7 Facts About Venezuela I Wish I’d Known Before Visiting

facts about venezuela

Venezuela; a vast, largely unexplored country famed for it’s towering peaks, tumbling falls and insane inflation. Almost everybody I met told me not to travel to Venezuela, some people even made it their mission in life to scare me out of visiting this amazing country. Despite all of the out of date Venezuela travel guide’s that I read, all of the information and mis-information, that was thrown at me, there were seven facts of Venezuela which nobody bothered to tell me…

1. 60 Litres of fuel is less than 1 cent

roads in venezuela

Yeah, that’s not a typo people. I was told that the fuel was cheap; sure I got that, message received. Nobody told me it was cheaper to fill up a car than to buy a bottle of water. Venezuela has the largest oil reserves in the world and cheap, nearly-free, fuel is pretty much seen as a Venezuelan birth-right. I was absolutely amazed when I first pulled up to a gas station and my buddy filled up the car with the ‘higher quality’ fuel – it cost under 2 bolivars, a little less than 1 cent at the black market rate of 230 bolivars to the dollar.

2. Venezuelans’ want to chat about Politics

housing in venezuela

Caracas City, Venezuela

I was extremely surprised to find out that most of the Venezuelans I had the pleasure of bumping into were more than up for discussing the political situation in the country. I spoke to die-hard Chavistas, left-wing protestors and everybody in between; the one thing they all had in common was that they were extremely grateful to have somebody listen to their side of the story. On numerous occasions, Venezuelans themselves would actually initiate the conversation which was not what I had expected. In the past, when visiting ‘dangerous’ countries, I have found locals to be very quiet when it comes to discussing their government due to an inherent fear of reprisals. Venezuela was refreshingly different and I felt that, despite the huge amounts of conflicting information thrown at me, I came away from the country with a better understanding of what is actually going on.

3. Powdered Milk is more expensive than an internal flight

money in venezuela

I had been warned in advance that getting toilet paper in Venezuela was a real pain in the ass (ha!) to get and that one would have to queue for hours in order to buy some. It turns out that you can actually get toilet paper relatively easily on the black market but that, for a pack of 12, you would end up paying a fair whack. Even more expensive was powdered milk, which is one of the main illegal imports from Colombia and could cost up to $6 for a 2 kilo bag if bought on the black market. A one hour internal flight, on the other hand, comes in at around the $5 – $8 mark. Sure, the planes may have been terrifyingly juddery (tiny planes with propellers) but heck, they sure are cheap!

4. Not every Venezuelan woman is a ‘Miss World’

“You’re going to Venezuela? Aw dude, I heard the girls are stunning there!” – OK, I don’t want to ruffle any feathers here, there were plenty of Venezuelan girls who were giggly, pretty, funny and approachable. However, on the other hand, for every potential Miss World (which has been won by Venezuelans more times than any other nation) there were half a dozen women who would be better off aiming for the Miss Obesity pageant… Seriously, I was totally shocked at the amount of overweight people in Venezuela. Perhaps it’s due to a bad diet, maybe exercise simply isn’t part of the culture, whatever the reasons, there’s no denying it – Venezuela has more than it’s fair share of fatties. Please direct your hate mail to Mount Doom.

5. Venezuelan’s really don’t like bad Spanish

My Spanish isn’t bad. I’m one of those backpackers who can confidently stride into a bar, order two beers, talk about how I like to play with my dog in the park, enthrall all with my story of how I have a brother and tell a local girl that she is ‘much beautiful’. Ok, so my Spanish isn’t great, but I do have a pretty good understanding of it – I can understand 95% of what is being said to me and yes, I get it, when people are screwing with me. If I order ice-cream and receive a cabbage, something has clearly been lost in translation. In many of the Spanish speaking countries I visited, I found the locals made a special effort to understand me, almost out of pity, however in Venezuela; if my Spanish wasn’t absolutely perfect it was as if I was speaking in a different language. A Venezuelan friend later confided in me that many Venezuelans simply don’t want to make the effort with trying to understand foreigners and unless your Spanish is perfect, you’re not going to get very far trying to talk to some people.

