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VENEZUELA: URBAN HELL

Several months ago a friend told me he wanted to go to Venezuela. I bought a guide book and started researching the country, deciding that other than the political instability, it would be a nice place to visit. Besides, their obsession over beauty can only be a good thing for a potent male such as myself. So when my friend backed out and I was stuck with two weeks of vacation time that I had to use, I decided to go alone. I withstood the dozen or so kidnapping ‘jokes’ and went down there with a backpack loaded with essentials, including a Frisbee, Clif bars, and electrolyte water (obviously I was counting on getting stranded on the beach with one other person). I wanted to pack some shirts with American writing on it to be easily identified as an exotic import by the women there, but that plan when out the window because I have an aversion to being robbed.

With a two day hotel reservation in Caracas and a general idea of what I want to do, I was ready. On the airplane ride there I sit next to an American who has a Venezuelan wife. He gives me a lot of great tips, including the most important one: do not talk to anyone as you walk through the airport. Sure enough, as I’m making my way out a man in an official uniform asks me if I need any help. I wanted to listen to my American friend, but the gentleman was very official looking. He even pointed out his official uniform and said, “Look, I’m an official.” How can you argue with that? I told him I just need a taxi, and then next thing I know, I’m at a car rental booth being tag-teamed by ‘officials’ asking how many dollars I would like to exchange for local currency. Oops. This initial shadiness that I encountered upon my arrival would prove to be a great foreboding of the rest of my trip.

Caracas is a very rough introduction to South America. The mountains and hillsides that surround the city are covered in shantytowns known as barrios. The traffic is incredibly bad, with a wall of cars and exhaust that seem to last for most of the day. Walking great distances is faster than driving through the city, but not advisable because of the danger. Because gas is priced so low at 20 cents a gallon, driving is encouraged at the expense of public transportation. Most of the cars that clog the city are old heaps of American junk that were previously owned by your parents. The combination of incredible traffic and aged cars produce the worst pollution that I have ever encountered, and constantly breathing in exhaust was a bit too much for this fragile American throat. The only place where you breathe fresh air are the city’s parks, which are numerous and covered in very nice fields of dirt.

The city itself is the result of what happens when you vomit concrete, cars, and people over a wide area. It’s like a very bad game of SimCity where you totally ruined the simulation but can’t start over. Most buildings seem to be abandoned, monuments to a more prosperous past, as people weave through garbage and vendor tables selling every imaginable plastic piece of junk from China. Most of the city has a bazaar type of feel. The garbage and car exhaust smell together produces a very offensive city smell.

I was fascinated by the barrios. “How do people live there”? I wondered. I talked to a wired twenty-something guy who told me more about the barrios.

“Even the cops don’t go in there. Cars can’t fit in through the alleys, only motorcycles, so when the cops go in, the guy riding the bike has one hand on his machine gun. Another cop sits behind him facing the back with a gun. Cops only go in there for the bug guys, like serial killers, because people shoot at the cops. I’ve been in that before with friends who lived there. You walk through as people smoke crack out in the open with their guns next to them.”

“So I’d get robbed if I went there alone,” I said.

“You’d be killed.”

He also didn’t give me much confidence in police enforcement. When a cop sees someone who has lots of money, he tells someone who ends up robbing you while the cop turns his back. The cop then gets a cut.

In terms of per capita murders in South America, Caracas is only second to Medellin, Columbia and Recife, Brazil. Most of the 2,000 murders a year happen in the barrios, which are populated mostly by people from the countryside who looked for opportunity during the city’s boom times. Some barrios are not as dangerous and have a strong sense of community, but they generally are not a place you want to be in. Here in the U.S. we do a great job hiding our poor in ghettos, in the south sides of cities, but in Caracas it’s impossible not to see the huge disparity of living conditions. I think one of the reasons we tolerate poverty here is because we rarely witness it.


Pantheon

The one bright spot of the city is the underground Metro system. It is a mirror image of the DC metro system, made during the oil boom when money went into public projects. It was clean, safe, and reliable, with trains coming ever 5-10 minutes. Even like our Metro, everyone riding it seems unhappy.

