Venezuelain FlagVenezuela is a gloriously beautiful country, and with almost 2000 miles of coastline, mountains, and jungle, there is something for everyone. Sites like Angel Falls, the world’s highest waterfall, and Lake Maracaibo, South America’s largest lake, ensure that you won’t soon forget Venezuela’s natural beauty. This is a country of extremes–just check out the giant anaconda for proof; it’s the world’s longest snake, capable of devouring a 100-pound tapir, or even a human, in a single meal.

Traveling in Venezuela Venezuela
Venezuela’s government is in a state of disarray after the recent ouster, then quick reinstatement, of President Hugo Chavez. The situation in Venezuela continues to be unstable, and growing guerilla violence along the Columbian border only makes things worse. The United States, among other countries, has issued warnings to its nationals who plan to travel in Venezuela: it can be risky, and it’s best to contact your embassy for information and use caution if you decide to go.

Weather in Venezuela
The country’s climate is mostly tropical, temperatures range between the low 60’s and 90-degree range, depending on where you are. The verano, or summer dry season, lasts from December to April, and the invierno, or winter wet season, is from May through November. The dry season is the best time to travel in Venezuela, especially if you are planning outdoor activities such as hiking or beach activities along the Caribbean coast. Weather in the Amazon rainforest is, as expected, uniformly wet with no distinct seasons. Any excursions into the rainforest or on other major treks demand an experienced guide and familiarity with the environment (not to mention a sharp machete to clear your trail).

South America Venezuela Information
24,000,000 (est.1994)
Federal Republic
Square Miles:
355,700 sq mi (912,050 sq km)
Caracas (pop 4,608,934)
Official Language:
67% mestizo, 21% European descent, 10% African descent, 2% indigenous.
96% Roman Catholic, 2% Protestant
Major products/industries:
Petroleum, iron ore, cereals, fruit, sugar and coffee
Health risks:
Cholera, dengue fever, hepatitis, malaria, yellow fever


Belize FlagCompared with the rest of volatile Central America, Belize is more like the island nations of the eastern Caribbean than it’s mainland neighbors. Its laid back way reminds visitors of the way the Caribbean was in the days before the big resorts.

With only three major paved highways, traveling through Belize is truly an experience. But those same roads will take you to spectacular Mayan ruins in pristine jungles, secluded and peaceful ecotourist lodges, and some of the best scuba diving in the world.

All this is not cheap: hotels are few and far between–and thus, more expensive than in other Central American nations. But this lack of sprawling accommodations makes traveling in Belize like stepping back into a simplier time. If you like an adventurous travel destination, Belize might be just the place for you.

Traveling in Belize
Belize MapWith few paved roads and no trains, traveling in Belize can be tough. Small airplanes travel from Belize City and other cities and towns throughout the country. Cars can be rented but after heavy rains, travel can be nearly impossible as the roads get washed out. If you are headed to the coast or islands, there are frequent launches to most of these places.

Belize can be expensive compared to the rest of Central America. But it is still vastly cheaper than many of the islands of the Caribbean. Midlevel rooms will go for roughly $15-$25 a night; higher-end hotels, however, will not be unreasonably expensive. Meals are quite reasonably priced, and you could get away with staying in Belize for under $30 a day, not including transportation cost.

American and Canadian dollars, as well as pounds stirling, are easily exchanged in Belize, and most major credit cards are widely accepted. One important thing to remember, though–ATM machines in Belize will not accept foreign bank cards.

Health Risks in Belize
Health risks include cholera, dengue fever, malaria, hepatitis, typhoid, and dysentery. It is advised that you consult a doctor about what shots you may need before traveling to Belize.

Weather in Belize
The best time to travel is from November to May. But if you want to avoid crowds and get cheaper rates you may try July to November; this is hurricane season, but when there are no storms the weather can still be very nice.

Belize Information
North / Central AmericaPopulation: 249,183
Government: Parliamentary democracy
Square Miles: 9087 sq mi (23,300 sq km)
Capitol: Belmopan (pop 5000)
Official Languages: English, English Creole, Spanish, Maya and Garífuna
People: 44% mestizo, 30% Creole, 11% Maya, 7% Garifuna
Religion: 60% Catholic, 30% Protestant
Major products/industries: Sugar, bananas, fish products, garment production, food processing, timber, tourism, construction