Newcomers Caracas, Venezuela

Hello all!
It is my family's intention to move to Caracas, Venezuela next year. But, unfortunately there is not much information about living in Caracas. So, I created a Facebook page to initiate conversations and answer questions regarding expats life in Caracas. You are all invited to like the page.

Hola a todos!
Mi familia tiene la intencion de mudarse a Caracas, Venezuela el proximo año. Pero, desafortunadamente, no hay mucha informacion sobre la vida en Caracas. Por eso, he creado una pagina de Facebook para iniciar conversaciones y contestar preguntas sobre la vida de los expatriados en Caracas. Estan invitados a unirse a la pagina.

Hello Newcomer Caracas and Welcome to :)

It will be so kind of you to also put useful information here so that members with queries about living in caracas can benefit.

Looking forward to learn more about Caracas through you.



Yes, I am looking forward to learn about Caracas and sharing information!  :)

What would you like to know about Caracas?  Where are you from?


Im from Puerto Rico, and my family might be moving to Caracas next year.
Id like to know where are the better areas to live with a kid.... taking into account security, grocery shopping, activities, pediatricians, etc.

I have a long list, this is just to start!


U must be crazy if u want to move to my sorry but im just been honest.

Well, thanks for your help! I dont need any more negativity than the things I read around the web. Thats why Im looking for expats and locals to share information on Newcomers Caracas' Facebook page.

Best places (and most expensive) would be:
El Hatillo
Las Mercedes
Palos Grandes
Los Naranjos

Basically search for Chacao and Baruta Counties (municipios).  Please don't confuse the county with the zones.  For example inside the Chacao county there's an area called Chacao, there's also another area called Altamira, and Palos Grandes and few others.  Same thing happens with the Baruta County.

About security: those are the better areas.
About grocery shopping: is the same everywhere, in fact it could be a little easier to find groceries in the "poor" zones than it is to find them in the expensive zones.  You will suffer doing groceries while you live in Venezuela, because you won't find what you want to buy.  Even if you are willing to pay 3-5 times the price you won't find the goods with ease, as it is illegal to charge those prices and only really tiny stores or informal ones will sell them overpriced.

Activities:  The east have their fair share of places to do stuff.  Threater, gym, museum, parks, malls (here are more like entertainment centers than actual shopping malls).

Pediatricians... there are clinics everywhere so it should be easy to find one you truth in the area you live.

Anything else?

Thanks a lot for this information. We've been looking at some houses around El Hatillo, so we are in the right direction. Is El Hatillo close to the East of the city (thinking about activities)?


El Hatillo is considered South-east Caracas.  The problem is that is VERY far away from the "core" part of the city. 

Caracas has 5 counties, remember there are bad areas in all counties, however this is the overall rundown:
- Libertador: West and center (downtown), not really a good choice
- Sucre: Far east, has some good areas and some bad areas
- Chacao: East, mostly good areas
- Baruta: East and South/East, mostly good areas
- El Hatillo: South and South east, mostly good areas

The core of Caracas is located in Chacao, Sucre and Libertador.  It is easy to tell where is the core because it has metro stations.

Baruta has some areas that are close or with easy access to the core (El Cafetal, Las mercedes), and some areas which are VERY far form the core of Caracas.

El Hatillo is just far away from the core of caracas.  Obviously it has its own things (schools, clinics, parks and such) but without your own car (or 2 cars) it will be hard to move around.   I believe it has become the favorite area for the wealthy to live, but I really don't know it that well because I've only been living in caracas for 1 year.  Personally I only go to El Hatillo when I'm with my friend (he has a car and I don't).

Use google maps as a reference 

Just type "Chacao Caracas" o "El Hatillo Caracas".  It will delimit the area and will give you an idea where it is located

Thanks a lot for all this information. I really appreciate it!
I think I will come back to the forum with more questions soon.