6. The Quality is incredible

city living in venezuela

As I mentioned, if you’re lucky enough to be travelling in Venezuela with a couple of hundred dollars in your pocket then your basically a millionaire. What came as a true surprise, however, is that the quality of the stuff you can buy is actually extremely good; I’m used to getting super cheap rooms for a few dollars but when travelling in Venezuela, a few dollars doesn’t get you a dive; it gets you a five star hotel room. Willing to splash out on dinner and spend around $10? – Well, dress up in your Sunday best because for that kind of money you can expect to eat a three course meal in a truly stunning restaurant, the kind of thing that would cost hundreds of dollars back home. I knew travelling in Venezuela was going to be cheap but I had kind of assumed that this would mean that the quality of flights, accommodation, activities and food would be pretty poor; I could not have been more wrong. Paragliding with an experienced guide costs just $7, a ridiculously low price for an activity which requires expensive equipment and trained professionals. The really crazy thing is that, due to the fluctuating black market rates, the value of your dollars changes every day. I left civilisation for a five day trek when I returned the black market rate had skyrocketed yet again and, overnight, the dollars in my wallet were worth nearly 40% more.

7. Venezuelans are incredibly friendly

facts about venezuela

I didn’t really know what to expect from Venezuelans themselves; they do, after all, live in a politically unstable country where riots, food shortages, rampant inflation and crazy politicians are pretty much the norm. Sure, Venezuelans may not be that keen on you at first; after all, you are a comparatively loaded traveller making the most out of their dire economic situation in order to fuel your lust for adventure. You probably don’t speak perfect Spanish. Do not let that deter you, once you actually get chatting to Venezuelans, especially some of the younger generations, you will find that they are warm, incredibly hospitable and almost always up for a good time; the amount of on-the-spot offers I had to go off on an adventure were truly staggering and the Couchsurfing community in Venezuela is one of the best I have ever encountered…

So, that’s that people – be sure that when thinking about travelling to Venezuela you take everything you hear, even from me, with a pinch of salt. There is a hell of a lot of conflicting information out there and, heck, if you really want to learn the truth – just go. Pack your bag, book that flight, be smart, be safe and learn the truth about one of the most stunning, bewildering, exhilarating and beautiful places in the world. Peace, out.

To find out more about Venezuela, check out my backpacking Venezuela travel guide. 

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87 Comments

  • Avatar Tate Gilbert says:

    Hey everyone, I was in Venezuela for 2 weeks just recently. I recommend going to Angel Falls, the tour was 3 days 2 nights. I traveled every country in South America and this was the biggest highlight. Check out wakulodge on Instagram and send them a message.
    With the money crisis I was lucky enough to stay with 2 different families from Couchsurfing, so I could give them usd and they would buy things for me using their debt card. I didn’t feel unsafe at all while being there, you just need to be cautious of the areas and don’t parade around with your valuables.

    Also my Spanish is horrible and only one of the family spoke some English haha. So google translate is a must if you don’t speak English.

  • Avatar Brian says:

    I’m considering going to Los Roques national park in Feb 2020. Everything I read says do not go..???? I have been told that Los Roques is safe. Is the airport transfer in Caracas safe? How can I get a visa?

    • Art Art says:

      Hey man, I was getting a Venezuela trip together for the end of this year, but right now there’s no way in heck we can recommend visiting the country. About a year ago we would’ve advised you to go with a trusted tour company, but the situation has gotten out of control and volatile.

  • Avatar Nik says:

    Hi,
    does anybody have any news about the current situation?
    is it possible/”safe(r)” to go backpacking in venezuela again or would you still advise against that?
    Thanks!

  • Avatar Federico says:

    for Everyone:
    I love reading about everyone’s experience and comments.

  • Avatar Oliver says:

    Dear One,
    I have a question.
    If everything is so cheap there, cant we make business with a local? Buy houses and land for cheap and then make 50/50?
    I think thats the business of a lifetime right?

    • Avatar Will Hatton says:

      Yes – you could do that. But there’s a risk you will lose your investment in the turmoil ahead.

    • Avatar Rossy says:

      Many people have sold nice houses in very good neighborhoods, in ridiculous prices! Maybe it’s time to make such investments. The dictatorship in Venezuela already has a deadline… Most of the Venezuelans abroad are doing the same

      • Avatar Mica says:

        Hello, do you have any tips or information as far as the visa or permit that you needed to enter with? Is a US citizen married to a Venezuelan citizen required a visa? Any way around it? Thanks

  • Avatar AJ1962 says:

    The free fall of the economy does create millionaire moments for the adventurer tourist, but crime is rampant and it starts at the airport. It is rumored that airport personnel provide information to motorcycle thugs positioned at the airport terminal. The contents of your luggage will be “screened”.

    A typical robbery starts with 2 persons on a motorcycle approaching your taxi while stopped in traffic. I have carried trick wallets with many individual dollar bills and cardboard credit cards, but fortunately never got robbed.

    To live your millionaire moments, I recommend Colombia for now. Colombia is 3 times cheaper than the USA and does not require a visa. Keep in mind that visa requirements for USA citizens are not simple.