I stayed in Las Mercedes, which is one of their most expensive and safe areas. This are is the best that Caracas has to offer, yet it is a dump by American standards. It’s dirty and is lined with crappy restaurants and stores. The bright spot of this area was the very modern pharmacy I bought deodorant at. After a day of exploration, I couldn’t wait to get back to my hotel, a fantasy land paradise in an run-down city. The second day in Caracas I almost stayed in my room instead of venturing out because there is nothing to do.

Caracas sights are lacking and it’s just too dangerous to get comfortable walking around taking pictures. I was constantly paranoid that I was going to get robbed, a more serious concern than my diarrhea paranoia. I took a picture of the capitol building in the historic center, which is a ghetto by our standards, and showed some locals that I met throughout the rest of the trip. I got the same reaction every time: “Wow I’m surprised you were able to take that picture and not get robbed.” I took about 100 photos a day in Italy. In Venezuela I took 35 a day.

Venezuela Table of Contents

1. Venezuela: Urban Hell
2. Venezuela: Escape From Caracas
3. Venezuela: Water Beach
4. Venezuela: A Reggaeton Christmas
5. Venezuela: Russo Does Not Respect Me
6. Venezuela: Question and Answer
7. Venezuela: Sabana Grande

 
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51 Comments »
The MaDAsIaN
8 years, 3 months ago

Sounded like you had a great time. :huh:

Anonymous
8 years, 3 months ago

What about da hookers?

8 years, 3 months ago

Traveling to Central or South America is dangerous for anyone. I have family that live In Peru and Honduras and I wouldn’t travel through either of those spots alone although I speak Spanish. Americans are instantly recognized and all of sudden, you are the richest white man (even though you are obviously not white or rich (?)). When i did go back to Honduras (La Ceiba)cabs would charge me twice the amount, vendors the same. You can’t wear jewlery on the buses, you can’t be alone at the bars drunk, etc. But with family and a group you are certainly safer. I was going to go to Brazil (rio) and decided not to; muy peligroso. Instead I will go to Costa Rica, more American friendly.

Sudamericana
8 years, 3 months ago

MMhhh…. doesn’t sound like you had a great time, but I think such a rough contact with South American reality must have been interesting in some kind of way. Congrats for your first trip outside the American bubble.

I am still not sure of why you chose Venezuela in particular (women????), there are many other places in South America that are so much nicer/worthy of touristic purposes (I think I adviced you to choose somewhere else more than once).

However, you’ll find “barrios”, “favelas”, “villas miserias” or whatever they call them in all of South America – in some cities they are a little bit more separated from the wealthier districts and do not spoil the beauty of the city so evidently, but nevertheless they are there. I grew up with them being part of my country’s everyday landscape, and it’s kinda funny that they only strike me as odd now that I have lived for a couple of years abroad.

Now do tell us about your adventures with Latinas… did the trip help you to overcome your kindergarden trauma? Or has it been enhanced and therefore Citron will soon be on the list of clubs you are boycotting?

8 years, 3 months ago

I just returned from a few weeks in Oahu – snorkeling, shave ice, 80 degree weather, 25′ waves on the North Shore – you can keep Caracas :)

Laura
8 years, 3 months ago

Thank you. That post was refreshingly honest and well-written.

8 years, 3 months ago

beautiful photos

8 years, 3 months ago

Welcome to the rest of the world.

Whatever
8 years, 3 months ago

I lived in Central America and have traveled in South America. Never to Venezuela, but I would love to. Capital cities are never great places to spend too much time in. And a general rule of thumb when traveling in developing countries is to just watch you back. The contents of your backpack are more than most people make in years. However, I would guess that there are some beautiful places to explore in Venezuela outside of Caracas. Did you go anywhere else??

Natty_G
8 years, 3 months ago

It sounds a lot like West Virginia…

inSOMnia
8 years, 3 months ago

Juicy Fruit

8 years, 3 months ago

Bienvenidos al Tercer Mundo, dude. What you described is par for the course in the entire global south, from Phenom Phenh to Istanbul to Tegucigalpo. You just gotta ride the chaos and you’ll have fun. Next time go with a friend though; it’s so boring to travel alone.

