Getting to know Venezuela’s urban spirit mainly goes through understanding Caracas, its capital city.
Even though Caracas is not one of the top touristic destinations of Venezuela –a country which accounts for some of the most amazing natural spots of the world-, Caracas is a very interesting city to visit, as it is the perfect example of why Venezuela is often called a “land of contrasts”.
Caracas is located in a beautiful valley, surrounded by the presence of the Mount Avila, an impressive mountain that separates the city from the Caribbean Sea and shapes most of Caracas’ landscape, and which is easily reached by taking a very modern cable car that goes all the way from the mountain base to the “Avila Magica” park, which is situated at the top of the mountain. The city is the perfect example of Venezuela’s lifestyle, as it displays staggering inequalities of wealth, ranging from very poor neighborhoods at the west of the city called “barrios”, to the modern business district of Altamira, or even the huge mansions of the eastern rich neighborhoods.
The city’s streets and highways are always crowded with vehicles, as Venezuela has the cheapest gasoline in the world, creating pollution and big traffic lines in almost all of the inner city motorways. Nevertheless Caracas’ subway system is one of the best of all Latin America.
One of the city’s most important aspects are the warmth and happiness of its inhabitants, their love of the beach and partying, and their welcoming nature, (even though it’s advisable to be patient when it comes to deal with public servants, as they can be sometimes very rude).
Entertainment and Nightlife
Caracas is a very cosmopolite city, especially known for its gastronomic offer, having restaurants and bars from almost all countries and cultures, somehow a consequence of the great amount of immigrants the city received after the Second World War from both Europe and the Middle East.
The city is filled with modern malls and department stores, being the first ones the favorite destination for the locals when it comes to hit the streets. As some of the city’s streets are not so safe to transit during the night, most of the nightlife is concentrated in malls and specific sectors of the city, like “San Ignacio Mall” or “Las Mercedes” and “La Castellana” districts, whose streets display the majority of the trendiest and most famous clubs and restaurants of the city, resembling some of the continent’s best nightlife.
People usually party until 4 or 5 o’clock in the morning, so it’s advisable to take a cab when staying till late hours, in order to avoid any kind of inconveniences.
Caracas has a tropical climate with very little variation between summer and winter temperatures. Set in a valley some 900 meters above sea level, its climate is often described as its best feature: never cold, seldom too hot. Average daily temperature in summer range from a minimum of 18°C (64F) to a maximum of 28°C (82F). Winter temperatures are only two to three degrees cooler. Most rainfall occurs during the period from May to November and may be accompanied by electrical storms.
The government of Venezuela implemented rigid foreign exchange controls in 2003, including a fixed official rate of exchange against the U.S. dollar. Foreign exchange transactions must take place through exchange houses or commercial banks at the official rate. Sadly, it is no longer possible to exchange money at hotels. Currency exchange for tourists can be arranged at "casas de cambio" (exchange houses), located near most major hotels. It is also possible to exchange money at commercial banks; however, tourists should be aware that the exchange would not be immediate. Exchanges through commercial banks must first be approved by the Commission for Administration of Foreign Currencies (CADIVI). This requires a registration process, which delays the exchange. The exchange control mechanisms also require the exchange houses and commercial banks to obtain authorization from CADIVI to trade Bolívares Fuertes (BsF, the local currency) into U.S. dollars or Euros.
Travelers will likely encounter Venezuelans who are willing to exchange Bolívares Fuertes for U.S. dollars or Euros at a rate significantly higher than the official rate of exchange. These "parallel market" currency exchanges are prohibited under the Venezuelan foreign exchange controls. Travelers engaging in such activity may be detained by the Venezuelan authorities if they are denounced. Additionally, in accordance with an October 2005 law, any person who exchanges more than 10,000 U.S. dollars (or its equivalent in other currencies) in the course of a year through unofficial means is subject to a fine of double the amount exchanged. If the amount exceeds 20,000 U.S. dollars the penalty is two to six years imprisonment. Any person who transports more than 10,000 U.S. dollars into or out of Venezuela by any means must declare this amount to customs officials.
Credit cards are generally accepted at most establishments, but foreign exchange controls have made foreign credit card use less common than in the past, mostly because of the unfavorable official exchange rate. Visa, MasterCard, American Express and Diners Club have representatives in Venezuela. Due to the prevalence of credit card fraud, travelers should exercise caution in using their credit cards and should check statements regularly to ensure that no unauthorized charges have been made. Caracas has ATMs with 24-hour service where users may withdraw local currency, but many of these ATMs will likely not accept foreign-issued debit cards.
