If you're like most international daters you're constantly looking for the hidden gems - the countries where there are still opportunities to meet and date gorgeous single women.
The problem for most guys is they're constantly treading over the same old dating territories, without ever doing a deep dive into the countries of the world that aren't already overcrowded with dudes looking to get laid and/or get married to foreign women.
Venezuela is a country that should be featuring towards the top of your dating destinations, and for more reasons than you might initially realize. Yes, there are lots of hot Venezuelan singles here, and they're more than happy to date and marry gringos.
But there's more to it than that because Venezuela now has more in common with the Soviet Union circa 1994, than it does with most of the rest of South America today.
The country is located at the northern tip of South America, with a bustling population of just under 32 million people. Visitors and locals alike can enjoy 3,000km of coastline thanks to Venezuela being nestled between the Caribbean Sea and North Atlantic Ocean.
It's a lush, tropical country with abundant oil and gold reserves, and some of the most amazing scenery in the world, with Angel Falls being a perfect example of the sights you can expect to see here.
Venezuelan men do you a whole lot of favors in how they treat their women, which is like crap. Literally like something they just found on the bottom of their shoe, and want rid of it.
They're overly macho, and not in a protective way - just in that really cheesy South American "bro dude" way, where it's all about puffing out your chest, shouting at the top of your voice while waving your hands, while also suffering from a terminal case of chronic unemployment.
Guys here cheat on their women a lot, so having side girls is something they do without giving it a second thought. Sexual harassment of women here is at epidemic levels, and is tied in to the higher-than-normal levels of domestic violence faced by Venezuelan women.
Being a well-behaved, well-dressed Western guy here is the equivalent of turning up at a fat kid's party dressed like Willy Wonka - they'll be all over you like white on rice. You are simply a way, way better option for dating, romance, love and marriage than 90% of local guys.
So, let's get down to the business of what the women here are like. Well for starters Venezuelan women have won Miss World more than women from any other country. In fact, it has won it twice as many times as other countries you might have expected to produce stunning winners, like Russia, Iceland or Sweden. Venezuelan women have also won the Miss Universe title seven times since 1979. Yes, they’re that hot.
Does this mean you're going to bump into your very own Miss World while out having beers some night? Nothing in life is guaranteed my friend, but the odds are definitely in your favor if you spend some time here dating and getting to know as many women as you can.
In terms of looks Venezuelan girls are a smorgasbord of Native American influences, mashed together with a little bit of something from Spain, Portugal, Italy, Germany and Africa. It's tough to nail down exactly what they look like because a girl with Spanish and German heritage is going to look completely different to a girl with Native American and African influences.
Basically, there are women here to suit every taste in ethnicity, build, intelligence, and personality.
Are they really hotter than Colombian women?
That, sir, is the pressing question of our age!
Their attractiveness is in their physicality as much as their aesthetic appeal, which means that most of the women here have bodies to match their looks. If you're from a Western country you're probably used to women being lazy, apathetic slobs with a sense of self-entitlement that could choke an elephant, and that's why South American women are such a breath of fresh air.
They love living their lives, they spend time on their appearance, they actually give a crap what you think about their looks, and they stay in shape because if they don't they know they haven't got any hope of attracting a guy to settle down with.
Being with a Venezuelan woman will mean appreciating that she's late for every single date or social event you attend together. And she won't just be a handful of minutes late - we're talking at least 30-minutes, and possibly more.
If you call or text her and she says, "I'm just leaving now" that means she's probably getting ready to shower. Don't get bent out of shape by this because it's something all women here do habitually.
Socializing is an important part of life here, with both men and women spending most of their free time just partying and enjoying life- this is typical of the Venezuelan mentality. This plays to your favor because you'll have more than enough opportunities to meet the exact type of woman you're looking for.
Venezuelan women love to laugh, and their sense of humor extends to teasing guys. Just don't read into the teasing because they genuinely don't mean any harm.