O-face
8 years, 3 months ago

Dude, you could have saved yourself a big headache and went to Puerto Rico. We f-ing own that country don’t we????

Liz
8 years, 3 months ago

Sounds like you had a great time, heh.

I think I’ll skip South America and go to Switzerland in March instead.

OMGHI2BASEL-STADT :P

Tony
8 years, 2 months ago

Wow, you missed out on some veeeeeery HOT latina snatch.

How sad.

maria
8 years, 1 month ago

hey you better watch you got a venezulan chick up here and venezuela is a gorgeous places just becuz we have a bad president(chavez) does not mean anything so you better watch your mouth LOL just joking thoses are some pretty pic well got to go byeeeeeeeeeeee hope to see you soon venezuelan chick is exiting the building!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! byeeeeeeeeeeeeee

maria
8 years, 1 month ago

hey i was just kidding hey did you go see the pretty places in venezuela cuz thoses r some good places to good hey and thanks you helped me in my project with your pic and info thanks showing some love maria got to go byeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee
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VENEZUELAN AMERICAN
8 years, 1 month ago

dude….u mad ethe biggest mistake in teh world….GRINGO TRAVELLING ALONE. I am Venezuelan and 5 of my very lucky american friends will join MY TOUR of venezuela…an insider look…that’s teh way to go. I agree with you though. Caracas is a dump…but you don’t go there for a good time…You go to the amazing beaches and national parks like morrocy, mochima, and los roques. margarita island….sorry u just went to the smelly, dirty, and dangerous city caracas….just like any other city though in the world….NYC is just as smelly, dirty, and dangerous…

big grasshopper
8 years, 1 month ago

Welcome to the real world. Caracas is a very exciting place. But it can be rough. Go south to Angel Falls. You will meet hot Italian women there.

Sudamericana
8 years, 1 month ago

I suppose you’ve seen this already….

http://www.nytimes.com/2006/03/21/international/americas/21venezuela.html

When I read it I thought about you… I am so surprised they did not mention you as one of the celebrities who traveled there! After all, you have been recognized by strangers a couple of times while you were out, right? ;) =

Devin
7 years, 11 months ago

NYC as dangerous as Caracas?? LMAO! Caracas is way, way more dangerous and chaotic, fact. Central and South American cities are the most homicidal on earth outside of full-scale war.

Anonymous
7 years, 10 months ago

Dude i am venezuelan and that article u published is a big pile of crap, yes caracas is dangerous but what dumb fuck gopes to caracas
when in venezuela u have so many beautifull beaches and landscpaes its all ur fault and besides ive been to the us and its a big shit ova there hope u die

Venezuelan citizen, livinf in the US since 2005
7 years, 10 months ago

Man why did you stay in caracas? as some ppl said before the cool things in the country are the national parks and our islands in the caribean. I lived in caracas for for 7 years and its not too bad if you go and live in the right places. But come on dude u went to the barrios those are the venezuelan guettos, why would a tourist visit the ghetto!!!! the problem is not caracas, the proble is that you are a really bad tourist. You said that you stayed in Las mercedes, u said that was on eof the safest zones, well thats bullshit Las mercedes is very dangeroues ppl goes there only because there are many clubs and restaurants. Im sure you didnt visit the Hatillo, is a pretty cool place to visit for tourists. You should have visited Isla de Margarita, Los roques and places like that, but no u visit Caracas the biggest and mos violent citie in the country, therefore i have to say you are really stupid. By the way im sure that you didnt visited the part of caracas where rich people live. White boy you should go back to venezuela and visit the national parks so u change your opinion about the country, and remember dont go the barrios in the big cities, that was stupidity in its finest expression.

Anonymous
7 years, 9 months ago

Caracas is a nasty diseased dirty uneducated place. Where else would an idiot like Hugo Chavez be elected president. The guy is a total thug. He will get what he has been asking for. A 500lb bomb on his head like al-zarqawi!

T.
7 years, 9 months ago

My dad is from Caracas and has the same opinions as you. he won’t even go back there himself as he thinks it is way to unsafe. However, our whiole family still travels to margarita island quite frequently. YOu should have gone there instead!

