Replies: 4 - Last Post: Apr 24, 2012 2:48 PM Last Post By: zuana
Apr 22, 2012 8:40 AM
Apr 22, 2012 8:57 AM
Warning about ATM machines in Venezuela
Most people know about the poor official exchange rate in Venezuela and bring lots of cash, but if you do get stuck, be aware that most ATMs there do not accept foreign credit cards. I got stuck without money for a couple of days until I got to Maracay where the fourth ATM I tried finally gave me some cash. I think it stems from the requirement to put in a four digit ID number (in addition to your PIN). Just putting in 0000 or your passport number does not work.
It is a good thing the ATM card does not work, or you do not know the correct code to punch in to make it work. You double your spending power getting the local money from a money changer in the black market.
Apr 22, 2012 9:12 AM
I am horrified of how many people arrived in Venezuela without knowing of the black market and fleeing the country because of the official exchange rate, they simply cannot afford. My experience is, you can change everywhere, we have done it several times, on the street there are no problems, it is too big an activity now. I would definitely recommend more USD than Euros. And, most important: bring BIG notes, only 50 and US$ 100, you will get a much better change.
As has been stated repeatedly the official exchange rate is a joke, a total rip off. you need to take some USD or Euros in cash for your trip and change it at the black market rate (about 3x the official rate) everyone does it, that is just how it works. To change money just ask in the posada you are staying or ask around hotels or travel agencies, if they cannot help you out they will be able to point you in the right direction. Do not trust random people on the street offering to change money. They may be ligit but they may be carrying fakes. Many posadas - at least those owned by foreigners will normally have a bank account in Europe or even some in the US where you can transfer money too - some will also have a pay-pal account. If you are planning on taking trips that can be expensive (such as Angel Falls) do not count on paying by credit card as you would be charged the official rate - but money transfer may be good (though bare in mind the transfer fee and the rate will not be as good as cash.The exchange rate (at least for the Euro) seems to decline as you head west (this was told to me and I have found it to be true) so you get better rates in places in the east but it can go down by a whole point (as in from 7.9 to 6.9) as you get close to Colombia. Of course you can always try and haggle. There are also people/agencies/posadas, that you can transfer money too and they will give you the cash.
I have just moved on from Venezuela following a quick visit to this lovely country. I am sure most of you will know this but for those who do not - the money situation in Venezuela is pretty dire at the moment long queues of locals at banks every day and it was impossible for us to withdraw money out from an ATM when our dollars ran out. Only with the help of a wonderful local did we manage, after 4 hours!!, to actually make a withdrawal within the bank. We would have liked to stay longer but could not as the exchange rate you get in the banks is around half that on the "black market". Currently expect to get around 7 bolivars for a dollar and 9 for pound/euro. Do not ever exchange money on the street, especially not in Caracas. The best way is to pay for your trips (Angel falls is a must btw) accommodation etc in foreign currency and see if they will exchange a bit extra for you.Venezuela can be a dangerous place if you are not being careful but do not let that put you off talking to locals as we met some very lovely, kind people that made our trip!
Apr 22, 2012 2:17 PM
3I'm 25 from NJ currently working in Venezuela for almost 3 years i can say i know the in and outs of this country from all the craziness i dealt with.
bamemory is right about the exchange rate.... it is a cool experience to visit Venezuela BUT if you plan on staying here for 6 months .. it will be extremely difficult for you to have access to local currency WITHOUT getting ripped off.... the blackmarket exchange rate is 8.5 to 1USD right now i believe ... its dangerous like all South american country but you should be fine as long as you dont venture into bad neigborhoods
You can find some people working at the airport to change currency. They are going to try to screw you by offering a low rate like 6bsf for 1 dollar, you have to tell them you want 8.5 or you are not going to exchange with them.
I just joined this site to find more travelling destination infos. now its pretty cool I can answer some questions too regarding venezuela
Apr 24, 2012 2:48 PM
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