Venezuela is an enormous country with a complex road network, so be sure to bring along an up-to-date map such as Berndtson & Berndtson’s Venezuela Laminated Map with route details before setting out.
Long distance buses are generally safe; however, to ensure maximum comfort it’s wise to avoid travelling at night if possible and bring enough money and medications with you for the entire journey.
Most business travelers to Latin America are well aware of the high rates of violent crime across several countries, and take precautionary steps to lower their risks. But in Venezuela a business traveler faces much more significant threats.
Caracas faces an increasing risk of armed robbery during rush hours on its city bus system and metro system; similarly, intercity buses pose significant threat.
Venezuela currently ranks a Level 4 travel advisory from the US State Department due to political unrest, high levels of violence, food and medicine shortages and severe currency instability. Foreigners planning a visit should be ready to adapt their travel plans quickly should their plans change unexpectedly and carry an emergency supply of food, water and medicine at all times.
Due to Venezuela’s high level of crime and political unrest, which has caused essential goods shortages. Travellers should also be wary of armed robbery, carjacking and violent attacks against tourists being common practices there.
Solo female travellers may experience more street harassment in other countries than other areas, including unwanted attention from men or gangs. Women should dress conservatively and pay close attention to their surroundings – especially after dark.
Public transportation in Caracas can be dangerous, with reports of armed robberies on buses and the Metro system. For maximum protection, private transport companies and pre-booked taxis should be used instead, with luggage travelling after dark avoided altogether if possible. Furthermore, be prepared with extra water and food supplies in case there are power cuts which occur regularly which affect mobile phone signals or electricity services in your area.
Venezuela is in the grip of an acute political and economic crisis. Violent crime, shortages of essential goods such as food and medicine, as well as fears over arbitrary detention on unfounded charges without consular access are all among the many issues plaguing Venezuela today.
An independent EU electoral mission that monitored November regional elections discovered numerous irregularities. The government continued its restrictions on free speech, targeted human rights defenders and media. A climate of fear makes it hard for people to speak freely or travel outside their country of residence.
If traveling to Venezuela, develop a communication plan with friends or colleagues prior to leaving home. Also consider enrolling in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive alerts that could make it easier for loved ones to locate you should something happen that requires their intervention.
Venezuela has been plagued with an acute power shortage that continues to negatively impact food, water, medicine and travel throughout the country – as well as mobile phone signals in some regions.
Violence, including murder and armed robbery, is a widespread problem both urban and rural settings. Demonstrations can erupt without warning and lead to violence or looting incidents that require immediate responses.
Travelers visiting the Amazon should bring sufficient quantities of prescription and over-the-counter medicines. Photographing military sites and installations, airports, and sensitive buildings is strictly forbidden and could result in fines; individuals with dual citizenship should consider how this might impact their travel and if any special entry/exit requirements may exist – for more information please see our overall and regional risks advice.
FCDO does not advise travel to Venezuela due to crime, civil unrest, terrorism, kidnapping, poor healthcare infrastructure and the arbitrary enforcement of local laws. If you choose to visit, research carefully the situation as you travel and follow best practice when it comes to security, health and local laws regarding LGBT rights – should be made in consideration during any trip abroad.
Although there have been encouraging signs regarding LGBT rights in Venezuela, progress remains slow and difficult for many local people and tourists. Travellers must remain aware and exercise caution, as well as connect with both international and local advocacy groups – this way both can work to quickly improve the situation more rapidly – seeking updated information before traveling as well as researching safe spaces and welcoming resources in advance of travel plans.