Anonymous
7 years, 8 months ago

latin american countries are not the most homicidal in the world… african countries are the most homicidal in the world…

Anonymous
7 years, 8 months ago

they just dont publish statistics

Anonymous
7 years, 7 months ago

I’m glad you didn’t take a ride on the Secuestro Express, which tragically, is all too common in Caracas these days. If you want a relatively safe Spanish-speaking vacation, I recommend a trip to Espa?a. I recently spent three weeks traveling all over Madrid, Barcelona and Sevilla. Spanish cities, like much of Europe, have their share of petty crime (pickpockets, thieves who grab purses and camera bags if you leave them unattended), but they don’t have nearly as much violent crime as major U.S. or Latin American cities. I bought transit passes and wandered all over Barcelona–I wouldn’t dream of doing that in Caracas.

Pero recomiendo que alguien aprende mucho espa?ol si quiere vivir en Espa?a porque la mayor?a de los espa?oles no hablan mucho ingles.

Anonymous
7 years, 3 months ago

I am american but guatemalan by nationality. I have been there, and yes i think it would better if you were to travel with a local to get the REAL tour. Now if you go alone yeah just stick to the tour attractions, no the ghetto. Un fortunatey many latin american cities are just one giant ghetto slum. But hell I still have fun!!!!!!!!!!

vin
7 years, 1 month ago

Um, I always am amazed that americans seem to be SHOCKED by how many other people live day to day. As if the US is a dream come true? ever been to harlem or east los angeles???? um….parts of caracas are better. Also, did it ever occur to you that your oh so fabulous life PRODUCES these types of disparities???? Yes, for you to be able to wear your 5K suits it takes people in the developing world days of work in inhumane conditions….you know, so you can afford it. Haha. DC bachelor sounds like a dumb ass. Can’t even spell correctly. Your plan WENT out the window, not WHEN out the window. OK. So apparently your AMERICAN DREAM did not come true since you did not even get past 3rd grade spelling level? Nice. Make changes in your daily life so you can help end these problems, don’t think your life in the states is so great, and realize that most of it comes at the expense of people elsewhere.

Anonymous
7 years, 1 month ago

no western city is anywhere near as dangerous as the most dangerous cities of latin america (and africa or asia for that matter). i really do tire of hearing people always feeling the need to talk about how supposedly dangerous new orleans, LA and NYC are. PLEASE! do you really think new orleans or los angeles can compare to rio or san pedro sula? give me a break.

Anonymous
7 years, 1 month ago

um yes, try reading a crime statistics book. Just because you are TIRED of someone telling you the truth does not mean it is not the truth.

Anonymous
7 years ago

i like to go to VENEZUELA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Anonymous
7 years ago

I HAD 17 YEARS IN VENEZUELA I WAS ALMOST 18 YEARS I HAD A LOT OF FUN OVER THERE IN VENEZUELA.I WENT IN A FIELD TRIP WITH MY FIANCE WE HAD FUN BECAUSE WE WERE DOING THE SEX IN THE HOTEL THAT WE WENT TO.

Tatiana
7 years ago

Obviously you didn’t do your research right. A representation of how naive you probably are to the outside world. You DO NOT go to Caracas alone as a tourist, specially if you’re American. The best way to visit Caracas is with people FROM Caracas. And yes, there are nice places to visit in Caracas. Even so, you do not go visit Venezuela and just stay in Caracas (another example of your poor research of Venezuelan tourism). Caracas is just to stay for one or two days and then go to exotic places such as Margarita Island, Morrocoy, Angel Falls, Gran Sabana, Los Roques, Los Medanos de Coro, etc. The only thing you have to do is google “venezuela tourism”, which I just did and, interestedly enough, the first link showing was http://www.think-venezuela.net/ which seems to be very appropriate for you…THINK!

