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Venezuela Driving Guide

Venezuela is a unique beautiful country. Explore all of it by driving when you get your International Driving Permit

2021-08-03 · 9 mins

The Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, popularly known as “Venezuela,” is a country found in the northern end of South America. Venezuela boasts of beautiful sceneries from Mother Nature, as well as the rich and diverse wildlife. Visiting Venezuela for a nature retreat will surely leave you feeling refreshed.

Want to go on more blood-pumping activities? Venezuela is also an excellent place for aqua sports and hiking, offering a wide array of outdoor activities you can do. Venezuela’s culture is rich and colorful, enchanting all the visitors to learn more about their history and beliefs.

How Can This Guide Help You?

If you want to learn more about the beautiful country of Venezuela and how to get around, we’ve made a guide to help make your planning easier. Learn more about the country and find things to do, sights to see, and how to get around in Venezuela. Find out what you need in order to drive around in the country, what’s an International Driver’s Permit, and Venezuela’s road rules and driving culture.

General Information

Venezuela, a country in northern South America has Caracas as its capital. Being part of the world’s top seventeen megadiverse countries, Venezuela is home to most of Earth’s plant and animal species. Venezuela is also known for being rich in oil, being the country with the world’s largest oil reserves.

Geographic Location

Did you know that Venezuela’s location is very strategic for maritime trade? That’s because Venezuela borders the Caribbean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean, near sea routes that link North and South America. Not only that, but Venezuela is also neighbors with Brazil, Columbia, and Guyana, making the country a perfect pit stop for road trips across the Latin American countries. Because of the country’s geographic location and topography, Venezuela only has two seasons: Summer, which is from December to April, and rainy, which is from May to November.

Languages Spoken

Venezuela was once a Spain colony, which had greatly influenced the country’s language and culture. The official language of Venezuela is Spanish, but before the time of conquests, indigenous languages were greatly spoken throughout the country. Today, Venezuela is home to 40 different languages. Sadly, some indigenous dialects are now wiped out. Other languages spoken in the country are Portuguese, Italian, Chinese, Arabic, and English.

Despite the wide diversity of languages in the country, not everyone can speak English in Venezuela. The English language is introduced to the students when they reach high school, all the way until college. The Spanish spoken in Venezuela also has Caribbean influences to it, making it a little different from the Spanish spoken in Spain.

Land Area

Venezuela’s total land area is 916,445 km², making it the 33rd largest country in the world. To put it into perspective, Venezuela is larger than France and Germany combined. Venezuela also has some of the most amazing geology in the world, surrounded by seas, tepuis, and other mountains and rock formations. Venezuela is also home to breathtaking waterfalls, one of which is Angel Falls – the world’s highest waterfall.

History

European explorers like Christopher Columbus came to the country in the early 1940s and named it Venezuela, which means “Little Venice." Venezuela was once a place used by the Europeans for slave-hunting and pearl fishing. Spain eventually started putting up settlements and encomiendas, which later led to the country’s colonization. During Spain’s colonization, Roman Catholic missionaries propagated the religion; Catholicism now plays a big part in Venezuela’s culture.

After years of battles, Venezuela gained its independence under the leadership of Simón Bolívar in 1811. The country faced political problems in the succeeding years, with the leaders wanting to monopolize Venezuela’s natural resources. By 2014, Venezuela’s economy faced inflation and a shortage of goods, which led to protests and demonstrations. In 2020, although Venezuela’s economy is still not stable, local businesses have started opening again, and the country now has a “new free-market economy."

Government

Venezuela’s form of government is a federal presidential republic. The country’s chief of state and head of the government is the president, who will serve in the office for six years. The president is also responsible for appointing an executive vice president and a Council of State who acts as advisors to the president. When Hugo Chávez was elected president, the nation ushered in socialist reforms and a new political party called the United Socialist Party of Venezuela.

Unlike most countries, Venezuela’s legal voting age is 21 years old, but women were not allowed to vote until 1946. The country is also divided into 23 states and is headed by an elected governor. Each of these 23 states has its own legislative assemblies that are composed of representatives from the states’ districts.

Tourism

Venezuela is one of the most beautiful countries in South America. In 2017, Venezuela was the 12th most visited country in Latin America. Most of the tourists come to the country to enjoy its beautiful scenery and go on diving trips. Although tourism is not the primary source of income of the country as it only 0.11% of its GDP, the tourism sector of Venezuela contributed 2% of all international tourism receipts in the entire South America.

Depending on where you want to go, the best time to visit Venezuela differs. If you are planning on going on a hike to the beautiful waterfalls of the country, it is recommended to visit from May to November. If you want to bask in Venezuela’s sun while swimming on one of their stunning beaches, you should visit from December to April.

IDP FAQs

Driving in Venezuela is a wonderful experience and is the best way to get around the country. Before hitting the road, make sure you have the necessary driving requirements for Venezuela. An International Driver’s License (IDP) is a document that allows foreigners to legally drive cars in Venezuela. It also serves as a translation of your local driver’s license and as a supplementary document. Below are other things you need to know about IDP in Venezuela.

Is a Local Driver’s License Valid in Venezuela?

For foreigners planning on driving in this wonderful country, your local driver’s license is valid in Venezuela as long as it is not expired. You will also need to bring your IDP with you during your trip, so you can drive in the country. Although an IDP has all your driver’s license information, you cannot solely use the IDP when driving in Venezuela. Driving without your local driver’s license despite having an IDP will result in you being fined.

