The following (epic) county guide was contributed by Freeborn Aiden, travel writer, senior editor of Poor Explorer and founder of Freeborn Aiden. I’m going there and Colombia in March myself. Can’t wait!
Nestled next to Colombia at the Northernmost tip of South America, Venezuela is a land of contrast. The country boasts steaming jungles, frosty Andean peaks, desert dunes and Caribbean beaches. With these contrasting landscapes, diverse mix of cultures and a dramatic political scene, the country is in many ways an embodiment of the entire Latin experience packed into one relatively small country. In my opinion it also has the best and the most willing girls.
Now that the guidebook-speak is out of the way, let’s get down to business. Right now Venezuela has a pretty bad reputation for crime, political instability and shortages. Whilst in my view the extent of these factors is wildly exaggerated, the reality is that the country can be edgy as fuck and you need to prepare yourself by reading this guide before you visit.
The country’s reputation (along with a complete lack of tourism infrastructure) completely deters visitors and in the 3 months I spent there I only met a handful of fellow Gringo’s. This is however a marvelous thing as it meant that there was all the more of Venezuela for me and the SAS motto of “Who Dares Wins” proved to be quite apt. So, if you are feeling brave then please read on…
Things You Need To Know
Before I tell you about Venezuela’s greatest natural asset (it’s women, not its oil) there are some rather important formalities I need to get out of the way so please bear with me;
Venezuelan cities regularly top “Most Dangerous” lists and the country is in the midst of a crime wave of robberies and kidnappings which turn fatal all too often. That said the country is not a post-apocalyptic, Robocop-esque crime-scape. Bear in mind that petty crime is a reality of travel throughout Latin America and in my view the country isn’t really much more dangerous than neighbouring Colombia or Brazil. There is also a lot you can do to protect yourself against these dangers such as;
- Take Taxi’s everywhere after dark and avoid dodgy looking neighborhoods at all times.
- Never carry expensive electronics or jewelry. Get a cheap phone with a Venezuelan sim and leave your Andriod/iOS locked up in your hotel room.
- Carry cash down your pants leaving only a nominal “robbers tax” in your wallet.
- If you are robbed, do NOT try to resist.
For reasons we won’t discuss here, Venezuela is currently experiencing shortages of staple goods. Whilst there is plenty of food and water for those with money (like you) specific items can quickly vanish from supermarket shelves with no warning. It is therefore worth bringing enough soap, shampoo, toothpaste, deodorant, condoms & mozzy repellent to last your entire trip as you may struggle to replace these once they go. Toilet roll is also frequently unavailable and unless you want to pack a spare suitcase full of the stuff, you are just going to have to learn to live without it.
The flip side of the baffling economic situation in the country is that there is a booming black market for foreign currency. You can change on the black market for 1000% the official exchange rate and even a $100 change will leave you with a brick wad of cash which you will need a bag to carry. This makes Venezuela the cheapest country in the world for travelers and a night out, including entire bottles of rum, taxi’s and and famous Colombian energizers, used to cost me no more than $5.00.
Whilst technically illegal, the black market is semi-tolerated and you will not struggle to find somebody to change with. Ask at your hotel, posada or at pretty much any business whatsoever as they are all desperate to get their hands on USD. Check www.Dollartoday.com to find out what the Black Market guide price is but bear in mind that ultimately the more you get comes down to your negotiation skills.
Avoid using ATM’s or Credit Card’s as these will be charged at the official rate. My advice is to bring USD into the country with you but make sure you hide it well as corrupt police officers have been known to target tourists outside Caracas airport and land border crossings. Once you find a black market trader you like, they will accept online transfers so you don’t need to bring loads of USD in with you.
There are regular pro and anti government demonstrations which sometimes turn violent. Unless you want to risk being either beaten up by the police or shot by fellow protesters then avoid joining in.
Venezuela holds the record for the number of Miss World winners; the women perfectly embody the quintessential Latina and are well renowned for their beauty.
Of course, not every Venezuelan can be a beauty queen but the country does have a very high standard and in my opinion, is behind only Transylvania and Tel Aviv. You are guaranteed to see several absolute stunners each day and in any given nightclub you risk slipping on your own drool.
Venezuela is a rich racial melting pot where you see can elements of Spanish, African, Europeans and Indigenous peoples all within the same woman. Plastic surgery is very common here and obvious fake breasts and even asses are abundant although neither is really my kind of thing.
Boy, do I miss Venezuela
Women are generally quite friendly and fond of foreigners. Furthermore, because most foreigners are too scared to visit you will also have novelty value so they usually want to talk to you.
They will often make it very clear if they are interested either by pouting and staring at you (sometimes behind the back of the poor guy buying their drinks) or even by tapping you on the shoulder and inviting you to join them in the club bathroom as happened to me. I often found it easier to get a girl to come straight home with me than to come out on a date so my advice is that if things don’t move fast then forget it; if she flakes move straight on. Infidelity is also rife and just because a woman is married doesn’t mean she’s off limits. What I would take from this is that whilst Venezuelans are great for short time dalliances I’d be skeptical about actually dating one.