I have been living in Caracas for over 4 years now.  Other members are correct in saying that Caracas can be dangerous especially if you are not prepared to the changes of living in a different country.  In Caracas there are certain things that Venezuelans do to increase their safety.  Firstly, you need to arrange your days so that you are not out on the streets before 7am Mon-Fri and you should plan to be back home by 6pm or 7pm by the latest.  (It gets dark around 6pm everyday which is why I recommend being back to your place before 7pm).  Eventually, when you get to know your way around Caracas and get to know trusted people then you can stay out later.  As for weekends, make sure to leave your house when the streets start to get busy with people and be home before 6pm.  Weekends, especially Sundays can be more dangerous as there are less people on the streets and less police around if you need help.  Stay away from streets where there are no people around or other attractions such as parks or plazas that are empty.  I also recommend living in the Chacao area.  Most expats live in Altamira.  In general Chacao is the safest area in Caracas and most police are very trustworthy.  Although, if you are out walking around at 5am or 6am in Chacao you have a high chance of being robbed.  Most of the time robbers use motos (motorcycles) and will usually take your cell phone or wallet.  Due to the economic situation here with prices going up, I have seen more sketchy (untrustworthy) people visiting the Chacao area.  Basically, Chacao is known as a wealthy area so it is common for robbers to target the Chacao area.  But during the day lots of police are around and the streets are full of people.  I have seen the end results in someone trying to rob a person in Chacao during the busy hours.  They are usually mobbed by the people on the street or shot by the police.  Down here it is shoot first then ask questions!  Pretty much every police officer has their hand on their gun ready to draw it.  In some situations I believe Caracas can be seen as being safer than most cities in the US or Canada.  There are police everywhere and military personal with machine guns.  A person would have to be pretty desperate to rob a person with so many armed police and military troops around.  Which is why I recommend sticking to populated streets and areas until you get to know your way around the city.  Try to stick to the Chacao area as much as possible.  If you go west into downtown Caracas, you will notice a change in the people.  Venezuelans will be more cautious and keep all personal items in front of them like they are guarding a baby.  Although there are police and military around I would not consider them as trusting as the Chacao police force.   

I assume most people moving here or visiting will require the use of either moto taxis, regular taxis, metro or the bus.  I would recommend using registered taxis from shopping malls if you need to use one.  These are usually white with the name of the shopping mall on it and they have yellow licence plates.  Moto taxis are difficult to use as I have met many expats that have been overcharged or robbed on moto taxis.  I would recommend using moto taxis that you know personally.  Most of these will be recommended by someone.  But if you need to take a moto taxi try to take one near a major place like a shopping mall.  These moto taxis are pretty safe and wear orange vests.  The metro is pretty safe.  But you need to keep an eye on your personal stuff as the metro can get very crowded which makes an excellent place to take stuff out of peoples bag or purse.  I am not familiar with the buses here as I have not needed to take one.  Based on prices of moto taxis and regular taxis these days I assume more people trying to save money will use the bus system.  I would assume like most transportation buses are pretty safe if used in good areas like Chacao an parts of Baruta.  The further West you go into downtown Caracas or other areas with Barrios (poor areas) close by your chances of finding trouble increases.   

One thing you will encountered is that you may be overcharged on items when you first arrive.  Most Venezuelans will know by your accent or limited Spanish that you are not from Venezuela so they may charge an extra 10 or 20 bs on items.  This still happens to me.  Sometimes I just pay it and never return to the place again other times I return the item.  After being here for some time I stick to stores where I know they are giving me the correct price.  (These are usually kiosks on the street or smaller stores).  Larger grocery stores wont overcharge you as everything is barcoded. 

Things are better here in terms of finding toilet paper, milk and other essential goods.  Most stores around or in Chacao have most basic goods.  But you may have to go to a few places to find things.  The one thing that is very difficult to find is Harina Pan.  Luckily, I am not a big fan of Arepas in the morning so I can live without the corn flour.  Unfortuantely, my wife is Venezuelan so I am always on the look out for Harina Pan.  Just so you know Harina Pan can be found but you have to pretty much be close to the store that is receiving the corn flour or it will be gone in about 20 minutes.  That is after a gigantic line forms around the store.

Caracas is a nice city and was once a main tourist place.  But with all the oil in the country tourism was not a high priority.  There were talks of bringing in more tourism to the country but I have yet to see a lot of tourists around like when I first arrived.  In general Venezuelans are pretty friendly.  Most Venezuelans in the Chacao area speak basic to fluent English.  Currently there is a lot of uncertainty about the future of Venezuela's economy as inflation keeps rising and prices continue to go higher.   

