Caracas, Venezuela – City Guide for Nomads and Expats

The Big C, capital of Venezuela.

Caracas has the dubious distinction of being the world’s most dangerous city outside of a designated war zone. Mansions in the east, slums in the west. Some cities can be trifled with. Caracas is not one of these cities. Although heading into 2020, crime has decreased somewhat, do not be fooled. It is all relative.

Caracas remains one of the most dangerous cities in Latin America, and it’s arguably more dangerous for visible foreigners. On a lighter note, the city boasts some of the sexiest women in all of Latin America, so there is that!

POPULATION: 3,000,000


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IS CARACAS SAFE?

Caracas is not safe. You must be careful in here. Crime is a big — and I do mean big — concern. If you’re robbed, hand it all over. Murdering is too easy because there is virtually no chance of being prosecuted here. Police are corrupt and will offer no assistance. Note how locals dress and try to imitate it. Stick to main areas near downtown or the universities. Avoid speaking English while out on the street to avoid making yourself a target (criminals see robbing foreigners as more lucrative, as the assumption is that they have access to dollars, which are desperately sought after). Even in highly populated zones, robberies do occur and no one steps in to stop them!

Where are you safe here? Malls and restaurants, basically.

 

RENT AN APARTMENT IN CARACAS

$500 to rent a decent one or two bedroom apartment in Caracas at the moment. I don’t, however, suggest living here. This year in Caracas (2021) you’ll find that nearly all apartment rentals are to be paid in US dollars. Fortunately, PayPal transfers are more common here than in other parts of Latin America, so this is a viable alternative to bringing a lot of cash into the country.

 

NIGHTLIFE IN CARACAS

7.25/10

From what I could gather, there’s really no such thing as a “middle class bar/club” as you or I would think of it in Caracas. Basically your only option without compromising your safety is something upscale and expensive as hell. And Caracas high society is pretty exclusive, so be ready to drop some significant cash just to get through the door.

I recommend: El Leon, for a cheaper alternative. Between Calle Argentina and Calle Colombia by the roundabout. Not much of a bar, but they sell cheap beers and food.

 

COST OF LIVING IN CARACAS

*prices change on a weekly basis here. Take all this with a large grain of salt 

The following data is from Expatistan, a crowdsourced database of prices and cost of living around the world. In our experience, the data tends to underestimate cost of living, so take the following as the minimum you might need to live here.

*Figures are listed in USD

You’ll need a minimum of $820 USD/month to live in Caracas, Venezuela

cost-of-living-caracas-venezuela

FINAL THOUGHTS

The security and currency situation in Venezuela make it an incredibly dangerous and rather expensive place to visit. It’s a shame, because it is indeed a beautiful city, and Caracas women are hard to compare to. Its prior wealth is apparently with the impressive avenues and infrastructure, it’s close to the ocean and has year round perfect weather. However, I’d say it’s still too dangerous for a foreigner to visit.

There is a glimmer of hope. The security situation in Caracas in 2021 is improving as more dollars are being allowed to flood into the country to compensate for Venezuela’s worthless currency. More money is being spent and there are more signs of a middle class now than in recent years. If things continue to improve in this way, Caracas perhaps could be on your list for 2022. Still, with the ongoing safety concerns and with Colombia like, right there beside it, I can’t in good conscious recommend this city right now. For a comparable alternative, check out Medellin, Colombia instead.


OVERALL RATING: 6/10


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