35 interesting facts about Caracas

Caracas

The capital of Venezuela, Caracas, is on the list of the most dangerous cities in the world. Extremely high unemployment rate and poverty have led to an unprecedented increase in crime, and most of the city is a slum that lives by its own laws nowadays.

Amazing facts about Caracas

  • The capital of Venezuela, Caracas, is one of the five most dangerous cities on Earth. The most common crimes here are robberies, kidnappings, and murders.
  • Local authorities have not been able to solve problems with electricity supply for years. Entire areas of the city remain without electricity for several hours almost every day.
  • Caracas is officially home to about 2 million people, about the same number as the Kingdom of Lesotho. But in fact, there are many more people in Caracas, up to 4.5-5 million people. Nobody makes a population census in the slums.
  • There are a lot of police and other guards here, armed men stand at every crossroad, but even in the case of a crime occurring nearby, police usually prefer not to interfere. They just don’t wanna get into troubles.
  • Venezuela has become impoverished due to hyperinflation. Caracas is the wealthiest city in the state, but even there the average salary does’t exceed 30-50 US dollars a month.
Caracas slums
Most part of Caracas looks like this
  • Wealthy locals dress as simply as possible, so as not to become victims of robbery or kidnapping. The most popular dress code is a t-shirt, pants or shorts, and flip-flops. All of this is for the sake of demonstrating the message “I have nothing”.
  • Venezuela’s budget deficit has led to a reduction in the number of police officers, and this has had a very negative impact on the crime situation.
  • In Caracas, you can see long queues everywhere. People stand in lines for everything, they just wanna buy some bread, soap, clothes… There’s serious shortage of goods here.
  • Caracas subway became free in 2018 because the city authorities didn’t have enough money to print enough travel tickets.
  • Most of the stores and cafes here don’t let visitors in. Orders and purchases are issued through a small window, too small to fit through.
  • Metal grills usually cover the windows on all floors of apartment buildings in Caracas, from top to bottom.
  • More than 50% of the area of the Venezuelan capital is occupied by slums. Even the police don’t usually risk going there. But special operations involving military and heavy equipment are carried out in slums from time to time.
  • About 70% of the city’s population lives in the slums of Caracas. Many of them are actually “towns within a city” with their own economy, and the population in certain slum districts (they are called “barrios” here) is estimated in the tens and hundreds of thousands of people. For example, about a million people live in barrio Petare.
  • Residents of Caracas won the Miss Universe beauty pageants in 1979 and 1981.
  • An unfinished 45-storey skyscraper “Confianzas” is located right in the center of Caracas. It has been occupied by squatters in the past decade, and became a hotbed of crime. The population of the building exceeded 5 thousand people! However, the police had carried out a special operation to clean the skyscraper.
Facts about Caracas
A prosperous neighborhood of Caracas
  • The main campus of the Central University of Venezuela in Caracas is recognized as a UNESCO world heritage site. It is considered a masterpiece of modern architecture.
  • Local residents suffer from rampant crime and street gangs a lot, and they have long been sick of it. It has come to the point that lynching has become commonplace here, and unlucky criminals have all chances not to survive until the police arrive.
  • The risk of violent death in Caracas ranges from 0.12% to 0.2% according to various statistics.
  • For several years, Caracas has been the most dangerous city in the world among those that do not have military operations ongoing.
  • Locals are used to hide their cell phones in their underwear, so as not to show them on the street.
Caracas facts
Street gangs of Caracas
  • Usually all respectable establishments in Caracas (those where visitors are allowed to come inside) have signs on the doors and walls reminding that weapons aren’t allowed.
  • The Central districts of the Venezuelan capital are quite clean despite the deplorable state of the economy. The streets are cleaned regularly.
  • It’s dangerous to rent a car here. Once a person takes a car for rent, it means that he has money, and there is always a risk that the company’s employees will pass information about him to accomplices. Taxi is also dangerous as well, and public transport is dangerous even more.
  • The Caracas subway is very congested. It’s extremely difficult to squeeze into the car during rush hour, but locals still always keep order and line up.
  • The police are usually on duty at every metro station, and if there is no police, the station is usually empty, since people are afraid to go down to the subway in the absence of police.
  • Minibuses in Caracas usually run within the district only. If you need to get from one area to another, you will most likely need a bus.
  • The name of the city comes from the name of the local tribe of Caracas. The Spanish conquistador Diego de Losada founded the city and called it Santiago de Leon de Caracas on the site of the village, which was burned by the conquerors.
  • In 1918 and 1900, there were so powerful earthquakes that the city was almost completely destroyed both times.
  • At the turn of the XVI-XVII centuries, during the heyday of piracy in the Caribbean region, Caracas was repeatedly attacked by entire fleets of pirates.
  • Caracas has been the capital of Venezuela since its independence in 1830.
Caracas city
Parque Central towers in Caracas
  • The local skyscrapers “Parque Central” are the tallest twin towers in Latin America.
  • About 20% of local residents are direct descendants of Europeans. Most of the rest are of mixed European and indigenous origin.
  • People in Caracas are generally very friendly. If they see that a tourist is doing something wrong, such as waving an expensive watch in the street or walking towards a dangerous area, they will most likely immediately warn him.
  • Almost no one speaks English in the capital of Venezuela. Some local gangs specialize in the kidnapping of foreign tourists, and the English language immediately gives out the foreigner.
  • There are not even basic necessities on sale in the shops of Caracas sometimes. Buying a fresh-baked bread is a great luck.

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