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About Venezuela

Overview

Around 930,000 international tourists travelled to Venezuela last year, contributing to the generation of 85 billion Bolivar in visitor exports. These stats are only set to increase, with international arrivals and visitor exports forecast to almost double in the next ten years. Venezuelan popularity and business credibility are obviously on the rise, and serviced apartments are therefore on the rise too.


About Venezuela

Located on the northern coast of South America, Venezuela has a population of around thirty-one million. The Spanish-speaking people inhabit over nine-hundred thousand square kilometres of land, consisting of continental mainland and several islands in the Caribbean Sea. Despite being regarded as on the most urban Latin American nations, Venezuela is one of the seventeen most megadiverse countries in the world. The tropic climate and ideal growth environment mean the country has a vast endemic population. In contrast, the capital Caracas is the country’s commercial and business hub. Nationalism and economic prosperity are most on show here, but also as one of the most populous cities in South America, it is also home to wide-ranging culture.

The history of Venezuela is littered with fluctuation concerning national consensus, economic success and leadership. Following its first discovery by Europeans and first Spanish settlement established in the fifteenth and sixteenth century, Venezuela proceeded to fight for independence. Natural treasure Simón Bolívar led the nation to independence in the early 1800s after decades of civil war and conflict with the Spanish Empire. Followed though was further centuries of disputes, but mostly internally. Civil wars ensued and continue today over power and concerning economic restraints. One of the main positives to come out of Venezuelan history was the discovery of oil in the early twentieth century. Whilst beneficial for the economy, this was all combined with disregarding the mainly impoverished population.

ECONOMY

As mentioned before, Venezuela hit oil jackpot in the early twentieth century. Since the country has been the largest exporter of the resource with the world’s largest proven oil reserves. In fact, the petroleum sector accounts for around a third of the national GDP, with 95% of exports being petroleum exports. It would be fair to say not much else represents a benefit of the Venezuelan economy. Social programs were introduced a decade ago to improve health, education and poverty, but the population are still struggling. With a sense of flexibility and open attitude, business success can be achieved in fine-picked industries. There is potential to take advantage of economic woes. There is a readily available unemployed population and business start-up is cheap compared to other better-off countries.

Also, depending on where you exchange your currency may allow you to take advantage of shocking local exchange rates, from those desperate for stronger, foreign currency. We advise those viewing the Venezuelan Bolívar currency exchange rates at www.xe.com.

LIVING IN VENEZUELA

All citizens of EU countries, Australia and Canada can enter and stay in Venezuela for up to ninety days visa-free. US residents do require a visa. However, every arrival must have proof of return and kept hold of their tourist card issued upon entry. If you wish to extend though, the only place that this can be done with guaranteed reliability is the main SAIME office in Caracas. It is worth visiting the national embassy website beforehand to make sure you have all the relevant knowledge regarding visas.

In recent years, Venezuelan protests and political demonstrations have been frequent. There are plenty of advisories regarding where is safest to stay and where to avoid. If you visit www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/venezeula you can view all the advice from The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) about Venezuelan travel. On the whole, if you respect their culture and boundaries, as well as remain vigilant, you should not encounter any issues. Corporate, serviced accommodation is available too to assist your trip.

With an unfortunate reputation regarding some public transport, many travellers opt to drive through Venezuela. With cheap fuel and surprisingly good road conditions and traffic flow, driving can be very beneficial. An international driving permit is not compulsory either and there are no toll roads. We only advise that you expect police checks and more hazardous conditions the more rurally you drive. Equally cheap though are taxis. There are no taxi meters in Venezuela, so you can negotiate a cheap price before leaving. They are particularly useful for negotiating heavy traffic between towns that a foreigner may struggle with.

ATTRACTIONS

Beyond its borders, views of Venezuela differ in many ways. However, it is natural beauty and unique attractions should never be discredited. The country is proud of its abundance of national parks and large number of accessible islands. These destinations all have individualistic characteristics too. Medanos de Coro National Park displays a wonderful desert scene. The sights and rolling sand dunes are magnificence here, unique to any other desert landscape. The three million-hectare Canaima National Park offers a different experience. This World Heritage Site encompasses many stunning waterfalls alongside more than one hundred tabletop mountains, some of the oldest geological landforms on earth. Whereas Morrocoy National Park, located along the coast just west of Caracas, is perfect for beach-lovers. The white-sand beaches, beautiful coral reefs and wealth of wildlife makes this park one-of-a-kind in Venezuela.

Similar diversity comes from the Venezuelan islands. Venture from your serviced apartment and take a boat ride out to the island of your choice. Popular and perhaps the most developed is the Isla de Margarita. Renowned for its stunning beaches and developed range of serviced accommodation and restaurants, Margarita acts a great place for a mini holiday which business travelling. North of Caracas is the Los Roques archipelago, popular amongst snorkel and scuba diver enthusiasts. This chain of islands incorporates everything associated with Venezuelan natural beauty, with turquoise water, sparkling beaches and amazing greenery making this a prime destination for foreign travel.

Despite the negative connotations that tend to follow Venezuela, this does not explain the increase in international arrivals each year. Its environmental attractiveness encourages corporate determination when investing in the country, sensing profitable potential. Venezuelan corporate accommodation makes this job easier, and SITU is best-placed to provide this support.

Around 930,000 international tourists travelled to Venezuela last year, and it is forecast to almost double in the next ten years. Venezuelan popularity and business credibility are obviously on the rise, and serviced apartments are therefore on the rise too.

Transport

Simón Bolívar International Airport (CCS)

Venezuela’s main airport is located in Maiquetía, Vargas. This is thirteen miles away from the capital Caracas. The airport is named after a Venezuelan military leader, responsible for the liberation of the country.

In recent times, the routes in and out of the main and other airports have shrunk or stopped running. This is due to frequent delays, but domestic and international flights are still available at reasonable prices. It’s worth checking the availability and reliability of flights well in advance.

Caracas Metro

Promoting the moto, ‘We are part of your life’ Caracas Metro provides rapid transit to a range of cities and towns outside the capital. 2.5 million use the metro every day.

By Bus

Due to a lacking railway network currently under construction, Venezuela is heavily dependent on bus services. The capital is the main hub for bus transportation, enabling travel all over Venezuela.

Be prepared for bus travel. For instance, bring clothes to adapt to different conditions, always have your passport to hand, and remain vigilant. Unfortunately, despite the very cheap prices, bus travel in Venezuela wins no awards for safety and comfort.