Maiquetía's Simón Bolívar Airport has three passenger terminals  (Internacional, Nacional and Auxiliar) and is 25 km away from central Caracas via a highway through the coastal mountains. A new road bridge, replacing one that collapsed in 2006, came into service in July 2007, ending months of tortuous journeys to and from the airport. The trip to Caracas should now take around 40 minutes or up to 60-70 minutes during rush hour.
This international airport is served by American Airlines, Aeropostal, Aerolíneas Argentinas, Avianca, Aero República, Alitalia, Air France, Air Canada, Continental, Delta, Iberia, LAN, TACA and Varig among others. Non stop flights are available to and from Miami, New York, Atlanta, Dallas, Houston, Madrid, Paris, Roma, Milano, Frankfurt, Lisbon, Aruba, Bogotá, Medellín, Panamá City, Lima, Fort de France, Toronto and other cities.
Taxi fares are usually at least BsF 100 (US$45 at official rate, US$ 20 at unnoficial rate) to Caracas but there are many unlicensed taxis offering their services, so travelers should be very careful. In particular, it is advised to agree on a price before getting into the taxi, not sharing with anyone other than the driver, and preferably using only the airport's official black Ford Explorer cabs, although these can be pricey. Check with your hotel to see if they arrange airport pickup - it may need to be booked in advance. There is also a new taxi service that you can book online at .
Please be aware that there is an exit fee of BsF 115 (as of July 2008) that must be paid in cash as the office in charge of collection does not accept credit cards. Also you will have to pay an additional airport tax of 46 BsF directly after checkin at the gate. However there are ATMs, currency exchange houses (charging the official rate) and unofficial brokers willing to provide BFs at a more advantageous rate.
A taxi from the bus terminal to the center will cost you around BsF 30.
Buses from the airport to Caracas cost around BsF 30. Passengers have the option of alighting either at Gato Negro metro station (less than safe at street level) or under a bridge at the Parque Central bus terminal, from where you'll need to get a taxi to your final destination or walk about 1 km along a busy road to the Bellas Artes metro station.
There is also a new government-run bus service to the Alba Hotel in Bellas Artes, costing BsF 8. Passengers do not need to be guests at Alba. Further information is available from the two tourist board offices in the international terminal of Maiquetia airport.
The La Bandera bus terminal connects Caracas with towns and cities to the west of the capital such as La Victoria (1 hour), Maracay (1.5 hours), Valencia (2.5 hours) and Merida (~12 hours). The 800m walk from La Bandera metro station to the bus terminal is not safe after dark so travelers should exercise caution at all times. For the eastern part of the country there's the Terminal del Oriente. Beware of the small "independent" bus services which are announced by "voceros" on both terminals. Although they have more flexible departure time, usually the buses are small and uncomfortable, often with loud music even at night - you'll have to balance your need for comfort or economy.
There are also private carriers which some might deem better. They also cost a little more. The most well known are Aeroexpresos Ejecutivos, Expresos Alianza and Expresos del Oriente, which attend on their own private terminals.
Taxis can be easily hailed in the street and are generally - but not always - safe. They have no meters so prices should be agreed on before getting in. Caracas traffic is notoriously bad and the metro is usually a better option. Licensed taxis have yellow plates, and some private cars with white plates are taxis too, but it's always safer to take a licensed yellow plate taxi. I have found that when you ask a Venezuelan taxi cab driver how much the ride is, they will of course charge you about double the actual price, say "Mentira" which means lie, and they will look at you as a local, and 9 out of 10 times give you a much cheaper deal.
update 11 january 2009:
actually the situation has improved, there are fixed rates and a list of them in the taxis and at the taxis stations in the malls. But be sure to take an official cab at the airport, its safer and (sometimes) cheaper.
The Caracas metro is clean, modern, safe and extremely cheap. A single journey costs just BsF 0.50, "ida y vuelta" (round trip) is BsF 0.90 and a 10 journey "multi abono" ticket is BsF 4.50. Because prices have changed little in recent years yet bus fares have outpaced inflation, the metro is frequently overcrowded, particularly during peak hours.
The metro system is backed up by a network of metrobuses that depart from certain metro stations and take fixed routes to areas of the city not reached by the underground. Like the metro, metrobuses are cheap and clean, but passengers complain of bus shortages. Most services run only about every 20 minutes. The buses have fixed stops and will not pick up passengers away from these.
