Caracas is the capital of Venezuela, and the political, economic and cultural center of the country. Caracas stands framed in a mountain valley at an average altitude of 900 m in the old town. It is located north-central Venezuela, about 15 km from the Caribbean Sea. It has an area of 822.9 km ² and a population of over 3.2 million people. Avila National Park forms part of a mountain range that separates the city from the central coast of Venezuela and is considered by the Caracas as its own symbol, which is often described as the largest oasis and green lung of the occupied city of Caracas.
Caracas is often described as a concrete jungle is not exactly the most visited destination by tourists arriving in Venezuela. However, it is the perfect key to understanding the country. Caracas is a city crowded and noisy. It is advisable to wear light clothing, comfortable shoes and clothes or jewelry of little value. Also tourists who do not know the language, are advised to carry a dictionary with translations into Spanish to make it easy to stay in the country. The avenues and highways are almost always full of vehicles, in part because Venezuela has the cheapest gasoline in the world. As most of the time, its major roads are jammed cars. Caracas has a Metro system, which was one of the best in Latin America, but today is very congested at peak times and suffers from numerous flaws that cause unplanned downtime.
The climate of Caracas is stable all year, intertropical mountain type, so there are no weather stations but two periods: a dry (December to April) and rainy (May to November). Rarely are variations of cold or heat waves, the coolest months are December and January the temperature can be between 15 º C and 19 ° C and the hottest: April and May where the temperature varies between 22 º C and 26 ° C . The city’s average temperature ranges between 16 and 29 ° C. And if it gets any rainy season at 15 and 18 ° C. The maximum temperature was recorded at 36 º C and the minimum recorded was 7 ° C.
The Venezuelan government has implemented since 2005 a rigid system of exchange controls, including the freezing of the official exchange rate to U.S. dollar (USD. 1 = Bsf.4, 30, Oct. 2010). Transactions in foreign exchange by the bolivar (Venezuelan currency) are performed in exchange offices or banks, at the official rate. For some time now has been restricted to these financial operations in hotels. The currency exchange transactions are authorized by the Administration Commission (CADIVI). Which requires a registration process that expands a bit the process.
Travelers are likely to find people willing to change their bolivars for dollars or Euros at a price much higher than the official rate. The parallel market is prohibited by the country’s foreign exchange control is illegal. Travelers who participate in such activity may be detained by the Venezuelan authorities if they are reported. Also in accordance with the law, anyone who trades more than $ 10,000 (or its equivalent in other currencies) in the course of a year through unofficial means is subject to a fine twice the amount exchanged. If the amount exceeds $ 20,000 the penalty is two to six years in prison. Any person who carries more than $ 10,000 must declare the sum to Customs officials.
Credit cards are a common and accepted payment in most stores. Visa, MasterCard, American Express and Dinner Club are some that are valid and representation in Venezuela. Because of the prevalence of fraud with credit cards, travelers should be cautious about using their credit cards and should periodically check your statement to ensure that all charges have been authorized by the creditor of the card and notified if there are no charges have been made and have not been so authorized happen.
Caracas has ATMs with 24-hour service, where users can withdraw cash in local currency, but it is likely that many of these ATMs do not accept debit cards issued abroad.
Maiquetia International Airport Simon Bolivar is the largest air terminal in the country, receives nonstop flights from many cities in America, the Caribbean, Europe and some Middle East.
The airport is the main gateway to Venezuela. Located in the town of Maiquetia, about 25 km from the city of Caracas via highway. The trip to Caracas can last from about 30 minutes to just over an hour, depending on the flow of vehicles.
The airport has three terminals (Domestic or National, International and Auxiliary). Its international terminal has direct flights to and from Miami , New York , Atlanta, Dallas, Houston, Toronto, Mexico City , San Juan (PR), Madrid , Paris, Rome, Frankfurt, Lisbon, Tenerife, Funchal, Porto, Damascus , Aruba, Curaçao, Fort de France, Port of Spain, Santo Domingo, Punta Cana, Havana, Panama City , San José (Costa Rica), Bogota , Medellin , Lima , Sao Paulo , Buenos Aires and Santiago de Chile.
Some of the airlines that serve the international terminal are Aerolíneas Argentinas, AeroMexico, Air Canada, Air Europa, Air France, Alitalia, American Airlines, Aserca, Avianca Avior Airlines, Caribbean Airlines, Conviasa, Continental/United Airlines, Copa Airlines Colombia, Copa Airlines, Delta, Dutch Antilles Express, Iberia, Insel Air, Laser Airlines, LAN, Lufthansa, SBA, TACA, TAM, TAP, Varig / Gol, Venezuela, among others.