Venezuela: Holidays

South America's Hidden Gem

Backpacking in Venezuela

Caracas does not cater to backpackers, although then rest of Venezuela offers great backpacking holidays. There are no hostels in Caracas to speak of. Cheaper hotels in Caracas may offer little in the way of comfort and may be in doggy areas after dark. Backpackers in Venezuela may want to skip the high prices and crime in Caracas and head elsewhere such as Isla Margarita and Los Roques, or visit one of its beautiful national parks such as Parque Nacional Canaima, Parque Nacional Henri Pittier or Mérida in the Andes. Both the island resorts and the numerous national parks will make for an unforgettable backpacking holiday in Venezuela. Look for a guesthouse (posadas) for affordable accommodation while on a backpacking holiday in Venezuela. Of course, while backpacking in Venezuela you may want to spend some time in the capital city to explore its sites and museums but a stay here will be pricey.

Beach in Venezuela

The road between the El Litoral Central beach (best nearby beach) and Caracas takes 45 minutes along an over-crowded, dangerous road. Although it looks close to the coast, Caracas does not make a good beach holiday. However, there are several places to have a magnificent beach holiday in Venezuela. The best places for a vacation on a beach in Venezuela will be one of the offshore islands - Isla Margarita or Los Roques. To get to these you will fly into Caracas International Airport where you’ll transfer to a domestic flight to the tropical island of your choice. The crystal-clear blue waters of numerous offshore islands make for excellent snorkelling and diving. The Caribbean coastline east and west of El Litoral offers numerous undiscovered and undeveloped beaches for the more intrepid travellers looking for an undeveloped beach holiday in Venezuela. With its white sandy beaches and reputations for being a friendly welcoming nation, Venezuela is an excellent choice for a beach holiday.

Camping in Venezuela

With 43 national parks to its name you may expect there to be plenty of camp sites in Venezuela. However, most visitors to the national parks stay in a posadas, lodge or hotel. Nevertheless, it is possible to camp in the inparques areas of Los Roques if you want a camping holiday in Venezuela on this off-shore island. In the Canaima National Park region there are lodges, campsite and recreational facilities at the Laguna de Canaima. To get Canaima National Pak you will need to fly into the area as it isn’t accessible by road. Westward in the Andes region of the country you will find some tours that offer trekking and camping holidays in Venezuela. There are no camping facilities in Caracas, where your accommodation possibilities are for the most part limited to just hotels.

City Breaks in Venezuela

For intrepid travellers looking to find a modern, buzzing, cultural metropolis in Latin America then they may want to consider Caracas. Due to Venezuela’s oil-wealth, Caracas has become a major economic centre in Latin America. This wealth is evident in the modern skyscrapers that crowd the city’s financial district. The city’s prosperity has allowed it to become culturally rich, as evidenced by its performing arts as well its art museums and galleries. The city has also managed to preserve many of its most important historic buildings, which are contained in the El Capitolio area. The good news is that most business travellers leave city on the weekend, leaving the hotels available to those looking for a short city break holiday in Caracas. Many of the capital’s more important historic sights and museums can see seen in just a day or two, which means you could easily holiday in Caracas for just a long weekend break.

Corporate Weekend in Venezuela

Due to Venezuela’s oil-wealth, Caracas has become a major economic centre in Latin America, and it is certainly Venezuela’s business and commercial hub. This wealth is evident in the modern skyscrapers that crowd the city’s financial district. Many of the hotels in the EL Rosal area (Caracas’ business and financial district) also have conference facilities were you can hold your corporate meetings. Many leading oil, finance and corporate businesses have offices in the city, so for business related to these industries a corporate weekend holiday in Caracas may be a good choice. Caracas also hosts a wide selection of fine restaurants, particularly in the neighbourhoods of Las Mercedes, La Castellana, Altamira and Los Palos Grandes – yet another reason to have a corporate weekend in Caracas. If you want a more relaxed corporate get away in Venezuela when you may want to consider the popular Isla Margarita, where many of the larger hotels also have conference facilities.

