Honestly, i can´t say much about hitchhiking n Venezuela as i only had 6 lifts during my crossing. But to keep my Hitchhiking in… -Series complete i would like to share my impressions anyway.
You can find the Log here. Feel invited to download and play with it.
Hitchhiked distance: 1089 kilometer
Number of lifts: 7
Average waiting time: 31 minutes 8 seconds
Waiting time total: 3 hours 38 minutes
I hitchhiked form the very far north-east in Guiria all the way south to St. Elena at the Brazilian border. I had one long-distance lift for about 9,5 hours in a Ford pickup and also a bus ride during the night, which i was forced to take by the local army checkpoint. They didn´t let me hitchhike in the night. The bus was also forced to take me for free, so it was somehow a „lift“.
Although all the world told me in advanced about the most dangerous country in the world and all the bad people in Venezuela i only met very kind and wonderfull people and made alot of positive experiences. The people are very hospitality, open and friendly. Beside that they also care alot about your safety. Seems like also the locals find they own country dangerous. I don´t want to relativize this, there are for sure dangerous places and people. But i didn´t met any and the few foreigners i spoke to also never made any bad experiences in Venezuela. All the people i met have been very kind and friendly. Be careful, but also don´t be too scared. Venezuelians are really wonderfull people and worth to meet.
I haven´t seen anything similar to a highway. But my route was going through the less populated east and around Caracas as also in the west there might be bigger streets for sure. The movement happened mostly on country roads. The road signs are rare, important crossings have some. Apart from that you can go „always straight“ if there is no other way described. The conditions of the roads is average, but okay. Sometimes you find potholes, but in general its a normal road. To limit the speed you have in and outside of towns alot of speed bumps. If you don´t see them it can be very harmful for your shock absorbers: Beside that you need to pass alot of military checkpoints, especially in the east.
My impression was, that hitchhiking in Venezuela is not as easy as described in hitchwiki. I had long waiting times, when i was waiting. In general i think it makes sense to use the speed bumps for positioning, because all the cars will have to break hard before passing them. Night hitchhiking seemed to be impossible, cause all the people are so concerned about your safety. Thats why my longest lift left me at the military checkpoint, after nightfall. I had to wait there, till the soldiers stopped my lift. Because of my bad spanish i couldn´t hardly explain, that i want to hitchhike. In the end i choosed the path of least resistance and just waited what will happen. In general i think it is very possible to get lifts in the night, especially at the army checkpoints.
Venezuela is wild, the people are sincere. I felt in love with that country. In Carupano you have the crashing waves of the atlantic occean and beside that a beautiful coastline, full of trash, tires and wrecks. Not possible to swim there. In general it looks ruinous there, which i personally really like. Unfortunately i was only on transit, but i will come back for sure.
Through the oil- and currency crisis the exchange rate was exorbitant high. American Dollars are needed and you should have them with you. The official exchange rate is 1:6. My information was, that the black market is changing 1:75. In venezuela i changed for 1:135 and i heard of places where they give you a 1:180 change. Thats alot of money, when you consider that a meal costs 200 bolivian dollars in average. Cheap travelling country.
The country is not only rich of wonderful people, but also of stunning nature. Who likes it touristic can visit the highest waterfalls in the world. The Angel Falls are around 1000m high and the water falls down from a high-plateau into the jungle. You can only go there with a booked tour and a 3 day visit costs around 200$. The waterfalls are in the middle of the jungle and you have to go there with a small airplane (ride included in the 200$). There is also a way possible by boat, but definitely no roads to the angel falls.
I personally like the route between Carupano and Maturin very much. The street leads very elegant through the jungle and the sourrunding landscape is absolutely stunning. Can recommend this passage.