Things to Know About Venezuela

Venezuela is an oil-rich nation blessed with stunning landscapes and beaches, boasting its signature Caribbean culture and offering many things to do such as swimming with dolphins or visiting the world’s tallest waterfall.

Stay alert as demonstrations could turn violent, keeping extra food, water, and medicines on hand in an effort to stay safe.

1. The Amazon

The Amazon River provides food, medicine and income to millions of Venezuelans while also offering stunning beaches and exotic islands, an ecosystem spanning three continents and some of the most significant biodiversity on Earth.

Mount Roraima, South America’s highest point, forms part of the Pacaraima Mountains Tepui Plateaus which mark the tripoint between Venezuela, Guyana and Brazil. These ancient geological formations represent some of the oldest geologic features on Earth.

Venezuelan government recently made headlines when they issued a decree giving mining corporations control of 12% of Venezuela’s Amazon rainforest, including upper reaches that make up 1/12th of it, in a new Special Economic Zone. This move represents an immediate threat to its natural beauty, indigenous cultures and water resources; therefore people have rallied together under international support in response.

2. Caracas

Venezuelans hold Caracas near and dear, particularly during Chavez’s socialist regime when it became an icon for socialist ideals. Nowadays it remains vitally important to the economy of Venezuela with most living in Caracas or nearby.

Marcos Perez Jimenez modernised the city during the 1950s with an emphasis on aesthetics and technology, leading to an environment in which old and new architecture were seamlessly mixed together.

Today, Venezuela boasts an expansive population of people known as Chavistas who reside here, making for an interesting mix of people to meet and places to discover. It is important to keep in mind that Venezuela’s current economic situation has had an immense impact on many lives; therefore it would be best not to engage in politics discussions with locals unless you know for certain of their position; some Venezuelans may feel disgruntled with their government, so be mindful of this when speaking to them and respect their opinions.

3. Merida

Merida, Venezuelan pride and culture! Merida was home of one of Venezuela’s greatest independence heroes: Francisco de Miranda. Music in Merida can be identified by its characteristic waltz rhythms and use of violin, mandolin and other instruments.

Apart from its eye-catching colonial architecture, this city is also famed for its parks and squares. Visitors to this historical locale can stroll down its picturesque streets and stop in one of many sidewalk restaurants to sample delicious traditional meals.

Merida stands out from the rest of Venezuela in terms of cuisine. Merida-specific specialities include arepa andina, an alternative version of Venezuela’s arepa made with wheat flour instead of cornmeal, as well as pizca andina soup which features potato, milk, long onion, and parsley. Discussing Venezuelan’s current economic, humanitarian and political crisis won’t cause offence if done in an appropriate manner; be sure to do this with respect and empathy in mind.

4. Parque Los Caobos

Venezuela boasts the world’s tallest waterfall, an abundance of diverse flora and fauna species, and an everlasting storm; all attractions to discover. But visitors should also remember Venezuela is among Latin America’s most dangerous countries, with an alarming homicide rate in Caracas said to be amongst the highest outside war zones – most crimes go unsolved as well.

Women should avoid walking around alone in poor neighborhoods or shanty towns and appear overly wealthy, while tourists should exercise caution when engaging with locals as extortion and/or bribery may take place.

Caracas, Venezuela’s capital city, is known for its many museums and galleries such as Museos de Bellas Artes y Ciencias and Galeria de Arte Nacional. A stroll through Parque Los Caobos can also be very rewarding, featuring ancient trees and statues such as Fuente Venezuela. Joropo music should also not be missed while visiting Venezuela – traditionally played using instruments such as harps, cuatros and maracas as traditional instruments.