In Venezuela, the climate is hot all year round, at least at low altitudes, so the main differences are to be found in the seasonal rain pattern: there is a dry season (which usually runs from mid-December to mid-April) and a rainy season (usually, from late April to mid-November). The rainy season is also the most sultry and unpleasant.
However, the vastness of the territory and the presence of mountain ranges and plateaus make the situation more complicated, so the climate is more or less rainy depending on area and more or less warm depending on altitude. Venezuela is located just north of the Equator, so temperature fluctuations are limited, although the dry season, in which the north-east trade winds prevail, is typically the coolest, albeit slightly.

Index


The coast



Along the coast, the weather is hot all year round, but there are significant differences in rainfall: the eastern part is quite rainy, so much so that the huge Orinoco Delta is covered with mangroves and rainforests. Here, about 2,000 millimeters (80 inches) of rain fall per year, and there is no real dry season, however, the least rainy period is February to March.
Proceeding west, precipitation drops to around 1,000 mm (40 in) per year or even below, as happens in Guiria, where it's about 900 mm (35.5 in), and the period from January to May is quite dry.

Barcelona

Further to the west, in Barcelona, only 650 mm (25.6 in) of rain fall per year, and the rainy season runs from June to September, while it rains very little from December to April. Here is the average precipitation in Barcelona.
Barcelona - Average precipitation
MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDecYear
Prec.(mm)104674510013511075655025632
Prec.(in)0.40.20.20.31.83.95.34.332.62124.9
Days111141214131076373

On the coast, it is hot all year round. Here are the mean temperatures of Barcelona.
Barcelona - Average temperatures
MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Min (°C)202021222322212121222120
Max (°C)313132333332313132323231
Min (°F)686870727372707070727068
Max (°F)888890919190888890909088

The sun in Barcelona shines all year round, but especially in the dry period, as can be seen in the following table.
Barcelona - Sunshine
MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Hours91010887888999

In the western part, the coast bordering the Gulf of Venezuela (see Maracaibo, Coro) is particularly arid. In the short stretch of coast belonging to the Guajira Peninsula, we find the Venezuelan side of the Guajira desert, where less than 300 millimeters (12 inches) of rain fall per year. North of Coro, and south of the isthmus connecting the mainland with the Paraguaná Peninsula, we find the Medanos de Coro national park, where there is a small sand desert, with towering dunes as high as 40 meters (130 feet).

Maracaibo

In Maracaibo, it almost never rains from December to April, and usually, the rains are not abundant even in the period from May to October, excluding October, when rainfall reaches 150 mm (6 in). However, the rains are irregular from year to year, and sometimes they can be plentiful, although there is a decrease in the rains in July, which almost always occur. Here is the average precipitation.
Maracaibo - Average precipitation
MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDecYear
Prec.(mm)2182070554555701508515576
Prec.(in)0.100.30.82.82.21.82.22.85.93.30.622.7
Days00125456866144

In Maracaibo, it's hot all year round. From May to October, temperatures are slightly higher, while January and February (and also the Christmas period) are the least hot months (or better, the least sultry and therefore the most pleasant) as well as the sunniest of the year.
Maracaibo - Average temperatures
MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Min (°C)232323242525252525242424
Max (°C)323233333334343434333333
Min (°F)737373757777777777757575
Max (°F)909091919193939393919191

In Maracaibo, the sun shines all year round, but especially in the dry period.
Maracaibo - Sunshine
MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Hours998667887678

The Caribbean sea is warm enough to swim in all year round, as you can see from the water temperatures in Maracaibo.
Maracaibo - Sea temperature
MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Temp (°C)262526262727272828292827
Temp (°F)797779798181818282848281

The islands



The islands of the Caribbean Sea (Isla Margarita, Los Roques, Las Aves, La Orchila, La Blanquilla, Los Hermanos, Los Testigos, La Tortuga) are arid, since the annual amount of precipitation is usually around 500 mm (20 in) and sometimes even below. In the summer months, the prevailing winds, ie the southeast trade winds, blow from the mainland, in fact, the islands are part of the so-called Leeward Antilles, where the rainy season is not so noticeable. However, from November to mid-February, some additional showers may occur because of the northeast trade winds, which blow in this period.

Isla Margarita

Hills and mountains



In the north of Venezuela, there are two mountain ranges, the Cordillera de la Costa, parallel to the coast, where Caracas is located, and the Cordillera de Mérida in the north-west, which is the Andean part of Venezuela.

