Caracas is a city of bewildering extremes. A proud past is juxtapositioned against a country in transition, full of character but far from comfortable. It is these extremes that make Venezuela’s exuberant capital so fascinating. The city is definitely the sum of its parts – be it the spicy selections of a street-side deli, the unbridled rhythms of an underground salsa club, or the breathtaking beauty of a natural environment which often goes overlooked.
Things to see in Caracas
The epicenter of the cultural pickings seems to be the Caracas Museum of Fine Art. The museum is home to one of the finest collections of Venezuelan art in the country. Adjacent to the museum is the Gallery of National Art, which is a wonderful visit as well.
What would a South American city be without a central plaza? Built during the 1940s, the Plaza Altamira is a focal point in Caracas’ city center, and has been since its inception.
Not many universities can boast a campus that is a UNESCO World Heritage site. Universidad Central de Venezuela is one of the lucky few. It is the oldest university in the country and the landscape of the campus is simply magnificent.
Hotels in Caracas
Caracas is quite an upmarket city, accommodation-wise. Many a weary backpacker has found that Caracas rarely caters to their budgetary needs. If you’re looking for simple hostels, this is not the place.
There are many large hotels and upmarket resorts, not to mention a plethora of boutique hotels which have popped up in the last few years. If you’re able to fork out, decent accommodation in the city is easy to find.
Where to stay in Caracas
Sabana Grande has one of the largest collections of hotels in the city. The area is not the safest in Caracas but there is a noticeable police presence on the streets. Prices here are reasonable and accommodation is fairly upmarket.
The trendiest part of town is Chacao, and this is definitely an area where locals can be seen strutting their stuff. Most of the city’s famous restaurants and bars are located here. There are many boutique hotels offering niche services to their clientele.
How to get to Caracas
Caracas’ main international and domestic gateway is the Simon Bolivar International Airport. Located on the coast, it’s separated from the city by a mountainous wilderness, so it’s worth considering an airport hotel for late or early arrivals/departures. Taxis are the most reliable option to get to the city, but they aren’t cheap.