Caracas City Guide...
A bird's view over Venezuela's capital city

To begin with Caracas city guide, let's have a look at this panoramic view (gigapan) of the city, captured from the top of the Venezuelan Central Bank building...

Downtown Caracas by Aureliano Fernandez

Caracas, largest city and capital of Venezuela, sprawls along a narrow valley on the Cordillera de la Costa (coastal mountain range) at an altitude close to 3,000 feet above sea level and roughly ten miles (15km) away from the Caribbean coast. Observe the map here.

This fertile valley surrounded by the waters of the Guaire river, was home to the Caracas tribe, who fought bravely against Spanish invaders under the command of two indigenous leaders, Caricuao and Tiuna. Eventually, they were defeated and Santiago de León de Caracas was born in July 1567, founded by Diego de Losada.

The Spanish domination came to an end early in XIX century (1810-1821). Two prominent freedom fighters Francisco de Miranda and Simón Bolívar (both of them born in Caracas) led the war of independence until Royalist forces were finally defeated in the battle of Carabobo. In 1829, Caracas became capital of Venezuela - officially known as Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela.

With a sunny, agreeable climate all year round in the range of 25ºC, Caracas is a very fast-paced and cosmopolitan city of nearly four million inhabitants. Its architecture blends gleaming modern skyscrapers and Art Deco monuments with some Colonial style buildings of the past, most evident at El Centro district and around Bolívar Square, oldest in town.

A fascinating city to explore, Caracas has it all, from excellent art (Bellas Artes) and top cuisine (Las Mercedes and Los Palos Grandes) to a bustling nightlife until 5am for die-hard partiers and many options for shopping (Altamira and La Castellana).

Despite all the natural warmth and friendliness of the local Caraqueños, Caracas remains a city of staggering inequalities of wealth that has seen crime and violence on the rise for the last decade or so, making it one of the most violent cities in South America. While many areas are perfectly OK to explore, others are effectively No Go or unsafe. It is advisable to hire a local tour guide and to talk with the locals to learn your way around.

Plaza Bolívar (Bolívar Square) by Aureliano Fernandez

Caracas City Guide

Let's review some of the top tourist attractions that should be part of the Caracas city guide...

When you have completed the Caracas city guide, a superb sightseeing trip is to Colonia Tovar. Originally settled by German immigrants in the 1800’s, this cute little town is located about one hour driving from the city. From architecture to food, you will feel like in Germany, but in the heart of Venezuela.

Colonia Tovar by Aureliano Fernandez

How to Get There

Simón Bolívar International Airport (CCS) is located 23km away from downtown Caracas. It has an International as well as Domestic Terminal with all the facilities associated with every major airport worldwide, restaurants, cafes, ATMs , banks, car rentals, money exchange bureaus, etc.

If you plan to travel overland using long-distance buses, there are three main bus terminals...

There is also a number of private terminals such as Rodovías and Aeroexpresos Ejecutivos equipped with modern, comfortable buses - and higher fares as well - to multiple destinations in the country.

Where to Stay

From high-end to modest, the city offers every imaginable option. Find and compare best hotel rates in Caracas. Alternatively, for travelers on a budget, the best option is to book a hostel.


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