Whether you want to bask in the sun all day on a local beach or have an adventure-packed holiday, Venezuela has you covered. However, the activities you can expect to engage in will largely depend on when you visit.
While Venezuela is a year-round destination, it has these so-called dry and rainy seasons. That’s why it’s important to know more about the seasons before booking your trip, as they may be different from yours depending on where you travel from.
We’ve rounded up the best, cheapest, least busy, and worst times (if such a thing even exists) to go to Venezuela to help you make an informed decision.
Why You Should Visit Venezuela
Venezuela is home to incredible landscapes, some fine beaches, astonishing lakes, rivers, wild forests, mountains, and interesting wildlife.
Because of this wide range of attractions available to tourists in this country, it’s more than certain you’ll find something to satisfy your wanderlust needs.
If this sounds tempting, but you’re still hesitant, let’s look through a list of more specific reasons why you should add Venezuela to your bucket list right now.
Must-visit reasons include:
- Venezuelan cuisine. Venezuela has one of the most savory South American cuisines. Its dishes are unique, and while you can enjoy them all throughout the country, going to Caracas, the capital city, gives you access to a plethora of restaurants spread out across the entire city. We dive deeper into the Venezuelan food scene in the FAQ section.
- Colorful wildlife. Venezuela’s rich fauna features many reptilian, mammalian, and amphibian species. There are many species worth seeing, but the Orinoco crocodile and the Amazonian pink river dolphin are some of the most stunning creatures.
- Stunning beaches. Getting ready to go to a Venezuelan beach means preparing for a hot, tropical climate. It has 151 miles of coastline, including everything from water sports venues for adventure seekers to secluded beaches for beach loners.
- Picturesque mountains. (the tallest Venezuelan mountain), Pico Humboldt (Venezuela’s second highest peak), Mount Roraima (the highest mountain of the so-called Pakaraima chain of tepuis), and Pico la Concha (in the Andes of Venezuela) all provide breathtaking scenery, and the surrounding lush forests are exquisite.
- The Merida cable car. Do you know that the highest and second longest cable car in the entire world is located in Venezuela? For those who love a bit of thrill and heights, the Merida cable car is a must-do experience. With a height of 15,633 feet and a length of 7.8 miles, the Merida cable car is anything but an ordinary adventure.
- Lake Maracaibo. Being one of the oldest lakes in the world and South America’s largest one, Lake Maracaibo is also known as “the lightning capital of the world.” Allegedly, there are more lightning strikes on Lake Maracaibo than anywhere else.
- The Amazon. To take your Venezuelan journey to another level, consider visiting parts of the Amazon Rainforest in the South. Being the largest and most biodiverse rainforest in the world, the Amazon is a destination that allows for an array of activities, memorable interactions with indigenous tribes, and stunning wildlife viewing.
- Unique attractions. Being a country full of contrasts, Venezuela takes pride in its versatile architectural heritage. Just take a look at the National Pantheon of Venezuela and what a beauty it is!
Now that we’ve explained why visiting Venezuela is worth it, let’s see when you should plan your trip!
Overall Best Time to Visit Venezuela
Although summer temperatures reign all year round In Venezuela, we believe the best time to visit it is during its dry season, which is from November through April.
If you’re in Venezuela’s capital, Caracas, expect highs of 79°F and lows of 68°F. By April, the temperatures reach highs of 81°F and lows of 70°F.
From the first day in November all the way to April, there’s sunshine, blue skies, lower humidity, and the least amount of rain (the driest month being February). Visitors can enjoy activities such as trekking, hiking, or sightseeing.
We recommend Mount Roraima or Canaima National Park’s treks. When the decreased water levels allow wildlife observing, Los Llanos is a must-see.
It’s worth noting that the dry season isn’t the only reason why travelers are attracted to Venezuela during this period. The much-celebrated February/March carnival is when the entire country gets immersed in huge celebrations.
If you’re in Venezuela during that period, you do not want to miss this event! It’s a one-of-a-kind festival experience loved by both locals and tourists.
El Carnival is a movement of excitement and sheer happiness celebrated annually three days before Ash Wednesday. The concept dates back to ancient civilizations that used to celebrate Shrovetide and agrarian cycles.
At present times, the festival is recognizable for its balls, performances, music, parades, lavish costumes, and food (meat in particular).
