10 Most Dangerous Cities in Venezuela

Updated On October 10, 2023

Venezuela has really been going through it for the last several years. 

Thanks to issues like political corruption, insane inflation, and human rights violations, the country has turned into utter chaos.

For natives, getting even simple things like food or medicine has become almost impossible.

Even if you had large amounts of money to pay for these items, it’s extremely likely that they can’t be found anyway.

On average, the country has lost 11 pounds. 

Not only are citizens starving, but they are almost entirely soaked in poverty. 

So, to be fair, the whole country is a dangerous place to be.

After all, the US government has issued a warning not to travel to Venezuela.

It’s important to be aware of what’s going on if you plan to take a trip to the northern South American country.

Taking note of these 10 cities will also help steer your stay.

10 Most Dangerous Cities in Venezuela 


1. Caracas

A nation’s capital is often a hotbed for criminal activity.

This rings true for Caracas, a coastal town with a population of 2.1 million inhabitants.

This isn’t just the most dangerous city in Venezuela, Caracas is typically rated as the second most dangerous in the world. 

Caracas is also number three for murder, with 100 murders for every 100,000 people.

Guyana City
Guyana City

2. Guyana City

One of Enya’s biggest hits was a song called Orinoco Flow, named after a river flowing through Venezuela. 

It just so happens that Cuidad Guyana sits on the banks of a portion of the Orinoco. 

Too bad the calm vibes of the river haven’t rubbed off on the town.

The crime index is at 85.

Drugs, violence, and property crimes all rate 85 or higher on the index.


3. Maturin

Maturin has ranked as high as the 5th most deadly city in the world with 505 murders and 86 homicides for every 100,000 people. 

While those numbers have dipped a tad in the past few years, Maturin is still a highly volatile area.

It’s no surprise that violent crimes show up as 100 on the crime index.

Following closely behind is property crimes at 94.


4. Valencia

The lake that is Valencia’s namesake is probably three times the size of the city itself.

Being able to easily get away hasn’t helped the city from being overrun with criminal activity.

With a crime index of 83, Valencia’s biggest problems are violent and property crimes.

Getting anyone arrested for vandalism or assault might prove a challenge.

The bribery rate is 98. 


5. Petare

Petare is a suburb of Caracas where half of the area is urban and the other half is part of the Venezuelan Coastal Range.

Despite only half the city being inhabited, Petare was the most violent in the area with a homicide rate of 120 per 100,000 people in 2015. 

Being referred to as the most violent slum in the world hasn’t been enough to clean it up, so far. 


6. Cumana

The Caribbean vibes have not extended to the coastal town of Cumana. 

It has an interesting story, though.

This is one of the first cities that Spain claimed and is the oldest Hispanic city on the continent. 

Unfortunately, it’s one of the top cities for homicide at a rate of 63 per 100,000.


7. Barquisimeto

There’s a lot to do in Barquisimeto, including sitting by Rio Turbio. 

Being the victim of a crime is also a high possibility.

The crime index has the city at 79.

Corruption is the biggest problem the city is dealing with, in addition to violent and property crimes.


8. Maracaibo

With Lago de Maracaibo on one side and the Caribbean on the other, the city of Maracaibo has a unique position.

The crime index is at 83.

Crimes such as vandalism, assault, and bribery all rank at almost 100 on the index.

Ciudad Bolivar
Ciudad Bolivar

9. Ciudad Bolivar

Ciudad Bolivar is just west and down the river from Guayana City.

The overall crime index for the city is 72.

Property crime rates are at 92, which far extends above violent crimes and drug use.


10. Maracay

On the completely opposite side of Lago de Valencia from Valencia is Maracay.

The city might be 82 on the crime index but violent crimes come in at 98. 

Just behind that are corruption and bribery.

Is it Lago de Valencia or just Venezuela that’s being a bad influence?

5 Safety Tips for Traveling to Venezuela

1. Keep To Yourself

One cartel alone is responsible for 25% of the world’s cocaine.

Scouts are always on the lookout for someone that can be manipulated into participating in criminal activity.

If you’re approached by a stranger, do not engage any more than a polite walk away.

