That is understandable, as it is an amazing country to see.
However, it is no secret there has been an increased risk to both visitors and residents in the last several years – leading many to advise against traveling to this part of the world.
In fact, the country has a crime index of 83.76 – which currently tops any other country – with murder making up a large portion of that number.
Of course, you do not have to give up on your dream, but it is important that you prepare as best you can.
This guide shares some of the safer areas and some important tips for safety.
- 10 Safest Cities in Venezuela
- 5 Safety Tips for Traveling to Venezuela
- Venezuela Safety Overview
- Frequently Asked Questions
10 Safest Cities in Venezuela
As we dive into the cities below, keep in mind that Venezuela in general is not the safest country to visit – so the crime rates you see will be high.
However, of the reported statistics, the following are some of the safest and most recommended cities to consider.
Merida is a gorgeous place to visit with marvelous mountains, amazing architecture, and an incredible landscape.
It gives you plenty of options for outdoor activities like hiking, rafting, paragliding, biking, and more.
Additionally, you can ride the second longest and highest cable cars in the world – if you are not afraid of heights.
There’s also some fun, food, entertainment, and delicious chocolate to enjoy.
Of all the Venezuelan cities, Merida might just be the safest to travel to.
Though still high by most standards, the crime index of 65.09 and safety index of 34.09 have most other Venezuelan locations beat.
Barquisimeto provides plenty of things to do, explore, and marvel at.
From a Roman Catholic cathedral with a legitimate bell tower to a zoo and botanical gardens, there are plenty of picturesque sights to behold.
Barquisimeto also houses the sixth largest mall that you can find in South America – with five floors of shopping to enjoy.
Though it is a little more dangerous than Merida with a crime index of 75.83 and a safety index of only 24.17, it is still a highly recommended destination.
Barcelona is full of fun, food, and culture.
With beautiful historical sites and old cathedrals as well as museums, loads of shopping opportunities, a national park, and peaceful beaches, there is something for everyone to enjoy.
Barcelona is similar to Barquisimeto, with a crime index of 74.29 and a safety index of 25.71.
Despite these high numbers compared to many other countries, they are still some of the lowest in Venezuela.
4. Punto Fijo
Punto Fijo is another location that will keep you busy – and is considered relatively safe in comparison to other locations.
Spend your days shopping at Sambil Paraguana, the Paraguana Zoo, and biking or jogging at the Parque Metropolitano.
You can then spend your evenings at various local bars and clubs.
Punto Fijo falls in line with both Barquisimeto and Barcelona.
It has a crime index of 76.47 and a safety index of 23.53.
5. Los Teques
If art, history, and architecture are your cup of tea, Los Teques offers it all.
It is peppered with beautiful churches, cathedrals, historical sites, statues, monuments, and more that make for incredible exploration and amazing photos.
There are also parks, specialty gift shops, zoos, and delicious food for your pleasure.
Los Teques is climbing a little higher on the crime rate scale but is still safer than many other Venezuelan cities.
It has a crime index of 86 and a safety index of 16.2.
Maturin is another location full of picturesque places to enjoy, including the Estadio Monumental de Maturin for sports fans.
You can also find the Parque Zoologico La Guaracha, intriguing museums, the Cueva del Guacharo National Park, and a number of shopping malls.
The crime index in Maturin is 84.93 and the safety index is 15.07, making it safer in comparison to somewhere like Caracas.
With some precautions, you can certainly decrease your risk of danger.
Porlamar has the highest crime index of all locations on this list – landing at 88.48 and a safety index of 11.52.
Despite those numbers, it’s still a popular destination.
It is hard to be bored in this area, as there are so many things to do.
Waterland is a great aquarium where you can enjoy swimming with dolphins.
Additionally, Porlamar houses water parks, theme parks, entertainment centers, gorgeous beaches, shopping, horseback riding, sightseeing tours, and so much more.
Whether you’re looking to pack your itinerary or take some well-deserved relaxation time, Coro is a great place for you.
You can spend your entire trip exploring art and history museums and incredible coves, marveling at waterfalls, taking in the national parks, sandboarding, and enjoying expeditions.
Or you can spend every waking minute relaxing on the beautiful beaches.
