Venezuela Holiday Planning Guide
A vacation in Venezuela, one of the most biodiverse countries on the planet, can be both affordable and highly rewarding. From snowcapped mountains and vast grassland, to tropical islands and lush rainforests, Venezuela's varied landscapes are a paradise for nature lovers. Whether you're looking to laze on the Caribbean beaches, trek through the verdant jungles, or immerse yourself in the vibrant city culture, a Venezuela holiday offers something for everyone. Admire the world's highest waterfalls, go island hopping, discover tasty local delicacies, and witness the sheer abundance of wildlife and endemic species in Venezuela.
Places to Visit in Venezuela
Regions of VenezuelaInsular Region
: This region is home to idyllic sandy beaches, ideal for a relaxing Venezuela vacation.Andean Region
: The ever-changing landscapes of rainforests, desert areas, and savannahs mark this region straddling the Andes Mountain Range.Zulian Region
: Home to Venezuela's second city, this region is full of historic sites and parks--it also contains Lake Maracaibo, where the weather phenomenon known as "Catatumbo lightning" regularly produces more lightning than any other destination in the world.Guayana Region
: The largest region of Venezuela covers nearly half of the country's land area and is home to the famous Angel Falls and La Llovizna National Park.
Cities in VenezuelaCaracas
: Jungle surroundings, tropical weather, and a thriving arts scene make Caracas a great destination to experience the best of Venezuela.Merida
: A gateway to a variety of Andean outdoor adventures, sights and experiences, the mountain town of Merida has a bustling urban core housing a large student population.Maracaibo
: A bustling city with a modern skyline, Maracaibo has a European heritage showcased through the colonial architecture of its historic town center and cultural institutions like museums, libraries, and theaters.Valencia
: A visit to Valencia on your Venezuela vacation allows you to discover some of the nation's top galleries, cultural venues, and museums.
Popular Venezuela Tourist AttractionsIsla Coche
: This Caribbean island is known for its cliffs and beaches lapped by transparent waters. Cayo de Agua
: White sands of secluded beaches on this, one of the smallest islands in the Los Roques archipelago, remain extremely appealing to sun worshippers.La Playa El Agua
: Boasting 4 km (2.5 mi) of golden sand and palm trees, this tropical beach is favored by locals and visitors for its numerous restaurants and shops.Parque El Agua
: The lazy river, speed slides, water playground, and wave pool at this entertainment complex will keep the entire family laughing on your Venezuela holiday.Playa El Yaque
: A top spot for windsurfing and kitesurfing, this beach offers quick access to a row of hotels, shops, and restaurants. Angel Falls
: Plunging over the edge of a mountain in a World Heritage-listed park, this is the world's highest uninterrupted waterfall. Basilica Virgen del Valle
: This small basilica with white steeples serves as an important place to worship the Virgin Mary, with the market outside selling handmade goods, flowers, and candles to offer inside the church.Sambil Margarita
: Connecting Buenos Aires and Tigre, this scenic train ride provides an opportunity to explore far and wide during your Venezuela trip.Laguna de la Restinga
: Tour the salt lagoon by boat to spot jellyfish, starfish, and other marine wildlife beneath the water's surface.
Planning a Venezuela Vacation with Kids
Places to Visit in Venezuela with Kids
For a relaxing time during a family vacation in Venezuela, visit Los Roques National Park
, a tropical oasis of over 300 coral islands. There, you can explore beaches, go island hopping, or snorkel to keep the kids entertained.
on your Venezuela itinerary allows you to explore museums with interactive exhibits and a range of other kid-friendly attractions.
Things to Do in Venezuela with Kids
With an abundance of beaches scattered across the country's mainland and islands, your kids will easily be entertained during your Venezuela trip. As an alternative to its sandy coastlines, the country offers many water parks and zoos tailor-made for a family-oriented itinerary.
If you stay on Margarita Island, visit Parque El Agua
or Parque Diverland
, full of thrills and spills to keep the entire family pleasantly occupied.
To see some marine wildlife, head to Waterland
, where your kids can swim with dolphins and create memories they'll never forget.
For something different, use Teleferico
, a cable car in Caracas, to ascend El Avila Mountain and enjoy expansive views of the city and its surroundings using a kid-safe transportation method. Museo de los Ninos (Children's Museum)
will keep the kids entertained and learning with engaging activities about science, technology, culture, and the arts.
Tips for a Family Vacation in Venezuela
Going on a Venezuela holiday with the family can be quite enjoyable, particularly if you explore the many beaches scattered across the Venezuelan islands.
This said, families should be extremely vigilant about their belongings and general safety. Consider purchasing travel insurance for your trip.
Regardless of which major city you choose on the mainland, look for a reputable hotel and only take licensed taxis.
Renting a car provides a safe option that will ensure you do not have to walk around an unfamiliar area at night. Having access to a car will also allow you to travel between destinations in comfort, helping to alleviate the worries of catching public transport with children.
To ensure a stress-free holiday, take necessary precautions with your doctor and determine if you may need antimalarial injections. Prevent risky mosquito bites by using insect repellent throughout your trip to Venezuela.
Dining and Shopping on Holiday in Venezuela
Cuisine of Venezuela
Venezuelan cuisine is a mixture of modern and traditional, with influences from European (Spanish, Portuguese, French, and Italian), Native American, and West African traditions. Staple food items of most dishes are corn, rice, plantain, beans, yams, and meat. Vegetables also form a major part of daily food intake for the Venezuelan people.
