Venezuela Travel Guide: Travel tips for foreigners & backpackers, Caracas tourist information, Venezuela food average prices, eating on a budget, accommodation in Caracas Find discount hotels, cheap accommodation, vacation deals, holiday packages.
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Venezuela Travel Guide

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Full country name: Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela
Area: 912,050 sq km
Population: 26,8 million (July 2010 est.)
Capital City: Caracas
Language: Spanish
Religion: nominally Roman Catholic 96%, Protestant 2%, other 2%
Government: Federal republic
Time Zone: UTC-4.5
Dialing Code: 58
Electricity: 120V 60 Hz
Weights & measures: Metric

Money & Costs:
Currency: bolivar (VEB)
Average Yearly Salary: USD13,000

Budget: USD2-10
Mid-range: USD15-40
High: USD60+
Budget: USD15-30
Mid-range: USD50-100
High: USD120+

Geography: Venezuela is a tropical country located in South America. The country's 2,800 kilometer coastline of golden sand beaches lies by the Caribbean Sea and the North Atlantic Ocean, bordering a number of small Caribbean islands, such as: Bonaire, Trinidad & Tobago, Curacao, Grenada, Aruba, and St. Vincent and the Grenadines. By land, the country is bordered by Colombia, Brazil and Guyana. Venezuela is described as having four topographical regions: the Maracaibo lowlands, the northern mountains extending along the northern Caribbean coast, the wide plains in central part of the country, and the Guiana highlands in the southeast.

Climate: Venezuela has two prevailing climates: a tropical and an alpine. Both of them are dependent on the intensity of the winds, the elevation, and the topography. Seasons vary less by temperatures than they do by rainfall. The rainy period last from May till November, and is commonly referred to as winter, with the average temperatures ranging from 8 C (46 F) to 12 C (53,6 F). The rest of the year could be called summer, since the weather is dry and hot throughout the rest of the year. The average summer temperature ranges from 25 C (77 F) to 28 C (82,4 F).

Food & Drink: Venezuela has many very unique dishes, and food is one of the country's best kept secrets. Cumin and saffron are very often used in cooking, but the distinctive and delicate flavor of the most popular dishes of Venezuela, comes from the use of local roots and vegetables. Since Venezuela, and especially the Margarita Island, are by the Caribbean Sea, the most popular and typical food of the country is fish and various seafood. Pabellon could be called the national dish of the country; it consists of stewed and shredded meat accompanied by rice, black beans and banana. Another significant food is called the Arepas, which is a kind of bread. This bread is made of corn flour, water and salt. Arepas are usually topped and eaten with all kinds of products, such as: cheese, ham, chicken, jam, etc. Some of the most popular Venezuelan beverages include: Ponche Crema, Chicha, and Chinotto. Batidos (thick fruit juices) and various milkshakes like merengada are also widely consumed.

Health: Consult your doctor on the required immunizations and vaccinations before traveling to Venezuela. Medical insurance is strongly advised. The recommended immunizations include: Y Typhoid Polio, Yellow Fever, Tetanus, Hepatitis A, and Rabies.

Recommended clothing: Since Venezuela is a tropical country, Lightweight cotton or linen clothes are recommended throughout the year, with the only exception being the winter months. A light sweater can be useful in the evenings, since it can get chilly. If you are planning to visit mountainous areas, warm clothes are advised. For a trip to Amazonas or Los Llanos an insect repellent, a hat, and comfortable shoes are the most important things to take. You should apply sunscreen at all times when in Venezuela.

Social conventions: The local 'abrazo' (a cross between a hug and a handshake) is the normal form of greeting in Venezuela. Conservative, casual wear is the norm in Caracas. Beachwear and shorts should be worn only at the beach or by the poolside. Signs of prohibited smoking zones are plentiful, and you should strictly follow the rules.

Public Holidays:
Jan 1 New Year's Day
Varies between Mar 22 & Apr 25 Good Friday
Apr 19 Declaration of Independence
May 1 Labour Day
Jun 24 Battle of Carabobo
Jul 5 Independence Day
Jul 24 Birth of Simón Bolívar
Oct 12 Day of Indigenous Resistance
Dec 25 Christmas Day

Disclaimer: The above information is for reference purposes only. The content of this page is not intended to substitute for advice given by the user's own government travel departments or a licensed travel health advisor. The viewer/user of this web page should always contact the user's own government representatives in that area for the most up-to-date information at that time, before making a final decision to travel to that country or destination.

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