange offices near major hotel chains in Caracas (personal checks are not accepted) and at commercial banks with some restrictions. Due to currency regulations, hotels cannot provide currency exchange. There are ATM machines throughout Venezuela. Malfunctions are common, however, and travelers should be careful to use only those in well-lit public places. ATM data has also been hacked and used to make unauthorized withdrawals from user’s accounts.

Popular tourist attractions, such as the Avila National Park, are increasingly associated with violent crime. Americans planning to participate in outdoor activities in potentially isolated areas are strongly urged to travel in groups of five or more and to provide family or friends with their itineraries prior to departure.

Cross-border violence, kidnapping, drug trafficking, smuggling, and cattle-rustling occur frequently in areas along the 1,000-mile long border between Venezuela and Colombia. Some kidnap victims have been released after ransom payments, while others have been murdered. In many cases, Colombian terrorists are believed to be the perpetrators. Colombia's National Liberation Army (ELN) has had a long history of kidnapping for ransom, and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) are active in the kidnapping trade. Common criminals are also increasingly involved in kidnappings, either dealing with victim's families directly or selling the victim to terrorist groups.

Toronto
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2. Re: Can you visit Venezuela????

Oh WOW, I guess I should have known that.

Thanks

Tequesta, Florida
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for Puerto Aventuras, Punta Cana
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3. Re: Can you visit Venezuela????

While it is just a few miles off the coast of Aruba, the parts of Venezuela you would be interested in exploring are impossible to visit as a day-tripper! It would make more sense to make that country your primary vacation destination.

If you are looking for an interesting day-long jaunt from Aruba, how about a guided-shopping excursion to Cartagena, Columbia? You can arrange for this reasonably-priced trip from your resort's tour/activity desk.

Toronto
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4. Re: Can you visit Venezuela????

WEll what I'm intrested in is just a few minutes look at those beautifull green mountains, even from a boat it would have been amazing to see how it all looks like, I'm sure Columbia is pretty too.

They have shopping excursions? Is it safe, must be nice.

Thank you

Tequesta, Florida
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for Puerto Aventuras, Punta Cana
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5. Re: Can you visit Venezuela????

There are hundreds of U.S. State Department Travel Warnings worldwide, and Columbia is no exception. However, the day-long shopping excursions from Aruba are fully escorted and quite safe!

Toronto
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6. Re: Can you visit Venezuela????

Ok, great!! Thank you

New Hampshire
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7. Re: Can you visit Venezuela????

Hey! I am ALL FOR travelling to unique and exciting places, but Venezuela- Colombia??? HELL NO!!! You might as well put a sign on your back that says "American- please rob and kill -or worse- kidnap for large ransom!" Didn't you just see the most recent news? cnn.com/2008/…index.html

Toronto
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8. Re: Can you visit Venezuela????

Oh I know... I did see that... too bad, such a pretty country is out of limits.

las vega, nv
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9. Re: Can you visit Venezuela????

I knew Venzuela and Colombia were not safe. How about Curacao (the island) off the coast of Venzuela? We were thinking about making a day trip there to swim with the Dolphins. Anyone know if it is safe and/or have done this before?

Minneapolis...
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for Aruba, Palm - Eagle Beach
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10. Re: Can you visit Venezuela????

All of the ABC Islands (Aruba, Bonaire, and Curacao) are Dutch islands and safe to visit.

http://www.curacao-travelguide.com/