The ubiquitous minibuses, or por puestos, run along many main roads in Caracas, often ending up in obscure residential neighborhoods not reached by the metro. They can be flagged down anywhere and you can usually ask the driver to let you jump off whenever he stops, such as at traffic lights. Although sometimes useful - such as for reaching the Sabas Nieves entrance to El Avila from Altamira metro station - the buses are more expensive than the metro (BsF 1.20 a ride), slower and are invariably in a very bad condition.
Despite not featuring on many tourists' itineraries, Caracas has more than enough sights and attractions to fill three or four days.
- La Plaza Bolivar. in the city center. Statues of Simon Bolivar, close to the congress and other government buildings. Nice colonial architecture. Metro Capitolio.
- La Casa Natal de Simon Bolivar. Bolivar's birthplace, also downtown. One of the few well-preserved colonial buildings with some great paintings and a museum. Next door is the Museo Bolivariano with some of Bolivar's war relics. Metro La Hoyada.
- Museo de Arte Colonial, Located in the Quinta Anauco on Av Panteon in San Bernardino. this is a lovely old house and garden that hosts small concerts some weekends.
- Universidad Central de Venezuela. was designated a World Heritage Site by the UN in 2000. Designed by Venezuela's most famous architect, Carlos Raul Villanueva, the university campus, known as the Ciudad Universitaria is a sprawling complex considered a masterpiece of 1950s and 1960s architecture blended in with art. A stroll around the grounds, keeping an eye open for moden art works by artists such as Fernand Leger. Metro Ciudad Universitaria.
- Jardin Botanico, located next to the Central University. is a well-kept garden with an impressive array of tropical plants and trees. Metro Ciudad Universitaria or PLAZAVenezuela.
- The Avila mountain to the north of Caracas is highly recommended for hiking, views of Caracas, and its fresh air. The Sabas Nieves entrance, accessible by bus from Altamira, is the most popular.
- The Teleférico is a cable-car that takes visitors up the Avila. The ascent provides a beautiful view of the city. At the top (altitude approximately 2600 m), one can have a view of Caracas to the south, and of the ocean (Caribbean Sea) to the north on a clear day. It will cost BsF 25 (US$ 12.60) to get a round-trip ticket to the teleférico. Reduced fares are available for students (BsF 15) and children (BsF 10), senior citizens over 60 are free. Take the ride up to Avila as early as possible before an afternoon haze obstructs your view from the top of the mountain. There are a few restaurants, many food kiosks, and numerous attractions suitable for children. These include a small skating rink, some small rides, and jungle-gyms. There is a well known fondue restaurant also located at the top. Some hiking trails branch off from the teleférico station, but without a map it is not easy to find them or know where they go, as they are not marked.
- Centro Comercial Sambil. One of South America's largest shopping malls, with two movie theaters, dozens of restaurants and probably hundreds of shops. Metro Chacao.
- Altamira. An exclusive neighborhood and shopping district in the eastern part of the city. Can be accessed easily by metro.
- Centro Comercial San Ignacio. Many boutique stores here, as well as lots of good bars and restaurants. A hub of Caracas nightlife.
- Centro Comercial El Recreo. Another large mall, located next door to the Gran Meliá Hotel. Metro Sabana Grande.
- Centro Ciudad Comercial Tamanaco (CCCT). An old but popular complex of shops, offices, restaurants and a couple of nightclubs. Take a Metrobus from the Altamira metro station.
- Centro Comercial El Tolón. An upmarket mall in the Las Mercedes neighborhood. 15 minutes walking from Chacaito metro.
- Centro Comercial Paseo Las Mercedes. A bit old fashioned but a good art house cinema and Oscar D'Leon's Mazukamba nightclub is here.
- El Granjero del Este, Av. Río de Janeiro, ☎ +58 212 991 6619. Open late. One of the better of the dozens of "areperas" dotted around town. Specializes in arepas, a savory corn-flour bread that doubles as Venezuela's traditional staple food. Pick from a dozen types of filling (including the classic Reina Pepiada - chicken, avocado, spring onions and mayo.) Or try a cachapa (a sweet corn pancake with a choice of toppings) or a nice steak with yuca. Wash it all down with beer, or with freshly made tropical juice. To do it the traditional way, go at 3 a.m., after a night out dancing.Cheap.
- Maute Grill, Av. Rio de Janeiro. open late. A very nice place, often crowded but rightfully so, the food and wine are outstanding.Expensive.
- Malabar, Calle Orinoco, ☎ +58 212 991-3131. Expensive but very good cuisine, mostly French, with a relaxed but trendy atmosphere.
