Venezuela travel guide

VENEZUELA TRAVEL

YOUR TRAVEL GUIDE TO VENEZUELA

Caracas Travel Guide

Getting to Caracas

By plane

Flights to Caracas are readily available from the US and the UK.

Simón Bolívar Airport has three passenger terminals (International, Domestic and an Auxiliar) and is 25 km away from central Caracas via a highway through the coastal mountains. A new road bridge, replacing one that collapsed in 2006, came into service in July 2007. The trip to Caracas should now take around 40 minutes or up to 60-70 minutes during rush hour.

Taxi fares are usually at least BsF 100 (US$45 at official rate, US$ 20 at unnoficial rate) to Caracas but there are many unlicensed taxis offering their services, so travelers should be very careful. In particular, it is advised to agree on a price before getting into the taxi, not sharing with anyone other than the driver, and preferably using only the airport's official black Ford Explorer cabs, although these can be expensive.

By car

Venezuela has a well developed vial system so it is easy to reach Caracas from any other province in the country. Also there are road connections from Brazil and Colombia.

It is not a good option to try to access to Venezuela and Caracas from Colombia by road. The frontier of Colombia is dominated by the Guerrilla (FARC) and it is dangerous.

By bus

Few foreigners arrive in Caracas by bus, but buses run daily from most Venezuelan cities and cover the entire country.

Caracas has three public bus terminals – two intercity stations and a central one for shorter journeys. In addition, several smaller, less chaotic private terminals cover the same destinations.

Buses from the airport to Caracas cost around BsF 30. Passengers have the option of alighting either at Gato Negro metro station (less than safe at street level) or under a bridge at the Parque Central bus terminal, from where you'll need to get a taxi to your final destination or walk about 1 km along a busy road to the Bellas Artes metro station.

La Bandera bus terminal connects Caracas with towns and cities to the west of the capital such as La Victoria (1 hour), Maracay (1.5 hours), Valencia (2.5 hours) and Merida (12 hours). The 800m walk from La Bandera metro station to the bus terminal is not safe in darkness, so travelers should exercise caution at all times. For the eastern part of the country there's the Terminal del Oriente. Beware of the small "independent" bus services which are announced by "voceros" on both terminals. Although they have more flexible departure time, usually the buses are small and uncomfortable, often with loud music even at night - you'll have to balance your need for comfort and economy.

There are also private carriers which some might deem better. They also cost a little more. The most well known are Aeroexpresos Ejecutivos, Expresos Alianza and Expresos del Oriente, which attend on their own private terminals.


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