Anonymous
7 years ago

I am not from the US, I’m australian.. not that it would matter to the locals in Caracas or any other non western country I have travelled to, the initial assumption is I am an american. I’ve been in Caracas for 1 week. I’m here for 6 months for work. Why? I hear you ask, for lots of tax free money of course. I haven’t ventured too far from the Hotel and office yet but I can say after spending months in places like West Africa, Bangaldesh, India, and Indonesia… Caracas is a nice change with a lot of the comforts from home in terms food and things to do. Theres also the overhwleming amount of cleavage the local women like to flaunt. The metro seems great and convenient. Overall, no matter where you go, use common sense and talk to the locals about what to do and where not to go. I just wish I spoke spanish :-)

7 years ago

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Gillette
6 years, 10 months ago

“latin america” is full of 3rd world countries, of course USA wouldnt be as bad, you can’t walk around america with an ak 47

6 years, 9 months ago

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web guy
6 years, 7 months ago

You are portraying Caracas’s worts image, just as in the movie “Secuestro Express”. Yes, Caracas is dangerous ever since Chavez got into power, nevertheless there are places, like “Las Mercedes” which are safe, specificalle the East side of the city. For example, Valle Arriba, Prados del Este, El Hatillo, Altamira…etc. Caracas could be really boring if you do not know where to go (that happens everywhere), because nightlife here can be pretty amazing. Beaches, Llanos, Jungle, Savannahs, can be more interesting for tourists traveling alone (with no guides)….Try Margarita Island, it is oftened refered to as another country, still with our venezuelan hotties, excellent food and cheap things….and most important, all the island is Duty Free…so, before speaking crap about Caracas and Venezuela, first get to know them well…And all of this situation is because of Chavez, that son of a bitch

t
6 years, 7 months ago

I was in Caracas about three months ago. I felt threatened and unsafe the minute i stepped off the plane. dont trust any one and keep your wits about you.

t

mari
6 years, 6 months ago

i agree, why did you pick the city, you could have checked out margarita, or the the angel’s waterfall, you did a bad job researching. For future reference, Capital of the country DOES NOT EQUAL the best place to stay. Think about it, if someone was to go to Washington DC, after the 2nd day they would be bored, u would suggest going to Vegas, cali, or florida. Research dummy.

JJ
6 years, 5 months ago

I am a US citizen(Economics teacher, and native New Yorker) living and working in Caracas for several years. This is NOT a city for tourists – not alot of sights, so easy to get lost and very few road signs, and while I’ve walked around alone many times both day and night in SOME places, I would never consider doing so in MANY places here. Lack of police coupled with a government more concerned with anti-imperialism tirades means the danger here will likely continue for a long time. However, in its defense, it is good place to LIVE – great climate, great restaurants (though milk and eggs are disappearing from the supermarkets), exciting nightlife (though many of the upscale bars are too enamored of 80′s music)f, and an amazing mountain range surrounding the city great for weekend hikes. Not a great “culture” selection, but as a resident you eventually find the good art shows, indy film joints, etc. Also, every day is like a novel, and no shortage of the experience of “witnessing history unfold.” Most people are also very friendly – that is, the ones not trying to mug you. :) Be sure, though, not to allow Caracas to dissuade you from sights in Venezuela – there is SO much to see and do in Venezuela – from gorgeous beaches, rainforests, mountains, waterfalls, and even the most spectacular lightning show on earth! I’ve traveled extensively through every Latin American country (except Brazil, Ecuador, Chile, and Suriname) and feel Venezuela by far blows away the rest in natural beauty and diversity. Come before this country is ruined, as is happening……ever so slowly.

Joe
6 years, 3 months ago

We just got back from a ten day “vacation” in caracas. We thought that it would be another Rio except without any poor. We assumed that because of the ads on American TV where Venezuela was aiding the poor in USA with heating oil. So they must have surmounted their problems first, right? Wrong! We had the worst vacation in our lives. Extreme danger, drunken driving, crime, piles and I mean piles of garbage, roaming dogs, run down buildings, urine in stairways, homeless bums,constant warnings from locals to watch out for robberies that can be fatal. I can go on and on. God bless the working and good people of Venezuela who must endure this incomptence (of government?) We have a new appreciation for the USA. PS there were 88 murders in caracas just in one weekend we were there. Recently an Italian was killed for his Rolex watch. People have been killed for their nike shoes! Enough said.