- Aranjuez, Calle Madrid, Qunita Anacoa, ☎ +58 212 993-1326. One of the older steak houses in Caracas, with top quality Argentine and Venezuelan cuts of beef.
- Cafe Ole, Calle California at Calle Jalisco, ☎ +58 212 993-9059. This open air candlelight cafe is a popular haunt for after dinner cafe and some excellent desserts.
- Mamma Mia, Avenida Principal, ☎ +58 212 993-7230. A perennially popular though noisy restaurant with a good selection of Italian dishes.
- Avila Tei, Avenida San Felipe, Centro Coinasa, ☎ +58 212 263-1520. Excellent, if costly, Japanese restaurant.
- Chez Wong, Plaza La Castellana(facing the roundabout), ☎ +58 212 266-5015. Very good Chinese restaurant.
- Chili's, Calle Jose A Lamas, Torre La Castellana, ☎ +58 212 267-9146. A branch of the American Tex-Mex chain.
- La Estancia, Avenida Principal La Castellana, ☎ +58 212 261-1874. A famous beef/meat restaurant with traditional Spanish decor.
- La Romanina, Av Avila(between Calle Miranda and Av Mohedano, just west of Plaza La Castellana), ☎ +58 212 266-8819. A simple setting but very good thin crust pizzas.
- New Spizzico, Av Principal La Castellana(one block north of the Plaza), ☎ +58 212 267-8820. Very pleasant Mediterranean style decor with a lovely outdoor terrace. Good mostly Italian food but not with very generous portions.
- El Budare de la Castellana, Avenida Principal de La Castellana, con 1ra Transversal., ☎ +58 212 263-2696. Traditional Venezuelan Restaurant. Moderately priced and open 24 hours. About one block north and west of Plaza Altamira.
- El Tarantín de Valentina, Tercera transversal entre Segunda Avenida y Andrés Bello, Los Palos Grandes., ☎ +58 212 2858839, . Tue-Fri: Noon - 10 pm, Weekends: 9 am - 5 pm. An excellent choice if you want to sample traditional Venezuelan food served with style and meticulous hygiene. Offers regional specialties from all over the country. The owner, Valentina Quintero, is the author of the most popular tourist guide about Venezuela for Venezuelans and something of a local celebrity.
- Cafe-Trattoria Mediterraneo, 1ra Avenida Los Palos Grandes, Edificio Oriental, ☎ +58 212 283-3680. Great retro decor, and a minimal but excellent menu. Recommended.
- Bar Basque, Alcabala a Peligro, La Candelaria, ☎ +58 212 572 4857. Caracas has a large Basque immigrant community and many excellent Basque restaurants. Bar Basque is the pick of the litter. Run by the same family for half a century, it's a legendary hangout for the politically connected. As in all Basque restaurants, the menu focuses on seafood. Superlative food. Expensive. Only a few tables, reservations required.
- El León. On the corner of La Castellana roundabout, this Caracas stalwart benefits from one of the best open air terraces in Caracas. Plastic tables and chairs are simple and the service is slow, but the beers are cheap and the atmosphere is good. This is a favorite hangout for Caracas' college crowd.
- Whiskey Bar. Located in the "Centro Comercial San Ignacio" (Shopping Center), it has a similar layout to a typical East Coast lounge in the United States. This place is a popular hang-out for uppity Venezuelans. If you feel comfortable around posh and preppy crowds and you have certain buying power and trendy casual wear, this is a great place to enjoy people-watching while listening to great rock-alternative music.
- El Maní Es Así. Located in a side street behind Sabana Grande, this remains Caracas' best-renowned salsa club where lower middle-class locals and tourists like to show off their moves, accompanied by live bands, till the early hours. To get a table, you'll probably have to pay 'servicio', i.e. agree to buy a bottle of rum or whisky. Sadly, the area around the club is not safe after dark and visitors should arrange taxis to avoid walking in the area.
Caracas has many hotels but no youth hostels as one might expect to find in other South American countries. Backpackers will find that Caracas is not a cheap destination and that you will not find rooms in the 20-30 USD typical hostel range. While the whole of the city is considered to be dangerous at night, stick to the hotels in the east, that is, Sabana Grande or farther east.
Many (but by no means all) hotels in the Sabana Grande area will offer rooms on an hourly basis (love hotels), primarily for unmarried Venezuelan couples.