Women here are highly sexualized, but sex to them doesn't always mean marriage and especially because they're so accustomed to their previous Venezuelan boyfriends cheating on them.
Dancing is another big part of their social life, so you need to learn how to dance - or at least fake it - if you want to have any way of breaking the ice with women here.
One really weird part of the culture here is that more and more women are dabbling with having cosmetic surgery to enhance their appearance - including the ones who definitely don't need it.
The reasons for this include that having plastic surgery is an expression of personal wealth, but it's also tied to Venezuelan women’s search for physical perfection. It's a shame because they wind up looking like a melted candle in the end, in the same way that all Hollywood celebrities do.
Are there any downsides to dating women in Venezuela? Well, the first is that once you're the boyfriend of a Venezuelan girl her possessiveness gene switches on. And by switches on we mean low-level nuclear detonation. Like, boiling-a-small-animal-in-a-large-pot-of-water possessive.
Remember, every guy she's ever dated before you has probably cheated on her, so she'll do her damndest to stop you making the same mistake.
You can make your time dating here a whole lot easier by understanding what's expected of you during any date. The first thing is that you're expected to pay for dinner and drinks, with absolutely no hint from you on splitting the bill. Women here have no idea what "Going Dutch" means, so don't embarrass yourself by asking.
If you can't bring her back to your own hotel (although this is rarely a problem) then you'll also be expected to pay for your "Love Hotel" for either the night, or however many hours you might need it.
Now, that might sound seedy, but the reality is that she's living at home with her parents, so even if you just want to spend some time actually alone talking or hanging out, then booking into a "Love Hotel" might be your only option.
Small gifts like chocolates or flowers are always welcome, and especially on a first date. Just don't overdo it because the women here like thoughtful guys, but not needy guys, and if you don't understand the difference you might need to check yourself before arriving here.
Don't be afraid to show that you want to spend time with her by organizing a picnic or beach date because, unlike Western women, she'll appreciate that you took the time to do this.
You will meet her friends and family after your first date or two. Do everything in your power to be polite to them, even if they're complete assholes.
Venezuelan women place a lot of value on their familial relationships, and if you look or sound disrespectful then she'll dump you on the spot.
And finally, dress well for your date. That doesn't mean a 3-piece suit, but it does mean showered, shaved, cologne applied, hair combed, jacket, pants and shirt neatly pressed. You know, just don't dress like a hobo or a backpacker.
The Venezuelan dating culture won't cause you any headaches if you just follow the tips we've shared here.
We can't skirt around this issue because you'll already have heard the media waffling on about it, so we're not going to try. The first thing you need to know is that Venezuela has a vast amount of oil and gold wealth, and is one of the most modern countries in South America.
The problems you're hearing about on the news are because the economy has been shredded to teeny, tiny pieces because of successive socialist governments.
It all started with a guy called Hugo Chavez, who was a revolutionary, who then became president. He privatized the wealth-generating industries in the country, destroying the economy in the process. His successor, a guy called Maduro, is cut from the same cloth. Basically two idiots with Marxist ideals have caused more harm to the people of Venezuela than your average zombie apocalypse.
Inflation now stands at almost 700%, and predictions indicate it will reach almost 2000% by 2018. The country introduced a new currency - the Bolivar Fuerte - in an effort to curb inflation, but the jury is still out on that one.
So, right now, people are marching in the streets to protest against the shortages in groceries, medical care and even electricity. What you should focus on here is that this stuff is always temporary, and it presents you with an opportunity you only get once or twice in any lifetime - millions of single women who are literally desperate to meet Western guys.
This is the same thing that happened in the Soviet Union in the late 1980s, so the economic turmoil will pass, but there's never been a better time for you to find, date and/or marry a Venezuelan woman.
Yes, there are gold diggers living here looking for an escape route to another country. And yes, there are women who see you as nothing more than the best possible way to get out of Venezuela, but most women here are looking for love, and when they find it to keep that love alive.
There are thousands of legitimate Venezuelan-brides-to-be who want to get married for all the right reasons, and only to the right guy.
