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Safety border crossing Venezuela - Colombia

Tilburg, The...
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Safety border crossing Venezuela - Colombia

In november I'm in Venezuela together with my girlfriend. We're considering to take the bus (Expreso Amerlugo) from Caracas (Venezuela) to Santa Marta (Colombia), it's a direct bus. Is this a safe bus company and safe trip?

I've read that the borders can be dangerous. Does anyone have experience or recommendations?

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Isla de Margarita
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1. Re: Safety border crossing Venezuela - Colombia

Roppie83,

The only real danger of taking Amerlujo from Caracas to Santa Marta is the very real one of freezing to death on board the bus!!!

They normally keep the long haul buses at arctic temperatures so take a blanket (and a pillow) or at least wear warm clothes.

Also, are you sure you want to do that trip in one shot-its a looooooong way!!!!!

I have driven that route several times and last did it a few years ago in a private vehicle with a friend of mine (starting on Margarita island) we did the drive in 4 days and a fairly good pace-driving mostly daylight hours.

You may be wise to break it up into at least two legs-unless you are intrepid travelers.

Try to not be left with many Bolivares to change to Pesos at the border crossing as you will take a beating on the exchange rate-better to have some usd$ to change enough to get you to Santa Marta.

The border crossing between Maracaibo and Maicao is properly called Parguachón in Colombia and Guarero in Venezuela.

Edited: 7:46 am, September 15, 2013
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Tilburg, The...
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2. Re: Safety border crossing Venezuela - Colombia

Thanks!

Thing is, The UK and Netherlands Commonwealth recommends against all travel to the border region (especially Tachira and Maracaibo) and against all non-essential travel to others.

Therefore I'm hesitating heavily on what to do. I don't know what to expect and if I shoudl even consider a 16h bus drive.

Isla de Margarita
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3. Re: Safety border crossing Venezuela - Colombia

If you heed government travel advisories you probably would not leave your own home.

Bus from Caracas to Santa Marta is perfectly safe unless, of course, you plan to render youself unconcious with some high powered narcotic for the trip. But, as I stated in my last post, its a long, long ride.

Valencia, Venezuela
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4. Re: Safety border crossing Venezuela - Colombia

Hi Roppie83!!

I hope I am not to late... I understand your concern! Venezuela is not the safest place, but it has so many beautiful places that it's a shame not to travel around.

A lot of people go to Colombia in bus from Venezuela, and Amerlujo is one of the safest way to travel to Colombia in bus. Personally I don't like traveling by bus to Colombia, it takes to many hours (strangely, direct bus sometimes takes more time to arrive) and many times you will be stopped for security bags...and sometimes you are going to be asked for more money.... BUT it's cheaper and since you choose Amerlujo (direct bus), it's the safest way to travel. My boyfriend's family do it every year and nothing bad has happened to them. Years ago it wasn't very safe mainly because of the guerrilla in Colombia, but that's not the situation right now. The borders aren't really pretty, very dirty and poor...

If you want to go to Colombia I think you should do it! Of course always be careful with your bags & money, there is always the risk of being robbed :(. Don't wear jewelry, try to blend in and not to look like tourists! If you have the money then I recommend you to check for airplane tickets soon, it may be difficult to find a good price and available tickets.

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Tilburg, The...
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5. Re: Safety border crossing Venezuela - Colombia

Thanks for the replies.

Probably we'll fly from Caracas to Maracaibo and take the bus there. This doesn't make it much faster, but this way we don't have to travel in Caracas to the bus station with our bags.

Caracas, Venezuela
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6. Re: Safety border crossing Venezuela - Colombia

It does much faster indeed!... Because from CCS to Maracaibo by bus is almost 10h.

Caracas, Venezuela
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7. Re: Safety border crossing Venezuela - Colombia

The problem I see is that you would be missing out on Venezuela. That's like landing in Amsterdam, to which you've never been to, on your way to Edinburgh, and skipping Amsterdam and London completely. You don't have to RUN through Venezuela. Taking your time into account, you can spend a day in Caracas, another in Morrocoy National Park, maybe Coro, and when you get to Maracaibo, take the bus to Santa Marta. I've helped a ton of people work there way to Santa Marta like this, ejoying the trip along the way. The important thing is to have local contacts (posadas, guesthouses, etc) all set up in advance. There are a few helpful accommodations in Caracas (such a Nelson's Place) that will help you get to Maracaibo safely even in an overnight bus (travel as you sleep).

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8. Re: Safety border crossing Venezuela - Colombia

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