IMPORTANT: Venezuela is currently considered a "Do Not Travel" destination by several government travel advisories. For more information, check out our Venezuela travel alerts page. Unfortunately World Nomads cannot offer travel insurance for Venezuela.
Venezuela is located in an earthquake-prone zone, where the Boconó Fault runs through the Mérida Andes of northwestern Venezuela.
A famously devastating quake occurred in 1812 completely destroying the capital Caracas, and killing 20,000 people. It was so powerful it even formed a new lake and dammed a river.
In 2009 an offshore earthquake measuring 6.4 on the Richter scale struck 65mi (104km) from Caracas, causing a number of injuries and damaging buildings and power lines in the coastal town of Porto Cabellos, and in Caracas.
In 2018 a 7.3 magnitude earthquake struck just off the northern coast of Venezuela.
Earthquakes are impossible to predict, so it pays to be prepared and have a plan in the back of your mind, or atleast know what to do during an earthquake.
Venezuela is also subject to torrential rains, especially during rainy season which runs from May–November. Heavy rainfall can cause landslides.
The country suffered exceptionally heavy rains in late 2010, which have affected wide areas of the country, and road conditions remain poor. The government of Venezuela announced States of Emergency in many states including the capital. You may still encounter damaged infrastructure that affects your travels.
There have been mudslides in many areas of the country, which have particularly affected shantytowns built on hillsides.
They have left many homeless and blocked or damaged roads and highways.
Operations at airports have been disrupted in the past, causing flight delays. If you are traveling during rainy season, stay up to date with weather reports and prepare yourself for potential transport delays.
Hurricanes are also a concern for travelers in Venezuela.
The Atlantic hurricane season runs from the 1st June to 30th November each year, and can affect portions of northern Venezuela.
The direction and strength of hurricanes can change with little warning.
Information on hurricanes or other severe weather conditions can be obtained from US National Hurricane Center and Tropical Prediction Center or the Humanitarian Early Warning Service.
Flights in and out of affected areas could be delayed or suspended. Available flights may fill quickly. So it's best to leave as early as possible, delaying that decision may leave you with no options. In some areas, adequate shelter from a severe hurricane may not be available to all who may choose to stay.
And while Venezuela is not prone to tropical hurricanes its coastal region are occasionally hit with torrential rain, powerful winds, high waves and storm surges.
Hurricanes are not such an issue in Caracas, as it is sheltered by the Avila mountain range, and the simple meteorological fact that cyclones lose their strength as they move over land.
During the rainy season (which runs from May to November, though heavy rains can occur outside this time) there is the possibility of flooding in certain low-lying areas of the country (e.g. the Llanos) and in some valleys in the Andes (Merida State).
Travelers to Venezuela should be aware that the waters of the Caribbean can be deceptive and dangerous for swimmers or surfers.
It may look like a tropical paradise, but there are strong currents and undertows in some areas that can make swimming hazardous.
Lifeguards and warnings are not always present, so ask locals if they think it's safe to swim or surf, and always tell someone where you are. Try to go with a buddy instead of alone to maximise safety.
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Latest information on the crisis in Venezuela - Do Not Travel - February 2019
For hundreds of years Venezuela has travelled a rocky political road. Bloody coups, civil wars, violent demonstrations and paralyzing strikes all feature in its history - even up to the present day.