Cruises in Venezuela

Many of the cruises liners that tour the Caribbean stop at on the Venezuelan coast for a port of call to Caracas. Cruise passengers can then explore this vibrant city as part of their cruise holiday of Venezuela and the Caribbean. Cruise holidaymakers visiting Caracas can go on guided excursions to the modern art museum or perhaps to Avila National Park to see the natural beauty of the Caracas Valley and take a ride on the cable car up Mt Avila for some stunning views of the city. If you are planning a cruise round the Caribbean Sea, then you may want to pick a cruise holiday that visits Caracas, so you can experience this vibrant city. Also several cruises have a port of call at Isla Margarita and Los Roques giving you another way to have a holiday cruise in Venezuela.

Culture and Arts in Venezuela

The city is generally held to be one of the most culturally rich cities in Latin America, making Caracas a good choice for an art and cultural holiday in Latin America. Caracas lays claim to several well regarded art museums and numerous art galleries, as well as some impressive historic colonial buildings. With museums, cinemas and the Teresa Carreño Cultural Complex, Parque Central is Caracas' art and culture hub. The complex also boasts the Caracas Athenaeum, home to the Rajatabla Theatre Company. For a spectacular 360° bird’s eye view of Caracas try the Mirador de la Torre Oeste on the 52nd floor of the complex. A visit to Parque Central is a must for visitor interested in an art and cultural holiday in Caracas. Theater-lovers may be interested in attending the Caracas’ International Theatre Festival which attracts acting companies from around the world. Caracas is a good idea if you are looking for a holiday rich in art and culture in Latin America. Caracas is the cultural heart of Venezuela, however if you are interested in history and colonial South America then you may want to go to Coro in northern Venezuela. With its uniquely Caribbean constructions, Coro is the only surviving example of a mix of local traditions with Spanish and Dutch architectural techniques. One of the first colonial towns in Venezuela (founded in 1527) Coro has more than 600 historic buildings, making it an ideal destination for historic cultural holidays in Venezuela. Coro was made a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1993.

Disabled Needs in Venezuela

Unfortunately there are almost no facilities for the disabled in Caracas and Venezuela. Disabled accesses via ramps are unheard of in here. There are just a few ramped pavements in some of the more affluent neighbourhoods in Caracas– making a disabled vacation here a real challenge. Again only a handle full of restaurants and the larger shopping malls in Caracas have disabled toilets. Most of the five star hotels in Caracas, and throughout Venezuela, have at least one disabled room, so you will need to stay at one of these on a disabled holiday in Venezuela. Caracas’ metro does try to accommodate wheelchairs users with mixed success. Given the expensive and difficulty of getting around, it is probably best not to have a disabled holiday in Caracas or Venezuela.

Family Holiday in Venezuela

Venezuela’s capitol city is a busy and heavily populated city, and you may find that your children are not that impressed with Caracas as a family holiday destination. Besides visiting the beautiful and nearby Avila National Park there is little to occupy children on holiday in Caracas - especially if they are too young to enjoy the historic monuments and art museums. A much more enjoyable family holiday in Venezuela can be had at one of the country’s offshore islands - Isla Margarita and Los Roques - where the children can enjoy the beach and the water. If your family enjoys active outdoor pursuits then you may want to have a family holiday in Venezuela in one of the beautiful national parks such as Parque Nacional Canaima, Parque Nacional Henri Pittier or Mérida in the Andes. In Parque Nacional Canaima you’ll find Angle Falls (world’s largest waterfall) and several other smaller waterfalls – an extraordinary family trip in Venezuela. For an unforgettable family holiday, Venezuela may be a great choice.

Gay and Lesbian in Venezuela

Generally speaking, the Caribbean is not the best location for gay holidays - and Venezuela is no exception. There isn’t much of a gay scene in the capital Caracas – just a couple of bars and nightclubs where people congregate. So if you are looking for a fun and frivolous gay-oriented holiday, Caracas or Venezuela aren’t ideal. There are a few hotels that don’t mind accommodating gay couples, but these tend to be the upmarket ones. If you want a gay holiday with a Latin American feel then you may want to check out Argentina or Brazil as there is more of a gay scene here. All in all, Venezuela is not a good choice for a gay holiday.