    Venezuelans in the USA send packages of food (beans, canned meat, powder milk, etc.), medicine (for blood pressure, diabetes, etc.), and personal items (toothpaste, feminine hygiene, etc.) to their families in Venezuela. An 18 inch cubic box cost $60 to fill, and $60 to send. A $100 bill carefully hidden in the box can replace the next 4 packages.

    I do not speak Spanish, so I used google app for translation. It translates conversation instantly, and even you can view text translated simply by pointing your phone camera at it. Many functions of the app work offline, so you never worry about the language, but it remains a barrier.

    The diverse ethnicity of Venezuelan women make them look exotic and beautiful. Most women I met were very casual about sex on the first date, despite the age difference and language barrier. Don’t expect to go to Farmatodo and buy condoms and KY jelly, you will not find them.

    As for the activities, your best bet is diving, boating, restaurants, and hosting friends at your hotel. The cost of a gathering of 6 guests, guest pool fee, drinks (non-alcoholic), and meals for the entire day for me and 6 persons was about $60. I also forgot to mention that US dollars were accepted for many services, and black market exchange is easy, just do it at the hotel or a secure area.

    BTW, a common attraction is Margarita Island. I have not been there, but i hear it is becoming a destinations for American retirees. It appears that the island offers better living, luxuries, and security.

    Final thoughts, there are limited number of flights between Venezuela and the USA. Make sure you bring plenty of medication and have a Plan B. My plan B was a Caracas-based that I met while I was in the USA. Bring gifts, they go a long way, especially makeup.

    I am sure anyone can have a great time in Venezuela as long as they do not stand out as a rich tourist and blend in. The people are super friendly and the country is beautiful.

  • Avatar Rossy says:

    Reading this in 2018, I’m about to cry. Nice post, I’m not a patriotic person, but it sounds nice when an stranger encourage other people to visit a country which is falling into pieces like Venezuela. Currently I’m living in Brazil and I really miss the gasoline prices, ridiculously taxes, or never turn off the air conditioner, and of course La Gran Sabana. Being poor in Venezuela is not the same like being poor in another country. I was lucky to have such a happy childhood and wild teenage years. Thanks WILL :*

  • Avatar Brett says:

    Do your friends still recommend not travelling to Venezuela at this time? I have a friend that lives in Maracay that keeps telling me it is safe as long as I stay aware of my surroundings.

  • Avatar Gvidas Stankevicius says:

    Hello, so how it is now in 2018-2019 besides what’s on the news?

  • Avatar Virgiliu says:

    “I spoke to die-hard Chavistas, left-wing protestors and everybody in between” – The die-hard chavistas are left-wing (communists); the protestors are actually right wing.

  • Avatar Tom says:

    Sounds like a very irresponsible thing to encourage people to travel to a country that is deemed less safe than war zones like Syria. Avoid at all cost people. Your life is on the line. For the people of Venezuela, I’m sorry your criminal socialist government screwed you over 🙁

  • Avatar Kathy says:

    Hello! you can not imagine how much I appreciate your post … Im from Venezuela, but I am living in aruba since the last 6 years, I am planning to visit my beloved country this year, and there is so much that I would like to do, that I found my self browsing “Venezuela” on Pinterest! (A bit weird, I know!) And that’s where I found your blog! Anyhow… thanks again for gathering the courage to venture into Venezuela and look beyond our crisis and find all the beauty hidden behind it! Take care and God bless you!

  • Avatar Matthew says:

    wow, i knew gas was cheap there-but not that cheap!!

  • Avatar Angie says:

    DONT COME!!!!! TRUST ME!!! DONT COME EVER AGAIN!!!! GO SOMEWHERE ESLE!!!

  • Avatar Ava says:

    Hey, any Venezuelans still on this thread? Is it safe for an American woman to travel there alone? I am being sent for work and I just want some safety tips before I get there.

    • Avatar Will Hatton says:

      Hey Ava! I had some concerns before I went to Venezuela, so what I did was I hopped on Couch Surfing to connect with some locals for advice – that’s probably your best bet! As long as you keep your wits about you, you will have a great time there, but it’s always good to have some insider advice for the specific places you’re visiting!

    • Avatar Lars says:

      Yay! Is safe! you just need an good turistic guide for the place you visit that´s the best advice before all the other things, if you need help I´ll be here… See ya!

  • Avatar Katy says:

    Really interesting article! I guess I don’t get it, though – why is it hard to find toilet paper? What does that have to do with politics? Politicians are against toilet paper??

