Essential Info for Venezuela

Population: 31 million

Capital city: Caracas

Neighbouring countries: Venezuela is bordered by Colombia to the west, Brazil to the south, Guyana to the east and a Carribean coast to the north

Geography: The country's landscape is varied with Andes mountains to the west, the Amazon basin rainforest in the south, the Llanos plains in the centre, and the Orinoco River Delta in the east.

Political system: Federal presidential republic

Major religion: Catholicism

Main language: Spanish

Money: The Venezuelan Bolívar (VEF) is divided into 100 céntimos. ATMs are widely available but are often targets for card cloning, thefts and muggings. It isn't difficult to open a bank account as long as expats make sure they provide the bank with all the required documentation.

Tipping: Five to 10 percent

Time: GMT-4

Electricity: 120 volts, 60 Hz. Plugs have two flat blades and some have an additional round prong.

Internet domain: .ve

International dialing code: +58

Emergency number: 171

Transport and driving: Driving is on the right-hand side of the road. Expat drivers should be aware of the prevalence of car-related crimes such as hijackings and theft. Venezuela has a limited national rail and bus system.

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