Just my luck I arrived in Venezuela 3 days after the government laid out a power usage law among its citizens, all malls and corporations will have no power from 1pm-3pm, all restaurants will be open then and theatres as its lunch time. No more late hours either, stores and restaurants within malls and corporate buildings including government buildings are closed at 7pm. everyone suffers, business and customers and even tourist. I had the unfortunate luck to chose a hotel above a mall, normally that’s ideal for me. Not now in Venezuela. The power is greatly reduced in my hotel from 1-4, no elevator at all the stairs have no lights it was crazy!
Next crazy thing is their money. You can’t buy any currency outside the country, so I brought American money, most countries usually laugh when I bring my Canadian dollars. So, in the airport I give them 50 USD at what I thought was a trusted Cambio exchange place. For that $50 I got 9450 Bolivars. Sounded ok I didn’t know any better. I get a taxi and he says 70 to my hotel in Bolivars, he even wrote it down as 70 I’m thinking I’m good to go. We get to my hotel he meant 7000. I’m thinking that’s nuts but what can you do. I meet up with my guide the next day and he tells me I should have gotten 47,000 for my 50$$$$. I was livid but it gets worse. I wanted to go to Margarita Island on this trip so I went to an agent to get tickets, could not be done online I cant explain why, another crazy thing I think. The agent charges me 9150 for a return flight I’m thinking wow that’s great 50 bucks!! I came back a few hours later to get the ticket as the printer lost power at 1pm. The agent then tells me that my card was charged 680 USD. I’m like what?????? She refunds me and tells me to give her 12 USD cash for the tickets. CONFUSED!!!!!!????????
Officially in the world market it is 13.50 Bolivars per 1 USD. In the country itself its 900 bolivars for 1 USD. I think I could write all day about this but there’s other things to write about too… yes more crazy things.
A few years ago the bottom fell out of the Venezuelan economy and things went wacky, back then I heard about the condom shortage? Yes it cost 50$ to buy one box of condoms and most places didn’t have any to sell. The world decided since they weren’t paid they weren’t shipping anything until they got payment upfront, this country is too poor for that….it gets worse…..I know you think I’m joking but there are NO, I mean NONE…sanitary napkins, tampons and other alike it for sale anywhere. NONE! Bet you can’t guess how I know this first hand??
One more thing, water is more expensive then gas, they can fill up a tank of gas for their car for less then 1USD, one dollar!!!!!! Meanwhile a bottle of water is 2 US dollars, but good luck finding any! (Actually its 1000 bolivar which is slightly more then a US dollar to them but now tourists.
Obvious conclusion, there has to have been a baby boom and still going as condoms are now 20$ per condom. Yes visit, but be very smart be very safe. There has been no rain in ages no mosquitos for now. No you cant use your credit cards anywhere in Venezuela!