Venezuela

Venezuela

Use High Level of Caution

The Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela is located on the northern coast of South America, between Colombia and Guyana, and with coastline on the Caribbean Sea and North Atlantic Ocean. The population is approximately 28 million people.

The government is a federal republic. The chief of state and head of government is a president elected by popular vote.

The economy of Venezuela has been mainly dependent upon the petroleum sector, and this country has some of the world’s largest oil deposits. However, most people live in poverty, and there are large discrepancies between the rich and poor. The government has introduced education and welfare programs and health care programs that have benefited millions of the poorest citizens of Venezuela. Supporters of the current president believe the economic reforms have benefited the poor, while critics believe these policies have led to damage to the economy and high inflation.

Venezuela is known for a rich diversity of wildlife and landscapes, including forests and jungles, mountains, rivers and waterfalls, plains and beaches. The world's highest waterfall, Angel Falls, is found in the Parque Nacional Canaima.

Currency VEF: Bolivar fuerte
Language Spanish
Capital Caracas
Recent Alerts 3
Latest Alert November 23, 2017 - Diphtheria in Venezuela - update

Diseases To Be Aware Of

The diseases listed below are those which occur most often in Venezuela. Other, less frequently encountered diseases might be displayed within the Travel Alerts section if they have occurred recently.

Hepatitis A

There is a significant risk for hepatitis A virus exposure in Venezuela through contaminated food or water. Infection can still occur at tourist destinations and resorts.

Hepatitis B

There is a significant risk for acquiring hepatitis B in Venezuela.

Typhoid Fever

Unvaccinated people can become infected through contaminated food and water in Venezuela, especially when visiting smaller cities, villages, or rural areas where food and water sources may be contaminated.

Yellow Fever

There is a risk of exposure to yellow fever in Venezuela in limited areas. This country requires a certificate of yellow fever vaccination for all travellers over 1 year of age arriving from Brazil, including travellers having transited for more than 12 hours through an airport in Brazil and travellers transiting in Venezuela arriving from Brazil. Yellow fever vaccination is recommended for all travellers 9 months of age and older, except as follows. Generally not recommended for travellers whose itineraries are limited to the entire states of Aragua, Carabobo, Miranda, Vargas and Yaracuy, and the Distrito Federal. Not recommended for travellers whose itineraries are limited to all areas greater than 2300 meters in elevation in the states of Merida, Trujillo, and Tachira; the States of Falcon and Lara; Margarita Island; the capital city of Caracas; and the city of Valencia.

Malaria

Although the World Health Organization and the UK National Travel Health Network and Centre (NaTHNaC) have not changed their assessment of the geographical areas where there is a risk of malaria transmission, the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention now considers that there is a general risk of exposure to malaria throughout the country at elevations less than 1,700 meters. Due to economic collapse and the inability to maintain infectious disease control programs such as malaria prevention and control, it is prudent to consider all areas of the country at risk for malaria transmission. Anti-malaria medications are recommended.

Dengue Fever

Dengue fever outbreaks occur frequently in Venezuela.

Leishmaniasis

Leishmaniasis occurs in rural Venezuela, particularly in west-central areas and in Aragua State.

Schistosomiasis

Schistosomiasis can occur in north-central Venezuela (excluding Caracas). Well-chlorinated swimming pools and contact with saltwater in oceans or seas will not put travellers at risk for schistosomiasis.

Chagas Disease

American trypanosomiasis (“Chagas disease”) occurs in rural Venezuela. The risk of travellers acquiring this disease is low unless staying in very poor quality housing or camping.

Chikungunya Fever

Chikungunya fever may occur in Venezuela.

Rabies

Rabies occurs in this country. Travellers involved in outdoor activities (e.g., campers, hikers, adventure travellers, and cavers) may have direct contact with rabid dogs, bats, and other mammals. Those with occupational risks (such as veterinarians, wildlife professionals, researchers) and long-term travellers and expatriates are at higher risk.

Zika Fever

There is transmission of the Zika virus in this country.

Vaccinations to Consider

The following is a list of recommended vaccinations for travelling to Venezuela.

Hepatitis A Vaccine

There is a significant risk of exposure to hepatitis A for this country, therefore, the vaccination is recommended.

Hepatitis B Vaccine

There is a significant risk of infection with hepatitis B for this country, therefore, the vaccination is recommended.

Typhoid Fever Vaccine

There is a risk of exposure to typhoid fever in this country through consumption of unsafe food and water. Since exposure to unsafe sources is variable within this country, the vaccination against typhoid fever is generally recommended especially when visiting smaller cities or rural areas, where food and water sources may be contaminated.

Yellow Fever Vaccine

This country requires a certificate of yellow fever vaccination for all travellers over 1 year of age arriving from Brazil, including travellers having transited for more than 12 hours through an airport in Brazil and travellers transiting in Venezuela arriving from Brazil. Yellow fever vaccination is recommended for all travellers 9 months of age and older, except as follows. Generally not recommended for travellers whose itineraries are limited to the entire states of Aragua, Carabobo, Miranda, Vargas and Yaracuy, and the Distrito Federal. Not recommended for travellers whose itineraries are limited to all areas greater than 2300 meters in elevation in the states of Merida, Trujillo, and Tachira; the States of Falcon and Lara; Margarita Island; the capital city of Caracas; and the city of Valencia.

Rabies Vaccine

Vaccination against rabies is recommended for travellers involved in outdoor activities (e.g., campers, hikers, adventure travellers, and cavers) who may have direct contact with rabid dogs, bats, and other mammals. Those with occupational risks (such as veterinarians, wildlife professionals, researchers) and long-term travellers and expatriates are at higher risk and should be vaccinated.

Medications to Consider

The following is a list of recommended medications for travelling to Venezuela.

Anti-malarial Drugs

Recommended anti-malaria medication includes atovaquone-proguanil, doxycycline or mefloquine. Anti-malaria drug resistance for chloroquine is present.

Safety and Security in Venezuela

Emergency Numbers

171

Calls are answered in Spanish.

Personal Safety

Travellers should maintain a high level of awareness of surroundings and of personal security due to crime. Venezuela has one of the highest crime rates in the world. Petty crime, such as pickpocketing and theft, is very common. Ensure personal belongings and travel documents are safe and out of sight at all times. To minimize risk of being targeted for theft, avoid showing signs of affluence and wealth, such as expensive jewellery, watches, etc. Violent crime, including murder and armed robbery, also occurs. Travellers should avoid walking or driving in isolated areas, especially after dark.

Police response and presence in some areas of Venezuela can be relatively poor.

Women, in particular, should be careful about accepting invitations or food and drinks from strangers. Rape is also a serious problem in Venezuela.

Beware of criminals posing as police officers who demand fines. If confronted, travellers should pay the fine, but ask for the officer's name, badge number, and patrol car number and report the incident to your embassy.

Airports and areas surrounding airports are considered dangerous. At the Maiquetia Airport in Caracas, corruption is rampant. There are reports of travellers being robbed as well as mugged.

Areas To Avoid

Travellers should avoid all travel to areas near the border with Colombia due to the border violence, drug trafficking, and the threat of kidnapping.

Avoid all but necessary journey to the State of Táchira.

Land borders are closed from 6:00 pm until 5:00 am to reduce smuggling.

Political Unrest

Demonstrations, road blocks, and national strikes are common due to ongoing political tensions. Avoid public gatherings and crowds as these situations can escalate and become violent without warning. Foreigners who appear to take sides related to a political situation can be deported.

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