    • Avatar Will Hatton says:

      Hehe, not exactly – basically the economy is so screwed that there isn’t enough of basic necessities available to go around so stuff that is really essential, like TP, ends up on the black market at a hugely inflated rate.

  • Avatar Emi says:

    Hola! I am from Venezuela too, I am so honored that you loved my country. I emigrated from Venezuela 14 years ago and I go there every year for the holidays. I never feel as a foreigner, it’s like I never left every time I go to my beautiful Maracaibo (if you didn’t go to Maracaibo, then you didn’t visit Venezuela 🙂

    One thing that you should do is to spend the holidays with a “familia maracucha” you will have the best time of your life, and although these are not parties in club or anything like that, these are parties, every single day from November 18 until January 2nd. Every one, despite the current situation, is so happy and content, dancing and drinking of course!

    Thank you for admiring the beauty of Venezuela, their women, even las gorditas had a place in your description and I thank you for that, for taking the time of admiring!

    Next time, Maracaibo!!! the land of Sascha Fitness haha! and eat PATACON! yummy!!

    Greetings,

    Emi (not so gordita 🙂

  • Avatar Ferk says:

    Hi, I wanna go to Venezuela and I want to cross the border from Maicao (Colombia), that was the way you used to get there? it is safe to cross from Maicao (Colombia)?

  • Avatar Tomás says:

    Well, it seems like Venezuela is paradise for foreigners and hell for locals. I know it’s a beautiful place, I’ve lived here since I was born, but it might not be just as they say. I think it’s important to say something else about it: whether you want a cold beach or a warm one, or if you’d rather a mountain, or if instead you’d like cold nights and snow all over the floor, and even if you’d wish to spend some time at the woods, Venezuela has at least one place for any choice. That’s the greatest thing about it: nature is diverse as hell. The thing is that the current sociopolitical situation is not the most peaceful thing you’ll ever hear about. As long as you’re smart enough to take care of yourself and avoid getting robbed or killed for a cellphone, everything’s gonna be fine here.

  • Even the mention of visiting Venezuela provokes people to spout off about how dangerous the country is, yet people forget that there is more to a place then what the media portrays. I love that you mentioned how friendly the Venezuelan people are. We forget that amidst the sensationalized media are normal people, like me and you, just living life. People that don’t travel struggle to see that and it deserves the mention here. I LOL regarding the Spanish speaking, was the same struggle for me in Colombia. I have since spent 2 years studying Spanish so I have better skills before I return to South America!

  • Avatar Shaun says:

    Awesome share! This is on my hit list.

    Cheers

    Shaun
    http://www.thislifeintrips.com

  • Avatar Aijika says:

    Beautiful way to see caracas we try “teleferico” (the Cable Car) actually i hate heights. I am deathly afraid of cable cars. Why do I do this to myself? The world may never know… I had a mini panic attack on the way up as soon as I felt the height, but once I was able to calm down, the views are amazing. The cable cars only fit about 10 people, so you can see pretty much everything around you, and there’s so much to see – including a huge void in between two mountains which felt horrible in my stomach but I just couldn’t look away! Once you get to the top and out of the car (and kiss the ground if you’re me) you’re in a much colder weather than down in the city, and there’s something whimsical about the fog and the architecture. Warairarepano/Galipan (the name of the area above the mountains) is very pretty and filled with vendor spaces that sell knits, food (from churros to arepas and other national staple items), hot chocolate, and more! It’s a very nice family-friendly attraction, and beautiful to witness. I went during the day, and we had a little rain but it wasn’t bad, it rather kind of added to the experience. I’ve heard some people go at night and it’s gorgeous, but my heart really can’t take that, so I’ll just take their word for it 🙂

  • Avatar Ric says:

    Great recap and insights! Thanks for sharing.

  • Avatar Mariza says:

    Thank you for this painfully accurate post! There is so much expectation regarding beauty when I say I am from Venezuela.

    It always gives me a laugh when I hear (on my good days) “oh, you are beautiful… That must be because you are Venezuelan” or, on my not-so-good days “Oh, but you don’t look like Venezuelan at all!”…. Yeah, I’ve heard them both!

    There are actually chubby and ugly Venezuelans! We are all friendly though 😉

  • Avatar Francisco says:

    Thank you for your wonderful words about my country.
    I’ts so wonderful that you had a lot of nice experiences in my beautiful Venezuela.
    One of my dreams would be to host someone from another country, and show him or her my country 🙂

  • Avatar gabriela barrios says:

    I loved your post I’m from Venezuela, so many people is so afraid of our current situation and all the bad things around here that without knowing they reject the opportunity to meet the essence and true beauty of our country. so I’m glad you gave a try to our beautiful country and I’m glad that you had such a wonderful time here, you’ll be always welcome and please come back anytime!
    P.S: the thing about miss world was hilarious hahaha 😉

  • Avatar Veronica Belandria says:

    I love this!!! I was reading this at my job and i totally share it with my workmates 😛 We loved it. Venezuela is amazing, i was very lucky to born here 😀 Mi casa es tu casa, you’re always welcome here.