A trip to Venezuela offers a feast for the senses, but to experience the true food culture of Venezuela, visitors must try a variety of traditional dishes. This includes fried plantains, arepas (corn-based cakes), asado negro (slow-roasted beef with a tangy glaze), pisca andina (chicken broth-based potato soup with cheese), and the national dish pabellon criollo (beans, rice, plantains, and shredded beef).
Chivo al coco (shredded goat meat cooked in coconut milk and served with fried mashed green bananas) is a specialty particular to the coastal regions of Venezuela. If you'd rather skip the goat, visit Andean Region
, known for its freshwater trout.
Shopping in Venezuela
You'll be able to shop until you drop on your Venezuela vacation, especially if you like the glamorous malls found within the urban areas.
Hard-core shoppers like to visit Porlamar
, where they can take advantage of Margarita Island's duty-free status.
Quality handicrafts make unique gifts and are produced by the indigenous inhabitants of Venezuela. Look for chinchorros (traditional hammocks) made by the Wayuu people, hand-woven baskets produced by the Ye'Kuana, and devil masks from San Francisco de Yare.
Don't miss Caracas' Hannsi
, a department store known for its artisanal crafts.
Know Before You Go on a Trip to Venezuela
Interesting Facts About Venezuela
● Venezuela is one of the oldest democracies in South America, in which slavery was abolished in 1854
● Angel Falls in Venezuela represent the world's tallest uninterrupted waterfall
● Monumento a la Virgen de la Paz in Trujillo
is the highest habitable sculpture in the Americas, taller than both Christ the Redeemer and the Statue of Liberty
Things You Should NOT Do in Venezuela
To ensure safe travels on your Venezuela vacation, there are a few things to bear in mind.
Avoid discussing sensitive topics like politics, and don't flaunt your wealth in public. Expensive jewelry and cameras will invite potential pickpockets and thieves.
Do not enter poor neighborhoods or slum areas alone, as they are rarely patrolled by the police and can be dangerous. If you are intent on visiting, take a reputable guide.
It is illegal to take photos of military installations, airports, the presidential residence, and other sites of strategic importance.
Holidays & Festivals in Venezuela
Depending on the time of year you choose for your Venezuela trip, your itinerary may include a festival or two.
The most notable event on the Venezuelan calendar is the Carnival, an event celebrated with festivities of dance and music, lavish costumes, and parades all over the country--it takes place Monday and Tuesday before Ash Wednesday.
On Shrove Tuesday, following the celebrations of Carnival, the Burial of the Sardine celebration takes place across the country--it involves the locals in a ritual that end with the burning or burial of a symbolic doll.
July 5 marks a major event in the history of Venezuela--it's the day on which the Venezuelan Declaration of Independence was signed.
Late in October, a two-week festival of Venezuelan jazz, folk, and rock music is held in the town of El Hatillo
just south of Caracas.
Celebrated near Maracaibo
and other cities surrounding the eponymous lake, San Benito El Moro Festival takes place for one week between Christmas Eve and New Year's Day, with pageants and parades throughout the area.
Useful Venezuela Travel Tips
Common Greetings in Venezuela
Handshakes accompanied by direct eye contact remain the most common greeting in Venezuela. Business acquaintances can be kissed on the cheek once, and personal friends are commonly kissed twice.
Phrases you'll likely hear during your tour of Venezuela include "buenos dias" (good morning), "buenas tardes" (good afternoon), and "buenas noches" (good evening/night). Other simple phrases to help you while traveling include "por favor" (please), "gracias" (thank you), "hola" (hi), and "chao" (bye).
Climate of Venezuela
You can choose practically any time of year for your Venezuela trip thanks to the country's pleasant tropical climate. Temperatures do not vary greatly, averaging between 26 C (79 F) and 28 C (82 F).
Altitude can affect local climate. Cities along the coast, like Maracaibo and Barcelona, experience hotter weather in comparison to Caracas and Mucuchies, which benefit from cooled temperatures due to their altitude.
The rainy season lasts between May and December, which can result in flooding in some areas. Drier weather lasts between December and April, with January and February the coldest months.
The Andes are best visited between October and May, before the potential onslaught of wet weather in June.
Transportation in Venezuela
While on your Venezuela vacation, you'll find a variety of transportation methods available throughout the country.
Two major airports service the country and its visitors. The country has a limited national railway system with no connections to neighboring countries. Several cities, namely Caracas, Maracaibo, and Valencia have established metro systems.
Taxis remain one of the best options for tourists due to their low cost and convenience when traveling with heavy baggage. Agree on a fare before you get in, and ask hotels or restaurants you visit to call you a taxi to avoid walking around unfamiliar areas after dark.
Tipping in Venezuela
While not compulsory, tipping remains an advisable practice for a pleasant Venezuela trip.
Most restaurants will add a 10 percent service charge to bills, but you can tip more if you feel the service staff went above and beyond your expectations.
It is customary to tip baggage handlers and bellhops in hotels 1 USD per piece of baggage. Taxis require no tips, but will gladly accept a cash reward. Tour guides and personal drivers expect to receive some sort of gratuity for their services--use your discretion for how much.