Most hotels are in Sabana Grande, which is the geographic center of the city or midtown. The true downtown or historic city center, known as "El Centro", is the border to where anyone should stay. Stay only in hotels east of El Centro. While Sabana Grande has affordable hotel rates (from $100 *** to $400 *****), you need to be wary of occasional street crime. Anyway, after years of neglect by local authorities, the Sabana Grande Boulevard recently went through a restoration process in which they installed high-shining lamp posts and put police officers all along the boulevard. So crime went down dramatically, but then again, crooked cops are also known to harrass tourists for money during the day . Therefore, Sabana Grande, being a must-see place in Caracas, is still not as safe as it used to be before the mid 90s, but at least now it's pleasantly walkable again, fantastic for people-watching and casual shopping. As for the large shopping malls around Sabana Grande, they are absolutely safe, especially one known as El Recreo. All this makes Sabana Grande the best place to stay for many. Neighborhoods further east or south such as Altamira and Las Mercedes offer safer accommodations, but at a much increased cost.
- Hotel Altamira, Av Jose Felix Sosa, Altamira Sur (near Britanica Tower), ☎ +58 (212) 267-4284, 267-4255(email@example.com, fax: +58 (212) 267-1926). Around $60.
- Casa Luisa, Near El Hatillo, some 10-12km from midtown Caracas, (firstname.lastname@example.org). Mrs Luisa has a three bedroom apartment where she rents out 2 of the rooms (with space for 3 in each room.) She prepares nice breakfasts and shares travel tips.$50 a night, $5 breakfast.
- Nelson's Place www.nelson.com.ve  - Nelson is an energetic traveler and college professor that has a very nice apartment next to his office near Sabana Grande that he rents out for $60 a night. It is perfectly located in midtown Caracas, a block away from the Sabana Grande Boulevard and across the street from the El Recreo Shopping Mall.It has free broadband internet. Nelson also has a courteous driver that does airport pickups ($40) and an extremely nice assistant that helps you out with travel arrangements and tips to all over Venezuela, including Angel Falls.
- Caracas Hotels "http://caracas.travel" Check hotels in Caracas.
- Hotel Milenio, (located between the Ciudad Universitaria metro and the Sabana Grande metro).
- El Cid, ☎ + 58 212 263-1715. This residential hotel also caters for short visits. Excellently located in the La Castellana district, it offers an alternative to many hotels, though with aged wooden furniture and worn out rooms. The service is bad even for Caracas standards.BsF 280-360 ($130-167).
- Hotel Shelter Suites, Av Libertador and Av Jose Felix Sosa, Chacao(opposite Sambil shopping mall), ☎ +58 212 265-3860(email@example.com). Great location, clean and modern, this is a popular option and should be booked two weeks in advance. Max 2 people per room.Rooms from BsF 190.
- Hotel Savoy, (near the Alliance Francaise). From BsF 135.
- Hotel Alba Caracas, Avenida Mexico con Sur 25(formerly the 'Caracas Hilton'). This once impressive Hilton hotel has suffered from the deterioration of central Caracas. Although close to the city's best museums, the Bellas Artes area is no longer the capital's finest and should not be wandered at night. In September 2007, the hotel was taken over by the state and aims to provide 'socialist tourism' services.
- Pestana Caracas Hotel & suites, 1ª. Avenida Urb. Santa Eduvigis, ☎ +55 (11) 3059-5192/3059-5194(firstname.lastname@example.org), . Butler service.
- Gran Meliá, Av. Casanova, esq. C/ El Recreo, Sabana Grande 1050, ☎ +58 212 762-8111(toll free: +1 800 745-8883, fax: +58 212 762-3737), . Upscale 5 star hotel. Located in Sabana Grande, one of the city’s business and financial district, connected directly to the El Recreo shopping mall and a block away from the newly-restored Sabana Grande boulevard. It is where all the international celebrities, CEOs, royals and presidents stay when they visit Venezuela. It boasts a guest list going from Sting, Phil Collins, and the Black Eyed Peas to the King of Spain and the Saudi Arabian royal family.
- JW Marriott Hotel Caracas, Av. Venezuela con Calle Mohedano, El Rosal, ☎ +58 212 957-2222(toll free: 0 800 100-6139, fax: +58 212 957 1111), . Luxury business hotel located in the center of the business district, the JW Marriott Hotel Caracas is the premier hotel in the city, becoming deservedly popular in recent years. Luxurious accommodations, exceptional restaurants and outstanding service.
