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Is Venezuela Safe? | Travel Tips & Safety Concerns

Is Venezuela Safe? | Travel Tips & Safety Concerns

Venezuela is on the north coast of South America, one of the most diverse countries in South America, if not the world. This beautiful country has something for everyone to enjoy.

It has gorgeous resort towns on the coast of the Caribbean. It also has incredible mountains, scenic views of the Andes, and beautiful colonial towns.

Also known as “The Land of Grace,” Venezuela is a hidden gem in South America. Many people don’t know about the beautiful things that Venezuela has to offer. Unfortunately, Columbia, Peru, and other countries in South America steal most of the attention.

Venezuela was a relatively undeveloped country for most of the 20th century. However, it’s modernizing rapidly but still has a long way to go. The country’s infrastructure is in bad shape, and poverty is widespread.

In recent years, Venezuela has been in the news for all the wrong reasons. The country is going through a humanitarian crisis. The economy is in shambles, and crime is out of control. The current situation in Venezuela has led many people to wonder: is Venezuela safe?

This article will cover the various safety hazards travelers may face visiting Venezuela. Additionally, it will provide some essential suggestions for travelers who want to make the most of their vacation to Venezuela.

Is Venezuela Safe to Visit in 2022?

As an image for a guide on Is Venezuela Safe to Visit, a number of shelves in a store are completely empty

CARACAS, VENEZUELA – JANUARY 14, 2018: Empty supermarket shelves in Venezuela. Due to the economic crisis and hyperinflation in Venezuela there is a large shortage of food and medicine/Sunsinger/Shutterstock

The short answer is yes, Venezuela is safe to visit. However, some things travelers should be aware of before they go. Venezuela has a high crime rate.

There’s a lot of poverty in the country, which can lead to desperate measures taken by some people. The crime rate is much higher in Venezuela than in other countries in South America.

Robbery is a serious concern for any traveler visiting Venezuela. Another safety concern in Venezuela is the political situation. The country has been in a state of turmoil for many years now. There have been mass protests, and the government is known to crack down on them harshly.

If you are visiting Venezuela, it’s best to avoid political rallies or demonstrations. It’s also essential to keep up with the news so that you are aware of any potential unrest in the areas you visit.

The final safety concern to consider when visiting Venezuela is the current state of the economy. The country is going through an economic crisis, leading to a shortage of many basic necessities, such as food and medicine.

The lack of basics can be a problem for travelers since they may not be able to find the supplies they need. It’s important to pack enough food and medicine for your entire trip. It would be best if you also had some extra in case of emergencies.

Despite these safety concerns, Venezuela is still a beautiful country worth visiting. With careful planning and common sense, travelers can have a safe and enjoyable trip.

Crime in Venezuela

As mentioned, Venezuela has a high crime rate. Crime is one of the most significant safety concerns for travelers visiting the country. Robberies, pickpocketing, and carjacking are all common.

It’s advisable to take precautions such as not walking around alone at night, not carrying valuables with you, and being aware of your surroundings at all times. When driving in Venezuela, it’s also essential to be cautious.

Carjackings are common, so travelers should avoid driving at night if possible. If you must go, ensure your doors are locked, and your windows are up. Keep valuables out of sight, and don’t pick up hitchhikers.

If you are the victim of a crime, the best thing to do is hand over whatever the perpetrator is asking for and not resist. Venezuela has a high murder rate, so it’s not worth risking your life for material possessions.

Unfortunately, Venezuela has the highest crime rate of any country in the world. The country has a rate of 84 crimes per 100,000 people. This high crime rate is due to the lack of economic opportunity and a poor education system. 

Unfortunately, many Venezuelans lack other means of providing for themselves and turn to crime. Additionally, there’s a great deal of corruption, an ineffective judicial system, and widespread gun ownership.

This combination of factors has led to a perfect storm that has made crime in Venezuela rampant and one of the biggest dangers facing tourists visiting Venezuela.

