Five centuries ago, the coast of Venezuela and many Caribbean Islands chosen corsairs. Amazing sand beaches of Curacao, Margarita, Maracaibo remember those times, when it rested thugs Edward Ticha, Michel de Gramona and Henry Morgan surrounded by passionate Indian and Creole girls, when excellent wine flowed freely, and the plunder Spanish Galleons gold dozens of tons of buried directly in the shallows, waiting for better times. For gentlemen of a knife and a gun these days did not come, Venezuela seized by the Spaniards, and pirate gold and still lies in the ground, waiting for tourists, hunters...
Venezuela is located in Northern South America, the total area of the sea space 860,000 km2. Bordered on the North by the Caribbean sea, to the South of the Federative Republic of Brazil and the Republic of Colombia, on the East by the Atlantic ocean and the United Republic of Guyana and on the West by the Republic of Colombia. The area of the country - 912 sq. miles Part of Venezuela are about forty Islands, the largest island of Margarita. Venezuela Islands belong ABEC, Archila, Los Hermanos, Los Testigos, Margarita, La Tortuga, Los Roques and Blankilya, as well as a number of small coral Islands (about 72) and reefs (about 200) in the southern Caribbean sea.
In Caracas, it is recommended to look at the huge statue of the liberator of Venezuela, which rises in the Central square that bears his name. This monument was cast in Europe and in 1874 disassembled sent by sea to Venezuela. He could never get to Caracas, as the ship, which was carrying Bolivar, caught in a storm near the Islands of Los rockos.
In Caracas offices of the largest companies in South America and the Caribbean. Here are the most important world of the sale of oil and oil products. The Caracas can be divided into four main areas; Central El Centro Plaza Bolivar (the square named after Simon Bolivar); Parque Central and the surrounding Bellas Artes cultural district; Las Mercedes and Boulevard de Sabana Grande, with its various shops and restaurants.
Cumana - the old town with architecture in the Spanish colonial style is the first in South America settlement of Europeans. To the East of the town lies the national Park Moisten.
The city of Porlamar on Margarita island, separated from the continent by 60 km, is the main seaside resort in the country. The island is 315 miles of shoreline dotted with beautiful beaches, numerous high-end hotels and resort areas. There is also a beauty centre La Samana Spa with treatment of sea salts.
In Venezuela, not only can you relax on the island of Margarita, but also to visit the island of Trinidad (visa is not required, 19 km to mainland Venezuela), the three Dutch Islands - each of these routes lasts no longer than 50 minutes.
Also of interest are lake-lagoon of Maracaibo, known as the main base area of pirates in the XV-XVII centuries, 39 National parks: the Serrania de Neblina, jaua-Srisailam and other attractions.
Colonia Tovar hidden among the forests of the Cordillera de La Costa in 60 km South of Caracas unusual mountain town. Founded in 1843 by a group of German settlers, the city successfully hiding from all contact from the outside almost a century. Today, the Colony of Goods is a very nice town food markets and shops with art and crafts - is still German.
Plateau Roraima stretched along the border of Venezuela with Brazil on 280 square kilometers, its popularity is constantly growing mainly by tourists interested in botany. On the plateau there is a considerable amount of rain, the slopes are simply mesmerizing in its beauty.
The great Savannah is 35000 sq. km. of the green landscapes, forests, rivers and waterfalls - one of the most impressive mountains in the world. This region is home to only 2% of the population. Here, at an altitude of 900 meters above sea level, originate from the Alpine tributaries of the Amazon and Orinoco. Beautiful Savannah, rivers and waterfalls surrounded by forest Islands, where, according to local legends, the gods live and guard the hidden gold. In effect isolated location and temperature extremes here you can watch a large number of species of animals and plants, nowhere else in the world is not occurring.
