Skip to content. | Skip to navigation

Personal tools
The global site for cruising sailors
Sections
You are here: Home / Countries / Venezuela
By No owner — last modified Jan 21, 2013 02:15 PM

 Venezuela - Profile

Facts

  • Lying on the direct route to Panama and also being rarely affected by hurricanes, the Venezuelan coast and particularly the offlying islands are a convenient cruising destination. The islands abound in picturesque anchorages and diving is excellent almost everywhere, particularly among the scores of islets and cays of Los Roques. The Venzuelans are friendly and there is little tourism or charter boats to spoil the anchorages.
  • Sadly however, the number of foreign yachts visiting Venezuela has declined substantially in the last couple of years, not only due to the high crime rate but concerns over the unstable government, corrupt officials, high consumer prices, widespread shortages and so on.
  • An increasingly popular destination is the Delta of the Orinoco, much of which can be explored by keeled boats (see security advice below for this region).
  • Those interested in the mountainous interior can leave their boats in the safety of one of the many marinas.
  • Venezuela is cheaper when provisioning for price controlled goods, such as fuel, beef, chicken and coffee, but little else.
  • Repair facilities are generally good and the prices competitive since labour costs are low; however, a written estimate should be obtained before embarking on any major work. There are good repair facilities and several boatyards in Cumaná, however be sure to check on the current situation as in the past there have been a number of attacks on yachts here.
  • The majority of cruising yachts that need work done choose Puerto La Cruz where there are haulout facilities and spare parts can be obtained. Puerto La Cruz has now become the boating capital of Venezuela as far as foreign vessels are concerned, due to the good shipyards and marinas that have opened in recent years. Security is good also.
  • The Venezuelan Coastguard (Guardia) do on occasion stop boats for spot inspections. They will ask the name of vessel, ask to see your boat papers and perhaps inspect the boat. If all is correct you are free to go. If something is found to be wrong they can and will ask you to return to their port. Local cruisers advise however that the Guardia are not well trained in seamanship or piloting and the Captain should use discretion and only follow their orders if he/she feels it is safe to do so.

Security

In recent years, Venezuela has seen a decline in the number of visiting yachts due to the steadily deteriorating safety situation. In certain areas (in particular Margarita and Testigos) there have been an increasing number of muggings, robberies and even knife attacks reported by visiting sailors, which have caused many to avoid this beautiful country and change their cruising plans for elsewhere.

It is not so much the number of attacks that cause concern, but the violent nature of these attacks. However, it is important to remember that with a coastline of nearly 1800 miles and 100’s of offshore islands, Venezuela is a vast cruising area, and whilst there are some parts that should perhaps still be avoided or at least approached with care, there are other areas that are safe to cruise where sailors do not encounter any problems.

Also keep in mind that because of security considerations very few foreign yachts now visit Venezuela, so when you read of something happening to a yacht there, it is happening within the context of a much smaller population than the same incident in the Eastern Caribbean.

Perhaps the "safest" places to anchor in Venezuela are Los Roques, Isla de la Blanquilla (as it permanently has the guardia nacional sited here) and the islands of Aves de Sotavento and Barlovento. If considering other places, it is recommended to consult ONSA's webpage.

Whilst noonsite has received reports that the Venezuelan Coastguard are patrolling eastward along the Paria Peninsula, a cruising yacht was boarded by pirates here in November 2013 (see below). The Paria Peninsula where this incident occurred has been the site of several other violent piracy attacks, one of them fatal. Cruisers should fully consider the risks before traveling in this area and those using “buddy boats” should have firm, agreed plans in place for routing and regular communications as well as emergency communications and response plans for use before, during and after any perceived threat or event.

General advice from cruisers here is "don't let the beautiful surroundings put you off guard". Be careful not to flash money around and be sure to secure all items on deck and always lift and lock the dinghy and outboard at night, wherever you are in the Caribbean.

The US State Department issued a warning concerning Venezuela on 22 November 2013.

In 2012, two attacks were reported:
The first a boarding, violent attack and robbery off the NE coast - see here.
The second a boarding and armed robbery at gunpoint in the Orinoco Delta - see here.