When arriving to Venezuela by plane I would recommend taking the registered taxis at the airport.  When you come out of the terminal through the last check point after immigration where you have to scan your bags again you will be greeted by workers wanting to help you with your luggage and offer you taxi services.  (At the airport you have cannot take baggage carts to your vehicle or to the taxi area which is why workers offer to help you).  Say no to the offers of people offering you taxis... unless you are with a Venezuelan you trust and knows which ones are safe.  Even then most Venezuelans stick to the trusted taxis.  These taxis are black SUV's with a yellow square logo on the passenger and drivers side door.  There is also a stand for the taxis in the airport that you can go to... but it is much easier to just outside and see the row of black taxis (The taxis are right in front of the terminal as you exit the door.  Just look to your right or left and you will see a row of black SUV's with yellow square logos on them).  There is usually someone in charge around the taxis that speaks enough English.  Be careful as lots of people try to greet you near the taxis and try to take you away from the terminal saying they are registered or safe taxis.  Do not trust them.  Only take the black SUV taxis in front of the terminal.  You will have to be very strict and tell anyone offering you another taxi that you are no interested (They can be very annoying and very aggressive, but not to the physical point as there are lots of military personal around to ensure safety at the airport).  Once you meet up with the person in charge of the black SUV's they will look after you and tell the other taxis people to leave.  Nowadays the cost of the SUV's can be anywhere from 700 bs to 1200 bs to go to Caracas (Chacao).  Just ask for the price to your location.  They will tell you the amount upfront. 

There are lots of other things I could tell you about living here from an expats point of view so if you are curious about something just ask.  Otherwise, play it safe for the first few days or weeks while you are visiting or moving here.  Everyone has their own time frame before understanding and adapting to a new country. 

If you have red or blonde hair and blue or green eyes do not worry about standing out unless you plan to visit small cities or towns around Venezuela.  Caracas has a mix of cultures so it is common to see Venezuelans with fair skin and different eye colors around the city.  Unless you speak or are constantly looking around few people will think you are from another country.  Or are dressed like a foreigner!!  Unless you are at the beach most people wear jeans or long pants around the city.  Someone dressed in a t-shirt shorts and sandals usually stick out as it is not common to see unless they came from the gym or running from a park.  Oh... that also reminds me of something.  It is very rare to see someone running down a street in Caracas.  People will walk or take a moto taxi if they are in a hurry.  If you see someone running it is usually because they just robbed someone and most likely the police will question them. 

Hope what I have added helps.

what i have read from posts that Caracas are danger place and should take precautions i want a place that is very safe and i can go every where and any time out - does this place are available in Venezuela , as my country are 80 % safe i can walk every where at any time no robbing or mugging from any body but some stuff happen rarely maybe once a year as robbing or pickpocket , i want to invest with small shop to rent a Tuk Tuk to venezuelans to let them work as Tuk Tuk drivers i have the supplier already i want just to register the license and stuff and start to order the TUK TUK and motor bikes and start renting them to people > i'm looking for place that full of nature and nice people around venezuela and welcome foreigners and strangers , my race is arabic i'm look like 100% latino they can't figure out i'm stranger unless they start chat with me they will figure out i don't speak spanish then they will know i'm a stranger .,

please folk i need some help with some one who is live already in the country and experience with people in venezuela ,,

Hmm that´s interesting.. i´m not sure that actually the Tuk Tuk thing would work here... i thinks it´s pretty uncommon, but it depends if its based for tourism and tourist places.. maybe.. ,and well i think any place outside of caracas, not the hugest cities are relatively safe and beautiful. Maybe u should check them out first hm..

i contacted with some one he is Venezuelan and  he said Venezuela considered to be number one miserable place in the world so does it truth !!! but i can't imagine the country full of nature and oil production huge quantity  i don't want to have a risk to buy ticket to venezuela and go their spend a lot of money for dream to relocate and my dreams in caribbean are just vanished and i face very bad community and system .

What places you have already visited already , do you recommend Margarita or Maracay or Maracaibo as investment and living will be fun and i will have international friends because i don't want only stick with venezuelans only maybe i don't know about them a lot of things as iknow at the moment only english very little spanish but i can know new language in amazing time as i know already travel spanish i can survive find a place and food and transportation i can under stand 7% of spanish words till now ..