Angel Falls, the world's highest uninterrupted waterfall, is the standout attraction of Venezuela. The national parks of Canaima, Mochima and Morrocoy are also breathtaking, as is the more industrial Parque Central Complex.
Thinking of visiting?
Around 9,500 British nationals visit Venezuela every year, but the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) advises against all travel to within 80km of the Colombian border in the states of Zulia, Tachira and Apure.
The FCO also advises against all but essential travel to the remainder of Tachira state.
13 hour flight
Venezuela is 7,745 km from the United Kingdom and is only accessible by airplane, with rare flights from London to Caracas, Venezuela’s capital, taking travellers around 13 hours.
Most flights will take around 28 hours, but this can increase to between 40-50 hours depending on which airline you use and how long stops take.
If you are unsure as to how to manage your medication while in the air then you should discuss a plan with your diabetic specialist.
Venezuela has a unique time zone that is four-and-a-half hours behind Greenwich Mean Time.
This may affect your diabetes management and you should consult a member of your diabetes team if you have any concerns regarding medication in Venezuela.
The climate of Venezuela depends on whereabouts you travel to, but the average climate of Caracas sees average temperatures of around 28°C all-year round.
If you take insulin, you should attentively check your blood sugar levels as insulin consumption can be enhanced in warmer weather.
You could consider reducing your dosages before periods of physical activity if you are concerned about hypoglycemia.
The currency used in Venezuela is the Venezuelan Bolívar. It is wise to obtain currency before you leave for Venezuela as exchange rates will be better, while paying with foreign credit cards can result in quite substantial charges.
There are no mandatory vaccinations to enter Venezuela, however some are recommended. You should consult your doctor eight weeks prior to your departure in order to receive the vaccinations in time.
All travellers are recommended to get vaccinations for hepatitis A and typhoid, which can both be contracted through contaminated food or water.
Some travellers are also recommended to receive vaccinations for other diseases, including hepatitis B and rabies, which can be carried by dogs, bats and other mammals in Venezuela.
You should also talk to your doctor about how to prevent the contraction of malaria while travelling. Your doctor may prescribe you medication before, during and after your stay and will advise you on what to do to avoid getting malaria.
There is no risk of yellow fever in Venezuela, although the government of Venezuela requires proof of yellow fever vaccination if you have travelled from a country with a risk of the disease.
Access to medication
UK citizens with diabetes will not be entitled to any free medication services while in Venezuela. Securing comprehensive medical insurance will be essential in order to obtain even basic treatment.
Diabetic medication is available in Venezuela, but payment will be required from all pharmacies, for which the Spanish translation is “Farmacia”.
Blood testing equipment is widely available at medical supplies stores, as well as larger pharmacy stores. Urine testing kits s less available, but you should be able to obtain urine testing strips at diabetes associations in Venezuela.
The emergency services telephone number to be called in Venezuela is 171.
You should note which syringes are available in Venezuela, with U-100 syringes the most commonly used.
The vast majority of insulin in the UK is U-100 insulin. If you need to take a different strength of insulin, say in an emergency, it’s important that you use the correct device and syringes for that insulin.
For example, you would use a U-40 syringe for U-40 insulin. You will need to work with a doctor getting the right dose if you’re using a different form of insulin.
It is important to note the diabetes associations in the country you are travelling to in case of an emergency.
There are two diabetic associations in Venezuela, the addresses are:
- Federacion Nacional de Asociaciones y Unidades de Diabetes (a member of the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) since 2000),
Colegio Médico del Estado Miranda,
Av El Golf, Qta 76, El Bosque,
- Sociedad Venezolana de Endocrinologia y Metabolismo (a member of the IDF since 1982),
Veracruz con Principal de Las Mercedes,
Res. La Hacienda piso 5 Oficina 35-O Urb,
1060 Las Mercedes,
Tel: +58-212-660 7994
- How is blood glucose measured in Venezuela? Unfortunately, we do not have the information of whether blood glucose is measured in mg/dl or mmol/l in Venezuela
- What language is spoken in Venezuela? Spanish. Some locals in a customer service environment may know English, but it will be greatly beneficial to learn some general phrases to assist in your day-to-day activities. Learning phrases relating to your diabetes will be essential should you, or a member of your party, require medical assistance.
- Will I need an international driving license when driving in Venezuela? Yes
- If I want to hire a vehicle during my visit, will I face any form of discrimination? No
- What sugar free drinks are available in Venezuela? Light coke, Pepsi light, Laim free and Chinotto light