Caracas Travel Blog› entry 2 of 8 › view all entries
So we finally arrived at Caracas! Could have kissed the ground like the pave.
Immigration can take a while, so be prepared: you might make sure that you have been to the toilet and have some water with you before joining the lines. Of course also have your immigration and customs papers ready.
Also, it can be worth a while to check the posters in which line you should be - the funny thing is, I only saw those right next to the desks at the END of the line, meaning that once you had been waiting in the wrong line and it is about to be your turn, you can suddenly see that you should have taken another... never mind, they'll let you pass anyway... but some lines are moving faster that others. If you travel with companion one approach could be to line up in different ones and hop over to the fastest one when one of you is about to reach the counter. Otherwise take the "foreigners" line, it might be moving faster than the "Venezuelans" line.
We weren't in a hurry though, our plane to Ciudad Bolivar would not leave until 5 hours later anyway. So after immigration it was time to join the crowds!! First time in the airport can feel a little overwhelming with all those people approaching you for taxi, luggage bearing, exchange and whatsoever. Don't worry though, they're all harmless.
We took the chance to change some money immediately. Now I can say that airport rates were the best through our whole trip. That day they offered max 4.6 for a USD (you need to bargain to get it as high as you can). Bring large notes, we were stupid enough to bring lots of 1 Dollar notes and we could only get 4.4 for those after a lot of bargaining. Count your money, we had no problems, but I've heard of people getting screwed.
Don't worry about "old" Bolivares and "New" Bolivares Fuertes. There's an information desk in the airport with flyers about the appearance of the new notes and posters with them in almost every shop. It does not matter if you change to the old or new ones untill june 2008. You can use them both, and even if you plan on only having new ones in your purse once you changed, any store will hand out your change in a nice mixture of both.
Anyway, after some waiting we were then able to check in for our plane to Ciudad Bolivar. If you go there, don't worry either that the signs say "Puerto Ordaz". The plane will stop in Puerto Ordaz first and after a short stop continue to Ciudad Bolivar. Just make sure you booked to Ciudad Bolivar. Actually our ticket stated Puerto Ordaz, but everyone of the staff we talked to, was totally aware that both we and our luggage were going further on, and so we landed safely in Ciudad Bolivar.