Caracas

The capital, Caracas, is located in a valley, about 15 km (9 miles) away from the sea. However, the city is isolated from the sea by the mountain range called Cordillera de la Costa Central, in the part of the range where the Ávila National Park is found. Moreover, the altitude where the city is located, about 900 meters (3,000 feet) above sea level, is sufficient to temper the climate, making it warm but without excesses: the average temperature ranges from 22 °C (71.5 °F) in the coolest month (January) to 25 °C (77.5 °F) in the hottest month (May). In fact, around this altitude, the so-called tierras templadas (temperate lands) begin. The coolest period is from December to February, when the night temperature can drop to 12 °C (53.5 °F) and fog can appear in the coolest hours. Sometimes, especially from March to September, the down-slope wind coming from the mountain ranges of El Ávila and Naiguatá can lead to sudden increases in temperature and bring a bit of torrid weather (that is, very hot and dry).
Here are the average temperatures of La Carlota air base, located at 835 meters (2,740 feet) of altitude, at the lowest point, and therefore the hottest, of Caracas; other neighborhoods are located at 1,000/1,200 meters (3,300/4,000 ft) and have a slightly cooler climate.
Caracas - Average temperatures
MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Min (°C)161718192020191919191918
Max (°C)282930303029282829292827
Min (°F)616364666868666666666664
Max (°F)828486868684828284848281

From May to December, the rains are quite frequent, however, they occur in the form of showers and thunderstorms, which do not last long and leave space for the sun after not long. The period from January to mid-April, when the rains are scarce, is the driest. Total annual precipitation is about 835 mm (33 in). Here is the average precipitation.
Caracas - Average precipitation
MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDecYear
Prec.(mm)20101535801001101101051109545835
Prec.(in)0.80.40.61.43.13.94.34.34.14.33.71.832.9
Days522481313131211118102

The sun in Caracas shines quite often all year round; however, the sunniest period (albeit slightly) is from January to March.
Caracas - Sunshine
MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Hours888767777777

In addition to the capital, there are other Venezuelan cities located at high elevations and whose climate is tempered by altitude. Barquisimeto is located at 600 meters (2,000 feet), so the temperature is a bit higher than in Caracas: around 29/30 °C (84/86 °F) during the day and 19/21 °C (66/70 °F) at night. The city is located in the north-western arid region, in fact, it receives only 540 mm (21.2 in) of rainfall per year, which is also quite irregular, but most abundant from April to July.

Mérida

On the contrary, Mérida is located at a higher altitude, 1,500 meters (5,000 feet), so it has a cooler climate, with average highs around 24/25 °C (75/78 °F). Here are the average temperatures.
Mérida - Average temperatures
MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Min (°C)141415161616161616161514
Max (°C)242525252525252525252424
Min (°F)575759616161616161615957
Max (°F)757777777777777777777575

The city is located in the south-west, in a valley, and a short distance from the highest mountain in Venezuela, Pico Bolìvar, which towers over the city with its 4,978 meters (16,332 feet). Here the rains are plentiful: 1,700 mm (67 in) per year, with a very rainy period from April to November and a fairly dry period from January to March. Here is the average precipitation.
Mérida - Average precipitation
MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDecYear
Prec.(mm)405050170230160130140190260190801690
Prec.(in)1.6226.79.16.35.15.57.510.27.53.166.5
Days8811162016181819191610179

The sun in Mérida shines more often in the dry winter period, while in the long rainy season, all in all it can be seen quite often (about half the time).
Mérida - Sunshine
MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Hours887666777678

Mérida cable car

As we have already said, in Venezuela, there are also high mountains, especially in the west, where there is a small portion of the Andes (the Cordillera de Mérida). In the aforementioned Pico Bolìvar, at almost 5,000 meters (16,400 ft) above sea level, there are three small glaciers. In fact, the average temperature is around freezing at 5,000 meters (16,400 ft). As previously mentioned, since the country lies at the Equator, temperatures are quite constant throughout the year. Usually, it gets cold above 3,000 meters (9,800 ft).

Savannah and forest



Llanos

South of Caracas, there is a large flat area (called El Llano or Los llanos as plural), very interesting with respect to wildlife, and covered by savanna (especially in the states of Apure and Guarico). From the point of view of the climate, this region is characterized by a sharp alternation between a dry and a rainy season. In this area, there are some national parks, such as Aguaro-Guariquito and Santos Luzardo.

