Admittedly this oil-rich South American country's economy, politics, and society are an unholy mess thanks to rampant corruption and mismanagement, but for visitors it still delivers diverse offerings, including a buzzing big-city scene in Caracas, marvelous Caribbean beaches, mountain hiking, and superb eco-tourism (Angel Falls, the world's highest, is here).

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A look at what it's like to travel in Venezeula now

Prolific and very popular travel vlogger Drew Binsky was one of the first travelers to Venezuela when it opened up post-COVID this past spring, and here's a video about his first impressions (first of several, shot over ten weeks), aided by a local vlogger and including frank assessments of how the "Bolivarian" Chávez/Maduro régime has fucked this beautiful country and its people over.

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  • In the France-based site Euronews travel, a Venezuelan tour guide does a bang-up job of promoting her country's offerings to visitors, bless her heart - as if the situation were totally normal and Venezuela didn't have a care in the world. Furthermore, the article's hed overstates her pitch just a wee bit much: "Why Venezuela should be on your travel bucket list for 2022." Still, worth a read as an excellent summation of its travel menu:
    Why Venezuela should be on your travel bucket list
    Welcome to Venezuela, one of the wildest, most beautiful places on earth. Here's what to do and where to go when you're there.
  • I'm putting together a listing of very cool, but very CLOSED (meaning currently not functioning) hotels in Latin America. Does anyone know if the Hotel Humboldt is open or if plans to reopen are really happening? Last I heard, it's supposed to reopen in 2012, but I know that past plans have fallen through.
  • Just caught this in today's Miami Herald. If there are any golf fans out there who have played the Robert Trent Jones course on Margarita Island -- well, that's the end of that:

    Chávez looms large over golf: Hugo Chávez's hard-line stand against the `bourgeois sport' has led to the closing of many golf courses

    Venezuelan golf fairways, bunkers and greens have become both the stage of an ideological war headed by President Hugo Chávez and a showcase for the Bolivarian revolution's internal contradictions.

    After a 70-year presence in the country, golf is now the target of criticism and attacks by Chávez administration leaders and organizations.

    Official measures may result in the closing of more golf courses. In the past five years, the number of courses in Venezuela has gone down to 22 from 28, and three more courses may be in line to be closed as well, according to directors of the Venezuelan Golf Federation (VGF).

    Among the closed courses is one the famous designer Robert Trent Jones built on Margarita Island -- the only Venezuelan course certified by the U.S. Professional Golf Association.

    The other five courses no longer operating are located near oil fields in the states of Monagas, Zulia and Falcón. The courses remain inactive because the government does not consider their maintenance a priority...
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