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Gateway to Venezuela

epicure 29 September 2011
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Old and new, rich and poor, dangerous and beautiful meet in wild and wonderful Caracas.

Nestled in a valley in the Cordillera de la Costa mountain range, Venezuela’s capital, Caracas, is a dense urban jungle with more than four centuries of history buried beneath her modern exterior. Often overlooked by travellers who frequently use the city as a starting point to the country’s more picturesque islands and mountainside destinations, Caracas has her own mystique that will captivate anyone willing to take the time to get to know her.

Despite her reputation as one of the world’s most dangerous cities, the sophisticated districts of Altamira, Las Mercedes, Chacao, Parque Central and Sabana Grande are perfectly safe, though you should not venture too far away from these areas after dark. Most of the crimes like kidnapping and carjacking usually take place in the poorer parts of town. If you travel in a group and keep your valuables safe, you should do just fine.

The city’s unusual character—ritzy skin with gritty underbelly makes it truly rewarding for the adventurous traveller looking to explore new sights, sounds and flavours. A hodgepodge of glitzy malls, street markets, world class museums, gorgeous women, weatherworn cathedrals, beaten down barrios and nature trails makes Caracas one of the liveliest and most exotic cities in the world.

Excerpt from the October issue of epicure.

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