Does an IDP Replace Your Native Driver’s License?

An IDP is essentially a translation of your local driver’s license and does not replace your native driver’s license. You cannot also use your IDP without your local driver’s license. Although, an IDP can serve as a supplementary form of identification for more than 150 countries worldwide. You can even present your IDP, along with your valid ID like your passport, when making a transaction in Venezuela.

Can I Drive from Venezuela to Argentina?

Going on a road trip is one of the most common things travelers do when visiting South America. Although Venezuela is not a part of the famous Pan-American Highway, you can still drive to other countries, like driving from Venezuela to Argentina. You can use your IDP outside of Venezuela, but you also need to check the legal requirements for driving in all the countries you plan to pass by.

When driving in Venezuela, the requirements may be different from those of other countries. Some countries you will be driving to might ask for additional documents and have varying validity dates for your IDP. However, most South American countries will also ask for your local driver’s license, passport, IDP, and car rental documents.

What Are the Driving Requirements in Venezuela?

When driving in Venezuela, you need to have your local driver’s license, IDP, passport, and car rental, and insurance documents with you. Venezuela is a signatory of the 1949 Geneva Convention, which states that it allows an IDP to be valid in their country for one year from the date of arrival. You need to bring all these documents with you during your trip as road checkpoints are common.

Renting a Car in Venezuela

Driving in Venezuela by car is a great way to explore the country at your own pace as it gives you more comfort and control during your trip. When renting a car, remember to consider its features, size and capacity, and type. You need to consider the vehicle that would perfectly fit your adventures, although it is recommended that you get a 4x4 vehicle. Below are more things you need to know before renting a car in Venezuela.

Car Rental Companies

Various large car rental companies offer online car rental bookings so you can easily compare and find the perfect vehicle for your trip. Companies like Avis, Budget, and Hertz have branches in Venezuela. You also need to consider if your car rental company offers airport pick-ups like keddy by Europcar and Sunnycars Car Rental.

You can also opt for local car rental companies like UNIRENT Car Rental and Aco Alquiler. Most car rental companies offer walk-in transactions, but it is still best to book your car ahead of time. Other popular options for tourists are Amigo’s Car Rental, ACO Rent a Car, and Dickmanns car rental. It is recommended that you check your preferred car’s availability before you arrive in Venezuela for a faster and smoother transaction.

Documents Required

The driving requirements in Venezuela are the same as the car rental companies’ requirements for car rental. You will need to bring your local driver’s license, passport, and IDP with you when you are renting a car. If you are planning on staying longer than your IDP and visa’s validity, you will need a driving license in Venezuela to be able to rent a vehicle.

Vehicle Types

Car rental companies offer a variety of cars that could best fit your South American adventures. The most popular cars that are being rented in Venezuela are compact cars like the Hyundai Accent. However, you could also get bigger cars like pick-ups and SUVs. Most of the cars are automatic transmission, but you can also rent manual cars. It is also highly recommended that you choose a 4x4 which is perfect for the roads in Venezuela.

Car Rental Cost

Car rental costs in Venezuela would vary from company to company, depending on the type of car, insurance, and pick-up location. Availing extra add-ons like WiFi, GPS, car seats, and extra insurance will also affect the car’s rental cost. Your car rental company may also offer additional plans for your rental like Fuel Plans and Mileage Plans. We have listed below an estimate of the car rental costs in Venezuela.

  • Economy: $50/day
  • Medium: $60/day
  • Premium: $120/day
  • SUV: $100/day
  • Mini Van: $115/day
  • Pick-up Truck: $90/day

Age Requirements

The legal driving age in Venezuela is 18 years old but, you need to be 21 years old with at least one year of driving experience when renting a car. Most of the car rental companies will also charge you an Underage Driver’s fee if you are under 25 years old, so you need to double-check with your car rental company before booking your car. Some companies will not charge you with an Underage Driver’s fee but will ask for a bigger deposit, as they are hesitant in letting young drivers rent their vehicles.

Car Insurance Cost

Car insurance can provide ease of mind when driving in a foreign country, giving you that extra sense of protection as you are driving in Venezuela. Car insurance costs differ depending on your car rental company and the type of insurance and its coverage. Your car insurance cost can also vary if you are planning on going on a road trip outside the country, like driving from Venezuela to Argentina.

Car Insurance Policy

Most car rental companies will include Third-Party Liability insurance in your car rental, as it is mandatory in Venezuela. Be sure to double-check with your car rental company the inclusive car insurance in your rental to avoid double charges as some car rental companies may ask for additional payments. You can also avail of different car insurances like fire liability, theft protection, and collision damage waiver to your rental for an additional price.

Whether you are driving to Venezuela or driving in the country, you need to bring with you your car insurance papers along with your rental documents, IDP, local driver’s license, and passport. There are many checkpoints in Venezuela, and if you fail to present your documents, you will be fined. You also need to check the coverage of your insurance if you are allowed to go outside certain cities or areas in the country.

Road Rules in Venezuela

Before you start driving in a foreign country, you need to familiarize yourself with the country’s local road rules and regulations. Learning about Venezuela’s road rules will help prevent accidents and unwanted situations with the local authorities. Some road rules might be familiar to you, while some may not; with little adjustments, you’ll get used to driving in Venezuela in no time.

Important Regulations

Before you start driving in Venezuela, here are a few important regulations you need to remember to make your driving experience safer and smoother. Learning about these important regulations will prevent unwanted encounters with the local authorities while ensuring the safety of everyone on the road. Read more about these important regulations below.