In 2013, one fatal attack and one pirate attack has been reported:
Dutch skipper shot on board trying to resist a robbery in Porlamar, Isla Margarita - see here.
Boarded by pirates, robbed and attacked off the Paria Peninsula - see here.

If cruising the Manamo/Orinoco area of Venezulea, locals advise that visiting yachts SHOULD NOT go to villages or towns like Boca de Uracoa. Stay between the very friendly and peaceful Warao people and at the Eco Lodges, of which there are several in the region.

Free Cruising Guides have completed the Caribbean Security Index (CSI) review of 2013 and updated the country ratings. The latest update of the CSI contains new information that may be important to you to “route around crime.”
See this report athttp://www.noonsite.com/General/Piracy/caribbean-crime-caribbean-security-index-csi-review-of-2013

Check the Noonsite Piracy pages the Caribbean Safety Net and ONSA for information on the current situation.

The Caribbean Safety and Security Net (safetyandsecuritynet@gmail.com) gather information by anchorage or by island, so sailors can plan their cruising in the Caribbean with an eye to appropriate behaviour and precautions wherever they decide to go. Should you have information about a security incident, as well as contacting Noonsite please also forward details to the Caribbean Safety and Security Net, as theirs is the most comprehensive source of Caribbean security incidents against sailors on the net. Please be sure to include boat name, date of incident and anchorage/port where the incident took place.

Last updated February 2014.

ONSA - For Maritime Safety in Venezuela
ONSA - the non-governmental national organization for search and rescue and maritime safety in the aquatic spaces of Venezuela – publish a "Risk Zones" map. They recommend that visiting cruisers view the map before deciding where to cruise in Venezuela. The areas where recent attacks have taken place are classed by ONSA as "High Risk Zones".

Weather

Venezuela has a tropical climate and there is little change between the seasons, although it is drier from December to April. The northern coast and offlying islands are under the influence of the NE trade winds, which blow strongly between December and April. Summer winds are lighter and Venezuela is very rarely affected by tropical storms.

Venezuela Weather Forecast.

For links to free global weather information, forecast services and extreme weather information see the Noonsite Weather Page.


Main Ports

Share |
Global Sponsor

www.pantaenius.com

Venezuela
Carenero
Carupano
Cumaná (Puerto Sucre)
Gulf of Cariaco
La Guaira & Caraballeda
Los Monjes
Los Roques
Los Testigos
Pampatar, Margarita
Porlamar, Margarita
Puerto Cabello
Puerto La Cruz
Profile
Facts
Security
Weather
Main Ports
Formalities
Clearance
Immigration
Customs
Health
Documents
Fees
Restrictions
Local Customs
Clearance Agents
Pets
General Info
Time Zone
Electrical Supply
Opening Hours
Money
Communications
Transport
Diplomatic Missions
Events
Emergencies
Publications
Links
Update History
Countries
Albania
Algeria
American Samoa
Angola
Anguilla
Antarctica
Antigua & Barbuda
Argentina
Aruba
Ascension Island
Australia
Azores
Bahamas
Bahrain
Barbados
Belgium
Belize
Bermuda
Bonaire
Bosnia
Bouvetoya
Brazil
British Virgin Islands
Brunei
Bulgaria
Cambodia
Canada
Canary Islands
Cape Verdes
Cayman Islands
Chagos
Channel Islands
Chile
China
Christmas Island
Cocos Keeling
Colombia
Comoros
Cook Islands
Costa Rica
Croatia
Cuba
Curacao
Cyprus
Denmark
Djibouti
Dominica
Dominican Republic
East Timor (Timor Leste)
Easter Island
Ecuador
Egypt
El Salvador
Eritrea
Estonia
Falkland Islands
Faroe Islands
Federated States of Micronesia
Fiji
Finland
France
French Guiana
French Polynesia
French Subantarctic Territory
Galapagos
Gambia
Georgia
Germany
Gibraltar
Greece
Greenland
Grenada
Guadeloupe
Guam
Guatemala
Guinea-Bissau
Guyana
Haiti
Hawaii
Heard, McDonald & Macquarie Islands
Honduras
Hong Kong
Iceland
India
Indonesia
Ireland
Israel
Italy
Ivory Coast
Jamaica
Japan
Jordan
Juan Fernandez Islands
Kenya
Kiribati
Kuwait
Latvia
Lebanon
Libya
Lithuania
Macau
Madagascar
Madeira
Malaysia
Maldives
Malta
Marion & Prince Edward Island
Marshall Islands
Martinique
Mauritania
Mauritius
Mayotte
Mexico
Monaco
Montenegro
Montserrat
Morocco
Mozambique
Myanmar (Burma)
Namibia
Nauru
Netherlands
New Caledonia
New Zealand
New Zealand's Subantarctic Islands
Nicaragua
Niue
Norfolk Island
Northern Marianas
Norway
Oman
Palau (Belau)
Panama
Papua New Guinea
Peru
Philippines
Pitcairn Island
Poland
Portugal
Puerto Rico
Qatar
Reunion Island
Romania
Russia
Saba
Samoa
Sao Tome and Principe
Saudi Arabia
Senegal
Seychelles
Sierra Leone
Singapore
Sint Maarten
Slovenia
Solomon Islands
Somalia
South Africa
South Georgia & South Sandwich Islands
South Korea
Spain
Spanish Virgin Islands
Sri Lanka
St Barts
St Helena
St Kitts & Nevis
St Lucia
St Martin
St Pierre & Miquelon
St Vincent & the Grenadines
Statia
Subantarctic & Southern Ocean Islands
Sudan
Suriname
Sweden
Syria
Taiwan
Tanzania
Thailand
Tokelau
Tonga
Trinidad & Tobago
Tristan da Cunha
Tunisia
Turkey
Turks & Caicos
Tuvalu
US Virgin Islands
USA
Ukraine
United Arab Emirates
United Kingdom
Uruguay
Vanuatu
Venezuela
Vietnam
Wallis and Futuna
Yemen
Add/Update Your Business
If you would like your business to be listed, or the details are wrong, please update your business
Related Reports
Venezuelan Mainland: 3 months in Puerto La Cruz

