Venezuela is near the earth’s equator, so average temperatures remain the same all year round. Changes in temperature come only with changes in altitude, dropping about 5.4°F with every 1000ft increase (6.5°C per 1000m).
Since over 90% of Venezuela lies below 1000m, you’ll experience temperatures between 70°F and 85°F in most places. Still, since humidity is very high, 90°F can be oppressive, while 70°F is much more comfortable.
The Andean and coastal mountain ranges have more moderate temperatures.
Weather in Caracas
Caracas, the capital of Venezuela, follows the contours of the narrow Caracas Valley on the Venezuelan coastal mountain range that borders the Atlantic Ocean. Caracas sits at elevations between 760 and 910 meters above sea level. So the weather is quite a bit cooler and more pleasant than it would be at sea level (I think it’s no accident that many tropical cities are built at elevation, though it’s also true that the elevation historically offered protection from invaders).
The annual average temperature is approximately 23.1 °C (74 °F), with the average of the coldest month (January) 21.1 °C (70 °F) and the average of the warmest month (May) 25.0 °C (77 °F). In the months of December and January heavy fog may appear, in addition to a sudden nightly drop in temperature, at times reaching 7 °C (45 °F) or less. This odd weather is known by the natives of Caracas as the Pacheco. In addition, nightly temperatures at any time of the year are much lower than daytime highs and usually do not remain above 20 °C (68 °F), resulting in very pleasant evening temperatures.
Caracas actually gets hailstorms on rare occasions. Lightning storms are common between June and October (the wet season).
Venezuela does not have the typical “four seasons” found in northern climates. Instead there are only two seasons, dry and wet. Dry season runs approximately December to May, and wet season the rest of the year.
The tourist industry likes to refer to wet season as the “green season”, while the term “dry season” is to some extent a misnomer, since even dry season gets more rain that many non-tropical countries get in winter.
When to Visit Venezuela
Most visitors to Venezuela find the dry season from December to May to be more pleasant, especially for outdoor activities like hiking, camping and climbing. In the cities it may not matter that much.
Venezuela is of course famous for its waterfalls, particular Angel Falls, so travelers should be aware that the waterfalls are much more impressive during the wet season. Furthermore, it can be difficult to reach the falls by boat during the dry season, and while the falls can also be reached by car, getting there by boat can be fun and exciting.
In Merida, the weather is best October-June. The Orinoco River area can be more humid and a bit warmer, and the mountain areas will generally be at least 10 degrees F/5 C cooler (and much colder at high elevations). No matter when you go, be sure to take a sweater – the evenings are cool most of the year.
Visiting Venezuela During Holidays
Venezuelans love to travel during the holidays, especially the Christmas season (from early December all the way to mid-January), Carnaval and Semana Santa (Holy Week, the week before Easter Sunday). During these times all modes of transportation can be booked solid, and hotel rooms can be impossible to find. So if you plan to visit at these times you must book well in advance. Some tourists prefer to stay away during these times to avoid the crowds and noise.
On the other hand, witnessing the festivals and parades that go on during holiday times can be fun. So it’s really a matter of personality and preference.