While you’re there, don’t forget to check out the so-called Feria del Sol (Fair of the Sun), held alongside the carnival. Genuinely rooted in local traditions, this international cultural festival takes place in Mérida every February.
It features cultural expositions, bull competitions, concerts, sports, and parades. Of course, it also includes the well-known voting competition for “La Reina Del Sol” (The Queen of the Sun).
That said, keep in mind that hotel prices are quite high at this time, and encountering large crowds wherever you go and whatever you do is more than likely.
Cheapest Time to Visit Venezuela
If you’re traveling on a budget, we recommend visiting Venezuela in October. In October, the temperatures range between 67°F and 84°F.
The month typically has 12 rainy days, and the average amount of rain observed in October is around 108 mm. The month is like a shoulder season, as most travelers are getting ready to visit the country from November onward.
This means not only more affordable prices but also more versatile lodging options. If you’re visiting Venezuela in October, make sure to take note of the country’s Indigenous Resistance Day.
Honoring the efforts of the country’s indigenous population against colonization, the day celebrates human diversity and recognizes cultural differences.
Finally, if you’re traveling on a budget, “posadas” (or family-run guesthouses) are some of the most affordable accommodation options.
Least Busy Time to Visit Venezuela
The least busy time to visit Venezuela is anytime from September to November. The weather is pleasant, but the country isn’t at its busiest as the height of the peak travel season is yet to begin.
Perfect for travelers trying to avoid large crowds. In September, the temperatures fluctuate between 67°F and 84°F. In November, they’re similar: they vary between 66°F and 83°F.
Plus, if you’re eager to work on your tan during your Venezuela stay, you’re most likely to catch the longest days in September.
That said, keep in mind that October is part of Venezuela’s rainy season (spoiler alert: the rainy season is the worst season to visit Venezuela, but more about that in a bit).
There are many places in Venezuela you could visit during this period, but we suggest opting for the city of Maracaibo to enjoy the Feria de la Chinita.
Celebrating the feast day of the Virgin of Chiquinquirá, this mesmerizing event is marked by folklore stories, music, parades, and games.
Also, a beauty contest is organized titled “Gala of Beauty,” and thousands of local participants sign up for it. Throughout the night, you can often hear traditional pipe music.
Worst Time to Visit Venezuela
The rainy season is best avoided (May–November period), as Venezuela has a humid and hot climate. In May, the temperatures range between 69°F and 86°F.
In November, they fluctuate between 66°F and 83°F. The mornings allure visitors with sunshine, but the afternoons serve them increased downpours and occasional thunderstorms.
The wet weather isn’t enough to provide some relief from the intense heat, though. As a result of the heavy bursts of rainfall, there’s consistent humidity.
However, this can be a great time to visit some of the most remarkable Venezuelan waterfalls, such as Angel Falls, the tallest waterfall in the world. This is when the waterfalls are with their water levels at their highest.
Going to the Canaima National Park is also a big thing during the water season as it has fantastic mountain ranges and numerous falls.
In the South, the Amazon Rainforest also tempts travelers to come visit. And while the weather makes Venezuela unattractive to visitors, the plethora of festivals compensate for the overwhelming humidity and irritating rain.
For example, the Corpus Christi Devil Dancing event takes place in May/June in the city of San Francisco de Yare and follows an ancient tradition from the 18th century.
Those who take part wear red capes with crosses and a devil mask and dance in groups followed by very loud drum beats. The parade dominates the streets while the participants move toward the church. On June 29, the Festival of Saint Peter and Saint Paul takes place.
Celebrating the sacrifice of St. Peter and St. Paul with bonfires lit on the roads the night before the official celebration, the festival fuses music, folklore, and dancing in an authentic way.
Locals wear traditional clothes, and attendees can enjoy a wide range of tasty street food such as yuca, tajadas, and empanadas.
Things to Consider
Venezuela may sound like an enchanting place to visit, but getting caught in the excitement of planning your journey might cause you to miss some important things worth taking into account before you plan your travels.
Below we share the most important ones:
- As the winter months in Venezuela are quite pleasant, many don’t bring warmer clothes. However, the nights can get cold, so we suggest bringing some woolen clothes to avoid getting sick during your travels.
