Venezuela

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Venezuela

Postby babihutan » Sat Jul 26, 2014 2:59 am

Hello fellow flaggers.......whoever is still around. I am pretty set on going to Venezuela in January and it has come to my attention that the money situation is a tad whack there. It is recommended to travel with wads of US cash as the exchange rate (legal) will rape you, and foreign currency is hard to come by in country. So I am just curious if anyone has any suggestions to taking advantage of the black market rate while in country and not having to travel with so much cash at once. Also, I will most likely be in Panama before going, and wondering if there is a way to pick up plenty of bolivares there cheap? I have no affiliation with Maduro, and the less I contribute to his economy, the happier I will be :)
Thanks in advance, I am curious to hear any news on travel there, cheers!
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Re: Venezuela

Postby friendlyskies » Tue Jul 29, 2014 12:07 am

Hey!

Yes, take all the money you need in cash. US dollars are the best (you're USAmerican, correct?) but euros and pounds were also highly prized. If you're going to Panama first, the US dollar is their currency, so just pick up all the cash you need before you get on the plane or boat.

Everyone is just going to assume you're carrying wads of cash, so you might as well. The security situation is what it is, act accordingly. Where I spent most of my time (Merida), it was as safe as Atlanta, if not safer. (And, highly recommended!)

Once you're there, all cards - ATM, credit - are pegged to the crappy official rate. Pretty much anyone can tell you where a black market exchange place is. My hotel could do it, the bakery down the street could do it, even the guys at the border had a decent rate. My travel buddy, a Brit, had this idea that he could get pounds out of the ATM and then exchange those, which was impossible. So just take the cash.

EDIT: Oh, and if you do get to Merida, the tour I'm still kicking myself for not taking is to see the Catatumbo Lightening. It's a place where, for largely unknown reasons, there are a gazillion lightening strikes almost every night.

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Re: Venezuela

Postby babihutan » Thu Jul 31, 2014 9:31 pm

Hey Friendly!
You definitely seem like the go-to for this region, and I appreciate the advice! I am USA's fuzzy northern neighbour and our dollar is not the best right now but big deal. The one thing I can't wrap my head around is it seems like common knowledge to travel with wads of cash, and given the security situation there ( rumours), I would imagine all foreigners are walking bank accounts in the eyes of locals, so I envision myself naked and penniless on the side of the road or in some jail developing the nickname guero caga leche. Both scenarios are un appealing to me, but that country's Guiana region has been calling me for years.
And yeah, that lightning looks gnarly , I would try and see it for sure. So it's either first time in Venezuela or back to Colombia, as I mostly stayed in cities there and have lots to see still.
Thanks for the tips!
Will post and further developments...
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Re: Venezuela

Postby rdkll » Tue Aug 19, 2014 6:28 pm

not much of street crime south of the orinocco due to the lack of streets or roads or people for the most part. it's the puri-puri that will get you
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Re: Venezuela

Postby ReptilianKittenEater » Fri Aug 22, 2014 10:31 pm

rdkll wrote:not much of street crime south of the orinocco due to the lack of streets or roads or people for the most part. it's the puri-puri that will get you


Or these guys. Yeah let it wander all over you.

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