Visit Caracas, the largest city in Venezuela, surrounded by forest-covered mountains, this sprawling, vibrant metropolis is one you have to spend some time in to really understand its charm.
Simon Bolivar International Airport (CCS)
Situated 26km north of the downtown area of Caracas, the Simon Bolivar International Airport (CCS) is easy to get to. It is one of the main commercial airports in Venezuela and sees more than 7 million passengers a year. The facilities are pretty good, and you will find access to banks, ATMs, currency exchange services, telephone booths as well as a pharmacy. Both terminals in the airport have restaurants and bars, with a few gift shops where you can pick up snacks and souvenirs.
Airlines to Caracas
There are a decent number of international airline carriers to this airport, and these include Qantas, Virgin Australia, United, COPA, American Airlines, Aeromexico, TAME, Avianca, and Delta.
If you’re flying from Australasia you will be subject to at least two stopovers, usually in Los Angeles (LAX), Dallas (DFW), Bogota (BOG) and Mexico City (MEX).
Getting into Caracas
You can find taxis just outside the airport, and they are available 24/7. The journey into town can vary from 35 to 65 minutes, depending on traffic. However, the price is fairly consistent, coming in around 35VEF ($8).
By public transport
There are buses that run from the airport into the city centre operated by UCAM. These run from 5:00am to 8:00pm every half hour, and take around 40 minutes to get into downtown.
There are quite a few car rental companies at CCS Airport, such as Budget, Avis, Europcar, Hertz, Aco, and Unirent. If you’d prefer to book in advance you can use our comprehensive car hire search tool.
What can you do in Caracas?
Though the capital is an impressive city, many visitors pass through it on their way to Venezuela’s natural attractions, like the Angel Falls or Los Roques. But not taking the time to see this city is a mistake, as this city has tons of great things to see and do.
Gaining independence in the 1820s from the Spanish, Caracas still bears the bones of that colonial influence. In the Plaza Bolivar you can stand on the ground where Diego de Losada founded the settlement of Caracas in 1567. In this area you will be right by the Metropolitan Cathedral and its adjoining museum that displays artefacts from the cathedral, as well as traditional colonial costumes. For other cultural attractions, you can’t go wrong by visiting the Museo Bolivariano, that charts Venezuala’s history including its passage to independence, led by Simon Bolivar. There is also a neat recreation of Bolivar’s house right next to the museum, a fascinating insight into this prominent Venezuelan figure’s background.
If you want to take advantage of all that beautiful greenery that surrounds Caracas, head to Avila National Park. You can see quite a bit of local wildlife, and hike through this beautiful park. One of the highlights is to take a cable car to the top of Mount Avila, if the day is clear you will be able to see the entire city, the surrounding mountains and the Caribbean Sea beyond.
When should you go?
Caracas benefits from a wonderfully temperate climate. In the hotter months (June-August) the temperature sits between 18-28°C and in the colder months swings between 14-25°C. Most people try to avoid the months between May and November because that is when the rains come down, and it can be quite heavy, so it is usually best to visit in the dry months.
What do you need to know?
Currency: The Venezuelan Bolivar (VEF)
Visas: Most international travellers will need a visa to gain entry into Venezuela. Visas can be granted by some air carriers, upon presentation of a valid return ticket, for stays of up to 90 days. However, not all countries are eligible for this, and it is important that you check your individual national requirements. There is a handy websiteherewhich gives a brief rundown of what’s needed, but if you do not find the information you require you must contact your nearest Venezuelan consulate service.
Please note all information is current as of January 2016.
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