Venezuela Travel Advisory

Published 25 May 2024

With the security situation in Venezuela continuing to deteriorate, the U.S. Department of State has issued a travel advisory which urges would be travelers to note Venezuela’s “to crime, civil unrest, kidnapping, and the arbitrary enforcement of local laws.” The advisory further urges people to “Reconsider travel due to wrongful detentions, terrorism, and poor health infrastructure” in Venezuela.

The Department of State has issued the following Venezuela Travel Advisory:

Do not travel to Venezuela due to crimecivil unrest, kidnapping, and the arbitrary enforcement of local laws. Reconsider travel due to wrongful detentions, terrorism, and poor health infrastructure.

Country Summary:  In March 2019, the U.S. Department of State withdrew all diplomatic personnel from U.S. Embassy Caracas and suspended operations. All consular services, routine and emergency, remain suspended until further notice. The U.S. government has no ability to provide emergency services to U.S. citizens in Venezuela. U.S. citizens in Venezuela who require consular assistance should try to leave the country as soon as safely possible to do so and should contact a U.S. embassy or consulate in another country.

Violent crimes, such as homicide, armed robbery, kidnapping, and carjacking, are common in Venezuela. Political rallies and demonstrations occur, often with little notice. Anti-Maduro demonstrations have elicited a strong police and security force response, including the use of tear gas, pepper spray, and rubber bullets against participants, and occasionally devolve into looting and vandalism. Shortages of gasoline, electricity, water, medicine, and medical supplies continue throughout much of Venezuela. 

The Department has determined there is a high risk of wrongful detention of U.S. nationals in Venezuela. Security forces have detained U.S. citizens for up to five years. The U.S. government is not generally notified of the detention of U.S. citizens in Venezuela or granted access to U.S. citizen prisoners there.

Colombian terrorist groups operate in Venezuela’s border areas with Colombia, Brazil, and Guyana.

Read the country information page for additional information on travel to Venezuela.

If you decide to travel to Venezuela:

·  Avoid all land border crossings into Venezuela on the Colombian border.

·  Ensure you have a valid Venezuelan visa. Visas are not available upon arrival.

·  Be prepared for the high risk of indefinite detention without consular access. 

·  Draft a will and designate appropriate insurance beneficiaries and/or power of attorney.

·  Develop a communication plan with family and/or your employer or host organization. Establish a “proof of life” protocol with your loved ones, so that if you are taken hostage, your loved ones know specific questions (and answers) to ask the hostage-takers to be sure that you are alive (and to rule out a hoax).

·  Have a contingency plan in place that does not rely on U.S. government assistance.

·  Keep travel documents up to date and easily accessible.

·  Avoid travel between cities, or between Simón Bolívar International Airport and Caracas at night.

·  Do not take unregulated taxis from the Maiquetia “Simón Bolívar” International Airport and avoid ATMs in this area.

·  Consider hiring a professional security organization.

·  Bring a sufficient supply of over the counter and prescription medicines for the duration of travel.

·  Consider purchasing medical evacuation insurance.

·  Visit our website for Travel to High-Risk Areas.

·  Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive Alerts and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.

·  Follow the Department of State on Facebook and Twitter.

·  Review the Country Security Report for Venezuela.

·  Visit the CDC page for the latest Travel Health Information related to your travel.

·  Review the Traveler’s Checklist.