  • Avatar David Dos Passos says:

    Dude first of all, you got some balls going over there… I mean I’m from there and I’m having my doubts.In case you didn’t know you’re also pretty popular in Venezuela right now because you’re in an article in a popular news website in the country.

    People are extremely friendly though even for locals, you never have a weekend with nothing to do in Venezuela.

    The fat people thing is true and it’s been getting worse over time… it’s weird tho because you will see a lot of girls you don’t like but among them you will find one girl that will turn your world upside down with just one look… I’ve been living abroad for years now and I’ve never fallen for a foreign girl the way I have for some Venezuelan girls like I may like them a lot but none of them have given me the flutters like some of the girls I’ve dated over there then again I might be biased who knows.

    I wish you had seen it when it wasn’t such a mess but then again it wouldn’t have been anywhere near as cheap as it is now haha. I live in China now I’ve been thinking about visiting Australia any tips?. Btw…The perfect Spanish thing tho where did you get that from? it’s the first time I’ve heard that!

    • Avatar Will Hatton says:

      I’ve heard that a couple of Venezuelan papers have re-published my stuff which is so exciting for me! I know exactly what you mean about the girls dude; some of them are truly, truly stunning – absolutely amazing and so much fun! I’m actually British, not from Australia, I don’t know why all of Venezuela seems to think I am from Oz, haha! I found in Venezuela people just struggled to understand my, admittedly limited, Spanish whereas in other countries in South America – I was better understood, perhaps because venezuela doesn’t get many visitors so my accent really through people?

  • Avatar Antonio says:

    hey hey! Interesante tu entrada sobre mi pais, aunque no vivo en Venezuela, ire de vacaciones en los proximos meses, asi que aprovechare para hacer turismo en mi propio pais; por ejemplo, la gran sabana. Desconozco muchos detalles (Y mis amigos que viven all viven perdidos en el limbo como para preguntarles algo) me gustaria poder charlar contigo para pedirte unos consejos sobre la gran sabana.. Y si alguien va a Venezuela entre junio y agosto, pues con mucho gusto me uno a la aventura…

  • Avatar Laura says:

    Hahahahhaahha! Venezuela has its fair share of fatties. We sure do…must be the arepas and fried empanadas 🙁 I’m so glad you had fun in my country! Despite all the madness, it sure is a wonderful place to visit. Spread the word! 🙂

    • Avatar Will Hatton says:

      I am telling everyone I meet to go – I think it’s an amazing country and already want to come back, heck – maybe Maduro will go for a beer with me now I’m in the papers 😛

  • Avatar Alejandro says:

    As a Venezuelan, I can just say… you nail it with this article. Indeed there is to much misinformation for travelers, but if you talk to the right person who can show you around and give you some tips and tricks, then you are going to be a fucking god in Venezuela and you’ll fucking love it!
    About the girls, since the increase of robbery and murders, going out it’s not what it use to be a few years ago, beautiful girls now gather up in exclusive places, so if you want to meet girls you have to be creative and if you get in the right circle, again, you’ll fucking love it!

  • Avatar Juan Pablo Sans says:

    Careful though, as insecurity rate is among the highest in the world. Don’t try to be after 19.00 on the streets, try not to get a feud with anybody potentially dangerous, bring deodorant, toilet paper and many other basic things, as they are scarce. Seriously, I love my country, and I think there is no better country in the world, but I wouldn’t recommend it for now. Better a booking for 2017 on, when things might get better.

  • Avatar Francisco Orozco says:

    Hi Will! another Venezuelan here!, I’m shocked about your article, it made me appreciate again all the good things that we have here in Venezuela, I found out your blog because you have just been posted on one of the most important web media, “La Patilla”, I leave the link of the article http://www.lapatilla.com/site/2015/04/20/mochilero-australiano-en-venezuela-pase-de-mendigo-a-millonario-en-un-instante/ such an honor for us to have you here, thank you for showing the world the bright side of this beautiful country

  • Avatar Alex Guevara says:

    Hey Will, I’m glad that you came and enjoyed of Venezuela. I hope you come back on a future when we will better than now.

    Regards.

