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.
The country is earthquake-prone.
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 65 miles from Caracas, causing a number of injuries and damaging buildings and power lines in the coastal town of Porto Cabellos, and in Caracas.
Earthquakes are impossible to predict, so it pays to be prepared, have a plan in the back of your mind, at all times.
Venezuela is also subject to torrential rains, which 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, causing flight delays.
And as if that wasn't enough - hurricanes are also a concern for travellers in Venezuela.
The Atlantic hurricane season runs from 1 June to 30 November, 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).
As a final note visitors should be aware that the waters of the Caribbean can be deceptive.
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.
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