Coro currently holds a crime index of 81.62 and a safety index of 18.38.
Other tourists suggest that following basic precautions – as well as the tips mentioned below – should help keep you safe.
If you’re looking for the big city feel of Caracas with a bit more safety, consider visiting Valencia.
It is actually the third biggest city in the country with some of the best sightseeing opportunities.
There’s also a great recreational park, an aquarium, bullfights, a racetrack, boating, the Institute of Anthropology and History, delicious food, and – of course – great shopping.
Valencia falls just above Coro with a crime index of 82.59 and a safety index of 17.41.
Much like Valencia, Maracaibo offers a big city feel but has a bit of a higher crime rate.
Maracaibo has a crime index of 83.25 and a safety index of 16.75, which is still lower than Caracas and many other big cities – but it might be a bit higher than you’re willing to face.
If you choose to go and love water activities – and you plan to take your kids with you – visiting Aguamania water park is a must.
Strolling down Calle Carabobo gives you an interesting view of vividly-painted architecture.
Add to that the national monuments, the Castillo Barra, the botanical gardens, and the various other places to explore – you can keep yourself pretty busy.
5 Safety Tips for Traveling to Venezuela
- It can be hard to tell the good guys from the bad guys – even when it comes to taxis. Only use pre-booked taxis. Hailing one on the street can lead to potential danger.
- Remember that the Venezuelan people are in a state of crisis – desperate for anything that can help them feed their families. Dress down and do not carry anything flashy with you to limit your chances of becoming a target. The more you can blend in, the better. And you should keep your phone in your pocket – or back at your hotel.
- If you are looking forward to a nighttime stroll, you should probably mark that off of your list. It is not advised to travel at night – even if you’re with someone else.
- Watch your drinks. It does not matter if you are male. Many criminals will spike an unattended drink so that they can rob you. This also means you should not accept drinks from strangers. As a matter of fact, do not even accept a flyer or pamphlet, as some Venezuelan criminals lace them with drugs that enter through the skin.
- Avoid ATMs. These tend to be a treasure trove for criminals. They will either get your card information electronically or you might find a gang of folks hanging around to rob you once you’ve withdrawn cash. It is safer to do any business involving getting or exchanging money at your hotel.
Venezuela Safety Overview
READ THE FULL REPORT: Venezuela Safety ReviewSafety Index:
- OVERALL RISK: HIGH
- TRANSPORT & TAXIS RISK: MEDIUM
- PICKPOCKETS RISK: HIGH
- NATURAL DISASTERS RISK: MEDIUM
- MUGGING RISK: HIGH
- TERRORISM RISK: LOW
- SCAMS RISK: HIGH
- WOMEN TRAVELERS RISK: MEDIUM
Frequently Asked Questions
What are places I should definitely avoid in Venezuela?
Mostly, any bigger cities are going to be riper for danger.
Caracas has the highest murder rate in the country currently, so it is a good idea to avoid that area.
And there is an advisory to avoid any travel on the Venezuelan border of Colombia.
Additionally, keep a look at any travel advisories, as they will let you know when certain areas are more dangerous than usual.
What if I want to visit somewhere more dangerous like Caracas?
If you really want to visit the more dangerous areas, you are welcome to do so, but you will need to take even more precautions.
It is best to hire an agency to accompany you throughout your travels.
However, as some “tour agencies” has turned out to be in the midst of all the corruption and crime, you will need to be extra careful with who you choose.
This should start with heavy research before you ever leave home – checking reviews and setting up your meeting time and place.
I have read that I need to watch out for the police and military there. Is that true?
As with any other area, there are good people and not-so-good people.
Yes, there have been reports of police officials bribing or scamming tourists.
There have also been reports of military personnel stopping transportation and taking money from tourists.
Are these reports true?
There is no reason to think they are not, as the country as a whole is suffering.
Should I put my trip to Venezuela off?
According to advisories, that would probably be a really good idea.
However, there is no guarantee that conditions will improve.
Take the time to think through the risks and do your homework to learn what is going on in different areas.
If you choose to go, be sure you take every necessary precaution and then some to limit your chances of being a victim of any sort of crime.