When Spaniards discovered the beautiful Sinamaica lagoon surrounded by houses built on stilts, they named the land around it ‘Little Venice’ – Venezuela in Spanish – and it is a name that has remained with this northerly South American country ever since.
Venezuelans have a justified reputation for being welcoming and friendly, and this affability is, no doubt, helped by the fact that the country enjoys an abundance of natural resources, including one of the biggest oil reserves in the world.
The revenues from this blessing have helped build a solid infrastructure and have encouraged the country’s stability, supported by strong international relations.
Nature has also blessed Venezuela with a full array of diverse landscapes. There are many miles of beautiful Caribbean beaches to enjoy, open plains to explore and towering mountains to hike through. Large tracts of Amazonian rainforest are exotic and enchanting, and there is even a small desert region to experience. What’s more, the southern corner of Bolivar State contains the Gran Sabana National Park, which boasts the spectacular Angel Falls, the world’s highest waterfall.
Venezuelan cities are similarly scenic, particularly the capital, Caracas, which sprawls in a long, thin valley overshadowed by the majesty of the Avila Mountain. Caracas is a vibrant, green and clean city that boasts a rich cultural life, lively nightlife, great restaurants and marvellous modern shopping malls. It is wonderful to enjoy at street level and even better to take in from the cable car that carries you all the way to the summit of the Avila.
The popular city of Merida, in the Andes, has its own rival cable car attraction which offers visitors a transcendent one-hour journey to the Pico Bolivar, the highest point in Venezuela at more than 16,404ft (5,000m).
Venezuela has a little bit of everything that Latin America has to offer: world-class diving, superb rainforests, charming colonial cities, miles of Caribbean coastline and the consistently pleasant climate that makes it great year-round destination.
Situated just north of the equator, Venezuela enjoys pleasant weather throughout the year. The dry season of September to April is perhaps the best time to visit, though the Angel Falls are at their most impressive towards the end of the wet season.
The annual average temperature in Caracas, close to the coast, is 23 degrees Celsius (73 degrees Fahrenheit), which is only a single degree cooler than its long, balmy summer, and a single degree warmer than the depths of winter between December and February.
Venezuela’s official language is Spanish.
All visitors to Venezuela must hold an onward or return ticket and a passport with at least six months’ validity. Most countries’ nationals do not require a visa for stays up to 90 days – a tourist entry card is issued free of charge – though US citizens are one exception and must obtain a tourist visa in advance. Please check the rules around visa requirements before you travel, as they may change regularly.
The 1,000-mile (1,609km) long border between Venezuela and Colombia is generally considered unsafe for tourists or business travel, due to its risk of violence and kidnapping caused by drug trafficking activity. Visitors should give the border region a wide berth.
Venezuela is otherwise relatively trouble-free, though usual precautions should be observed.
Safety standards in light aircraft are variable and there have been several accidents on the main tourist routes, including Margarita and Canaima/Angel Falls. It is best to book your internal flights through your luxury Travel Managers for Venezuela to ensure you are using established companies operating modern, multi-engine aircraft.
For all your high-end, bespoke leisure and corporate travel needs to Venezuela, please contact our Travel Managers on 0203 535 9290 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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