In most of the country is dominated by the subequatorial climate, just North-West of Venezuela is influenced by altitude, significantly complicating the nature of the distribution of natural conditions. The country is located just North of the equator, and therefore, the temperature throughout the year varies relatively weakly with the average annual temperature within +21-26, in Caracas it ranges from +18 to +20 C, and in Maracaibo from +27 to +29 C. In mountain areas average January temperature ranges from +4-9, in the summer it can reach up to +23 C, depending on altitude above sea level.
Behind Moscow for 7 hours.
The official language is Spanish (Castellano). In some Indian villages of the country have their own languages and dialects, among these groups are: Guajira, the Warao, Yanomami, Pemon, Piaroa, Anu, mapoyo, which are located in areas of the jungle and on the shores of rivers national territories.
Bolivar (Bs, VEB), equal to 100 céntimos ( ¢ ). In circulation are banknotes 50 000, 20 000, 10 000, 5000, 2000, 1000, 500, 100, 50, 20, 10 and 5 Bolivar, and coins 500, 100, 50, 25, 5, 2 1 Bolivar, 50, 20, 10 and 5 céntimos ( ¢ ). Wide circulation, especially in the markets and in private establishments, are in US dollars and euros.
To enter Venezuela without visas citizens of the USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, UK, South Africa, Japan, European Union countries (except Greece), as well as citizens of the following countries: Andorra, Argentina, Barbados, Belize, Brazil, Chile, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Grenada, Iceland, Jamaica, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Malaysia, Mexico, Monaco, Norway, Paraguay, Switzerland, Taiwan, Trinidad and Tobago, Uruguay. For entry into the country, they only need to get an entry tourist card (TEC), which is given in the airport before departure on presentation of the ticket.
Citizens of the Russian Federation for entry into the country need a visa. Documents required for visa application:
• 3 of the questionnaire;
• 3 pictures;
• a passport that expires no earlier than 6 months;
• a copy of the internal passport;
• return ticket or a ticket to a third country;
• mail a self-addressed envelope and your own return address, if You send your application by mail;
• a letter from your place of work to obtain a business visa is also a letter from your employer confirming purpose of visit.
The validity of the visa is 60 days. Consular fee - 30-60 dollars (depending on the type of visa, the purpose and duration of travel).
Holders of business visas must be declared in the Ministry of Finance of any income received during the stay in the country. The implementation of the business by the holders of a tourist visa in Venezuela is considered a crime.
Religion: Roman Catholic 96%, Protestant 2%, other.
The boundaries of the country on the Venezuelan maps differ from data on maps other South American countries. This is because many of the border areas are not marked, and they also claimed by Brazil, Guyana and Colombia. So visit some border areas is not recommended.
The drug situation in the country is ambiguous. On the one hand, the government is making great efforts to prevent the cultivation of narcotic plants and transit through the country. On the other hand, to prevent the transportation of them to fail, large quantities of cocaine, heroin and marijuana are transported by transit from Colombia to the United States and Europe. Therefore, along the Colombian border and on the island of Margarita regularly conducted activities for the elimination of brothels and dealers that are closely related to Colombian rebels and drug lords.
In recent years the crime rate in Caracas and other major cities has increased considerably. The high rate of unemployment and increasing poverty provoke the emergence of new criminal groups, to deal with that local law enforcement cannot. To move around the city at night is not recommended, and the city centre is considered unsafe even in the evening. In areas with large concentrations of people frequent case of pickpocketing and fraud, increased levels of violent crime. Buses and informal taxis are not recommended for driving in Caracas, but metro is considered one of the safest modes of transport. The country has created a special Tourist brigade police, whose officers are required to help the tourists in all cases, clashes with local illegal items. Staff wearing red berets, can be accessed on any matter related to safety of foreign nationals. They are required even to accompany tourists through the city or on the route.
Outside of Caracas security problems are not so sharp. Usually in the province are rather peculiar security forces, something like the national guard, where the General maintenance of order falls on the shoulders of the local population and the police carries out the control for violent crimes and ensures the legitimacy of local authorities. Known exceptions - a few cities along the Colombian border (San Cristobal, Puerto Ayacucho, Guasdualito). The beach areas have a relatively high level of robberies and petty crime, but a low number of serious crimes.
