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Citizens of the following countries can enter Venezuela by using their national ID card or passport: Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Ecuador, Paraguay (pending), Uruguay (pending).
Citizens of most countries in North America, Europe, Northern Asia and Australia do not require visa to enter Venezuela and can stay there for a maximum of 90 days.
See also: Wikipedia - Visa policy of Venezuela
The bolívar fuerte (Bs.F. or VEF) is the currency of Venezuela since 1 January 2008. Venezuela uses a complicated foreign exchange control system. On 4 January 2011, the fixed exchange rate became 4.30 bolívares for 1.00 USD. After the devaluation on 13 February 2013 the fixed exchange rate became 6.30 bolívares for 1.00 USD. All credit card transactions are processed at the "official" fixed rate. You cannot legally change back to euros or dollars.
Parallel currency trading on the black market is illegal, and could potentially get you into serious trouble, even jail. However the parallel exchange rate is around 3 times higher and renders travel in Venezuela relatively reasonable. If you have a trusted local contact, your best bet is to buy currency discretely from him or her at the parallel rate. Venezuelan parallel traders expect US dollars, Euros or Brazilian Reais in cash (banknotes). Don’t get trapped.
Keep parts of your money at different places while travelling to protect from complete loss in case of robbery. Bring your credit card or traveller cheques in case of emergency.
Venezuela uses a 120 V and 60 Hz power system with alternating current (AC). The power plugs are identical to those used in North America (referred to as A and B type power plugs, NEMA 1-15 or 5-15 sockets).
To connect typical recharging devices with batteries (DC) like mobile phones, cameras, laptops, shapers with other power specifications (e.g. 230V/50Hz) you can purchase simple cheap plug adapters locally in so called Ferreterias (domestic hardware shops). Or just take your own travel plug adapter with you.
See also: Electric Power Around The World
Venezuela does not require any vaccination by law to enter the country. Some airlines however ask passengers to show a valid Yellow fever vaccination certificate before flying to Venezuela. Crossing the Venezuelan-Brazilian border may also require such vaccination certificate.
A valid measles vaccination certificate may be required to board flights out of the country following a nationwide immunisation program in 2006, but foreign tourists are usually exempted.
Recommendations for vaccination include Yellow fever, Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, Rabies, Tetanus, Diphtheria, Tuberculosis, Typhoid. Ask your doctor or healthcare provider what you will need, depending on personal factors, areas of the country you will be visiting, and planned activities.
Malaria: Risk of malaria in Venezuela is small, and prevention by malaria tablets is not recommended. Protection against mosquito bites further reduces the risk.
Venezuela's health care infrastructure is one of the more advanced in Latin America. Competitive prices on health care and accommodation even introduced medical tourism. Almost all medicine is available. However if you depend on special medication you should bring it with you.
See also: Wikipedia - Health care in Venezuela
If your health insurance does not cover you for medical expenses abroad, consider supplemental insurance. Find out in advance if your insurance plan will make payments directly to providers or reimburse you later for overseas health expenditures.
National flights have limits for baggage around 23 kg + 8 kg.
Some national flights (e.g. Canaima, Los Roques) limit the baggage to a softbag of 12 kg per person (no hardcase).
The official language of Venezuela is Spanish, accompanied by numerous indigenous dialects. English is not commonly spoken or even understood. If you don't speak Spanish at all you should consider using the services of travel guides.
Venezuela's international country telephone code is 58. Communication centers located inside metro stations, malls, or like a normal store in the street are increasingly common and even small towns usually have at least one spot. Some internet cafes also provide clusters of phone booths.
You may use your phone with a foreign SIM card in roaming. You could also buy a SIM card from a local mobile operator. Make sure your phone is unlocked.
Venezuelan mobile operators and their bands
- Movilnet: CDMA 800 MHz & GSM/HSDPA 850 MHz
- Movistar: CDMA 800 MHz & GSM/HSDPA 850 MHz
- Digitel: GSM/HSDPA 900 Mhz
Digitel shops provide pay-as-you-go SIM cards for around 20 Bolivares.
For European users: Movilnet and Movistar require quad-band phones, Digitel will work with any European phone and is most reliable for sending text messages to Europe.
Venezuela has areas with limited coverage for mobile phones, notably the Orinoco Delta. Digitel has no coverage in the south of Venezuela, notably the Gran Sabana.
Internet cafes can be found in almost every town as standalone stores or incorporated in communication centers. The connection is decent and prices are low compared to Europe. Venezuela’s mobile operators also offer services for mobile internet (e.g. USB web sticks), but recently it is almost impossible even for residents to purchase the required SIM card due to overload problems of the networks.
Venezuela's state-owned postal is slow, unpredictable and not widely used. Postal offices are few and far between, although they are still probably your best bet for sending postcards back home. For mailing within Venezuela, courier services such as MRW, Domesa and Zoom are the most popular. These usually guarantee next day delivery.