- Hotel Intercontinental Tamanaco, Final Av. Principal De Las Mercedes, ☎ +58 212 909-7111(fax: +58 212 909-7116), . checkin: 3PM; checkout: 12PM.
- Embassy Suites.
- Radisson Eurobuilding.
- Gran Melia Caracas Hotel, Av. Casanova con calle El Recreo. Urb. Sabana Grande, ☎ (58) 212 7628111(toll free: 1 866 43 MELIA, email@example.com), . A hotel set in the Sabana Grande quarter, Caracas' bustling commercial, tourist, and leisure district, Gran Meliá Caracas offers its discerning guests an intimate look into this region's eclectic personality. Local attractions include Sabana Grande Boulevard, Plaza Bolívar, El Recreo Gallery, Teresa Carreño Theatre, and Cerro El Avila National Park, all in close proximity; and only 2 blocks north, the Sabana Grande metro station.
Keep in mind that beds in many hotels (mostly up to the mid-range levels) are nothing more than a matresses on concrete slabs that resemble box springs. Depending on what your sleep preference is, they may not be the most comfortable for you. Something for you to consider when looking for a hotel to stay at.
Caracas is not a safe city in general. It has places that are safe and many that are not. If you are street-smart and you don't look like a typical floral-shirt tourist, then you will be able to blend in more and not attract the attention of thieves. Venezuelans come in all races and skin-tones, so if you dress like them, you will not attract attention. However, these different groups of Venezuelans, especially the white-european Venezuelans, tend to stick to certain areas and places, and so should you unless you know what you're doing. Venezuelans are nice and helpful people in general, and contrary to what you would infer, political crime or harrasement is extremely rare.
Now, if you get robbed, never resist, don't play hero. Most thieves carry guns and they will use them regardless of the consequences because they feel a sense of immunity due to poor policing. It is advisable to take some medium amount of money with you (maybe around an equivalent of 50 dollars in small notes) so you don't upset robbers. They have been known to shoot someone because they made them "waste their time". Murders and kidnappings happen toward other Venezuelans, rarely toward a tourist. However, robberies are commonplace toward everyone. If you want to walk around, stay away from the "barrios" which are the poor neighbourhoods. Many nice people live there, but the few that are not can ruin your trip. These poor neighborhoods or shantytowns are mostly built into the hills, similar to the "favelas" in Brazil.
Poverty, materialism and the example of corrupt politicians have made the honesty of the common folk go down over the years. If you leave something behind (your camera, your wallet, a bag, etc), don't expect to find it where you left it or at the "lost and found". If you do, be grateful, it's an exception. These rare cases of honesty mostly come from educated Venezuelans that do not need your money or your goods. Do not trust hotel cleaning staff or lower-wage staff in general, they make very little money and many will not resist the temptation of stealing. Ask hotel management to store your valuables if you wish.
The most important thing about moving around safely in Caracas is being able to read people. There are decent Venezuelans that simply wish to help you. As a tip, if you encounter an English-speaking and decent-looking Venezuelan (nice clothes, smile, nice mannerisms, etc), they are simply trying to be friendly and make an interesting acquaintance that day. Also, Hollywood plays a big role in Venezuelan society. You can follow the stereotypes set by Hollywood (rappers, cholos, ghetto thugs, etc) and use them as a general guideline. If they look like hollywood movie gangsta thugs or like a mexican-stereotype "cholos", keep your distance.
In Caracas, as in most places ... being smart = being safe!
- Free WiFi
- Chili's -Torre La Castellana
- Tony Roma's - Las Mercedes
- Café Ole
El Litoral, or the narrow band of coast between El Avila and the Caribbean Sea, is also known at the State of Vargas and the location of the best airport hotels. These beaches are not well known with visitors but are popular with Caraqueños on weekends. The area has been slow to recover from the disasterous mudslides of December 1999 which ironically made the beaches better. Still they are of lesser quality than the beaches of Choroni, Morrocoy, Mochima or Margarita.
- La Guaira - historic port district
- Macuto - long history as the favored among the urbanite Caracenos and most crowded on weekends
- Caraballeda - upscale district with yacht marina
- Naiguatá - surf and cultural festival zone
- Catia La Mar - west of the airport with cheaper hotels that do airport pickup. Marginal neighborhood and beaches
- El Hatillo - nice restaurants and pretty colonial architecture.
This page was last edited at 22:39, on 18 March 2009 by Anonymous user(s) of Wikitravel. Based on work by Victor Hugo Gomez and David, Wikitravel user(s) Edutiao, Anonymous user(s) of Wikitravel and others.