Travel Guide Caracas. Nightlife Calendar of events Hotels. Quick view Venezuela Travel etiquette Health

Save this PDF as:
 WORD  PNG  TXT  JPG

Size: px
Start display at page:

Download "Travel Guide Caracas. Nightlife Calendar of events Hotels. Quick view Venezuela Travel etiquette Health"

Transcription

1 Travel Guide Quick view Travel etiquette Health Phone calls & Internet Top 10 sights Shopping in Restaurants Nightlife Calendar of events Hotels Getty Images LH.com/travelguide 01/11

2 02 Quick view a brief overview The capital of is a chaotic modern metropolis, sprawled at the feet of the Avila National Park, a forested mountain range that separates the city from the Caribbean coast. One of the main hubs to South America, can be an overwhelming introduction to the continent. It s hot and steamy most of the year, fast-paced night and day, and with traffic-choked freeways tangled around its high-rise blocks. If you can survive its rigours, you ll be well set up to cope with the rest of the region. does have its charms however, including vibrant nightlife, an adventurous arts scene and well-preserved colonial architecture. General Information Country overview Though best known for its oil politics and feisty president, is in fact an action-packed traveller's destination endowed with an astonishing array of landscapes and experiences. Geography Situated in the north east corner of the South American continent, is bordered to the north by the Caribbean, to the east by Guyana and the Atlantic Ocean, to the south by Brazil, and to the west and southwest by Colombia. The country consists of four distinctive regions: the n Highlands in the west; the Maracaibo Lowlands in the northwest; the vast central plain of Los Llanos around the Orinoco River; and the Guyana region in the extreme south, which includes part of the Amazon rainforest and the Guyana highlands. Various parts of, including and the eastern part of Sucre, are vulnerable to earthquakes, although there have been no serious ones for many years. Important topographical features include the Orinoco river, the largest river in South America after the Amazon, at a length of 2,140km (1,330 miles), and the dramatic table top mountains known as tepuis, which are found in the Guyana highlands. Angel Falls, situated in the Canaima National Park is the highest waterfall in the world, plunging into the Orinoco from a height of 979m (3,212ft). The Andes mountain range crosses the northwestern region of the country, with the highest peak Pico Bolivar reaching heights of 5,007m (16,427ft). General knowledge Key facts Population: Population Density (per sq km): 31 LH.com/travelguide 02/11

3 03 Capital:. Language Spanish is the official language. English, French, German and Portuguese are also spoken by some sections of the community. Currency Bolívar Fuerte (VEF; symbol Bs.F.) = 100 céntimos. Notes are in denominations of Bs.F.100, 50, 20, 10, 5 and 2; coin denominations are Bs.F.1, and 50, 25, 12.5, 10, 5 and 1 céntimos. Electricity 120 volts AC, 60Hz. US-style flat two-pin plugs (with or without grounding pin) are the most commonly used fittings. General business opening hours Working hours vary, but are roughly Mon-Fri Some businesses take a break in the middle of the day - usually from , to avoid the heat of the day. Public holidays Below are listed Public Holidays for the January 2019 December 2020 period Año Nuevo (New Year s Day): 1 January 2019 Lunes de Carnaval (Carnival Monday): 4 March 2019 Martes de Carnaval (Shrove Tuesday): 5 March 2019 Jueves Santo (Maundy Thursday): 18 April 2019 Viernes Santo (Good Friday): 19 April 2019 Declaración de la Independencia (Declaration of Independence): 19 April 2019 Domingo de Pascua (Easter Sunday): 21 April 2019 Día del trabajo (Labour Day): 1 May 2019 Batalla de Carabobo (Battle of Carabobo): 24 June 2019 Día de la Independencia (Independence Day): 5 July 2019 Natalicio de Simón Bolívar (Simón Bolívar s Birthday): 24 July 2019 Día de la Resistencia Indígena (Day of Indigenous Resistance): 14 October 2019 Día de Navidad (Christmas): 24 and 25 December 2019 Fin de Año (New Year s Eve): 31 December Año Nuevo (New Year s Day): 1 January 2020 Lunes de Carnaval (Carnival Monday): 24 February 2020 Martes de Carnaval (Shrove Tuesday): 25 February 2020 Jueves Santo (Maundy Thursday): 9 April 2020 Viernes Santo (Good Friday): 10 April 2020 Domingo de Pascua (Easter Sunday): 12 April 2020 Declaración de la Independencia (Declaration of Independence): 19 April 2020 Día del trabajo (Labour Day): 1 May 2020 Batalla de Carabobo (Battle of Carabobo): 24 June 2020 Día de la Independencia (Independence Day): 5 July 2020 Natalicio de Simón Bolívar (Simón Bolívar s Birthday): 24 July 2020 Día de la Resistencia Indígena (Day of Indigenous Resistance): 12 October 2020 Día de Navidad (Christmas): 24 and 25 December 2020 Fin de Año (New Year s Eve): 31 December 2020 All information subject to change. LH.com/travelguide 03/11