Hen Destination in Venezuela

The nightlife in Caracas has a reputation for exuberance – you can easily dance the night away in one of the numerous nightclubs here. So, a hen party in Caracas would certainly be novel. However, it is also the most expensive city in Latin America and the high cost of hotel accommodation may make a bachelorette party in Caracas too expensive for some friends and family. The high level of crime may make Caracas less than ideal for a hen party. Another option for a hen night in Venezuela would be at one of the off shore islands, either Isla Margarita or Los Roques. Isla Margarita in particular is known for its nightlife. A hen party on one of these tropical Venezuelan islands will offer you the chance to enjoy the liveliness of this Latin American country along with some sunshine and sand. While Caracas may not offer much is the way of a bachelorette party, going to one of offshore islands will make for an extravagant, yet enjoyable hen party holiday in Venezuela.

Stag Destination in Venezuela

There are numerous nightclubs in Caracas where you car dance until the wee hours of the morning. So, a stag party in Caracas would certainly be an unusable destination. However, Caracas is the most expensive city in Latin America and violent crime is a problem. You may find that the high cost of hotels will make a stag party in Caracas prohibitively expensive for some friends and family. Another option for a stag party in Venezuela would be at one of the off shore islands, either Isla Margarita or Los Roques. Isla Margarita in particular is known for its nightlife. A stag ‘do’ on one of these tropical Venezuelan islands will offer you the chance to enjoy the exuberance of this Latin American country along with all manners of water-based activities and, of course, beautiful beaches. While Caracas may not be an ideal destination for a bachelor party, going to one of offshore islands will make for an amazing, if expensive, stag party in Venezuela.

Honeymoon in Venezuela

The best option for a romantic honeymoon in Venezuela would be to visit one of the off-shore Islands of Los Roques or Isla Margarita. With their tropical beaches and fantastic water sports either location will provide an unforgettable Venezuelan honeymoon. While in Venezuela, you may also want to see Angles Falls – the largest waterfall in the world. Intrepid travellers looking for a vibrant metropolis to visit in South American may want to consider Caracas for their honeymoon. Although the city can be expensive, Caracas does have some stunning views with its modern architecture set against the lush Mount Avila. Keen hikers will enjoy the El Avila National Park. Less energetic honeymooners in Caracas can take the cable cars to the top of Mt Avila to enjoy the stunning views of the city. There are several good restaurants in the city so you can experience some fine cuisine while honeymooning in Caracas. Another romantic place in Caracas is the 360 at the top of the Altamira Hotel and Suites with its spectacular views of the city.

Party Holiday - Singles Life in Venezuela

Although the nightlife can be exuberant, Caracas doesn’t have a reputation as an ideal party or singles holiday destination. Perhaps the high cost of living here detours from Caracas establishing itself as a good partying location. Most visitors to Caracas are businessmen who are here because of the Venezuela’s oil-boom and Caracas’ commercial dominance in South America. If you are looking for a party or singles life holiday in Venezuela you will have a better time in one of the coastal resorts, rather than the capitol city. Isla Margarita in particular is known for its nightlife. Single holidays on a tropical Venezuelan island will offer you the chance to enjoy the exuberance of this Latin American country along with all manners of water-based activities and, of course, beautiful beaches. If you are after outdoor pursuits in Venezuela as a single holidaymaker then you may want to join a tour to Canaima in southern Venezuela to experience Venezuela’s tropical rainforest and see the world’s largest waterfall – Angle Falls or to hike in the Andes near Mérida in eastern Venezuela. Either location may be a good choice for a single traveller who wants to enjoy Venezuela’s great outdoor.

Couples Holiday in Venezuela

Experienced Latin America travellers who want to visit a vibrant metropolis may enjoy a holiday as a couple in Caracas. Although the city can be expensive Caracas does have some stunning views with its modern architecture set against the lush Mount Avila. The city also has some interesting historic buildings and good art museums. Keen hikers will enjoy the El Avila National Park. The less energetic can take the cable cars to the top of Mt Avila to enjoy the stunning views of the city while holidaying as a couple in Caracas. There are several good restaurants in the city so you can experience some fine cuisine while holidaying as a couple in Caracas. For a romantic place in Caracas try the 360 at the top of the Altamira Hotel and Suites – it has great views of the city.

Perhaps the best option for a romantic holiday for a couple in Venezuela would be to visit one of the off-shore Islands of Los Roques or Isla Margarita. With their tropical beaches and fantastic water sports either location will provide an unforgettable Venezuelan holiday for couples. While in Venezuela, you may also want to see Angles Falls – the largest waterfall in the world. If you are after outdoor pursuits in Venezuela as a couple then you may want to visit some of the country’s numerous national parks – where you can, for example, trek in the Andes or along the coast at Henri Pittier National Park. Outside the capital city, Venezuela itself is a stunning country and offers plenty for couples to do and see.

