We are looking to travel overland from Caracas to Panama. I am sure we will plenty of tips along the way but as we are landing in Caracas for the start of our trip it would be great to get some advice to start with.
There are no established ship lines linking Caracas to anywhere, occasionally some cruises may stop at La Guaira Port, but they sail to nearby islands, and due to the poor security situation those cruise trips are rare nowadays. If departing from Colombia's Caribbean coast i.e, Cartagena, chances are higher but don't expect any bargain prices. Air travel continues to be the best way to make it to Panama, there are some frequencies from Caracas and many more from several Colombian cities, even those on the coast like Barranquilla, or Cartagena. about 8 years ago
Kungfukitty, there are a whole heap of warnings about the danger of overland travel in Venezuela (and Panama). You might not think much of government travel warnings, but I find where there's smoke there's fire.... so they're a good indication trouble.
The Australian government advises that you should not go within 80kms of the Colombian border because of gangs, car jackers, criminals and drug gangs. Actually they say you at great risk of car jacking and extortion/robbery anywhere on the road in Venezuela. You of course will need to cross from Venezuela into Colombia to get to Panama.
I think it should be relatively trouble-free across Colombia, but getting into Panama means travelling through the Darian Gap - which again DFAT advises you ought not do because of crime and drug gangs.
The US and UK governments have similar warnings, so it's not just the Aussies.
You may choose to ignore those warnings, but be aware if you do, it's unlikely your government will send any consular assistance - they simply prohibit staff from going to regions such as those (plus there's no Aust embassy or consulate in Venezuela). It's also pretty likely your travel insurance company will be reluctant to send any assistance either, they don't want you AND their medical team kidnapped for ransom (or worse).
if you choose to go ahead, make sure you are self-sufficient and fully supported. That you have an emergency evacuation plan, and a team that can execute it for you.
Have a look at our tips on crime and safety in venezuela.
Phil from the safety hub. almost 8 years ago