Travel info: We have included in this section some of the recommendations compiled from various guide books and our own experiences, as travelers and tour operators , hopefully be useful for you :
The population of Spain , Argentina , Bolivia , Brazil, Chile, Colombia , Ecuador , USA , Mexico , Paraguay , Peru , Uruguay and most of Western Europe do not need visa to enter Venezuela , only need a free tourist card called card entry . It is usually valid for 90 days ( unless customs officials write down a shorter period ) and can be extended . Airlines flying to Venezuela provide these cards to passengers before landing. If arriving by land , citizens of the countries listed passport card get immigration officer at the border.
Upon entering Venezuela , officials from the National Bureau of Identification and Immigration ( Onidex ) stamped passport and tourist card ( make sure you will) . Bring up the tourist board for the entire trip (can ask at passport control ) and return it to immigration officials to leave the country , but not all have an interest in back.
Extensions of visas and tourist cards are available at the offices of Onidex in Caracas.
MONEY AND BUDGET TRAVEL
In the following link you can find a quite accurate¬†calculator ¬†for¬†travel expenses in Venezuela
Exchange houses ( as Italcambio ) are often the only option to change travelers checks, and charge a commission of 3 % or more. Some travel agencies accept payment in travelers checks .
Visa and MasterCard are the most useful credit cards in Venezuela , although credit card transactions are always more expensive because they are calculated according to the official exchange rate . Cards are accepted for products and services ( although many travel agencies can refuse , or charge an extra 10 % service charge ) . They are also useful for taking money out of banks and ATMs. You should always write down the phone number to be called if the card is lost, and cancel it quickly in case of loss or theft , as fraud with credit cards are not exceptional . Although an establishment claiming accept cards, that does not mean that your machine will work.
Unless living near the border , it is impossible to buy Venezuelan currency abroad.
Almost all restaurants charge a 10% service charge . Although not mandatory, in the finest restaurants usually give a little extra tip of 5 or 10% . Gratuity is not normally given to taxi drivers, unless help carry luggage . Gratuities to the hotel staff , dive instructors , guides, etc. . be personal. Rarely required but always appreciated . A simple gesture like inviting a boatman drink or cook can do wonders.
Venezuela is a very safe country for travelers. However, theft, robbery and criminal offenses have increased over the last decade. The thefts are more common in large cities than in the countryside . Caracas is undoubtedly the most dangerous place in the country , and you have to be careful on the streets , especially at night .
We must be very careful to get cash from an ATM at any time of day . From experience , the police are not always reliable (although many other are) , so it should not always blindly accept the demands of these law enforcement officers .
Venezuela is a country a little obsessed with personal identification, and often in the most banal transactions passport number or identity card ( Venezuelan identity document ) is required. If you do not want to end up at the police station giving explanations , always carry your passport.
Malaria and dengue are present in some tropical areas , and other insect bites can cause severe discomfort , though not necessarily produce disease. In general , the main dangers in the country are common among travelers : sunburn, food ailments and problems related to traffic.
Having a travel insurance that covers theft, loss , accidents and disease is highly recommended. Many policies include a free phone card or direct billing reversed serving 24 hours ( should carry it ) lines. Not all policies compensate for misplaced or lost luggage. Some specifically exclude ' dangerous activities ' and can be considered such as scuba diving, motorcycling and even trekking. Also check that the policy covers the worst eventualities , such as evacuation and repatriation flights . There are several types of travel insurance policies . The STA Travel offering and other economic organizations usually offer good value for price and quality.
Always read the fine print carefully . Perhaps a policy that pays doctors and hospitals directly rather than payment for services at the time and then claim reimbursement prefer. If your luggage is lost or stolen it is possible that the insurance company ask for a receipt as proof of purchase of the claimed objects. You must report the loss or theft to the police ( or port authorities ) within 24 hours. To make any claim all documents are required.
In Venezuela abound pharmacies , clinics and hospitals . While Caracas is easy to find quality health care in rural areas can be difficult to get . Clinics and public hospitals are free, but the quality of care is better in private facilities . Should you require hospitalization in Venezuela , are the best hospitals in Caracas. Small problems can be solved in health pharmacies , trained to give injections and administer many medications.
Tap water is often correct for brushing teeth, but their use is not recommended. You have to be careful with food from street stalls , excessive sun exposure and insect bites , and doubly cautious when crossing the city streets .