Safari Activity Holiday in Venezuela

While you won’t see elephants and giraffes in South America, a safari holiday in Venezuela in its Gran Sabana (Great Plains) will give you the chance to see some of this continent’s most amazing creatures and in an area of outstanding natural beauty. Known as El Dorado ('the golden land') the area is a highland savannah which covers some of the most spectacular and untouched wilderness in the world. Gran Sabana is criss-crossed by rivers, rapids and waterfalls, covered by dense jungles in the lower regions which give way to dry highland plains, dotted with steep-walled mesas known locally as tepuis. The area is home to jaguar, tapir and rare tropical birds. Gran Sabana is part of the Canaima National Park, the largest national park in Venezuela (and the sixth largest in the world), and near to Angel Falls - the highest waterfall in the world. Another great destination for a safari-like holiday in Venezuela is the plains just south and east of the Andes, known as Los Llanos. In the rainy season the plains are flooded. But in the dry season the area is home to a wide variety of birds and other animal which congregate in dense herds and mixed flocks around the ponds and creeks that are left behind. The quantity and variety of wildlife in Los Llanos is truly extraordinary with anaconda, caiman, capybara, deer and even wildcats are commonly sighted. This is one of the top spots on the planet for bird-watching making it ideal for a wildlife safari in Venezuela.

Golf Activity Holiday in Venezuela

There are three private golf courses in Caracas, which are patronized by affluent Caraqueños, as well as diplomats and Americans here on business. There are no public golf courses in Caracas. If you want to play golf while on holiday in Caracas you will need to ask your hotel (ideally a five-star one) to make arrangements for you at one of the private club. To play at one of the private golf clubs in Caracas you will need to be a handicapped golfer with a membership card from your home club or golf association. Prices for a round of golf at a private club in Caracas are high and you may only be able to play at off peak hours. Unfortunately, a golfing holiday in Caracas may be difficult to organise unless you have family or friends that are members of one of the clubs here. If you really want a golfing holiday in Venezuela, why not checkout the hotel resorts on Isla Margarita where you will find five star luxury hotels with their own golf courses – a great way to enjoy a beach and golfing holiday in Venezuela.

Sailing Activity Holiday in Venezuela

Although not far from the Caribbean Sea, Caracas is separated from the coast by a steep mountain range and it is too difficult and time consuming to commute between the waters around port by El Litoral Central and Caracas for a sailing holiday in Caracas. However, elsewhere in Venezuela – such as the off-shore island of Los Roques or Isla Margarita - you can have a great sailing holiday in Venezuela. The best sailing in Venezuela is off the coast of Los Roques. It is easy to hire a yacht here, making it ideal for a sailing holiday in Venezuela. There is a longer coastline in Venezuela with several islands, so Venezuela a great destination for a sailing vacation in the Caribbean Sea.

Scuba Diving Activity Holiday in Venezuela

If you are looking for a scuba diving holiday in Venezuela then head straight to Los Roques off the coast of Venezuela. This beautiful archipelago of island has some of the best scuba diving in the Caribbean Sea, making it ideal for a scuba diving holiday in Venezuela. Other great places for a scuba diving vacation in Venezuela are in some of the National Parks on the mainland. Venezuela’s coastal national parks are renowned for their wildlife, with amazing sea beds populated by colonies of coral reefs. Good parks to dive in are Mochima with it amazing mangroves and Morrocoy. There is also some great scuba diving in Venezuela around Choroní. With more than 2,000 kilometres of coastline and some great off-shore islands you are spoiled for choice for a Venezuelan scuba diving holiday.

Hiking Activity Holiday in Venezuela

Although there is no hiking in Caracas per se, the nearby El Avila National Park is a great place for outdoor activities. One of the best activities to do on holiday in Caracas is hiking. A trek up Avila Mountain (in the El Avila National Park) will give you a good work out and offers some great view of the city. There are dozens of trails through the El Avila National Park. The park and its trails can get crowded on weekends, so you may want to visit the park mid-week while on your hiking holiday in Caracas. If you don’t have the stamina for hiking up Mt Avila you can take a cable car (Teleférico) to the top. From here you’ll have stunning views of Caracas to the south and the Caribbean Sea to the north. While at the top you can have a well deserved meal while enjoying the scenery at one of the quaint restaurants here. The beautiful and lush of vegetation of this well preserved park make El Avila a must see sight of Caracas and a great place for hiking. Trekking at some of Venezuela’s other national parks are just as good as at El Avila, if not better. From tropical rainforests in the Canaima National Park to high Andes Mountains and along the Caribbean coast, there are some great places for a hiking holiday in Venezuela.