San Fernando

The city of San Fernando de Apure is located in this area. Lying in the plain, it is hot all year round, but because of the distance from the sea, in the last part of the dry season (which runs from mid-November to mid April), it becomes really hot: highs around 35/36 °C (95/97 °F) in March and April are the norm. But later, the rains arrive, which become intense from June to mid-September, when the weather conditions become fully tropical, with temperatures around 29/30 °C (84/86 °F) and high humidity. Here are the average temperatures.
San Fernando - Average temperatures
MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Min (°C)222222232322222223222222
Max (°C)323336353231303031323232
Min (°F)727272737372727273727272
Max (°F)909197959088868688909090

Rainfall amounts to 1,500 mm (60 in) per year, but the dry season is too long to allow the forest to grow. Here is the average precipitation.
San Fernando - Average precipitation
MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDecYear
Prec.(mm)14147018528030528017013040111490
Prec.(in)00.20.62.87.31112116.75.11.60.458.7
Days011412192420151042112

The sun in San Fernando shines very often in the dry period, while in the rainy season, the sky is often cloudy.
San Fernando - Sunshine
MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Hours10109765667899

Although it is hot, the best time in this area is December-January, since from February to April it becomes even hotter.

Aguaro-Guariquito

To the east, in the area of Ciudad Bolìvar and El Tigre (ie the southern part of the states of Anzoategui and Monagas, and the north of Bolìvar) there is an even more arid landscape, since precipitation is lower than 1,000 mm (40 in) per year, though the rainfall pattern is similar, with a rainy season from May to October.

Gran Sabana

Another area covered by the savanna is located in the south-east, in the plateau called Gran Sabana, on the border with Guyana and Brazil. This plateau is part of the larger Guiana Shield. In this area, there are also mountain peaks such as Mount Roraima and Kukenan Tepui.

Santa Elena

In Santa Elena de Uairén, at 900 meters (3,000 feet) above sea level, the heat is less intense than in the plains because it's tempered by altitude. Here are the average temperatures.
Santa Elena - Average temperatures
MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Min (°C)161617171817161716161616
Max (°C)282929282827272728292828
Min (°F)616163636463616361616161
Max (°F)828484828281818182848282

In Santa Elena, the rains are quite abundant, since they amount to 1,600 mm (63 in) per year. The driest months are January and February, while the wettest period is from May to August. Here is the average precipitation.
Santa Elena - Average precipitation
MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDecYear
Prec.(mm)50609513521525021517095901301201625
Prec.(in)22.43.75.38.59.88.56.73.73.55.14.764
Days10911162324242215121414194

Further to the west, but still in the state of Bolìvar, we find the huge Canaima National Park, which is generally more humid and has greener landscapes; here we find incredible waterfalls such as Salto Angel, 979 meters (3,211 feet) high, and Salto Kukenan, 674 meters (2,211 feet) high.

Salto Angel

Amazonia

In eastern and southern Venezuela, from the Orinoco Delta to the southern state of Amazonas (with the exception of the aforementioned Gran Sabana), where the Venezuelan side of the Amazonia is found, the climate is so rainy as to give life to rainforests. Rainfall exceeds 2,000 mm (80 in) per year, and the relatively dry season (in which, however, the rains are not so rare) is from December to March.

Hurricanes



The northernmost part of Venezuela, namely the Paraguanà Peninsula, the Paria Peninsula and the islands (but sometimes also the northern coast and the area of Caracas), is located in the southern end of the trajectory of hurricanes, the tropical cyclones of the Atlantic, which means that it can sometimes be affected, but less often than the Antilles. For example, these areas have been affected by the Hurricane 2 of July 1933 (or Trinidad Hurricane), by Tropical Storm Alma in August 1974, Hurricane Joan in October 1988, Tropical Storm Bret in August 1993, Hurricane Cesar in late July 1996, Hurricane Ivan in September 2004, and Hurricane Felix in September 2007.
The season when hurricanes form runs from June to November, but the phenomenon is more likely between August and October.

Best Time



Apart from the individual regions, whose climate has been already explained in detail, if you want to take a trip throughout Venezuela, you can choose January and February, also including the Christmas period at the end of December.
More generally, the dry period, or in any case the least rainy (mid-December to mid-April), is preferable to the rainy season (late April to mid-November).

What to pack



For the plain, in general, pack light clothing all year round. For the forest, tropics-friendly, loose-fitting clothing, light shirts and pants of natural fibers (cotton or linen) or synthetics that breathe, maybe with long sleeves for mosquitoes; a light sweater and a light raincoat for thunderstorms, which can be brought also in the savanna during the rainy season. For the coasts, although it's always hot, you can bring a light sweatshirt for the evening breeze, especially from December to February.
For Caracas, you can add a sweatshirt for the evening, especially from December to February, and a raincoat or umbrella from May to December.
For Mérida and the tierras templadas, pack light clothing, a sweater for the evening, a jacket for the evening especially from December to March; a raincoat or umbrella throughout the year, but especially from April to November.
For the high mountains, pack warm clothes, such as a down jacket, a hat, gloves, a scarf, hiking shoes.

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