For all local rules associated with law enforcement in case of a robbery, you must notify the police of any incidents. Police agent shall submit an application and provide a copy to the victim. Otherwise, it will not be accepted by any police or the court. When traveling on the roads of the country must be in possession of identification documents (passport, driving license and so on)that are required for numerous police checkpoints. To be in possession of any narcotic drugs is extremely dangerous, because local laws regarding drugs is extremely hard. Not worth it to travel around the country in the period Venezuelan holiday season (Christmas and Easter holidays, Carnival and Holy week). At this time, almost half the country where anything goes, there is an acute shortage of tickets for all modes of transport and places in hotels.
Venezuela is a Catholic country, so many local traditions based on maintaining Christian standards of conduct. The Church is the center of political, cultural and spiritual life, and the priest usually uses in the community unquestioned authority. In isolated inland areas still practice ancient tribal beliefs, and values significantly different from the usual European dogmas. While Venezuelans are very tolerant of cultural and racial differences, and mixed marriages are extremely common, which led to the formation of a distinctive multicultural nation.
Spanish is spoken everywhere, but English is used much less talk to it is possible only in the business districts of major cities and on some Islands of the Caribbean.
The main center of all local life - family. Venezuelans spend in the family much more free time than even the inhabitants of the neighboring Spanish-speaking countries, often even men abandon their traditional interests in favor of the children and the house, considering it's quite normal and even proud of the amount of time given to a home. Also very important, and "coming out" as a family, whether it be a local carnival or Sunday mass. Usually in the same house is home to three generations of people, older people have high status. Grandma and grandpa ("abuelitos") take care of children, especially if both parents work, which is very common here. They often cares about the kitchen and the rest of the family members. Many women in Venezuela are working, and no discrimination in all this - a huge number of them have reached professional heights in their case, it is enough to say that they surpass the number of men in such important sectors of the national economy, as law, medicine and education in local universities the vast majority of professors women). They also play an active role in politics (the number of women members of Congress country ahead of many countries in Latin America). However, on their shoulders also responsible for the care of children, elderly family members and home.
Large residential houses here are not uncommon. The Venezuelan government has long sponsored the construction market of affordable housing, however, the recent economic difficulties have led to the fact that many people can not afford good housing. Poor families build their own buildings out of something horrible, forming these slums around the big cities, called "the ranch". There is often no electricity, no water or sewer. Many residents of coastal areas of Venezuela build their houses on stilts ("palafitos"). In such constructions it is dry and even missing some insects, so characteristic of the coast. In this area the houses are built of Adobe bricks or limestone blocks. Some Indian peoples prefer unique types of traditional houses - "Yanomami" in the form of a huge round roof "Yano" and the walls, barely planned woven mats. In one such house can accommodate up to 100 families, and each family has its own place. Some Indian peoples continue to adhere to their traditional way of life both in the home and at work. For example, almost all Vayu" work in sales, "Yanomami" engaged in hunting and fishing, and the "paman" - gathering and fishing.
Another focus of the social life of the country are numerous restaurants and cafes are a great many. It discusses sports and political events, deals or just being a leisurely conversation about everything that is at least some interest. Venezuelans love to eat out (often the whole family and meet friends in restaurants. It is quite possible that this cause has resulted in Caracas has more restaurants per capita than any other Latin American city.
In relations between a Venezuelans very polite and correct - typical of many Latin American countries zapanibrata not here. However, in the course of a variety of nicknames, which are assigned to the interlocutors purely to facilitate communication. To familiar people (but not friends) easily applied quite picturesque treatment like "my love" ("mi Amor"or "my joy". With friends and familiar people use more precise wording of treatment that resembles more of a nickname, formed on the basis of external data interlocutor ("fat man", "ginger", and so on) or some other memorable attributes. Some Venezuelan nicknames may seem rather crude, but it should also be noted that in the local language has many nuances that give even offensive at first glance, the word is perfectly acceptable color.