6 years, 2 months ago

I hate reaserching Venezuela its boring and i hate school projects

6 years, 2 months ago

hi whats up this is dumb

Big Ern
6 years, 1 month ago

I have been to Caracas many times, and would have to agree that it is a very dangerous place and there is little to do for tourists within the city. With regards to the risk of robberies, then in any city if you are stupid and make yourself a target by flashing the cash and wearing fancy watches etc.. then you are aksing for trouble. This does not justify the crimes, but common sense is required and that is the situation so you need to be aware and take the necesary precautions.

I would agree there is litle to do. The Avila cable carts are worth a visit, but I am struggling to think of anything else worth seeing. When you have Margarita Island only a 35 minute flight away, I would suggest anyone going to Venezuela goes there instead. Alot safer and nicer with fantastic beaches.

I would like to reitterate what was said about the Airport. DO NOT CHANGE MONEY THERE, there is an extremely high chance you will get either robbed, ripped off or arrested. Do not get into anything other than a pre-booked taxi, and stay aware of pick pockets all the time.

I would also like to add the that the educated Venezuelan people are some of the nicest people you will ever meet and have made me feel welcome. I am fortunate to know a number of people there so I am looked after well and kept away from any areas that may pose a high personal risk. But anyone going, make sure you research the area well and look at your Embassy website for advice.

Suntan
6 years, 1 month ago

I have to say my hubby is Venezuelan. I visited about 11 years ago and it was HORRIBLE then. I have gone twice and WON’T ever go again. Besides the DANGER….the people are RUDE and CRUEL. All they care about are “looks”. Apparently, that’s ALL those people have to offer! It made me sick. They look at women like a piece of meat. The women are stupid as hell and think all they have to offer is their bodies. It’s probably true, since all the girls I met were stupid as hell! Thank GOD I’m an American!!!!!!

gabriel
5 years, 8 months ago

Hello, caracas is very dangerous, but surprisingly montevideo uruguay and santiago chile are just as dangerous. At least montevideo I was robbed at gun point, I know of two others who have been mugged. Santiago chile, is not an y beter, yeah it has a nice modern feel , but it is dangerous, i was never mugged there, but the vioence is rising, especially the city of Valparaiso. Santiago has many diry parts, a dirty city which is really racist toward the “indios” when in fact the 80 percent of chle has indio in them. Sad but true, I prefer caracas over santiago anyday!!
(lived in santiago for two years, went ot school in montevideo, traveled to caracas, lima, guatemala city, and managua.)

Rumblefish
5 years, 2 months ago

This is a very accurate description of Caracas..im living here but im from nyc…so, the comment made below that “nyc is just as smelly, dirty, and dangerous” made me laugh so hard it hurt…although nyc does have harlem, washington heights, south bronx, a few places in bk and staten island which can be classified as “zona rojas,” nyc is as safe as disneyland compared to caracas…south of 96th street in nyc is perfectly safe…u can walk around at any time of day or night without having to look over your shoulder every 10 seconds to see if ur being targeted or followed, or both….

here, the divide between the rich and poor is a time bomb about to explode…Chavez throws fuel on the fire everyday…he takes control of the tv and radio waves so for hours a day, sometimes as many as 7. So if you don’t have a cd player or vcr/dvd, your only entertainment is Fidel Chavez…(i am by the way, also aware of that new invention called a book..just trying to make a point) he talks badly about anyone who has money…anyone who works hard in this country, who wants to provide their family with more than just the basic daily needs is considered the enemy…for example, my friend’s family owned farm land in the country side, and the government just took it away from them without any explanation…they then gave it to poorer families who had no idea had to farm…that land is now destroyed and generates no food…here in venezuela, 80% of their food is imported…hmm, i wonder why?…and if he’s not talking shit about the wealthy here, its America this or America that…and when he’s done with that, he talks about his childhood, his mother-in-law, his dog, swimming, the weather…i am not exaggerating one bit…i hope any venezuelan reading this will back me up…