- Venezuela’s hurricane season runs from around 1 June to 30 November. Closely monitor weather reports on local radio stations and TV broadcasts. You may also keep an eye on them online by following the latest World Meteorological Organization information as well as the US National Hurricane Centre.
- Demonstrations take place from time to time. They may be a response to economic and/or political issues and may occur on significant holidays or even during international events. Check local media for any updates, as demonstrations in the past have turned violent, and they can be quite unpredictable.
- Don’t use taxis hailed randomly on the street. Namely, in Caracas, some taxis are known to rob, overcharge, or in worst-case scenarios, even kidnap respective passengers. If you use taxis, make sure to opt only for radio-dispatched ones.
- Beware of interacting with police officers. Corruption within the police force is a major issue in Venezuela, and criminals often pose as police officers organizing fake police-led checkpoints.
- Most ATMs don’t accept US credit or debit cards. Also, malfunctions are more than common. For instance, many ATMs don’t have any cash at all, and criminals use ATM data to hack and make a plethora of unauthorized withdrawals. If you have to use an ATM, pick one in public and well-lit locations.
- Due to the country’s poor infrastructure, there’s a lack of high-quality Internet speed. Also, power cuts may affect the Internet as well as mobile signals.
- Epidemics such as yellow fever are more than common in Venezuela, so the WHO recommends vaccination against it for all international travelers at least 10 days prior to travel to Venezuela. Also, limit exposure to insects and use insect repellents frequently, as malaria and dengue fever are also a concern.
- Tap water isn’t safe to drink. Drink only bottled water and avoid putting ice in your drinks when sitting in local bars or restaurants.
- Drug trafficking is a big problem in Venezuela, so make sure not to leave your luggage unattended, as authorities screen all travelers when they arrive/leave.
- Taking photos of sensitive installations such as military sites, the presidential palace, airports, or government buildings is prohibited.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are five interesting facts about Venezuela?
Here are five amusing facts about Venezuela:
- The country gets its name from the Italian word “Veneziola,” which means “piccola Venezia,” or “little Venice.”
- Gasoline is cheaper than water in Venezuela.
- The country is home to the world’s tallest uninterrupted waterfall — Angel Falls. Located in a remote jungle, this waterfall is said to be 17 times higher than Niagara Falls.
- The capybara, which is the world’s largest rodent, resides in Venezuela.
- The Venezuelan bolivar is the country’s official currency. It was named after Simón Bolivar, Venezuela’s national hero after the 1879 monetary reform.
What is typical Venezuelan food?
Venezuelan food varies from one region to another. That said, the overall cuisine is heavily influenced by the country’s indigenous, West African, and European traditions (Spanish, French, Italian, and Portuguese).
On the whole, common food staples include beans, corn, rice, yams, and a few types of meat. Common side dishes include eggplants, spinach, and zucchini, accompanied by tomatoes, potatoes, and onions. Most recipes include Worcestershire sauce, Aji dulce, and papelón.
Some of the main Venezuelan dishes are:
- Cachapa, a maize pancake, typically filled with fried pork and some fresh cheese;
- Cachitos, which resembles a French croissant, only it’s filled with ham;
- Casabe, a flatbread;
- Caraotas negras, black beans;
- Pasticho, similar to the Italian lasagne;
- Huevos pericos, which includes scrambled eggs, onions, tomatoes, and butter;
- Ensalada de pollo, a chicken salad;
- Chupe andino, a type of soup usually made with vegetables, cream, cheese, and chicken;
- Pabellón criollo, a well-known traditional dish, which features white rice, fried ripe plantains, shredded beef in stew, as well as stewed black beans.
How many national parks are there in Venezuela?
Venezuela has 43 national parks. Naturally, you won’t be able to visit all of them, but visiting a few might just be enough.
For a more authentic and adventurous experience, we suggest visiting some of the following national parks:
- Los Roques Archipelago National Park, which promises an exciting journey into Venezuelan marine life;
- Henri Pittier National Park, for travelers immersed in bird-watching activities;
- Canaima National Park, which allows people to explore a wide range of animals in a way that’s unlike anywhere else.
What is the typical costume in Venezuela?
The typical costume in Venezuela is the so-called liqui liqui. The male liqui liqui costume includes a closed collar and long-sleeved jacket. There are pockets on the chest and at the bottom. It closes with five buttons on the front.