Drunk-driving

Like most countries, you are not allowed to drink and drive in Venezuela. The country imposes a 0.08% blood alcohol limit for all the drivers – including professionals and young drivers. The local authorities perform breath-analyzer tests and random checkpoints throughout the country; if you are caught drunk-driving, you will be fined. In some cases, depending on the severity of the situation you are in, your license will be revoked, your car will be impounded, and you might even face a jail sentence.

Drunk driving in Venezuela has caused 8% of the road fatalities since 2009, with overspeeding and bad road conditions contributing to these fatalities. Because of this, the local authorities are now keener on implementing this law. There are also cameras along the highways that can record your driving speed, aiding the authorities in implementing the law.

Traveling with Children

Child seats are mandatory when you are traveling with children in Venezuela. There are certain types of child seats that are mandatory, depending on your child’s age. If your child is 15 months old to 3 years old, you need to use rear-facing child seats, while children aged 4 years old to 5 years old need to use forward-facing seats. Additionally, if your child is between 6 to 11 years old and weighs about 25 kgs, he or she needs to be seated on a booster seat.

Lastly, children who are 12 years of age are not allowed to sit in the front seat; they need to be seated in the rear on and on a booster cushion if they weigh about 35 kgs. Venezuela’s laws state that those who are found disobeying this will be fined around $66,000 to $132,000. There is also a chance of your license being suspended between 5 and 45 days.

Parking

Parking your car will not be a problem as there are many available parking spots, especially if you are driving in Caracas, Venezuela’s capital city. You need to keep in mind that you are not allowed to park in front of banks and at places with a yellow-colored sidewalk. It is suggested that you should not leave any valuables and important documents inside the car and that you should park your car in public areas as theft is a common occurrence.

It is highly recommended that you park your vehicle at the designated paid parking spots for the added security and ease of mind. Most of these paid parking areas are also time-limited, so you need to be aware of your parking duration to avoid additional fees. It would also be best if your car is insured with theft protection, so you will not be liable for anything during the worst-case scenarios.

Fuel Laws

Venezuela has the world’s largest oil reserve. For a period of time, fuel was essentially free for everyone, with people just tipping the workers instead of actually paying for the gas. However, it is different when you are driving in Venezuela now. Due to the oil crisis in the country and U.S. import restrictions, the distribution of fuel has been restricted.

You can still freely buy fuel for your car. However, there are times when it will not be readily available. The fuel prices today are now limited and subsidized by the government, so be sure to check driving in Venezuela updates before you set off on your trip. It is best to have your car fully topped-up before you start driving around the country.

General Standards of Driving

When driving in Venezuela, it is important to learn about their general standards of driving. Learning about the general standards of driving in the country will help you learn more about how the locals drive in the country and how you can adapt and adjust yourself to their driving style. Most Venezuelans prefer 4x4 SUVs and Pick-ups but don’t be afraid to choose another car that best fits your travel.

Speed Limits

Over speeding is one of the main causes of road accidents and fatalities in Venezuela, especially during the night. It is essential that you follow the speed limits of the country to avoid accidents and run-ins with the police. The local authorities are stationed throughout the country to check your speed using speed guns, and there are several cameras placed on the highways that could also check your speed. If you are caught over speeding, you will be fined and possibly penalized, depending on the severity of the situation.

Venezuela has differing speed limits depending on the area. In urban areas, the maximum speed limit is 60km/h. The maximum speed limit for rural areas is 80 km/h and 120 km/h for highways. Despite the speed limits in place, it is still recommended that drivers should practice defensive driving, especially young drivers. Driving below the speed limit will give you more time to react and avoid accidents and collisions.

Seatbelt Laws

Just like in other countries, wearing seatbelts are mandatory in Venezuela. Everyone, especially children, is required to be buckled up before you start driving. Anyone caught without a seatbelt will be fined.

In 2017, it was reported that one of the leading causes of death in Venezuela is due to road accidents. An average of 36 deaths per day due to road accidents have been recorded; some of them could have been prevented if they wore seatbelts, with fatality risks being lowered by 45% to 50%. Because of this, the local authorities are keener in implementing the local seatbelt law.

Driving Directions

When driving in roundabouts, driving directions in Venezuela can be easy to figure out as there are road signs indicating the flow of traffic. There should also be signs on the road indicating who has priority on the road, so be sure to check your surroundings. Despite the presence of road signs, you should still be cautious as some drivers tend to ignore these road signs.

Traffic Road Signs

Most of the road signs in Venezuela are similar to other countries. One big difference you will notice is that some road signs have the instructions for the drivers written on them but in Spanish. Luckily, most of the symbols on the road signs are similar to those in your home country, as Venezuela is a signatory of the United Nations Vienna Convention on Road Signs and Signals, like most of the countries in the world. Below are some road signs you should familiarize yourself with.

