Originally Posted by Nausikaa
Incidentaly, I loved Venezuela when I was there (twice) in the 70:s. Sailed way up the Orrinoco as far as Puerto Ordaz (I think that was what the place was called).
Yes, Puerto Ordaz is our iron ore shipping port at the confluence of the Orinoco and Caroní rivers. I once sailed a Laser on the Caroní, it was quite an experience sailing in sweet water, the sails came out smooth and silky!
I sold my boat, Persuasion about 5 years ago and now I mostly just surf the web.
Notes about cruising Venezuela
Allow me to give a brief rundown on the Venezuelan situation as it affects cruisers. But first let me say that I'm neither partner nor employee at Bahia Redonda. Bahia Redonda used to be Persuasion's home port and doing websites is more hobby than business. I retired back in 1991.
The political situation does not affect visiting cruisers and my advice is to just ignore it. Please stay clear of any protest march that may be in progress.
Venezuela is "reasonably" safe, no more dangerous than most other parts of the world. Please check out our "Precautions"
page, part of the Welcome Pack.
The new currency (effective January 1, 2008) is just the same old one with three zeros taken off. Any other claim made for it is bogus.
The government has set a fixed exchange rate vs. the US$ at Bs.2,150.00 per dollar. You can buy US dollars from the government at this rate if you qualify. There is a parallel market based on the CANTV ADR traded on the NYSE as I explain here: CANTV ADRs
. The marina has to charge at the official rate but you can sell your dollars (cash) at the parallel rate in Puerto La Cruz. You can see the current parallel rate at Venezuela fx
. This is the rate in Caracas. In Puerto La Cruz you'll likely get 5% less.
Price of diesel fuel:
According to Venezuelan law, diesel fuel is supposed to be sold at international rates to foreigners and at subsidized rates to locals. Until recently this law (as many others) was ignored and foreigners could get fuel at local prices. Now the law is being applied in some areas and not in others. Unfortunately for us, in Puerto La Cruz they are applying the law and diesel is expensive. I believe you can get cheap diesel in Cumaná (but don't quote me).
VAT (Sales tax):
Yes, there is a VAT that is usually already included in the price but not always. When you get a quotation, remember to ask if the VAT is included or not. There are some services for foreigners that are VAT free (I don't know the details but out boatyard can explain).
For well over 30 years I have sailed up and down the Eastern Caribbean from Trinidad to Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, and along the Venezuelan coast to Bonaire and Curaçao. Our cruising grounds are among the best in the world, you shouldn't miss them for fear of politics or violence. I'm an interested party but read: What are sailors saying about Venezuela?
The Venezuelan time zone (VET) was recently changed from GMT -4:00 to GMT -4:30.
If you need specific information from the marina, please use our Contact Form
. The boatyard starts working again on Monday, Jan 7. If you need some general information about the country, I'll do my best to answer your questions right here on the forum.
I'll post it to the Venezuela WIKI as well.