Avoiding Bad Neighborhoods

Barrio in Venezuela for a piece on places to avoid when going

Caracas, Venezuela, 11.27.2021: view of the main street of the suburb of “Cota 905” located on a hill./Giongi63/Shutterstock

When visiting Venezuela, you must be aware of the areas you are in to avoid becoming a victim of crime. Many large cities, such as Caracas and Maracaibo, have dangerous neighborhoods that travelers should avoid.

Some of the most dangerous neighborhoods in Caracas include El Valle, La Vega, Petare, and Caucaguita. In Maracaibo, the perilous areas are La Chinita, El Milagro, Lagunillas, and Santa Lucia.

It would help if you avoided these neighborhoods due to the high crime rates. Traveling in a group and during the day is best if you must go to these areas.

Political Demonstrations in Venezuela 

As mentioned, the political situation in Venezuela is unstable. There have been mass protests, and there’s often violence between protestors and government forces. If you are visiting Venezuela, it’s best to avoid political rallies or demonstrations.

It’s also essential to keep up with the news so that you are aware of any potential unrest in the areas you visit. The current president of Venezuela is Nicolás Maduro.

He has been in power since 2013 and elected to a second six-year term in 2018. Economic turmoil and political violence have marked Maduro’s presidency. The country is currently amid a financial crisis, which has led to widespread food shortages and inflation.

The government is accused of human rights violations and mass protests against Maduro’s rule. In 2017, security forces killed more than 100 protesters.

The political situation in Venezuela is precarious, and it’s best to avoid demonstrations or rallies while visiting the country. The current political situation in Venezuela is the single most significant contributing factor to the hazards facing tourists in Venezuela.

If you do visit Venezuela, stay aware of the news and any protests that are occurring. Getting caught up in the middle of a protest is incredibly dangerous, and the government may target you as a foreign agent inspiring the riots.

Public Transportation in Venezuela

Old working public bus in Caracas Venezuela

Caracas, Venezuela. 03.07.2019. A old bus working in Caracas/Rommel Gorosabel/Shutterstock

Public transportation in Venezuela isn’t safe. Robbers have hijacked buses, and kidnappings have occurred on public buses.

The best way to avoid becoming a victim of crime on public transportation is to take a taxi or ride-sharing service. These services are more expensive but are much safer. If you must take public transit, only do so during the day and in a group.

Common Scams in Venezuela 

As with any country, there are scammers in Venezuela looking to take advantage of tourists. Some common scams include:

  • The Bolivarian Card Scam. Someone approaches you when you go to an ATM. They’ll offer to help you exchange your currency for the local currency, Bolivares. The scammers will give you a card with a magnetic strip that they say can be used like an ATM card. Once you give them your currency, they‘ll disappear, and the card will be worthless.
  • The Gold Ring Scam. You will be approached by someone who asks to borrow your phone in this scam. Once you give them your phone, The thief will drop a gold ring on the ground. They’ll pick it up and offer it as a gift. If you take the ring, they’ll demand payment for it.
  • The Taxi Scam. You will be hailed by a taxi driver who will offer to take you to your destination. Once you get in the car, the taxi driver will drive you to a different location, where they’ll rob you. To avoid being scammed, only use official taxis that your hotel or restaurant calls.

These are just a few of the scams that are common in Venezuela. Be very careful when interacting with strangers and only use official taxis to avoid scamming.

Disease and Health Concerns in Venezuela 

Before traveling to Venezuela, you should be aware of several diseases and health concerns. These include:

  • Dengue Fever. Dengue fever is a mosquito-borne disease common in tropical and subtropical countries. Symptoms include fever, headache, and muscle pain. Dengue fever can be deadly, so it’s essential to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes.
  • Malaria. Malaria is another mosquito-borne disease that is common in Venezuela. Symptoms include fever, chills, and flu-like symptoms. Malaria can also be deadly, so it’s essential to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes.
  • Zika. There’s a high risk of contracting the Zika virus in Venezuela. Zika virus is a mosquito-borne disease that can cause congenital disabilities in unborn babies. If you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant, you should avoid traveling to Venezuela.
  • Hepatitis A and B. There’s also a risk of contracting hepatitis A and B and typhoid fever. Contaminated food or water typically spreads these diseases. To avoid these diseases, only eat food that has been cooked thoroughly and avoid tap water.