That might lead to being followed.

If you find yourself in this situation, make your way as quickly as possible to a populated area.

It should be noted that if you’re out and about in Venezuela, please stay in areas where there are lots of people.

The more people surrounding you, the less likely you are to be approached or followed. 

2. Identify Helpful Places

Before you arrive, print out a map of the city you plan to stay in.

On it, make sure to mark your hotel, intended stops, hospitals, and the US embassy. 

Fold it up and keep it on you for the duration.

This will ensure that even without reception or a place to charge a smart device, you’ll be able to find what you need.

Having the embassy marked is also vital in case you are robbed and the passport went with everything else.

Knowing where to go in case of an emergency in an already hostile place could save your life.

3. Stay Connected With Home

This is smart to do anywhere you travel, but might be more meaningful in Venezuela.

Have a friend or family member who you can share your live location with at all times.

Ideally, this person would be willing to check in on you ever so often to ensure your safety.

That way, if something does happen, there’s someone who can notify the authorities and provide a location. 

Another good way to run off a would-be stalker is to pull up this person on a video chat.

Being seen talking about another person’s life is a good enough reason to leave you alone.

No criminal wants to be identified before a crime has even been committed. 

4. Stick To Bottled

One of the saddest realities of Venezuela’s current situation is what’s going on with its natural resources.

The country is ranked high for the abundance of freshwater that is available, yet only 18% of the citizens have safe water to drink.

While it’s possible that part of that 18% is luxury hotels, it’s unlikely that you’d know for sure.

It’s also most likely that nowhere else you go will have drinkable water.

If there ever was a surefire way to come down with something on vacation, it would be to drink from Venezuela’s tap.

To avoid this, only ingest water that came with a sealed cap.

If a waiter brings you a bottle with the cap off, ask for another one that you unseal yourself.

Refilling water bottles is a thing and it can also get you sick.

This also applies to brushing your teeth.

Pour the water out of your water bottle.

Don’t put contaminated water in your mouth even if it’s just gargling. 

5. Learn Spanish

Okay, you don’t need to be fluent, but it would help to have down some basic words and phrases.

It’s possible that you won’t be able to use social media or even search engines while staying in Venezuela.

That means you might not have access to digital translators.

Having a cheat sheet in your pocket means you can communicate without a smart device.

Venezuela Safety Overview

READ THE FULL REPORT: Venezuela Safety Review

Safety Index:

Frequently Asked Questions

Where can you feel safe in Venezuela?

The safest place in the country is most likely to be Merida.

Located west in the Andes, Merida has the lowest crime rate in all of Venezuela.

It’s a popular place for tourists because of the fact it’s surrounded by natural beauty.

Sometimes, though, it has a tendency to attract some unsavory characters.

Drugs, theft, and robbery still happen here.

Reporting might prove even more difficult because corruption is so high.

Even though crime is low compared to other places in the country, it’s still high compared to the rest of the world.

Is Venezuela safe for women?

Venezuela can’t really be counted on as being safe for literally anyone right now.

That being said, this is absolutely a place where women should not travel alone.

When any place is in such dire straights as Venezuela is, even people who typically wouldn’t get involved in criminal activity find themselves doing exactly that.

Gang activity and the escalation of violent crime as a whole make even women traveling in groups a bad idea.

If you find yourself a female and alone here, proceed with extreme caution.

Don’t carry much money, always stay in public places during the day, and never go out at night.

Is there a population of Americans living in Venezuela?

In a country of 28 million, 23,000 of those are US citizens.

3 out of 4 Americans living in Venezuela call Caracas home.

Since the majority find themselves in one area, there is a strong community of English speakers.

That’s helpful for travelers as the network has created a way for American visitors to reach out.

2 Comments on 10 Most Dangerous Cities in Venezuela

  1. “Where is the bathroom?” “How much does this cost?” and “Help!” are all good phrases to have on hand.

    If you’re able, it’s also a good idea to learn how to ask for help in Spanish.

  2. m
    marshall says:

    Venezuela has been plagued by political corruption, inflation, and human rights violations, resulting in chaos and extreme poverty for its citizens.

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