Warning signs in Venezuela are there to inform the drivers of potentially dangerous situations ahead. These signs can either be in yellow, red, or white and in a shape of a diamond. Warning signs include:

  • Ferrocarril (railway ahead) signs
  • Pare (stop and give way) sign
  • Traffic light ahead sign
  • Road with two-way traffic sign
  • Give way ahead sign
  • Pedestrian crossing signs
  • Speed bump signs

Priority signs tell drivers who have priority on the road ahead. They are usually in a shape of a diamond with a yellow background. Priority signs include:

  • Roundabout sign
  • Uncontrolled crossroad sign
  • Uncontrolled crossroad with a road from the right sign
  • Give way to all drivers sign
  • Give way ahead sign

Prohibitory signs tell drivers and pedestrians what they should not do on the road. These signs are usually in a shape of a circle or upright rectangle with a red border surrounding the sign. Prohibitory signs include:

  • No parking sign
  • No entry sign
  • No motorcycles allowed sign
  • Cars prohibited sign
  • Pedestrians prohibited sign
  • No U-turn sign
  • No left-turn sign

Mandatory signs, on the other hand, tell drivers and pedestrians what they should do on the road. These signs are usually in a shape of a circle with a blue background. Mandatory signs include:

  • Passing right mandatory sign
  • Passing left or right mandatory sign
  • Mandatory left turn sign
  • Pedestrians and bicycles lane sign

Lastly, Information signs tell the drivers about the road situation ahead. They are usually in the shape of a rectangle and have a blue background. Information signs include:

  • One-way traffic sign
  • Route sign
  • General street directions sign
  • Parking allowed sign (symbolized by a letter E)
  • Dead end ahead sign
  • Begin of a motorway sign

Right of Way

When driving in a foreign country, it is important to learn their road right of way. This will help you avoid accidents and unwanted confrontations with other drivers and pedestrians. In Venezuela, the road signs will indicate who has the right of way. Generally, vehicles that are already inside the roundabout have the right of way. At road junctions, you need to check if there is a Give Way sign before speeding straight ahead. Lastly, pedestrians do not have the right of way, so be careful when stopping at crosswalks as it may cause accidents.

The legal driving age in Venezuela differs depending on the vehicle the driver is planning to operate. When driving in Venezuela by car, the legal driving age is 18 years old, but if the driver is planning on using a motorcycle, he or she can apply for a driving license in Venezuela at 16 years old. Despite this, you are not allowed to rent a vehicle if you are not yet 21 years old. You will also need to have at least one year of driving experience to be able to rent a car in Venezuela.

Laws on Overtaking

Overtaking in Venezuela may seem daunting, especially with drivers speeding past you. Before overtaking, you need to check if you are allowed to do so as there might be signs on the road prohibiting you from doing so. In Venezuela, you will be driving on the right side of the road, so overtaking will be done on the left.

There will be certain roads in Venezuela that will only have two lanes. Before overtaking, make sure that you have enough space, you are using the proper signal indicators, and that you are allowed to overtake in the area. Always remember to keep vigilant and follow the road rules to avoid being pulled over by the local police.

Driving Side

Like most of the countries in the world, you will be driving on the right side of the road in Venezuela with the driver’s seat positioned on the left side of the vehicle. If you are coming from a country that drives on the left side of the road, you will need to practice defensive driving in Venezuela. Give yourself time to adjust and adapt to Venezuela's driving style to ensure everyone’s safety.

To make your driving in Venezuela easier, you may opt to rent a vehicle with automatic transmission. Most people may find automatic cars simpler to use, giving you fewer things to worry about when driving. Using automatic cars will also let you focus more on your vehicle’s speed and road position, helping you adjust quicker to driving in Venezuela.

Driving Etiquette in Venezuela

Facing unwanted situations may sometimes be unavoidable. During these situations, it is best to be prepared and learn about what to do. Below are some unwanted situations you might face when driving in Venezuela and tips on how to overcome them.

Car Breakdown

An unwanted car breakdown may happen anytime, so it is best to be prepared during these situations. When driving in Venezuela, you are required to bring a spare tire, wheel block, jack wrench, and a reflective warning triangle. If your vehicle breaks down, try to move it to the side of the road to avoid obstructing the lane and use the warning triangle to inform other drivers of your situation. If your car experiences a flat tire, you will have to be responsible for changing them unless your car rental plan includes this type of roadside assistance.

For major car breakdowns, you have to inform your car rental company immediately of your situation. They will assist you and even provide towing service if the situation calls for it. You will also need to use the reflective warning triangle provided by your rental company.

Police Stops

Police stops are very common in Venezuela, with police officers stationed throughout the country. During these times, remember to stay calm and cooperate with them. When encountering police stops at night, don’t forget to turn on your vehicle’s interior light. You will need to prepare your documents beforehand to make these regular inspections quicker and hassle-free.

The officers will ask for your local driver’s license, passport, IDP, car rental and insurance papers, and the frame or motor number – you will need to ask your car rental company where you can find these. Before handing your documents to the officer, make sure the person is wearing a uniform. Additionally, if they will ‘fine’ you, try to refuse or ask for a receipt. It is also best that you call the local police by dialing 911 or 171 when you encounter suspicious people.

Asking Directions

Venezuelans pride themselves on being hospitable, so don’t be shy in asking the locals for directions. Some locals are not that fluent in English, so you can try asking for directions in basic Spanish by saying Por favor, estoy perdido, which means excuse me, I am lost. You can also ask them if they speak English by saying Habla inglés? If you are unsure or reluctant to ask for directions, you can opt to purchase a driving in Venezuela map or get a rental car with GPS.

Checkpoints

Checkpoints, along with police stops in Venezuela, are frequent and are usually conducted by the National Guard. When encountering a checkpoint, you need to do a full stop and roll your windows down enough for you to be visible. You will also need to prepare your driving documents, car rental documents and insurance papers, and the frame or motor number of your vehicle.

If you are not able to show the authorities the documents, your car will be confiscated and impounded. You will also face a fine or penalty, depending on the situation. It is also important to remember that you are not allowed to take any pictures of military outposts, checkpoints, and the Presidential Palace. If you are caught doing so, you will be fined and may even face penalization.