  • Avatar Aurelia Russo says:

    Hi Will.. love what you wrote.. with all the problems and the political situation sometimes we forget how beautiful is our country.. so thanks for remember me how lucky I am for being Venezuelan.. So sure we are not all misses but with are close haha just kidding.. I also live in Paraguana Peninsula and is kind of great so you should come someday.. I hope more people dare to come because not everything is bad.. if you need something just write.. with you article you won many friends here so Cheers and Welcome!!

  • Avatar Aure says:

    I really enjoy your article, I am from Venezuela but right now I am an Au pair in Germany, so it is really good to read really nice coments about my country, I really liked it that you have a good opinion about that. Its true that people like s,to speak about the situation both of sides. People there are really nice and that is something that I really like it about my country. Gracias!

  • Avatar jorge says:

    Hi Will,

    Thanks for travelling to my poor rich country Venezuela. I know that you had a good time I just saw your pictures in a spanish web side called La Patilla and it is always good to look for the good side of things. I am from Venezuela but I am living in Adelaide Australia for almost 8 years now and I can tell you my seven things nobody told me about Australia:

    1) Petrol is way too expensive
    2) Nobody talks about politics here because there is not much to talk about as the system works; Autralia is a free country and we dont have social unrest or some guy as a dictator
    3) Milk is really good and is even for free at work (you sadly will never see that in Venezuela)
    4) Not every Australian woman is Nicole Kidman and there are a lot of fat people as well but for over eating….
    5) Australians dont like bad English (specially in Adelaide) most people get annoyed by mis pronunciations and they dont make an effort to understand foreigners as well
    6) The quality is amazing here and the way of life is incredible…
    7) Australians are also friendly and there is always a “mate” attitute

    The only difference between you and me is that you can go there and live the chaos for a litle bit and then go away. As for me I am happy living in Adelaide knowing that there are people like you who still can go and enjoy life and enjoy one of the most wonderfull people and countries in this world

    All the best,

    Jorge

  • Avatar Arianny says:

    Dudo mucho que todas puedan mantener una figura digna de Miss World, si no tienen el presupuesto para comprar la comida, y si lo tienen no la hay. This made me almost cry, cant believe im moving out in 2 months just because i cant profesionally develop here. So glad you enjoyed your trip and i hope you come back and visit Los Roques when everything gets … uhm even better? hahah

    Sincerely yours,

    another non potential Miss World

    P.S: not a Miss World but i take pretty good selfies.

  • Avatar Alejandra Gonzalez says:

    Hi there!
    It’s great to know that someone has a exciting time visiting my country and being so understanding with all the turmoil you found here, your opinions were objective and well mannered, I really appreciate that… I have a lot of friends living in Australia, some in Melbourne, others in Adelaide and Perth and Ford.
    I am glad You visited two of the most amazing places here: Merida and Roraima in the Gran Sabana. You know something? Most of Venezuelans have never gone up to Roraima, it is too expensive for our empty pockets (*sigh*) including mine…
    Well I hope you will come again at any time. Do not hesitate to contact me if you plan to return or someone you know might, I have traveled all across my country and I’d be glad to help others find the real Venezuela behind the political situation, the lack of food and products, and the place we have as one of the most dangerous countries in the world.
    Thanks a lot from the bottom of my heart!

    • Avatar Will Hatton says:

      Thank you so so much for such lovely feedback; I really appreciate it 🙂 I cannot wait to come back to Venezuela and make even more awesome friends again soon! 🙂

  • Avatar Jessica says:

    I really enjoyed your posts about Venezuela. It’s not common to read or to hear about the good things we have in this country. I hope you come back soon to get to know Venezuela even more. You can count on me to be your tourist guide in Ciudad Bolivar if you want to see the imponent Orinoco river.

  • Avatar Gaby says:

    Hi Will!!

    First of all, thank you for writing about my country! It has many many issues but we still love it and I’m extremely proud of it. I wish I’d have know that you were coming here, I could have helped you although I live far from Merida hehe. We aren’t a popular place right now, but I promised myself to help any traveler that was brave and interested enough to come to our little paradise whenever I can.

    You are right about being an obese country! I’m not sure if it’s arepas or beer or chocolate hahaha.