Straight trousers (usually linen) are part of the costume too. The most common colors include black and white. Men also wear black hats and black boots.
The female garment is made up of skirts of varied lengths (sometimes it reaches a woman’s knees or goes all the way to the ankles). Women also wear hats or flower arrangements. Upstairs, women usually put on an open-neck, short-sleeved blouse.
On their feet, they have espadrilles. Shoes with heels are also common. It’s worth mentioning that while we talk about Venezuela’s typical costume, the truth is that the costume has many variations based on the country’s regions.
What are the family traditions in Venezuela?
Family is deemed important for Venezuelans. Very often, three generations live together (elderly people with their children and their grandchildren), and people have many children.
People of the older generation usually take care of their grandchildren while their parents are working. Those who don’t live together are still in close proximity. This is proof that family ties, even extended ones, are important to the locals.
Traditional sexist gender division is also present in the country, with women present in domestic service jobs or household activities and men handling physical and demanding jobs.
That said, in most rural areas, both men and women deal with physical labor, and contemporary Western roles are more or less blurred. Family gatherings at cafes and restaurants are important for Venezuelans.
Usually, the whole family reunites there, and the act of eating doesn’t matter so much — it’s more about making small talk and catching up with family members.
Does Venezuela have natural disasters?
Floods, earthquakes, mudslides, and hurricanes may occur in Venezuela. During the country’s rainy season, there could be some flooding, especially in low-lying areas. Also, there might be some disruptions to the infrastructure and transport.
We already explained you should follow the advice of local authorities and check daily media reports, so even if something were to happen during your stay, you’d be better prepared.
Is it cheap to visit Venezuela?
Venezuela is hands-down one of the cheapest countries in the world to visit, regardless of your country of origin.
Here are some insights into more specific daily expenses depending on your travel style:
Is Venezuela good for tourists?
On the whole, Venezuela is not the safest place for tourists, and crime is pervasive throughout the country. Travelers are urged to apply maximum precaution measures as possible whenever they go.
Some roads are known for carjacking; in trains and buses, robberies are common occurrences; pickpockets frequently operate in subway stations. Bag snatching is a big issue too, so carrying valuables with you isn’t a smart idea.
Walking alone, especially after dark, should be avoided, as tourists may be considered easy targets. Even the US Department has issued a statement to all tourists to reconsider their travel plans to Venezuela due to civil unrest, crime, kidnapping, and poor health infrastructure.
That said, although not the safest of countries, Venezuela truly has a lot to offer to visitors — from gorgeous sights and interesting cuisine to engaging activities and fascinating festivals.
Can US citizens enter Venezuela?
Yes, US citizens can enter Venezuela, but only if they have a passport with at least six months of validity and a Venezuelan visa. Visas aren’t available upon arrival, so make sure to obtain one before traveling to Venezuela.
In case you try to arrive in Venezuela without the necessary documentation, note that you risk lengthy or even indefinite detention for such attempts.
So, When Should You Visit Venezuela?
Being in close proximity to the Equator, this country has a couple of alterations when it comes to its temperatures. That said, it’s precisely these slight temperature fluctuations that ensure travelers have an awesome stay regardless of the season they decide to visit Venezuela.
However, the rain factor and the cultural festivals play a big role in travelers picking when to go. The dry season (the November–April period) is the most recommended season to plan your travels.
These months allow for a wide range of outdoor activities and sightseeing. Also, the famous Venezuelan carnival is a big bonus at this time! Cost-conscious travelers should visit in October.
As October is a shoulder season, travelers can enjoy emptier streets and low-cost accommodations. However, the country’s Indigenous Resistance Day celebration creates enough buzz to make the whole trip worthwhile.
The September–November period is perfect for those trying to avoid cluttered streets and crowded festivals. The rainy season (May–November period) is the worst time to find yourself in Venezuela — the occasional thunderstorms, heavy rainfall, and persistent humidity can spoil your trip.
That said, the rainy season in Venezuela doesn’t have to be so bad if you find the right events to attend and places to be (such as one of its many magnificent waterfalls).
All in all, although we suggest visiting Venezuela during the dry season, most travelers will find that any time of the year can be a great time to experience this diverse country.
Have fun, and stay safe!