Venezuelan Mainland: 3 months in Puerto La Cruz (17 Feb 2014)

Cruising Los Roques - Feedback from cruisers

Cruising Los Roques - Feedback from cruisers (12 Feb 2014)

Report Icon

An update for Venezuela sailing - November 2013 (22 Jan 2014)

Cruising West from Trinidad: Cruisers give their advice

Cruising West from Trinidad: Cruisers give their advice (22 Nov 2013)

Venezuela, Paria Peninsula: Yacht boarded, attacked and robbed by Pirates - November 2013

Venezuela, Paria Peninsula: Yacht boarded, attacked and robbed by Pirates - November 2013 (19 Nov 2013)

Caribbean Security for Cruisers: Everyone’s Concern, Everyone’s Responsibility

Caribbean Security for Cruisers: Everyone’s Concern, Everyone’s Responsibility (01 Nov 2013)

Report Icon

Venezuela: Is it Safe? (14 Oct 2013)

Report Icon

Venezuela, Isla Margarita: Dutch sailor killed whilst resisting robbery on board - September 2013 (06 Sep 2013)

Report Icon

Pacific Planning Advice (26 Mar 2013)

Report Icon

Abandoned US Yacht Adrift off Boca de Uchire (21 Jan 2013)

Report Icon

Venezuela, Puerto La Cruz: Armed Boarding & Robbery - August 2012 (16 Aug 2012)

Report Icon

Venezuela, Orinoco Delta: Two Dutch Cruising Boats Suffer Armed Robbery - June 2012 (30 Jun 2012)

Report Icon

Cruising the Offshore Islands - Blanquilla, Los Roques and Las Aves (22 Jun 2012)

Report Icon

Flora Flotilla: Cruise the South Coast of Hispaniola and help Haiti’s Homeless (02 Apr 2012)

Report Icon

Comments on Puerto La Cruz (23 Mar 2012)

Report Icon

Venezuela, nr Curapano: Violent Attack and Robbery - January 2012 (14 Feb 2012)

Report Icon

Punto Fijo and Puerto Cabello Updates (30 Jan 2012)

Report Icon

Los Roques, Las Aves, Bonaire & Curacao Latest Updates (16 Nov 2011)

Report Icon

Venezuela, Isla de Margarita: Porlamar - Cruisers Robbed (10 Oct 2011)

Report Icon

Venezuela, Isla de Margarita: Off Porlamar - French Catamaran Armed Robbery (24 Aug 2011)

