Planning on landing in Caracas and then embarking on my South America adventure. Just a few questions to help me get started.
I intend on landing in Caracas in early October time then making my way down the west then up to Rio for the carnival. I've given myself 5-6 months and Im on my own. Do you think this is accomplishable?
I do have a few concerns however. One being my lack of Spanish language, Im trying to learn a little bit now and I'm sure once I get going out there I will be fine. But I hear Caracas is not exactly set up for an English speaking tourist and I may encounter some problems.
Could anyone recommend a nice, cheap and safe hostel? As I hear the cheaper ones are virtually brothels and in dangerous areas.
I think my next stop will be Merida and hopefully from there I will meet up with some fellow travellers. Its just those first few days in Caracas Im worried about. So any help would be greatly appreciated.
I'm pretty good with my money and sticking to a budget but I was wondering how much other people had spent doing a simular type of trip. I understand it's always more expensive on your own.
Any tips, great or small, would be extremely helpful. Or if anyone is going to be in Caracas around the same time we could meet up.
You might want to just blow right through Caracas and go right to Merida. Just about every Caracas resident I've met lately has some bad story about street crime.
Money: The government seems to be making enough $ available to importers and others that the black market rate is not all that great, you may be lucky to get 3 BF per $ and 20s get you a lower rate than 100s.
Also you might want to check a more direct route -- from Caracas through Ciudad Bolivar and Mt Roraima to Manaus. I met a few people in Manaus who took it -- road is paved. I took a more difficult and iffy route myself, from Puerto Ayacucho by boat into Brazil at Sao Gabriel da Cachoeira then down the Rio Negro to Brazil.
Amazon travel blog at mytb.org/KST
Thank you KST. I think I'll land there, spend one night and then try and get myself on a bus/coach to Merida. I've heard good things about this place too.
We're crossing into Venezuela next week (from the Colombian coast) and then plan to head down to Merida and make our way to Caracas from where we fly home in a couple of weeks.
We've come up through Argentina, Chile, Bolivia, Peru and Ecuador and you do need enough Spanish to sort out the practicalities including phrases such as 'do you have anything cheaper?' as a polite way of getting a discount or 'if I stay 3 nights could you do it a little cheaper.'
Our trip totals 4 months (see our blog for details on the route we took) and we haven't rushed, we've fit in lots and done pretty much everything we wanted to (although it has been a bit tiring at times) so 5 - 6 months to get to Rio is realistic.
Everything we have read about Caracas is bad and we don't particularly want to go there but have to! If we find anywhere safe and cheap to stay in Caracas I'll add a post and if you have any questions about Venezuela in a couple of weeks send us a message and we'll see if we can help.
Well we survived Caracas, see our blog for details of the major getting money issues we encountered in Venezuela:
http://www.travelblog.org/Bloggers/Travelling-Fraggles/ (see blog entries Venezuelan Andes and particularly the Caracas one)
Wow your trip is amazing!!! I live in Caracas so sadly i know many things u say are true thats why I wanna apologies for that, maybe some day Caracas will be more safe and nice place to visit. Anyways im glad u enjoyed your trip!!