  • Avatar Manuel Contreras says:

    Hola Mr. Will

    Mi Inglés es pésimo pero entiendo que usted habla español. Vivo en Venezuela y tú relato me llena de mucho optimismo, siempre le digo a mis compatriotas que a pesar de la actual situación tenemos uno de los mejores países del mundo, me alegra mucho que haya disfrutado su estadía por estas tierras y ojalá otros locos como usted (en el buen sentido de la palabra) se atrevan a conocer las maravillas de nuestra tierra, que siga disfrutando de sus viajes por el mundo… Saludos…

  • Avatar Mirko Buiza says:

    it’s so nice to read this kind of stories about people coming to my country, it’s even better to see the passion of the travelers when they fall in love (with the landscape, with the skinny good looking girls of the chubby beatiful girls here, or the men, or both, or everything), to share this warm feeling with all travelers (broke backpacker or not) is something I found very interesting every time it happens, true, we have many problems as a problem, and, as a young country and we have a long road ahead, many things to learn on the way and keep pur love not only for our land but also fot the people coming to visit, to our brothers and sisters, here and anywhere else; i’ve lived for short periods of time in many places of Venezuela and i’m bever tired of knowing people, making tons o new experiences, from the most dangerous citie’s corners to the most isolated places like La Gran Sabana o any of the Tepuy, from beaches so crowded you can barely walk among all of them to the tiny islands where your only partner is a fe fishes in the shore, a starfish and the sun over the clear waters, I’m REALLY happu for your travel to Venezuela and I Hope this can a good thing a good guide to the people interested in coming, by the way, i’m writing a small rulebook about the 101 things you can and cant do, should and should not do, and MUST and MUST NOT do here, so, i will send this freelu to all the people in many countries hopefully if you return it might be a good thing to read (in spanish, english and dutch).

    by the way, i’ll expend a whole year in Guarico state, the middle of the country, no so far and no so near many places nor cities, a good place to be in Venezuela in this moment.

    greetings and my best wishes to you in yours travels.

    • Avatar Martin says:

      Definitely have to read it.
      ¿Ya lo tienes listo?

    • Avatar bart says:

      Hi Mirko,
      How is your book, done?
      I’m Bart living in Holkand and eager to come this symmer (2016) to visit the beauty of Venezuela.
      In the nineties I lived as a exchange student in Ccs and had a great year, explored all sides of the country. This summer I wanna return for a month to see what changed and see some more, there’s soooo much to see!
      I’m interested to read your book to avoid to get into trouble.
      Kind regards,
      Bart

    • Avatar Edwin says:

      Hi am interested in the do,s and don’t Think you talk about.
      In Dutch please

  • Avatar Renaldo Soto says:

    hi 🙂 find me on facebook i can guide you around Venezuela to my friends or give at least the best information cheers from venezuela !

    • Avatar bart says:

      Hi Ronaldo,
      Do you know how many times your name appears when you write your name??
      I’m coming this summer to Ccs and to explore some beauty of the country. I’m only a bit concerned about my safety. Has it got worse or do we hear only the bad info and is it getting better?
      kind regards,
      Bart (from Holland)

  • Avatar Owen says:

    It’s nice to hear country getting their priorities right – flights over powdered milk any day!

  • Avatar Ana Urbina says:

    Hi there Will! Thanks a lot for stopping by my beautiful country and made an approach to our whole sense. 🙂 I enjoyed your article, and hope you got to see the Angel Falls, stunning beaches in Los Roques, the mix of savage and wonderful rivers in Los Llanos, and everything in between. Although we are living a tough time, you got what makes us Venezuelans, indeed. Congratulations and keep that backpack ready for new adventures. “Mi casa es tu casa”.

  • Avatar Jhoanna says:

    Hi Will…
    It feels so good to read about your experience in my beautiful country… Thanks God you didnt pay attention to those “warning advices” (sadly they have SOME reason), as you could realize, there’s more good than bad things. You just need some guidance and fortunatelly you had it… I found this post coincidentally in FB but already read the prevuoys ones about your experience in here… A lot of venezuelans are like Estela, i’d be honored to host and help you whenever you want. I live in Paraguana Peninsula (Falcon State), that’s the little head in the top-left of the map.

    It’s the first time i read about “couchsurfing” but it seems interesting, it remembers me the students exchanges which were so common in here like 20-25 years ago… I understand about the harder it is to find a host, as the bibble says “because of the increase of the wickedness the love of most will grow cold” but i still have faith in people, and i’m sure we (venezuelans) can have shortages of many things but you can be sure a lot of us have abundance of kindness and hospitality to share…

    Hope you keep enjoying your trips and once again, thanks for telling people not everyting is bad in here…

    Sincerelly yours,

    A non potential Miss World (not fateither

    • Avatar Will Hatton says:

      Hey Johoanna, Venezuela was amazing and I had such a good time although I must admit, I was a tad nervous regarding all the warnings! I really hope to come back to Venezuela some day and meet up with more epic people – we should totally grab a beer! I love your writing style, it’s really good! Take it easy and keep on keeping on; Venezuela is emerging from the darkness and both it’s people and the country itself are truly amazing 🙂

