Visitors often want to know what the weather will be like in Venezuela, so they know what to pack and what to expect as far as comfort.
Venezuela is tropical and equatorial, so it is warm and humid, and there are really only two seasons, wet (or “green” as the tourist industry likes to call it) and dry. Venezuelans refer to the wet season as winter, and the dry season as summer, but these terms could be misleading for a North American or European as temperatures do not change much. Because Venezuela is equatorial, the temperature stays within the same range year-round and changs only with elevation. The real difference between wet and dry seasons is, as the names imply, the amount of rainfall and the humidity level.
“Summer” (the dry season) runs from December to May. This is when the weather is at its driest and humidity is lower, and may be the most comfortable time for most people to visit Venezuela. December and January are especially cool and pleasant.
April-September is very warm, and it’s usually rainy May-December.
Of course Venezuela is a vast country with many types of terrain and geographies, so the weather varies dramatically from place to place.
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.
Regional Variations in Depth
The following information comes from the BBC weather center:
In Venezuela the main chain of the Andes mountains runs from west to east, thus leaving a narrow coastal plain on the Caribbean shore. In the west there is a more extensive marshy lowland around Lake Maracaibo. To the south of the Andes there is a large lowland area in the valley of the river Orinoco, known as the Llanos; this has a typical tropical climate with a single rainy season. In the southeast of the country the land rises to a plateau, extending into Guyana, with an average height of some 600 m/2,000 ft; from this plateau numerous hills rise to more than 1,800 m/6,000 ft.
Venezuela is unusual among South American countries in that almost everywhere the main rainy season is from April to October at the time of high sun. Towards the west of the country there is a tendency for a double rainy season, as in Colombia. The northern lowland, particularly in the west, has a surprisingly dry climate for a tropical coast. This is thought to be a consequence of the direction of the coastline in relation to the frequent northeast trade winds.
The Andes in Venezuela are lower and narrower than in Colombia, Peru, andBolivia, but there are a number of individual peaks rising above 4,600m/15,000ft which carry snow throughout the year. There are many local variations of weather and climate as a result of altitude; the threefold division into tierra caliente, tierra templada, and tierra fria, described for Bolivia, applies to this region.
The northern slopes of the Andes tend to have less rainfall than the southern side. Caracas, at an altitude of 1,040m/3,400 ft, has a climate typical of thetierra templada, but shows traces of the relative dryness that affects the whole north coast.
Over most of this area sunshine amounts are moderately high as a consequence of the lack of cloud and rain; ranging from six hours a day in the wetter months to as much as eight hours in the drier months. Annual rainfall in the mountains is usually over 1,000mm/40in but is less in some sheltered valleys and on the northern slopes. On the coast the rainfall increases from the very low annual totals around Lake Maracaibo to as much as 1,000 mm/40 in in the east. The lowlands around Lake Maracaibo are particularly hot in all months.
In the Llanos region of the Orinoco valley there is a typical hot, tropical climate with a single wetter season between April and October. Over most of this region annual rainfall is 1,000-1,500 mm/40-60 in. Temperature varies little from month to month and there is never any really cool weather. The wet months are the most uncomfortable because of the combination of heat and high humidity.
In the southeast on the Guyana plateau rainfall is rather heavier, generally above 1,500mm/60in per year, but with a definite dry season at the time of low sun. Temperatures are moderated by the higher altitude and humidity is rather lower than in the Llanos.