Other Tips

During your adventures in Venezuela, you might also experience other unwanted situations that may be scary, especially if you are in a foreign country. We have prepared for you some tips on how to handle and overcome these situations.

In Case of Accidents

If you are involved in an accident, you need to call the local authorities immediately by dialing 911. You are not allowed to move your vehicle until the traffic enforcers arrive so that they can properly assess the situation. You will also need to call your car rental company as they will give you instructions regarding your car insurance. Remember to try and keep your cool and explain the situation clearly to the authorities.

For bigger accidents where one is injured, you need to call the local medical services immediately by also dialing 911 or 171. The operator will connect you to the necessary emergency department, so you need to give all the necessary information as clearly as you can. If they ask for your location and you are unsure, try mentioning the nearest landmark in the area and describe your location as best as you can.

Driving Conditions in Venezuela

Aside from the driving rules and etiquette observed in Venezuela, it is also best to learn about the country’s driving conditions. Learning about Venezuela’s driving conditions will help you prepare better for what’s in store when driving in this exciting country. It will also prepare you for any possible conditions and difficulties you may face while driving.

Accident Statistics

Vehicular accidents are one of the main leading causes of death in Venezuela, with over 40.79 deaths per 100,000 of the population. In 2018, it was reported by the World Health Organization that Venezuela ranks 14 in the world for the most fatalities in road accidents. The most common causes for these accidents are overspeeding and negligence.

You would still need to practice defensive driving and exercise caution when driving in Venezuela now, but it has been relatively safer than the previous years. The local authorities are constantly patrolling to apprehend those who disobey the traffic laws, helping the number of road fatalities go down.

Common Vehicles

The common vehicles you can see in Venezuela are sedans and SUVs but don’t be too surprised to be driving alongside buses and trucks. Used cars are also more commonly used by the locals because of the difficulty the country has in importing goods. These used cars are sometimes seen as an investment, as their value also rises alongside the country’s inflation rate. You can also find locals driving either manual or automatic transmission cars, depending on their preference.

Toll Roads

Currently, there are no toll roads in Venezuela, as they have stopped functioning. The government is considering reviving their toll roads because they can help in easing the traffic of the country. If you are planning your driving in Venezuela itinerary now, you can drive to the different cities in the country while only encountering checkpoints and police stops. You can use this opportunity to fully explore Venezuela’s nooks and crannies, but don’t forget to check the driving in Venezuela updates from time to time to see if the toll roads are functioning again.

Road Situation

Venezuela’s road system is sometimes said as one of the best in Latin America, making driving in the country the best way to see all its sights and wonders. Most of the roads are in good condition, but there are also certain areas with only dirt and gravel roads. When visiting the country from May to October - Venezuela’s rainy season - some parts of the road may be filled with soil and potholes from the landslides, so it is best to rent a 4x4 vehicle.

It is also best to refrain from driving at night. Accident and crime rates in Venezuela are higher during nighttime, as there are certain areas where there are no streetlights. Some of the roads are also damaged and are only marked by stacked rocks, making them difficult to be seen in the dark.

Driving Culture

Some of the Venezuelans are impatient drivers, earning the locals a reputation for their driving culture. There are some instances where locals will suddenly overtake cars and drive while being intoxicated. Because of this, you need to exercise caution and drive slowly; don’t be afraid to practice defensive driving and going below the speed limit, especially when you are still adjusting to the country’s driving culture.

There will also be instances where motorcycles will suddenly cut you off or when some of the drivers will not yield at intersections. You still need to follow the local driving rules despite some of the locals doing the opposite. Following the road rules will help avoid accidents on the road and prevent confrontations with the local authorities.

Other Tips

There are still some things you need to learn about when driving in Venezuela to ensure you have a great and comfortable time. Here are a few tips and reminders that could make your trip to Venezuela easier.

Driving in Caracas

When you are planning on driving in Caracas, Venezuela’s capital city, you may find it very different from the driving conditions of the other cities in the country. The traffic in Caracas is heavier, with traffic jams that could go on for hours at a time. Traffic jams are also when a lot of robberies by armed motorcyclists happen; you need to call the authorities immediately when you see suspicious people in the area.

It is also not recommended that you park your car in public places in Caracas. There are some instances where cars have been robbed or damaged when parked at the free parking spaces in the city, so it is better if you opt for paid parking. It is also recommended that you get additional insurance for theft protection for your rental car.

Driving To Venezuela

If you are planning on driving to Venezuela using your own car, you need to take note of the necessary entry documents, as well as the driving in Venezuela requirements. The Pan-American Highway stops at Panama, so you will need to transport your car on a ferry to reach Venezuela. You can also enter the country through the Venezuela-Colombia border on Troncal 10 south; you can bring a driving map for Venezuela so you won't get lost.

Below are the documents you will need to prepare. Please take note that you also need to bring at least 2 photocopies of each requirement.

  • Local driver’s license
  • Proof of car ownership
  • Certificate of vehicle use from the Venezuelan embassy in your country
  • Four copies of the bill of lading
  • Bill of sale with vehicle chassis number and car price
  • Clean deed of ownership
  • Insurance and registration documents
  • International driver’s permit

Things To Do in Venezuela

If you fell in love with the country and are planning on staying long term, then you’re in luck because there are still a lot of things you could do in this wonderful country. Before taking the plunge and booking your tickets, you need to consider a few more things and prepare the necessary documents. We have prepared a short guide for you for your next Venezuelan adventure.