dont get me wrong, im not against combating poverty…but as the old saying goes, give a man a fish and he’ll eat for a day or teach him how to fish and he’ll eat for a lifetime…this is in no way happening here…Chavez just gives them money…not education nor opportunity…like this little nugget, venezuela has spent upwards of $800 billion USD since Chavez came to power…where has it all gone?..if you answered the people, infrastructure, upgrading the oil industry machinery, agriculture, or anything useful to the country, u would be very, very wrong…he recently bought 12 diesel submarines from russia…who the hell would want a diesel submarine and for what purpose?…to combat poverty, you need to provide the people a means to provide for themselves..he keeps building up his military with outdated weaponry…and here in caracas, anyone who wanted to destroy the city would only have to plant 3 explosive devices in the 3 tunnels leading into the city…if those were destroyed, there would be no way in or out..everyone in the city who does not have a helicopter would die of starvation in a few weeks…

ive been to over 40 countries on every continent on the planet, excluding Antarctica, and i have to say that this is the worst system i have ever witnessed…even pdvsa, the national oil company that provides 80% of the real gdp of the country will go under in the next 12 months…how does the only oil company in a country filled with oil go under?…let’s break it down…in the states its around $3.00 a gallon nationally…here, its about 18 cents!…and that, if you can believe it, is not even the problem…pdvsa received upwards of $100 billion USD for future oil that they will supply to countries in asia, euro, and SA…yet pdvsa has not paid its suppliers in 4 months…they have back payments nearing $10 billion USD…i am no mathematician, but if you have a 100 and owe 10 it seems like a pretty easy equation….

like every country, city, town, etc., they all have their bright spots…i find that venezuelans are a great people…they often smile and are very friendly and go out of their way to help others…i speak spanish so not everyone knows im a gringo..when out and about i can ask someone for directions, and 3 people will come up to me to tell me exactly where to go…the food is very good…nothing better than a nice arepa with an ice cold beer on a beautiful sunny day…the beaches are very nice, albeit dangerous themselves at times…the weather is amazing…and the traffic is not that bad…(i lived in india and that is real traffic…3 kilometers in 90mins)…caracas is probably one of the worst choices for a holiday…u are not here long enough to make friends, so you’ll never get to see the beauty of the people…find your favorite local restaurant…you’ll only have you memories of being scared for your life, etc…not to mention all the beautiful natural surroundings..u have rain forests and mountains…waterfals, etc…really nice!

ok, ive written enough…my advice would be to skip caracas all together and head over to margarita…great place!…

VENEZUELAN AMERICAN
2 years, 11 months ago

dude….u mad ethe biggest mistake in teh world….GRINGO TRAVELLING ALONE. I am Venezuelan and 5 of my very lucky american friends will join MY TOUR of venezuela…an insider look…that’s teh way to go. I agree with you though. Caracas is a dump…but you don’t go there for a good time…You go to the amazing beaches and national parks like morrocy, mochima, and los roques. margarita island….sorry u just went to the smelly, dirty, and dangerous city caracas….just like any other city though in the world….NYC is just as smelly, dirty, and dangerous…

Caraqueno in NY
5 years ago

Man you are either blind or a dummie hahahahaha
How in the world you are going to Caracas alone?
You are traveling to southamerica not to europe, what did you expect from caracas?that you were going to be walking on a replica of Champs-Elysees or that you might get to see skycrappers like Dubai?
come on maaan!!
1st Caracas is not a safe place to do turist stuff, I am from there and I’ve lived there all my life and not even me do this type of stuff.Caracas is to spend the first night in Venezuela, period. If you are saying you went because of women, at least you should had gone with someone from there,and that person hook you up with a girl if that was the case. Caracas is not Tijuana that you are going to show up saying you are american and they are going to jump on you! believe me, you are american,not european LoL!!

Also the only thing you can find in caracas is heavy traffic jams, people with swingin moods, a lot of crime and a good nightlife, but very dangerous at the same time.

2nd Places to visit? Mochima national park, Morrocoy national park, los roques, Canaima, los testigos island, la blanquilla and maybe you can go by yourself to Margarita island. there are other places, but for americans that do not have tropical beaches, I would recommend those!

Next time you want to go for adventure, go to caracas, but if you want to do the sight-viewing as a regular joe, then go to Santiago de chile, buenos aires or rio de janeiro…not caracas!