Venezuelans have a peculiar attitude toward time, even arguing that they live "in the Venezuelan time" ("hora venezolana"). Seldom who where in a hurry, the service in restaurants is unhurried and the conversation is long and lengthy. But business issues are resolved very quickly, punctuality is valued highly enough, and the conversation will always end up so "thoroughly"as if never more to this man will not see.
Football and basketball is extremely popular as a form of recreation, especially in Brindisi areas. Venezuelan race horses are among the best in the world, so horse racing and other equestrian events are also among the national sports. Venezuelans love to spend holidays on the beach or on the numerous freshwater lakes of the country, where they enjoy water sports, surfing, snorkeling, scuba diving and fishing. Also extremely popular bullfights or "corrida de Toros". Stadium in the city of Valencia can accommodate up to 27 000 people, at least a modern arena in Maracay, San Cristobal and Maracaibo. Most popular are cockfights, traditional national game called "bolas-Creoles" or "the Venezuelan bowling well, and, of course, numerous musical performances, of which there is great variety.
Political system Venezuela
The Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela is an independent Federal Republic with a presidential form of government. The head of state and government is the President, elected in the General election for a period of 6 years.
About 25 million inhabitants in 2000. Ethnic mix: mestizo 67%, came from Europe (Spanish, Portuguese, Italian) - 21%, natives of Africa - 10%, Indian 2%, other. The main agricultural zone and the largest city - Caracas, Maracaibo, Koeman, Valencia, etc. are located in the North of the country. In the South and in the centre is home to a small part of the Indians and Negroes.
Import and export of local and foreign currency is unlimited, more than $10,000 must be declared. Also, you must declare gold and jewelry.
Persons under the age of 18 years is allowed duty-free import up to 200 cigarettes or 25 cigars; up to 2 litres of alcoholic beverages; up to 4 bottles of perfume, as well as other goods in a package in the amount of not more than $1000 (for international flights).
The import of vegetables, plants, or materials of vegetable origin, drugs and narcotic drugs, meat and meat products, firearms and ammunition (you need permission from the local police), as well as objects and items of historical, artistic or archaeological value.
The export of drugs and narcotic substances, live animals, hides and stuffed wild animals, flowers, fruits, and meat products, live plants, and things of historical, artistic or archaeological value.
Airport tax is VEB 73 500 (VEB 14 700 on domestic flights). Also with all the passengers, leaving the territory of Venezuela by air or sea will be charged a government tax of $21 ($29,4 - $39 in case of being in the country for more than 1 month). From paying fees exempt transit passengers continuing the trip on the same day and do not leave the international zone of the airport, persons under 15 years of age, diplomats and members of the crew.
Medical aid Venezuela
Venezuela has a mixed health care system based two systems of medical institutions - private and public. Public hospitals provide all General range of services, however many of them there is a palpable lack of drugs. Also known economic difficulties in the country has resulted in a number of clinics is in rather poor condition. Noteworthy is the acute shortage of medical personnel, especially in the provinces, so the Venezuelan government requires graduates to work for two years on your profile on the village that also does not solve the problem of lack of personnel. Most modern public hospital located in the capital of the country. First aid is free of charge and sufficiently qualified for all subsequent visits to doctors will be required to pay commercial rates.
Private clinics are well equipped, but quite expensive, so their services usually use those citizens who have health insurance.
Venezuela has a rather underdeveloped system ambulance, especially on the roads, so there is a very high risk of seriously injured from road traffic accidents.
Local peoples have a fairly stable custom treatment of diseases in traditional ways, and often it gives a better result than in most modern hospitals. Especially this treatment is good in case of defeat poisons local animals and plants, poisoning and certain infectious diseases. Moreover, besides the usual herbal treatment, there are widely used narcotic drugs and various spiritual practices, like "Malika" - a complex of rituals aimed at communicating with the spirit that caused the disease, and expelling it from the body of the patient. To use the services of local shamans and psychics is not recommended, however, local healers, using titlechange, have a reputation for being very effective healers.
