Have you always wanted to see the world’s highest waterfalls? Or climb the mountain from the movie “Up”? Both Angel Falls and Mount Roraima is located in one of the most dangerous country in the world: Venezuela. But what if I told you there is a fairly safe way to enter Venezuela? Where you can join a tour group and see those amazing natural wonders. In May 2017, I safely crossed to Venezuela from the Brazil-Venezuela border. I’ll share with you what I did so you can also do something similar to allow you to see Venezuela’s beautiful natural sites while greatly reducing the chance of something bad happening to you.
Manaus to Boa Vista
Your journey into Venezuela will start in Manaus. I flew into this huge city from in the Brazilian Amazon from Sao Paulo on my way to Venezuela.
From here you have two options to make your way towards the Brazil-Venezuela border:
- Fly to Boa Vista
- Take the bus from Manaus to Boa Vista
I personally flew from Manaus to Boa Vista using Azul Lineas. But, I know many others prefer taking the bus because it is the cheaper alternative. I paid $164.09 USD for the flight because I was in a hurry to make it for my upcoming tour of Venezuela.
Boa Vista to Pacaraima by shared taxi
As soon as I arrived in Boa Vista, I hired a taxi (super expensive in Brazil!) for 40 Reals to take me to the shared taxi terminal going to Pacaraima. I then boarded a very cramped, stuffy and boiling hot shared taxi that drove for 3.5 hours towards Pacaraima, the town where the Brazil-Venezuela border is located.
No leg room in this shared taxi ride
The shared taxi costed me 40 Reals which is funny because the price for a 3.5 hour ride to the Venezuelan border and from the Boa Vista airport to the shared taxi terminal is the same (nothing makes sense in South America).
Shared taxi to Brazil-Venezuela Border
Crossing the Brazil-Venezuela border
I asked the shared taxi driver to drop me off at the “Federal Policia” which is the name for the Brazilian immigration office.
After emailing back and forth with Kamadac which is the tour company I was going with, they told me to wait at the Brazil side of the border where they will pick me up and take me to the town of Santa Elena.
While waiting at the Brazil immigration side, I was feeling paranoid because a Venezuelan guy was staring at me with malice. I am sure if we were not in front of the Brazilian immigration, he would have probably tried robbing me or something. The guy just looked menacing and up to no good.
Thankfully, the tour company came afterwards to pick me up at the safe Brazilian side and then took me to the Venezuelan immigration to get my entry stamp.
The Venezuelan side was quite funny because the immigration officer who was a woman was asking me what I did for a living. I told her that I used to work in a gym as a personal trainer and she started asking me how to lose weight.
From here, I told her to reduce eating carbs. She then replied she loves carbs too much to give it up. She rather just stay fat. I started laughing and left with a stamp on my passport. I’m surprised how pleasant the immigration experience was from the Venezuela side.
After getting picked up by my tour company, they took me to their office. From there, they briefed us on what to expect on the Mount Roraima tour.
They then took us to our Posadas (Guest house). We dropped off our stuff and headed out to eat dinner.
Surpassingly, I walked around the town without any problem and without the tour company escorting me. I was expecting someone to try and rob me but nope, it was perfectly fine. Turns out the indigenous in this city makes sure that the police doesn’t harass the people here. Supplies are plenty here thanks to bordering Brazil. This means there is is no fear of lack of supplies like food and toilet paper.
You made it!
And there you go! You’ve made it to Venezuela to start your tour to this beautiful yet nerve wrecking country. Because of a looming civil war, crime, murder, and police corruption, I was always paranoid traveling through Venezuela despite nothing bad happening to me. Why are the most beautiful places on Earth also be one of the most dangerous?