Venezuelan dancefloors are highly sexualised places so note that even if a girl grinds right up against you, it doesn’t always mean she likes you so do tread carefully. If you do want to take things from of the dancefloor and into a more intimate setting, then feel free to suggest a visit to the bathroom; this is pretty commonplace in Venezuela as many people live with their parents until they are married. Your passage may also be aided if you throw the toilet attendant a quick bribe.
English is not that widely spoken in Venezuela and I highly recommend completing the Michel Thomas “Learn Spanish In A Week” course before you even consider visiting. That said I did manage to have a threesome with two girls despite a hefty language barrier; I guess it ultimately depends on just how irresistible you are.
There is a perception amongst many Latin American travellers that in order to get anywhere with Latina’s you need to “invite” them which means pay the tab for them and any number of their friends. I personally found this to be absolute nonsense and regularly found myself getting down to business within minutes of meeting a girl without so much as buying a drink.
Female contraception is hit and miss in Venezuela and there is a lot of teenage pregnancy. Don’t ever rely on her to take the necessary precautions unless you want a surprise call in nine months time.
Partying and Nightlife
In Venezuela, alcohol is cheap and strong so expect to see pools of vomit and plenty of fights.
Getting high is serious business throughout South America and remember Colombia is just over the border. You will have no trouble finding what you need at a very cheap price. In Merida, ask the guys selling bracelets near the Bolivar Square or pretty much anybody in Poco Loco or Birosca.
Bar culture is mainly a man’s world but fortunately there are plenty of Salsa and Reggaeton clubs whose walls pulsate to the heated rhythms of pure lust. These don’t get going until at least midnight and generally shut down around 03:00 once the Police show up to enforce the curfew. Oddly, the police seem far less concerned about the scores of drunken revellers getting straight into their cars.
Venezuela’s capital does seem to be at the forefront of its crime problem. The consequence is that the town can resemble a ghost town at night as revellers are afraid to walk the streets and taxi’s will not stop for you lest you be a robber. You can still find the party but you need to be clear about where you are going and get a taxi right to the gate. The women here are of an amazing standard and you may well be the first Gringo they have met in a long time.
360 Roof Bar
A great place to watch the sunset over the city and take in cocktail. Hardly prime skirt chasing territory though unless you’re particularly good at penetrating groups.
The Las Mercades barrio is full of decent restaurants, bars and clubs and you should head here.
A bar and club built in 2 rooms and 2 floors. The place has a bohemian vibe and attracts a mixed, educated crowd. You can expect to rub shoulders with the great and good of the Venezuelan film industry so here is your chance to score with a film starlet. Head here if you want to speak in English.
Rumbar & Rosalinda – Where the beautiful people hang out. Be sure to dress well. Wild dancing around tables.
Venezuela’s student hub is a hell of party town. It’s also a lot safer than Caracas but still be sure to take Taxis after dark and avoid the “Nuevo Pueblo”. These are my pick of the places;
Maison de Cibeles
Possibly my favourite bar in the world. It’s small, busy, sweaty & popular with the city’s alcoholics. Salsa music is perpetually blasting and European Football is constantly showing on the television. Great for pre-club drinks and especially good for weeknights when your options are limited but only a modestly decent place to meet chicks.
Merida’s alternative club where the boys have dreadlocks and the girls wear black. Whilst the nightly barrage of latin ska-punk is painfully fucking tedious, I found this to be the easiest place to score girls especially on Monday’s student night. There is also no dress code, drinks are cheap and it’s centrally located.
Another student favourite and alternative hub playing a lot of English language rock and Drum N Bass. Recommended for having a few beers pre-club although I did do some fine work in the Gents bathroom. When I left Merida, Poco Loca had temporarily closed down (I think they forgot to bribe someone) so the scene had shifted to the nearby Rasta Bar.
Club De Racing
Located beside a shopping mall a 10 minute taxi ride from town. The club has a cover charge and a dress code (basically wear a collar). The decor is tacky, the music mainly reggaeton but the girls stunning. This place gets packed on a weekend and you will notice that a lot of people here are dancing in groups (often mixed) around tables so you need to gradually infiltrate this; buy a bottle of rum, stake yourself a table and take it from there. Racing does have a tricky tendency to let underage girls in, so if in doubt be sure to ask for ID yourself…
The upmarket version of Racing is also a taxi ride from the city centre. Again, there are some absolute beauties in here so bring your A-Game and try not to be too drunk. The same thing about group dynamics applies but the advantage here is that the middle class patrons speak better English than their counterparts at other places.
By local standards, this place is expensive but to you a whole bottle of Rum will still only work out at around $5.00 so treat yourself to a taste of the Merida highlife. The smoking terrace is great for talking to girls but the VIP area is purely for wankers so avoid it unless of course you’re a wanker yourself. I also ended up with a girl in the bathroom here once but the attendant unfortunately turned down my bribe.
So What Are You Waiting For?
In summary, I loved my time in Venezuela and regularly think about returning. Unfortunately I haven’t quite gotten around to it yet but am planning on doing so in 2017 so I will be sure to update this guide!
About The Author – Freeborn Aiden is a failed rock star turned travel writer.
How to meet Venezuelan Girls at Masculine Profiles.
Caracas City Guide by My Latin Life
Caracas Datasheet by WestCoast at RVF