Stuck on a Caracas layover at Simón Bolívar International Airport of Maiquetia (CSS) in Venezuela? As the main hub for Santa Barbara airlines and one of South America’s largest airports, you’ll find that there’s plenty to do during your wait. The airport is located in Maiquetía, about 13 miles from downtown Caracas, which provides plenty to do for those on long layover who have enough time to leave the airport. If you’re trying to figure out if you can leave the airport during your Caracas layover, click here for useful tips.
If you’re staying in the airport during your layover, there’s a number of services that the airport offers to help you bide your time. Both terminals have a number of restaurants, travel agencies, shops (including duty-free shops in the International Terminal), bookstores, and banks. There are also pharmacies and medical services in both the national and International terminals. Internet services can be found at Cantv at the International Terminal, floor 3. For those looking to stow their bags, Left Luggage facilities are located in both terminals.
The airport has a number of executive lounges including the Simon Bolivar Lounge in the National Terminal on the second floor. The Venezuela Lounge, United-Iberia Lounge, and The American Airlines Admiral Club are all located in the International Terminal on the second floor.
There are also a number of nearby hotels where you can catch some sleep, visit a gym or spa, or just unwind after your flight. Click here for a list of nearby Caracas hotels of varying price points.
If you’re planning on exploring Caracas, there are a couple different ways you can travel. The easiest is by taxi, located on Level 2, Zone of Embarkation in both the domestic and International terminals. The taxis are operated 24/7, and you can pre-pay for taxis at the taxi desk in arrivals or online on the taxi company’s website. Click here for taxi rates. You can also travel by bus from the airport to Caracas. The bus rate is BS 130000 and maximum wait time from arrival of the first passenger is 30 minutes, and journey time is roughly 40 minutes. For more information call 0212-3524818 or visit this site. The airport also offers rental cars.
International departure tax is US$32 and Domestic departure tax is US$1. Enquire with your airline if this is included in the ticket price.
Layover Guide’s Suggestions Of Things To Do On A Caracas Layover:
Waraira Repano cable car
A great place to get a panoramic view of the city, the Waraira Repano cable car ascends 3,608 feet to the top of Avila mountain. At the top, visitors can grab food and drinks at the Hotel Humboldt, do some ice skating or enjoy an outdoor concerts.
Universidad Central de Venezuela
An UNESCO World Heritage Site, The campus of the Universidad Central de Venezuela (UCV) has an impressive collection of art, and is also home to the Aula Magna—the auditorium where disks designed by Alexander Calder hang from the ceiling.
With thousands of varieties of plants and trees, the Jardin Botanico gives a glimpse of the Amazon while still in the city. Located outside the north entrance of the UCV, you can spend the afternoon picnicking under Amazonian palm trees.
Lounge Bar Ávila
Want to take in the sights while grabbing a drink or two? The Lounge Bar Avila is 18 floors high rooftop bar at the Pestana Hotel on the Urbanización Santa Eduvigis. The vintage-style décor, comfy sofas and dim lighting makes it a great place to unwind after a long flight, and it’s a great place to watch the sunset.
Centro San Ignacio
If your layover is at night, you might want to check out Centro San Ignacio in east Caracas for some nightclubs. The lower level is packed with clubs and bars, and the place is usually hopping.
Have a suggestion or advice for Caracas layovers? Leave a comment below!