Bolívar (Bs) = 100 céntimos. Notes are in denominations of
Bs5000, 2000, 1000, 500, 100, 50, 20, 10 and 5. Coins are
in denominations of Bs5, 2 and 1, and 50, 25, and 5 céntimos.
Banks and cambios will change money in Venezuela; as will
hotels, although often at a less favourable rate.
Visa, American Express and MasterCard are widely accepted;
Diners Club has more limited acceptance. Check with your credit
card company for details of merchant acceptability and for
other facilities which may be available.
Widely accepted, although one may be asked to produce a receipt
of purchase when changing them in Venezuela. Exchange is more
difficult in some places than others. To avoid additional
exchange rate charges, travelers are advised to take travelers
cheques in US Dollars.
The import and export of either foreign or local currency
The following items may be imported into Venezuela without
incurring customs duty:
a)200 cigarettes and 25 cigars.
b)2 liters of alcoholic beverages.
c)4 small bottles of perfume.
The items are: Flowers, plants, fruit, meat and meat products.
Shaking hands or using the local abrazo, a cross between a
hug and a handshake, are the normal forms of greeting. Smoking
follows European habits and in most cases it is obvious where
not to smoke. Some public buildings are also non-smoking areas.
Tips are discretionary but in the majority of bars and restaurants
10% is added to the bill and it is customary to leave another
10% on the table. Bellboys and chambermaids should be tipped,
and in Caracas tips are higher than elsewhere.
Venezuela's national airline is Viasa (VA).
The principal Venezuelan ports are La Guaira, Puerto Cabello,
Maracaibo, Guanta, Porlamar and Ciudad Bolívar (on the Orinoco
There are no international rail links with neighbouring countries.
Road access is from Colombia to Maracaibo, and from the Amazon
territory of Brazil.
Almost all large towns are connected with scheduled services
operated by domestic airlines.
The only railway link runs between Barquisimeto and Puerto
Traffic drives on the right.
There are a few interurban bus services.
Self-drive cars are available at the airport and in major
city centres but are expensive. National driving licences
are valid for one year. International Driving Permits are