Drive as a Tourist

Tourists are allowed to drive in Venezuela as long as they have the necessary documents and meet the legal driving age requirement. When driving, you need to bring with you your local driver’s license, IDP, and passport; if you are planning on renting a car, you need to also bring the vehicle’s insurance papers and car rental documents. The legal driving age in Venezuela is 18 years old, but you need to be at least 21 years old to be able to rent a vehicle.

Work as a Driver

If you want to start working as a driver professionally in Venezuela, you will need to apply for the necessary documents like a work permit for Venezuela and government authorization documents. You will be assisted by your employer when applying for a work permit, while government authorization letters vary depending on your home country’s Venezuelan consulate.

Typically, drivers in Venezuela can earn as much as 42,600 VES per month. Generally, the lowest one can earn as a driver would be 21,300 VES per month, and the highest would be 66,100 VES. Your salary rate will all depend on your employer, your years of experience, and your educational attainment. The most common driving jobs you can get in Venezuela are truck driving and courier delivery drivers.

Work as a Travel Guide

If you know your way in Venezuela like a local, why not apply for work as a travel guide? Travel guides in Venezuela typically earn 84,800 VES per month, depending on the location, company, and work experience. Generally, the lowest salary one can earn as a travel guide is 45,000 VES per month, while 129,000 VES is the highest.

If you want to work as a travel guide, you will also need a work permit and government authorization letters from your local Venezuelan consulate. Work permits in Venezuela are only valid for a year, so you need to renew your visa annually. You will also need to get the proper vaccinations for malaria and yellow fever before flying to Venezuela.

Apply for Residency

Technically, there is no permanent resident status in Venezuela, but you can apply for a residence status. Applying for residency in Venezuela can be done if you have lived and worked in the country for five years and by providing documents – other than your passport – that show proof of your stay. If you are granted residence status in Venezuela, you are given almost all the same rights as a citizen, with the exception of participation in national elections and activities. You will also need to renew your residence status every five years.

Foreigners that are given residence status in Venezuela are also issued national identity cards, but they are slightly different from the national identity cards for the citizens. If you want to apply for citizenship in Venezuela, you need to legally stay in the country for ten years or be married to a Venezuelan citizen for five years or more. Spouses of Venezuelan citizens are not required to reside in the country.

Lastly, for nationals from Spain and other Latin American countries, you only need to legally stay in Venezuela for five years in order to apply for citizenship. However, the process of applying for a work permit for Venezuela is still the same as for those living outside Latin America. All applications for residency and citizenship are granted by the Dirección de Extranjería, a branch of the Venezuelan Ministry of the Interior and Justice.

Other Things to Do

There are still a lot of things you can do if you are planning on staying long-term in Venezuela, as the country is filled with many opportunities and wonders you can still uncover. Below are some other things you can also do when staying long-term in Venezuela.

Other Work Opportunities

There are many other work opportunities in Venezuela that are open to foreigners. English teachers are in-demand in Venezuela, and you can apply if you are from a country that considers English as a second language or if you are very fluent in the language. The salary ranges differ depending on the company, but you can expect to earn 400 USD to 600 USD a month.

During your stay, take note of the zip codes while driving in Venezuela. The country produces beautiful postcards for you to send back home - some are now even rare collectibles. You can opt to collect and sell the postcards online which can range from 26 USD to 175 USD, depending on the rarity. While driving in Venezuela, zip codes you might encounter for your postcards are 1011, 1061, and 1080.

The Top Destinations in Venezuela

Venezuela is one of the countries in the world that is filled with natural beauty and wonder. Some of these destinations are highlights of South America, making Venezuela a must-visit country when traveling to the continent. Plan your driving in Venezuela itinerary with these top destinations in the country.

Angel Falls

If you’re an avid Disney fan, you may have heard of the famous Paradise Falls from the movie “Up”. Paradise Falls was inspired by Venezuela’s Angel Falls, the world’s highest uninterrupted waterfall. This breathtaking waterfall has nearly a kilometer drop from the summit and then flows into Venezuela’s Orinoco River System. Angel Falls was declared as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1994. Today, you can visit the falls while exploring Canaima National Park.

Driving Directions:

  1. From Simón Bolívar International Airport, get on Autopista Caracas – La Guiara.
  2. Head west to Vía Catia Lamar and stay on the road.
  3. Merge onto Av La Armada and take the ramp to Autoposta Caracas – La Guiara.
  4. Take Route 9 to Vía Luepa in Bolívar.
  5. Keep left and stay on Autopista Caracas – La Guiara.
  6. Exit onto Autopista Cacique Guaicaipuro.
  7. Stay on the road, then exit onto Route 9.
  8. Continue on Route 9 until you merge onto Route 16.
  9. Stay on Route 16 until the ramp to Via Palital – La Viuda.
  10. Take the ramp to Via Palital – La Viuda then continue onto Puente Orinoquia until the exit.
  11. Keep left, then take the ramp onto Route 19.
  12. At the roundabout, take the second exit onto Av. Jose Gumilla.
  13. Turn left onto Route 19.
  14. Make a right onto Route 10 and enter the roundabout onto Route 10.
  15. Merge onto Route 10 and turn right onto Vía Luepa.
  16. Continue on the road until you reach Canaima National Park.