It’s essential to be aware of these diseases and take precautions to avoid them. Before traveling to Venezuela, you should get hepatitis A, B, and typhoid fever vaccinations.

Natural Disasters and Environmental Concerns in Venezuela 

Venezuela is located in an earthquake zone and is also prone to hurricanes. These natural disasters can occur with little or no warning, so it’s vital to be aware of them and have a plan in case one should happen while you are in the country.

The best way to avoid hurricanes is to visit the country at the right time of year. Hurricane season is from June through November. If you stay in the other months, you will be relatively safe from hurricanes.

Stay aware of evacuation routes if you visit Venezuela during hurricane season. Restaurants, businesses, and resorts will have posted hurricane evacuation routes. Make a note of these and know where to go.

When in doubt, head for high ground. There are also environmental concerns in Venezuela. The country has a high deforestation rate, leading to soil erosion and flash floods.

Deforestation also contributes to climate change. If you are exploring the rural parts of Venezuela, the potential for flash floods has dramatically increased due to deforestation. It would be best if you stuck to well-maintained hiking trails.

If you plan to travel to Venezuela, you must be aware of these safety concerns. By taking some simple precautions, you can minimize your risk and have a safe and enjoyable trip.

Things to Consider

These are some essential things to know before traveling to Venezuela:

  • Due to the economic problems in Venezuela, everything is paid for in USD. Getting cash from ATMs can also be challenging, so you must bring a large amount of USD with you upon arrival. You should also bring small note denominations because you will not always be able to get change.
  • You can quickly get a SIM card that will give your phone wireless reception in Venezuela.
  • The official language of Venezuela is Spanish. Some Venezuelans who work in tourism will speak English, but most will only speak Spanish.
  • Venezuela has a tropical climate but can get cold in the mountains. Pack accordingly.

Frequently Asked Questions

Beautiful viewpoint to the Sea and the city of Lechería in Oriente to illustrate is Venezuela Safe

Nestorfoto/Shutterstock

These are some frequently asked questions about traveling to Venezuela.

Is Venezuela a safe place to live?

The current situation in Venezuela is unstable, and the country isn’t safe to live in. The crime rate is high, and there’s a risk of being kidnapped or robbed. The economy is also in a state of collapse, so it isn’t easy to find necessities like food and medicine. Now isn’t a good time to live in Venezuela.

Is Venezuela poor?

Yes, Venezuela is an impoverished country. The current economic situation is dire, and many people struggle to get by. Inflation is also a big problem, and prices for necessities have skyrocketed.

Is Caracas safe?

No, Caracas isn’t safe. The crime rate in Caracas is high, and many people resort to crime to provide for themselves due to the state of the economy.

Is it safe to travel to Venezuela in 2022?

The current situation in Venezuela is unstable, and it’s not safe to travel to Venezuela now. The security situation can change quickly, so staying up-to-date on the latest news is vital before making any travel plans.

Do you need a visa to visit Venezuela?

You do not need a visa to visit Venezuela. You can obtain a 90-day tourist card upon arrival. However, you must have a valid return ticket to get this tourist card. If you are arriving by land or sea, you must apply for a visa. You can extend the tourist card for another 90-days.

So, Is Venezuela Safe to Visit?

Venezuela’s current political and economic situation makes it a dangerous place to visit. However, if you take the necessary precautions and stay aware of the potential dangers, you can have a safe and enjoyable trip. 

Avoid public transportation, demonstrations, and isolated areas, and use official taxis and ride-sharing services.

Keep up with the latest news, and have a comprehensive travel insurance policy. Following these tips can minimize the risks of traveling to Venezuela. Happy travels!