Report Icon

New Free Caribbean Cruising Guide - A Thinking Mans Guide to Voyages South (23 Jul 2011)

Report Icon

Five Enjoyable Months in Venezuela (20 Jun 2011)

Report Icon

Venezuela: 2011 Safety and Security Incidents (19 Apr 2011)

Report Icon

Venezuela: 2010 Safety and Security Incidents (19 Apr 2011)

Report Icon

Trip From Brazil to Venezuela (27 Dec 2010)

Report Icon

Venezuela: Peninsula de Paria - Armed Attack September 2010 (02 Dec 2010)

Report Icon

Caution if Sailing Between Los Testigos and Porlamar, Isla Margarita (10 Nov 2010)

Report Icon

Around the next Bend - a 7 month journey along the many rivers of Guyana and Venezuela (29 Sep 2010)

Report Icon

Update on Los Monjes, Venezuela (30 Aug 2010)

Report Icon

Spanish for Cruisers - 2nd Edition (03 Jun 2010)

Report Icon

Venezuela: North Coast - Yacht Skipper Shot and Killed (06 May 2010)

Report Icon

Venezuela: Followed Suspiciously - Nov 2009 (19 Apr 2010)

Report Icon

Venezuelan Tax Authorities still checking foreign boats (06 Apr 2010)

Report Icon

Venezuela - Don't Believe the Rumours! (01 Mar 2010)

Report Icon

Report on Various Ports of Call in Venezuela (20 Jan 2010)

Report Icon

Los Roques - Our Check-in Experience (16 Jan 2010)

Report Icon

New 1% Tax in Venezuela - All Foreign Yachts Being Checked (25 Sep 2009)

Report Icon

New 1% Tax in Venezuela - Not for Visiting Yachts (25 Sep 2009)

Report Icon

Venezuela to Canada (15 Sep 2009)

Report Icon

Porlamar and Venezuela - a positive view (08 Feb 2009)

Report Icon

Venezuela, Margarita, Porlamar - Dinghy Theft (21 Jan 2009)

Report Icon

Venezuela, Margarita, Porlamar - More Thefts and Incidents (21 Jan 2009)

Report Icon

Venezuela, 10 miles from Puerto Santos - Attack on British Yacht (21 Jan 2009)

Report Icon

Venezuela, Off NE Coast - Armed Boarding and Robbery (21 Jan 2009)

Report Icon

Venezuela, Margarita, Porlamar - Spate of Robberies (21 Jan 2009)

Report Icon

Venezuela, Puerto Santos - Yacht Boarding (21 Jan 2009)

Report Icon

Venezuela, Isla De Margarita - Yacht Robbed and Crew Member Shot (21 Jan 2009)

Report Icon

Venezuela, Margarita - Increase in Yacht Attacks in 2007 (21 Jan 2009)

Report Icon

Venezuela - Gunpoint Robbery (21 Jan 2009)

Report Icon

Venezuela - April Brings New Spate of Attacks (21 Jan 2009)

Report Icon

Cruising in Venezuela - a local's perspective (25 Sep 2008)

Report Icon

Caribbean: Reported Crime Incidents Against Yachts, 2005-2008 (26 Aug 2008)

Report Icon

Not All Bad News in Venezuela (15 Jul 2008)

Report Icon

Cruising from St. Lucia Southwards (02 Jul 2008)

Report Icon

Update on Aves/Los Roques Coastguard Report (14 Jun 2008)

Report Icon

USA, Florida to Margarita, Venezuela (18 May 2008)

Report Icon

Credit Card Fraud In Caribbean Alert (29 Apr 2008)

Report Icon

Venezuela to Trinidad: Sailing Boat Shot At (06 Apr 2008)

Report Icon

Further Information On January Attacks On Yachts (20 Mar 2008)

Report Icon

Cruising Report On Cuba & Venezuela (11 Mar 2008)

Report Icon

Porlamar, Margarita, Security News (11 Mar 2008)

Report Icon

Venezuela Cruising Report (30 Jan 2007)

Report Icon

Report of other pirate attacks in Venezuela 2003-2005 (26 Sep 2006)

Report Icon

Update On Shooting Of Yard Owner at Puerto La Cruz (21 Jun 2006)