Things to Do

Angel Falls has a lot in store for those willing to visit. Here are a few things you can do when visiting this one-of-a-kind tourist destination.

a. Visit the falls

Go on a trek to get to mirador or the overlook where you can get the best view of Angel Falls. This 90-minute hike will pass through streams and forests before reaching the base of Angel Falls. It is best to visit the falls during the rainy season, from June to November, to see the falls in their full glory.

b. Check out Laguna de Canaima

Laguna de Canaima is a lagoon found inside Canaima National Park where the water from the clusters of waterfalls flows in to. Laguna de Canaima is known for its red and pink hues due to the decomposing plants and organisms. This lagoon is surrounded by palm trees and pinkish sandy banks, making the place picturesque.

c. Join a Boat Tour

A number of tour agencies offer boat tour services for the visitors of Canaima National Park. Boat tours let you get close to some of the waterfalls in the national park, as well as giving you a glimpse of the rapids surrounding the area. Going on boat tours is a great way of exploring Canaima National Park, as there are certain areas that are only accessible by water transportation.

d. Observe the birds at the Canaima National Park

Canaima National Park is home to 29 rare birds which are endemic to the park. Some famous birds in the park are the Roraiman Nightjar, Tepui Goldenthroat, Streak-backed Antshrike, and the Western Wood-Pewee. The national park is bigger than Belgium, so there are a lot of untouched places where you can find these birds roaming around.

e. Go Animal Spotting

Canaima National Park is also home to many animals, including five endangered species. Here, you can try to spot jaguars, giant river otters, two-toed sloths, and ocelots. Remember, when going animal spotting, it is important that you maintain your distance and not disturb the wild animals. You also need to remember to clean after yourself, don’t leave trash in the area to help protect the animals and the ecosystem in the park.

Morrocoy National Park

Morrocoy National Park is a 32,090-acre park that is home to pristine beaches, beautiful islands, and diverse wildlife. Most of the visitors frequent the national park to unwind and enjoy the natural beauty of the seas surrounding the area. Here you can go on many outdoor activities like diving, boating, and even hiking.

Driving Directions:

  1. From Simón Bolívar International Airport, get on Autopista Caracas – La Guiara.
  2. Head west towards Vía Catia La Mar.
  3. Merge onto Av La Armada and continue until the ramp.
  4. Take the ramp onto Autopista Caracas - La Guaira.
  5. Continue onto Route 1.
  6. Take the ramp to Autopista Valencia – Puerto Cabello.
  7. At the roundabout, take the first exit onto Route 3.
  8. Stay on Route 3 until you reach Morrocoy National Park.

Things to Do

Here is a list of things you could do when visiting Morrocoy National Park.

a. Go diving and discover different marine species

Morrocoy National Park is frequented by divers because of its clear blue waters and vast coral reefs. Go on a dive and encounter the different fishes and marine life living on the Morrocoy; don’t forget to be careful and avoid touching the coral reefs to prevent stressing them.

b. Swim at the beaches in Morrocoy National Park

The beaches in Morrocoy National Park pride themselves on their white sand, taking away your stress and fatigue the moment you step foot on the beautiful coastline. Go on a swim on the beach’s shallow waters and calm waves to make the most out of your relaxing get-away.

c. Go on a Boat Ride

Morrocoy National Park is surrounded by cays and islands that are accessible by riding a boat. You can either rent your own boat or join tours that will take you to the famous Keys islands and enjoy the beaches. There are also certain cays and islands where you can either take a dip, go diving, or simply anchor your boat and enjoy the scenery.

d. Enjoy birdwatching

Despite being known for its beaches, Morrocoy National Park is also home to different species of birds. There is also a forest inside the park that is home to 266 species of birds – including seabirds like cormorants and pelicans. You can also spot vulnerable species like flamingoes and palette herons.

Maracaibo

Maracaibo is Venezuela’s second-largest city and is the best place to go for shopping and nightlife adventures. Maracaibo became an important part of Venezuela after it became an oil metropolis, thus strengthening the city’s development. Maracaibo is also the place to be if you want to learn about Venezuela’s history and culture, boasting of museums, European architecture, and libraries.

Driving Directions:

  1. From Airport La Chinita, drive along Av. Don Manuel Belloso.
  2. Stay on Av. Don Manuel Belloso.
  3. Turn right onto Carr. Via Aeoropuerto.
  4. Continue driving straight onto Avenida Libertador.
  5. Turn left while staying on Avenida Libertador.
  6. Continue straight until you reach the city center.

Things to Do

Maracaibo offers different activities for travelers of all ages. Here is a list of things you can do when visiting the city.

a. Have fun at a waterpark

Maracaibo is home to a 70,000 sqm waterpark called Aqauaventura. Here, visitors of all ages get to enjoy different amenities, from hitting the gym to sliding down giant waterslides. There are also shallow pools for younger visitors where they can relax under mushroom fountains.

b. Walk through Calle Carabobo

Calle Carabobo is a walking street lined with colorful houses and traditional bars. The architecture in Calle Carabobo reflects the European influence Maracaibo was once under. Today, it has now become one of the places where you can buy delicious local delicacies while learning about the city’s history.

c. Drop by Basílica de Nuestra Señora del Rosario de Chiquinquirá

Basilica de Nuestra Señora del Rosario de Chiquinquirá is one of the symbols of Maracaibo, erected to celebrate the patron saint of Zulia. This church features beautiful statues and intricate interiors. Here, you can also view the image of the Virgin Mary, which is said to have miraculously appeared in 1709.

d. Visit Museo de Arte contemporaneo Maczul.

