Travelling in Venezuela – What You Need to Know

Travelling in Venezuela “You went to Venezuela? What? you’re crazy.. how was it?” – everyone I’ve told

Yes I went and it was amazing. I’m either brave, crazy or stupid. I could just be all three of these things.

In July 2018 I took a risk in visiting Venezuela despite the UK government advising to only visit for essential travel. My trip to South America was to achieve visiting all the countries, so YES that had to include Venezuela. The aim of visiting Venezuela for me was to see the highest waterfall on earth, Angel Falls. Which for me looked like an absolute dream that I couldn’t miss out on. It wasn’t easy to get here! But sooo worth it!

south america route

 

Venezuela Travel UPDATE 2019-Current:

The current situation (jan 2019) in Venezuela has worsened since July 2018, It’s not recommended to even go near the Brazilian boarder. UK GOV says “If you consider it essential that you travel to Canaima Airport (CAJ in the town of Canaima, the entry point to Angel Falls in Canaima National Park), take particular care to check the local situation ahead of your travel. Recent protests have led to the closure of the airport, sometimes for days at a time, and you should ensure that you are prepared”. It’s the same thing for road closures so you really need to check with someone who knows the situation from within the country.

Travelling in Venezuela

What you need?

If you are considering Travelling in Venezuela it can be done, but with caution! You need contacts in Venezuela, especially if you aren’t fluent in Spanish. Otherwise you need a company who can provide you with contacts.

It took some serious planning for me to get in and out safely. And many many days of me debating with myself if I should go but I knew I could always change my plan last minute. The circumstances were still uneasy as anything could happen and boarders could have closed.

Before I had even started travelling I knew I needed some kind of tour company for this trip. You need a tour for Angel falls anyway so originally I was looking for this. I emailed many companies and read different reviews to make sure I found a safe and reputable company. I found Hike Venezuela, and was in constant email with Andreas who answered everyone of my annoying emails and worries about coming. I cannot say anything bad about them they are amazing and I couldn’t have gone without them! Here’s there email if you’re considering going to Venezuela.. Info@hike-venezuela.com

And this is their website, they offer different packages for places around Venezuela.

I booked everything with Hike Venezuela. They booked my tour to Angel Falls with a lodge in Canaima, but most importantly set me out an itinerary from the minute I arrived until leaving the country. Giving me contacts to call, people to give me my tickets, help me get to the bus terminal, safe places to wait etc. I was still on my own but everything had been sorted and paid for I just needed to turn up.

Travel Insurance

Another serious issue was whether my travel insurance was going to cover me if something happened to me. My policy basically said if I was travelling into the red zone (the do not travel under any circumstance zone) I wouldn’t be covered and the only for essential travel (Orange zone) was covered but I would have to fight my case if something happened as to why it was essential travel. There is no definition of what essential travel is from UK government so it’s your own decision whether you go. If the entire country turned to DO NOT TRAVEL I knew I wouldn’t be able to go. You need to check your insurance policy carefully if your thinking about going, if something happens to you/ you’re belongings, you really want to be covered when travelling in Venezuela.

Current UK GOV map

Where to enter into Venezuela?

I planned to enter through the Brazilian boarder in the south of Venezuela which was the safest way to enter the country at that time. The Colombian boarder was a serious no go, as it’s where most of the drug trafficking and gangs are working. The same goes for the Guyana boarder which is in the middle of the jungle somewhere so you can’t really cross officially… Flying to Caracas could be a bad idea also as the capital was really dangerous at that moment, although I’m sure Hike Venezuela could organise safe transfers and places to stay. So going overland via Brazil is probably the best option if you’re considering going. The boardering town with Brazil is called Santa Elena de Uairén, it’s reasonably safe as there’s not the issue of food shortages and work as they have easy access to Brazil.

I met 3 other travellers from Italy and France who were there to start their trip to Roraima. I also met a guy from Australia in Guyana who had came from Roraima also with no trouble so I was glad to hear there was still people brave enough to go to Venezuela and I wasn’t the only one. Although they wasn’t going deeper into the country or going to Angel Falls.

Overland Visa 

Another thing UK GOV says that you need an overland tourist visa to enter Venezuela overland. Also this is fake.. I was having a nightmare before my trip when I read this I even turned up to the Venezuelan embassy to try and get one. The embassy in London had shut down when I arrived though.. hahah classic. I asked Hike Venezuela if I needed it and they said no. So I was glad they were right and I didn’t have any issue entering.

Changing money to Venezuela Bolivar

If you need to change money just do it as soon as you see a money changer. Hike Venezuela advised me to do it in the town as I could get help from Elysz. The money changers weren’t working that day in town but luckily the posada changed some for me. I changed 30 USD and got 20,000 bolivar which is a fat ass wad of cash. Before you enter make sure you have enough cash, Brazilian real is the most wanted currency to change at the moment but you should try to check before entering. Do not use your bank card at all in the country, you will be charged an extortionate rate and some ATM’s don’t even have cash..

30 USD worth of money (the highest note)

That is pretty much what you need to know before travelling in Venezuela. I highly recommend getting in contact with Hike Venezuela as they can help you with everything! You can read about the rest of my trip in my other blog posts. I would love to go back one day, It’s such an amazing country!

Relevant Posts:

Angel Falls Tour Adventure, Venezuela

Canaima Lagoon and Waterfalls tour

Best Places in South America: Ultimate Bucket List

 

About Hayley Crone

Hayley is a Digital Nomad who has spent the past few years turning her love for travel into a full time income & lifestyle. Head for Horizons is designed to give you the BEST tips to help you travel better and work online. CLICK HERE to read more about me and how I could help you!

2 comments on “Travelling in Venezuela – What You Need to Know

  1. That was quite an adventure. I don’t think I would dare to go there at this point. And it is truly terrible what is going on there and also in some other places around the world. I hope things will turn around and their lives will go back to normal.

    • I know! I’ve just heard more news and I think some of the airports have closed down to get to Angel Falls and its now advised not to go to the Brazilian boarder so no one should be going now its so sad!

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