4 04 Travel etiquette How to fit in Social Conventions ns are known for being warm and friendly, with people often greeting each other with a kiss, or using the local abrazo (a cross between a hug and a handshake). Handshakes are reserved for greeting strangers. Personal space is much less of a concern, so don't be alarmed if people stand very close when holding a conversation. In, conservative casual wear is the norm. Men are expected to wear suits for business, and jackets and ties are usual for dining out and social functions. Dress on the coast is less formal but beachwear and shorts should not be worn away from the beach or pool. Smoking follows European habits and in most cases it is obvious where not to smoke. Some public buildings are also non-smoking areas. Health Health Food & Drink Mains water is not drinkable and should be sterilised, either through boiling or filtering. Alternatively, drink bottled water; it is available throughout the country. Milk is pasteurised and dairy products are safe for consumption. Local meat, poultry, seafood, fruit and vegetables are generally considered safe to eat. When it comes to eating out use common sense, stick to food that's been freshly cooked, and be wary of fruit or vegetable salads where the ingredients may have been washed in mains water. The same goes for ice used in cold drinks. Other Risks Vaccination against hepatitis B is advised for visitors on long-term stays who have regular contact with the local population. The risk of malaria in is in the main limited to those visiting the Amazon basin area. Contractual physician of Lufthansa Dr. Kolbe, Gisela Multicentro Empresarial del Este Torre Mirando Núcleo B Piso 9 con. 91 B entre Av. Francisco de Miranda y Av. Libertador Chacao Tel Emergencies Please note that Lufthansa accepts no responsibility for the treatment nor will it bear the cost of any treatment. Phone calls & Internet Phone calls & Internet Telephone/Mobile Telephone Dialing code: +58 LH.com/travelguide 04/11

5 05 Telephone does have a network of public payphones throughout most major cities. Visitors can pay either by cash, or by using a prepaid phone card which often works out cheaper per minute. Mobile Telephone Roaming agreements exist with some international mobile phone companies. Travellers on extended stays might consider getting a local SIM card to insert in their own phone. Internet There are internet cafes in most urban areas. Top 10 sights Top 10 sights in Plaza Bolívar This small square forms the historic heart of the city, surrounded by colonial buildings including the National Assembly, cathedral and City Hall. In its centre stands a mounted statue of national hero Simón Bolívar. Calle Bolivar Parque los Caobos This pleasant park in the city centre contains several museums, as well as modern sculptures, a café, tree-lined pathways and fountains. Paséo Colon Tue-Sun Palacio Federal Legislativo With its white-pillared facade and golden dome, the home of the national legislative body is a stately edifice. Decorating its plush salons are historic paintings by n artist Martín Tovar y Tovar, including the 1811 signing of the Declaration of Independence. Avenida Este 2 y Norte 2 Tue-Sun and Jardin Botánico These tropical gardens contain more than 2,500 plants, including palm trees, orchids, giant water lilies, and bromeliads. Forming part of the city s university grounds, they re a peaceful spot, with well-tended lawns and a large lagoon. Avenida Este 2 y Norte 2 LH.com/travelguide 05/11

6 06 Daily Casa Natal del Libertador This replica of the 17th-century house where Simón Bolívar was born in 1783 is a faithful reconstruction of the original, with some of the furniture and belongings of the country s beloved founder. Esquina de San Jacinto Tue-Fri Sat-Sun Museo de Arte Colonial Housed in a lovely 18th-century hacienda, this collection of colonial art also contains period furniture and religious and domestic artefacts, forming a vivid insight into the aristocratic life of former times. Av. Panteon San Bernardino Tue-Fri and Sat-Sun Museo de Arte Contemporáneo This collection of modern art is one of the most important museums in. Its permanent exhibition includes some 3,000 paintings and sculptures by major n artists, including Jacobo Borges, as well as international works by the likes of Matisse, Chagall, and Francis Bacon. Parque Central Tel: Tue-Fri Sat-Sun ontemporaneo Ateneo de The city s main cultural centre, Ateneo de includes two theatres, a cinema, a concert hall, an art gallery, and a library. With a diverse programme, it s one of the best arts hubs in. Avenida La Salle, Colinas de Los Caobos Tel: Various ateneodecaracas.wordpress.com Museo de Bellas Artes LH.com/travelguide 06/11