Health insurance is not required but are strongly recommended.
Required and recommended immunizations and
For all foreigners arriving from areas of distribution of the yellow fever requires vaccination against this disease. Especially these measures are recommended for those tourists who intend to visit the valley of the Orinoco river, the States of Amazonas state, Apure and Delta-Amacuro, as well as the areas adjacent to the South of lake Maracaibo.
For all tourists who travel outside the main cities of the country, it is recommended immunization against cholera, hepatitis B and D (especially in the areas of the Delta of the Orinoco), rabies, tetanus, typhoid, American trypanosomiasis (Chagas disease), mucocutaneous leishmaniasis, tetanus and measles. The causative agents of schistosomiasis, leishmaniasis and paragonimus recorded in the North-Central part of the country is advised to avoid swimming in local freshwater (water in swimming pools is usually chlorinated and safe). In the South-Eastern regions some danger of mercury contained in the river water. In forest areas are particularly vulnerable to viral encephalitis, rabies, brucellosis, filariasis, onchocerciasis, and American trypanosomiasis (Chagas disease), so special care should be taken to animal products and by wild animals.
The risk of malaria (P. vivax) exists throughout the year in rural areas of Apure, Amazonas, Sucre, Tachira and Bolivar and around Barinas. The incidence of resistant to chloroquine forms of P.falciparum limited areas of the jungle in Amazonas (around Atabapo), South of Bolivar and wet forests Delta-Amacuro. You are advised to bring insect repellent and to settle in hotels whose rooms are necessarily equipped with mosquito nets (Toledo" or "musketiere").
Working hours Venezuela
Banks are usually open Monday to Friday from 08.30 to 15.30.
Most shops in the country are open from 8.00 to 18.00 on weekdays, however, outside Caracas many shops close by noon and be open no earlier than 14.00-15.00. Many shopping centres are open until 21.00-22.00.
All major cities have an extensive system of public passenger transport, mainly buses and taxis. All play an important role in recent minibuses ("por puestos") and taxis departing as it is filled. The fare for them comparable with the city buses, although in the evenings and in the weekend it is increased by 10-20%.
In Caracas there are quite modern, efficient and cheap metro, with 35 stations.
Taxi large companies are usually equipped with counters, although drivers use their reluctant, preferring to negotiate the fare in advance. Often foreign tourists openly cheated by turning counter and drive to the destination along the longest path. Therefore, the fare should be negotiated before landing, after consultation with the employees of the hotel or tour company on the distance to point travel and estimated costs. After 20.00 rates are doubled.
Offices of major companies, there are car rental in the airport of Caracas, and in all major cities. Car is very expensive - car class "A" will cost no less than $70 per day, plus extras mileage.
Much more practical to use a taxi for the whole day, which would cost almost half the price. A national driving licence is valid for one year. However, it is recommended to carry and international law.
Potable water Venezuela
All tap water in the country is not recommended for use. For drinking, brushing teeth or create ice, it is recommended to use only boiled or bottled water (especially in the first week of stay in the country and in the province). Milk and dairy products usually mastersource and relatively safe for consumption. Meat, seafood and fish are considered safe, however, it is recommended to use them only after preliminary heat treatment, preferably hot. Vegetables should be thoroughly washed and pre-treated and purified from the fruit peel.
120 V, 60 Hz (Valencia - 50 Hz), plug with two flat pins or three pins: one round and two flat.
In restaurants add a 10% service charge, when it is customary to leave 10% as a tip. Barbers, porters at hotels, tourist guides it is customary to leave a tip from 200 bolívares. Taxi drivers give tips only if they help to carry the suitcases.
Helpful information Venezuela
Emergency service - 120, fire - 122, the police - 133, ambulance - 144, information and help - 11 811 (within the country), 11 812 (outside the country).