Venezuela’s capital, Caracas, is an exciting valley city that offers great dining, many night clubs and it is a great location just a mountain range away from the Caribbean Sea. Caracas might not be many travellers’ favourite destination, but its sightseeings are really worth exploring. Caracas is a good travel hub between Europe and South America.
Exciting capital city Caracas is located in the Valley of Caracas, North of Venezuela. Home for around four million inhabitants it is separated from the Caribbean sea only by Cerro Ávila mountain range. Thanks to a good location and the modern airport of Maiquetia International, Caracas is a popular travel hub between Europe and South America.
More than five hundred years ago the city was inhabited by Native Americans, but then came the Spanish and built their settlements. Today, Caracas is one of the biggest economic centers in Latin America, where you can see the economic situation of Venezuela. Like in many big Latin American cities, you find the poorest of the poor and the richest of the rich going side by side in the buzz of the city. You can go shopping in its modern malls and department stores, enjoy the restaurants with food world famous of its deliciousness and visit clubs to dance the night away.
Visit the area of Las Mercedes for shopping. There you can find the best bars, pubs and pools. This is where the Caracas youth meets and hangs out. Only half an hour ride away from the city you find beautiful beaches where the locals love to spend their free time. One of their most popular day trip destinations is magnificent “Colonia Tovar”, a tropical German village that you don’t want to miss!
The Caracas East Park also known as Parque del Generalissimo Francisco de Miranda is where you find a small zoo and a replica of Francisco de Miranda’s ship the Leander in the middle of the parks’s green wonderland.
Simón Bolivar’s birthplace house is converted into a museum where you can see 18th century weapons, banners and uniforms. If this isn’t enough of Bolivar you can visit Plaza Bolívar or Museo Bolivariano, where you can admire personal relics of Bolivar’s.
Go to the Federal Capitol and see the golden domes, neoclassical pediments and the famous Salón Elíptico.
National Pantheon: See the magnificent resting place of eminent Venezuelans in a dazling former church building.
El Hatillo’s colonial town in the south-east suburbs is a colourful and small, well-preserved typical colonial area worth a visit.
Cerro El Ávila mountain that is between the city and the Caribbean Sea. From its top you can see the whole city and enjoy great walking rails. You can ride to the top with a small cable car called teleférico.
Gastronomy Caracas is famous for its high quality restaurants serving food from all over the world. The most popular of the many cuisines include French, Italian, Spanish, Indian, Chinese, Japanese and Mexican. The best Spanish restaurants are found in the district of La Candelaria, where Galician and Canarian immigrants live. Typical dishes to taste include papellón criollo, empanadas, arepas and hallaca.
Caracas has a tropical climate that is almost invariable through the year. Average daily temperature ranges from a minimum of 16˚C to a maximum of 28˚C. The rainy season is between May and November, during which electrical storms are not uncommon.
Getting around in the city is best done by metro or local buses, though, the streets and highways are always crowded with vehicles, but the metro can be even more crowded, especially in the afternoons. Traffic, trash and noise can annoy you when you visit Caracas. There are many hotels in Caracas, but no hostels, which makes the city expensive for young travellers. You cannot get a room in the 20-30 USD typical hostel range. As the city is not safe, it is better to stay in the East side of the city in Sabana Grande or further east.
Please note that Caracas is not a safe city but one of the most dangerous ones in Latin America, gun crimes being are a regularly problem. Look after yourself and your belongings and don’t walk alone!
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