7 07 Founded in 1918, this is the oldest museum in. Its extensive collection includes contemporary Latin American art as well as 19th-century European paintings and artefacts from Ancient Egypt and China. Plaza de los Museos, Parque los Caobos Tel: Tue-Fri Sat-Sun artes Aerial Tramway Take a cable car up Mt Avila overlooking. From the summit, you can enjoy superb views of the city below, as well as walks through the forested Avila National Park. Sistema Teleférico Warairarepano, Avenida Principal Maripérez Tel: Tue-Sun Shopping in Shopping in Key Areas has chaotically crowded street markets and ultra-modern air-conditioned shopping malls, plus chic specialist stores in preserved old districts such as El Hatillo. Parque Central, despite its name, is a concrete complex housing citycentre shops; residential suburbs in Las Mercedes and Chacao have more relaxed shopping streets. Markets One of the biggest general daily markets is Mercado Quinta Crespo, off Avenida Baralt noisy and hectic but fascinating (though leave valuables in your hotel). The Mercado Peruano is a Sunday market on Boulevard Amador Bendayan specialising in Peruvian food, including fresh ceviche (marinated fish). Shopping Centres Hannsi, on Calle Bolivar in El Hatillo, is the country s largest handicrafts centre, selling authentic products from the Andes and the Amazon. The plushest mall, and one of the biggest in Latin America, is the Centro Comercial Sambil, on Avenida Libertador, with five floors of fashion, jewellery and luxury goods. Restaurants Restaurants in With its cattle-ranching traditions, s cuisine is heavily meat based. has great steakhouses, but being close to the coast, it also has somegood fish and seafood restaurants. The best dining areas include Sabana Grande, La Castellana, Chuao and Las Mercedes. Maute Grill LH.com/travelguide 07/11

8 08 Sink your teeth into some of the finest steaks in in this colonial-style restaurant with an airy patio. Quinta El Portal, Avenida Rio de Janeiro Price: Expensive Granja Natalia Perched high up in Avila National Park, this restaurant serves French-inspired cuisine, with amazing Caribbean views. Via Galipán, El Avila Price: Expensive La Castañuela Great seafood and Spanish dishes are the specialities here, plus excellent service. Calle Trinidad con Calle Paris Price: Moderate El Hornito Andino Regular customers queue for the hearty breakfasts at this typical Andean restaurant. Segunda Transversal de Campo Alegre Price: Moderate La Casa 22 This trendy tapas bar with a tiny courtyard garden is popular with the local arty set. Calle Sucre 22 Price: Cheap Nightlife Nightlife in Famous for its pioneering classical music educational programme, has an excellent arts and entertainment scene. Loud, late and lively salsa clubsare the locals favourite, with some of the best places in Sabana Grande. For somewhere less rowdy, Las Mercedes has upscale trendy bars. El Mani es Así The massive, heaving, and oddly named Peanut is Like This club is the number one hotspot for salsa. LH.com/travelguide 08/11

9 09 Calle El Cristo Juan Sebastián Bar The longstanding home of live jazz in, with dancing and decent food too. Avenida Suka Bar One of the city s top lounge bars, with booming house and electronica music attracting a young crowd. Centro Comercial San Ignacio, La Castellana Trasnocho Cultural This hip arts centre offers an excellent alternative programme of theatre, cinema and music, with a relaxing lounge bar. Centro Comercial Paseo Las Mercedes, Avenida Las Mercedes La Estancia Listen to live classical and n music in a beautiful old house and garden. Avenida Este 2 y Norte 2 Calendar of events Calendar of events Carnaval Carnival is celebrated on the Monday and Tuesday before Ash Wednesday. 4-5 March 2019 Venue: Throughout the city Festival Internacional de Teatro National and international groups descend upon the city for 17 days of world-class LH.com/travelguide 09/11

10 10 theatre, which takes place on even numbered years. March - April 2019 Website Venue: Main theatre venues throughout the city Semana Santa (Holy Week) The biggest religious celebration of the year with scores of processions and church events April 2019 Venue: Citywide, focused on churches Diablos Danzantes The small town of Francisco de Yare is flooded with swirling dancers sporting colourful devil costumes. It is a day trip from but well worth the effort. 20 Juni 2019 Venue: Venue Francisco de Yare Hotels Hotels in has plenty of cheap hotels and safe hotels. Unfortunately, the cheap hotels are in areas that are unsafe at night, and hotels in the safer areas are not cheap. If peaceand quiet are your priorities, your best bet are plusher districts such as Altamira, Chacao and La Castellana. Or there are some pleasant beach resorts on the coast. Eurobuilding Hotel & Suites This 5-star hotel in upmarket Chuao is packed with amenities, including a swimming pool. Calle la Guarita Category: Expensive JW Marriott This reliable modern business hotel is in a pleasant city centre neighbourhood. Avenida con Calle Mohedano 1060 Category: Expensive Renaissance This smart modern hotel has tasteful design flourishes and good business facilities. LH.com/travelguide 10/11

11 11 Avenida Eugenio Mendoza con Calle Urdaneta 1060 Category: Expensive Marriott Hotel Playa Grande On the coast and close to the airport, this is a well-appointed hotel with good facilities. Av El Hotel Playa Grande Category: Expensive LH.com/travelguide 11/11