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Venezuela - Getting There
In Caracas, passengers pass through immigration in the recently refurbished arrivals hall before going to baggage claim. Officers will check your passport and may ask questions. If a customs officer or anyone asks about your purpose of visit, tell them you are only there to visit, tourism. At baggage claim you will be required to match the baggage sticker on your flight ticket to the bar code on your bag before you hand over your tax form to customs officials.
There will be many individuals who approach you after your arrival offering assistance with locating a taxi or trading currency. It is best to not interact with anyone who approaches you. Even airport officials with proper identification may attempt to lead you to other areas of the airport to trade currency on the black market. When taking a taxi from the airport, always settle on a price before getting into the cab, and only use taxis that have the official yellow oval seal.
The main international airport is Simon Bolivar International Airport (locally known as Maiquetia airport) located in the Vargas state. It is approximately a 30-minute ride from Caracas. Buses are available during the day. A taxi ride from the airport will cost Bs. 150000 (BsF. 150)/ US$70 (official exchange rate) and US$28 (unofficial exchange rate) during the day, or Bs. 200000 (BsF 200) / US$93 (official exchange rate) and US$37 (unofficial rate) at night. There are international flights to Maracaibo and Valencia, but the choices are very limited.
You can travel non stop from the US and most major European cities.
Continental Airlines links Caracas to Houston daily Newark weekly. American Airlines offers daily flights from Miami, San Juan, Dallas and New York. Delta Airlines offers a daily flight from Atlanta. Air Canada offers a non stop flight from Toronto twice a week.
From Europe, there are non stop flights from Paris (Air France), Rome and Milan (Alitalia), Madrid (Iberia, Air Europa, CONVIASA), Frankfurt (Lufthansa) and Lisbon and Oporto (TAP).
Aeropostal, CONVIASA, Avianca, Copa Airlines, TACA, Lloyd, LAN Chile and Aerolineas Argentinas provide flights to the rest of Central America and South America.
Copa Airlines has a daily service from Maracaibo to Panama and connections to all South America, Central America and USA.
American airlines has a daily service from Maracaibo to USA.
For international departures (at Maiquetia Airport), the airport tax is Bs. 94080 (BsF. 94.08)/ US$43.8 (official exchange rate) and US$17 (unofficial exchange rate) and a departure tax Bs. 37632 (BsF 37.63)/ US$17.5 (official exchange rate) and US$6.84 (unofficial exchange rate). These taxes are paid at the airport, although many airline tickets might include these taxes.
For domestic flights (at Maiquetia Airport), the airport tax is Bs. 18816 (BsF. 18.81) Aeropostal Alas de Venezuela, Santa Bárbara Airlines, Avior Airlines, Conviasa and Aserca Airlines are the major domestic airlines in Venezuela.
Some airlines ask passengers to show a valid Yellow fever vaccination certificate before flying to Venezuela. This is not an official entry requirement, however the CDC Yellow fever vaccination recommendation is "for all travellers over 9 months of age travelling to Venezuela, except the northern coastal area. The cities of Caracas and Valencia are not in the endemic zone." 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.
Venezuela has road links with Colombia and Brazil. The road crossing to Brazil, not far from the frontier town of Santa Elena de Uairén, is a long way from most tourist destinations in Venezuela and so not a common point of entry. Border controls are tight and all travelers arriving from Boa Vista are expected to have visas. The Venezuelan consulate in Boa Vista is on Av Benjamin Constant.
Venezuela's main connection with Colombia is from Cúcuta to Venezuela's frontier town of San Antonio del Táchira, which itself is about 50 km from the busy Andean city of San Cristóbal. For a day visit to Cúcuta no visa documents are required but border controls are otherwise very tight with frequent searches. The border area can be dangerous and visitors are advised to pass through quickly.
From Colombia, the buses are in bad condition - NOT RECOMMENDED
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