Maracaibo

5 de julio Financial Area.

Maracaibo is the capital of Zulia state in western Venezuela, and is the second largest city in the country after Caracas. It has more than 2 million people and it's famous for its typical music, big shopping malls and beautiful parks. It is called "La Primera Ciudad de Venezuela" (The Most Important Venezuelan City) because of its development.

Get in

By plane

La Chinita International Airport (IATA: MAR):

By bus

Maracaibo is your arrival point in Venezuela if you take the most direct route from Santa Marta in Colombia.

Night buses go to/from Caracas, San Cristobal and Mérida, all for about Bs.30 - 35,000. The cheap bus to Mérida is only Bs.18,000, but is much less comfortable.

Get around

Typical street in Maracaibo city.

See

Maracaibo has a nice but sterile centre, that they try to posh up with old European styled parks - not very successful.

Do

Buy

Eat

Drink

Sleep

Budget

Mid-range

Splurge

Connect

Go next

The bus station is 200m south of Libertador metro station (don't walk at night). There are air conditioned buses to most cities in Venezuela.

To Colombia

From the bus terminal, there are old American cars called "por puestos" that will take you to the bus station in Maicao, Colombia (3 hours, from there you can take a bus to anywhere in Colombia). The fare in September 2009 was 60 Bolivares per person. They leave when they fill up. If you want one with air conditioning (recommended), don't mention this but just wait for one that looks a bit newer (otherwise they will want to charge you extra for it and they can be quite aggressive). On the way to the border you will pass through about 10 military / police checkpionts where you have to show your passport. If there are any illegal immigrants in your car, they will have to negotiate a bribe with each of these guards (normally 2-10$ at each checkpoint) and this will add about an hour to the journey. Amerlujo and Expresos Brasilia have direct buses to Colombia but they cost about twice as much as going via Maicao and they leave very early in the morning. Expect to take about 12 hours in total to get from Maracaibo to Cartagena.

This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Saturday, April 25, 2015. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.