Shopping Holiday in Venezuela

Wealthy native Caraqueños are style-conscious, and the best shopping is to be had in the capitol. With several modern shopping centres in the city, shoppers are spoiled for choice in Caracas. Popular malls include Centro Comercial Sambil (thought to be the largest mall in South America), Centro Comercial Ciudad Tamanaco, Autopista Francisco Fajardo, Calle La Estancia as well as Centro Lido. While on a shopping holiday in Caracas you can look for gold jewellery and leather shoes, handbags and luggage. As well as stylish shops you’ll also find restaurants and nightclubs – even spas – in the malls in Caracas. However, don’t expect to find many bargains while on a shopping holiday in Caracas, high inflation and import taxes means that prices are high here. A great place in to shop for native art and crafts while on holiday in Caracas is the restored colonial village of El Hatillo. Elsewhere in Venezuela the Isla Margarita has duty free status making it a Mecca for shoppers and holidaymakers alike. Venezuelans are big fans of the shopping mall and you will find these all over the country. Generally shops are open Monday-Saturday 9 or 10 am to 7 pm, though some may close for lunch. Malls often remain open later and are open on Sunday.

Well-being and Spa in Venezuela

Several of the four and five star hotels in Caracas have spas as part of the facilities at the hotels them making them an ideal place for spa holidays in Caracas. If your husband or wife is in Caracas on business and you fancy a relaxing spa get away, then it makes sense to stay at one of the more luxurious hotel. This way you can both have a relaxing spa holiday in Caracas. You will also find some spas and well being centres in some of the malls in the more exclusive areas of Caracas. If you are looking for some pampering beauty treatments while in town you could try a visit to one of these spas while on vacation in Caracas. You’ll also find some great pampering spas in Venezuela at the more luxurious resorts on off-shore island of Isla Margarita and Los Roques. With a spa holiday in Venezuela at one of these locations you can relax on fine sandy beaches, swimming in the warm waters of the Caribbean Sea and have a pampering spa treatment all in one luxury location.

Touring - Driving holiday in Venezuela

The heavy chaotic traffic in Caracas means that the city does not lend itself to touring holidays. If you are planning a driving holiday in Venezuela and plan to spend some time in the capitol you should park your hire car at the hotel and use the metro to get around. All of the main sites of Caracas can easily be reached by the metro. At night you can use a taxi to get around, which gives you the advantage of being able to have a drink or two. The roads here are too frenzied to make for an enjoyable driving holiday in Caracas.

However, if you want to explore by car on a driving tour of Venezuela the country does have an extensive road system, though they may have potholes and the odd farm animal wandering on it. One route you could take on a driving tour of Venezuela is to follow the coast to Cumaná then south on to Ciudad Guyana and finally westward to Ciudad Bolívar in the Venezuela plains. Driving in Venezuela is a bit of a trial but if you are up for a challenge then you may want to do a touring holiday in Venezuela.

Winter Sun in Venezuela

The best time of year to visit Venezuela and the capitol city Caracas is from December to April. The winter is the dry season here making Venezuela an ideal destination for a winter break to escape the cold frosty northern hemisphere. The capitol Caracas has more tourists in the winter as North Americans and Europeans head south in search of some winter sun. The city can get especially busy around Christmas and New Years, so you may want to avoid this time of year for your winter sun break in Caracas. If you want to spend some time on the beach you could combine a few days in Caracas with a stay on the coast or an off-shore island for your winter break. The best place for a beach-based winter break vacation in Venezuela will be one of the offshore islands – either Isla Margarita or Los Roques. To get to these you will fly into Caracas International Airport where you’ll transfer to a domestic flight to the tropical island of your choice. With average temperatures in January around 26 degrees Celsius these offshore islands make for an ideal winter sun holiday in Venezuela.