      • Avatar Anthony Montilva says:

        Buenas amigo lamento que tuvieras una impresión pésima del país por el caos económico que estamos atravesando, precisamente no son nuestros mejores tiempos, Dios mediante todo volverá a su normalidad. Estoy a la orden cuando vuelvas a poner pie sobre esta tierra maravillosa hay muchas cosas que te faltaron por conocer y experimentar. Felicidades me entere de tu articulo porque lo tildaron políticamente lo cual no me parece porque estas dejando por sentado tu experiencia y percepción del entorno en el cual te expusiste y es una realidad que mas que nadie el venezolano lo vive en carne propia día a día, gracias a dios no te sucedió nada malo. Suerte y Éxito…. Estamos a la orden.

        • Avatar Ricardo Javier says:

          Él no tuvo ninguna “impresión pésima”. Por el contrario, en su artículo lo que hace es ensalzar la maravillosa experiencia que encontró en Venezuela, y lo mucho que le gustó.
          Parece que lo único pésimo aquí es tu comprensión del idioma inglés.

        • Avatar Oscar Aguilar says:

          Él no tuvo ninguna “impresión pésima”. Por el contrario, en su artículo lo que hace es ensalzar la maravillosa experiencia que encontró en Venezuela, y lo mucho que le gustó.
          Parece que lo único pésimo aquí es tu comprensión del idioma inglés.

  • We have become very good friends with a Venezuelan man and are loving hearing so much about his culture and also about his lifestyle and the politics of the country. We can totally attest to the friendliness if he is anything to go by.

  • Ahhhhh OK Venezuela is my next destination… Cheap fuel? “Yeah that’s pretty handy”. Toilet paper is more expensive than flights? “Alright I’ll just use napkins in restaurants then”. Not every woman is a miss world “Sweet I’ll have a chance with the guys!” Quality of goods, good? “I do REALLY need some new swimwear”. Awesome Couchsurfing community? “I’M SORRY I can’t hear you over the sound of me furiously booking a flight”. Cannot wait.

    • Avatar Will Hatton says:

      This comment made me excited for you! Venezuela is epic Crystal, you will love it! 🙂

      • Avatar Keyla Ayala says:

        Hay mate! Venezuelans aren’t fat!

        Go to Caracas so you will see what beauty is all about

        The capital is the city where everybody look after their bodies and for sure you will find plenty of misses around you. We are fitness freaks

        I’m from Caracas and I can tell … 😉

        Anyway thanks for visiting our country ????

    • Avatar Mirko Buiza says:

      good thing you are coming, i hope you have a great wellcome and wonderfull travel and a most significant experience…

      FYI bring your own toilet paper, don’t say anything about politics, cuba or usa or russia or you’ll start world war III and half in any bar, meeting hotel or restaurant, if by accident you started it, just ask for this UNA POLAR BIEN FRIA (this means a very cold beer, polar is the best brand and most knoe here) and have a good time, hide your money, and never reject food offerings, if you have to just say you’re allergic to some ingredient or something like that and people will want to take care of you (free health care system by the way, in some places), beware of renting a car and have a nice trip…

    • Avatar Vilmarys says:

      Be careful when coming, specially if you are coming alone. Yes, due to the incredibly high inflation things are really cheap for you people who do not suffer exchange policy (and i mean you can buy dollars or have access to any currency with only going to a exchange place or a bank). Don’t wear expensive jewelry, clothes or things that look like a luxury, not show off your cellphone or camera or valuables, you might get robbed, kidnapped or killed (with fire gun, i’m not joking when i say common thieves are armed with them). So be carefull where you are going and with who.

      Venezuela might sound like a paradise thanks to this article but it’s not all that pretty. Take in mind you might find some hardships around, if you can deal with all that (including not finding toilet paper, maxypads or tampoms, shampoo or soap (or body or clothes washing), milk, flour, meat, chicken and other basic things. Being without electric service and running for some hours in a daily basis) you pretty much might find the travel enjoyable.

      The best of lucks in your adventure. In my homecountry, sadly i left it behind to find a better future outside of it.

    • Avatar Manuel Ocando says:

      Hello Crystal! If you’re coming to Venezuela it would be a pleasure to be your guide if you come to my city! I live in the coast in a city called Barcelona. I know you’re an Aussie and you have a lot of beaches but if you’re interested to visit us it would be an honor! I lived in Aus for several months and I want to show the same hospitality the Aussies show me when I was there and also to have someone to practice my English lol!

      Cheers!

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