Report Icon

Adios Venezuela - Paradise Lost? (20 Apr 2006)

Report Icon

2005: More Reports On Violent Attacks On Yachts In Venezuela (20 Jan 2006)

Report Icon

Cruising Notes for the Los Roques/Venezuela (24 Aug 2005)

Report Icon

A Response To The Positive View Of Venezuela (07 Aug 2005)

Report Icon

Cruising Notes on Tortuga, Venezuela (10 Mar 2005)

Report Icon

Cruising Notes on Los Testigos (09 Mar 2005)

Report Icon

Caribbean Island Updates 2003 (23 Jun 2004)

Report Icon

Venezuelan Rescue & Maritime Safety Organisation (01 Mar 2004)

Report Icon

Los Roques & Las Aves (19 Aug 2002)

Related News
Eastern Caribbean and now the Pacific: The Coconut Telegraph SSB Net extends its reach

Eastern Caribbean and now the Pacific: The Coconut Telegraph SSB Net extends its reach  (28 Feb 2014)

Venezuela: Empty yacht found adrift - owner located

Venezuela: Empty yacht found adrift - owner located  (05 Feb 2014)

Caribbean Crime: Caribbean Security Index (CSI) review of 2013

Caribbean Crime: Caribbean Security Index (CSI) review of 2013   (31 Jan 2014)

Venezuela Pirate Attack: First Person report from Victims SY Explorer

Venezuela Pirate Attack: First Person report from Victims SY Explorer  (19 Nov 2013)

Venezuela: Yacht boarded by armed pirates whilst en-route from Trinidad to Puerto La Cruz

Venezuela: Yacht boarded by armed pirates whilst en-route from Trinidad to Puerto La Cruz   (16 Nov 2013)

Report Icon

Venezuela, Isla Margarita: Dutch sailor killed whilst resisting robbery on board - September 2013  (06 Sep 2013)

Great New Service for noonsite users: Get notified of cruising news, reports and country updates as they are posted

Great New Service for noonsite users: Get notified of cruising news, reports and country updates as they are posted  (23 May 2013)

The Caribbean Directory of Marine Services and Vendors launched this week

The Caribbean Directory of Marine Services and Vendors launched this week  (16 May 2013)

Report Icon

Summary of Security & Piracy Reports 2012  (28 Feb 2013)

Report Icon

Caribbean Security Index from FreeCruisingGuides  (06 Sep 2012)

Report Icon

Venezuela, Puerto La Cruz: Armed Boarding & Robbery  (15 Aug 2012)

Report Icon

Venezuela, Orinoco Delta: Two Dutch Cruising Boats Suffer Armed Robbery  (15 Jun 2012)

Report Icon

Caribbean Free Cruising Guides - New Editions  (04 Apr 2012)

Report Icon

Venezuela: New Zealand Yacht Lost on Reef  (08 Mar 2012)

Report Icon

2011 - Security & Piracy Round-Up  (30 Jan 2012)

Report Icon

Venezuela: Los Roques to be Nationalised  (11 Oct 2011)

Report Icon

Venezuela: Porlamar - Price Increase for Clearance  (04 Dec 2010)

Report Icon

Venezuela: Caution if Sailing Between Los Testigos and Porlamar, Isla Margarita  (03 Nov 2010)

Report Icon

Venezuela: Boca de Rio - Italian Skipper Murdered - Update  (20 Sep 2010)

Report Icon

Attack on Yacht in Venezuela  (12 Apr 2009)

Report Icon

Fatal Pirate Attack in Venezuela  (10 Nov 2008)

Report Icon

Fatal Attack on French Cruising Couple in Venezuela  (17 Sep 2008)

Report Icon

Recent Spate of Attacks on Cruising Yachts in Venezuela  (15 Jul 2008)

Report Icon

Venezuelan National Rescue and Maritime Safety Organization Urges Yachts To Report Attacks  (18 Aug 2006)

Report Icon

Ecuador’s Puerto Lucia Provides A Perfect Base En Route to the South Seas  (05 Sep 2003)

Report Icon

Venezuela Almost Back to Normal  (01 Mar 2003)

Report Icon

Worrying news from Trinidad and Venezuela  (19 Aug 2002)