Museo de Arte contemporaneo Maczul is a contemporary museum in Maracaibo that features various exhibits of oil paintings, photographs, and sculptures. One of the highlights of the museum is its outdoor areas where you can relax and enjoy the greenery, making it the perfect escape from the hustle and bustle of the city. The museum is closed every Monday and Tuesday and offers free street parking.

e. Shop at Costa Verde Centro Comercial.

Costa Verde Centro Comercial is a large shopping mall that houses a wide variety of stores – from souvenir shops and restaurants to theaters and trendy clothing stores. In the center of the mall, there is an open area that mimics the beauty of the rainforests in Venezuela. Whether you’re there for a quick bite or for a huge shopping spree, Costa Verde Centro Comercial has got you covered.

Barquisimeto

Visit Barquisimeto, the capital of Lara and the musical capital of Venezuela, for unique destinations and hidden gems. Barquisimeto is an up-and-coming tourist hotspot in the country where you can learn more about Venezuela’s history and culture while enjoying the city’s modernity. Barquisimeto is also one of Venezuela’s oldest cities and is sometimes called “City of the Twilight” because of the beautiful sunsets in the city.

Driving Directions:

  1. From Airport Valencia, get on Route 1.
  2. Head east on Avenida Iribarren Borges.
  3. Turn right onto Av Ernesto Branger.
  4. Take the ramp onto Autopista Regional del Centro/Route 1.
  5. Keep left and merge onto Autopista Valencia – Puerto Cabello.
  6. At the roundabout, take the third exit onto Autopista Valencia – Puerto Cabello.
  7. Follow Autopista Valencia – Puerto Cabello until you merge with Autopista Cimarrón Andresote.
  8. Turn right onto Avenida Los Leones.
  9. Make a left turn onto Calle 54.
  10. Turn right, then follow the road to the city center.

Things to Do

Below is a list of things you can do when visiting the city.

a. Drop by Museo de Barquisimeto.

Check out the artworks of both local and foreign artists at Museo de Barquisimeto, located inside one of the historical buildings in the city. The museum was originally a hospital in the early 90s and was later demolished. Due to public protests, the building was then restored and made into a museum. You can also visit the chapel inside the courtyard of the building.

b. Check out La Flor de Venezuela.

La Flor de Venezuela is a unique pavilion that lets visitors observe different plants and marine life of Venezuela. This pavilion is not only frequented by visitors because of the displays but also for its roof. The pavilion’s roof is made out of 16 giant flower petals that would move around depending on the weather; on rainy days, you will see these petals closing the pavilion and then opening back up when its sunny.

c. See the animals at Parque Zoologico y Botanico Bararida.

Barquisimeto’s own zoo is a place to be if you want to see a wide array of wild animals from around the globe. The zoo was originally built to help educate the people about wild animals and how to protect them. Check out the rhinos, tigers, camels, and other wild animals while learning about the importance of preserving and protecting their ecosystem.

d.Visit the unique Monumento Manto de María.

Monumento Manto de María is a well-known giant artwork depicting the Virgin Mary. What’s unique about this 203 feet-structure is not its size but how it works. Monumento Manto de María is the largest kinetic sculpture in the world, and you can only see the image of the Virgin Mary at certain angles while you’re circling the monument.

e. See the giant sundial.

Check out Monumento Al Sol Naciente, a 262-foot kinetic sundial in Barquisimeto. The “rays” or dials of the sundial are inspired by the sun and can be observed from different angles. Since it is a sundial, the shadows and dials change their appearance throughout the day, depending on the time.

Henri Pittier National Park

Henri Pittier National Park is Venezuela’s oldest national park, boasting of its diverse ecosystem. This national park is frequented by researchers studying the area’s flora and fauna as there are over 30,000 plants and more than 500 species of birds living in the national park. Park conservation and environmental awareness projects are underway to help protect this important national park.

Driving Directions:

  1. From Airport Valencia, head east on Avenida Iribarren towards Acceso Aeropuerto.
  2. Turn left and stay on Avenida Iribarren Borges.
  3. Make a right turn onto Av Ernesto Branger.
  4. Take the ramp onto Autopista Regional del Centro
  5. Keep left and continue on Route 1.
  6. Take the exit towards Av. Bolívar.
  7. Turn left, then right.
  8. Make a slight left onto Avenida Universidad.
  9. Turn right, then turn left onto Av. Sucre.
  10. At the roundabout, take the first exit onto Carr. Castaño.
  11. Continue onto Choron.
  12. Turn left toward Carretera Maracay.
  13. Continue on the road until you reach Henri Pittier, National Park.

Things to Do

Here are a few things you can do when visiting Henri Pittier National Park.

a. Spot different bird species at the Henri Pittier National Park

Henri Pittier National Park is famous for birdwatchers for being one of the best places in Venezuela to spot rare and endemic birds; the area being identified as an Important Bird and Biodiversity Area (IBA). You can try to spot 500 different birds with 22 species endemic to the region.

b. Go sunbathing, diving, or swimming by the beach

Despite being known for its rainforest, Henri Pittier National Park is also home to beautiful coastlines and beaches where you can take a dive or go sunbathing. Be sure to clean up after yourself when visiting the beach, as there are many animals inside the park that can get into your garbage.

c. Go on a guided tour inside the park

You can go on a guided tour inside the national park to get a closer look at the different flora and fauna inside. The guided tour will help you learn about the different species and characteristics of the plants while helping you spot the different animals. Going on a tour will also help educate you about the importance of the ecosystem inside the park and how you can help preserve it.

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