They're absolutely no different to the women you might meet in Peru, Argentina or Chile, except for the fact they have the misfortune to currently reside in a country where their economic circumstances are not their fault.
If that means moving to North America, Europe or Australia, then that's a choice they're happy to make. Just don't think you can buy women here - that doesn't work in any country.
While we're talking about money, we'd like to share some advice with a certain percentage of the guys reading this guide. Don't go chasing an overseas girlfriend or bride if you're already buried under a small mountain of personal debt.
Overseas dating can be made affordable, but it's far from being free.
Still one of the most modern cities in South America, Caracas has a population of just under 3 million people. The city is always a hive of activity, and especially in the evening and at weekends when people are looking for the best places to unwind and have fun. There are lots of bars and clubs for you to enjoy, and the best restaurants in the country can also be found here.
Malls are the best places to start, Sambil Mall is one of the best places to meet women during the day, followed closely by Fashion Mall Tolon. You can also use the smaller shopping centers for meeting women, and there are plenty of them to choose from. Approaching women on the street is a no-no, even if they know you're a tourist. Las Mercedes district is where all the fun happens, so do your best to stay in a hotel or Airbnb near there.
The best of Venezuelan nightlife can be found in the bars and clubs of Caracas, with something to suit every taste. Just remember that the dress code for most of the better bars and clubs is formal, which means clean jeans, shoes and a shirt, but there's no need for a tuxedo.
Face control is a fact of life here, so do your best to look like you belong inside the club, otherwise the bouncers are just going to send you on your way. By the way, "face control" is where bouncers stop people based on how they look and dress - if you don't meet the grade then you're tossed to one side.
Some of our favorite bars here include 360 Roof Bar, on Avenida de Luis Roche, which is a popular hangout for groups of local girls. Hog Heaven might sound like some kind of rough-and-tumble biker bar, but it's actually one of the trendiest in the city. Lots of live music, and lots of beautiful girls. You can find it on Avenida Blandín. Juan Sabastian Bar (Avenida Venezuela) is a great place to hang out if you want to listen to live music, and not feel like you've been crammed inside a tin of sardines.
If you're exclusively looking for bars and clubs to meet girls, then add Birosca and Maison de Cibeles to your list - both of these venues are extremely popular with younger women and students, and it's almost difficult to not find a girl here to hang out or hook up with.
Just bear in mind that the best bars and clubs have overpriced drinks, and there's always a door charge. This is fairly typical though of having fun in any upmarket club in South America.
The quickest way to a Venezuelan woman's heart is a combination of thoughtful gifts and romance, but the next quickest way to impress her is through the magic of fine dining.
Well okay, it might not be magic, but you're going to score a lot more points by doing this than being a cheapskate - Venezuelan girls hate cheap guys with a special kind of passion.
So, what's on the menu?
First on our list is Alto, serving South American cuisine, famous for its 8-course meals and using local ingredients. The staff are friendly yet professional, and it's worth going here for the desserts alone. Expensive, but you'll make huge impression because it's the #1 restaurant in the city.
Next on the list is the Maute Grill, which is your typical steakhouse, or meat restaurant. You get the best steaks in the city here, but the seafood menu is also pretty extensive.
If you're working with a more restrictive budget, then you should check out La Cita, which serves Mediterranean cuisine. Great service, and don't forget to treat your date to the lobster and at least one dessert.
By local standards, budget hotels can seem hard to come by, but that's only because they cost at least €50 per night, which is the equivalent of a month's salary for some people living here.
If you want to stay in what is arguably the best hotel in the city, then book yourself into the Cayena-Caracas Hotel. Rooms here start at around US$300 per night, and you'll get to enjoy the type of luxury hotel that has its own rooftop pool, and is also a haven of safety and peace in a hectic city.
Next on the list is the Hotel Chacao & Suites, with rooms starting at around US$150 per night. The staff are extremely professional, and it also has all the amenities you'd expect from a hotel of this type, including its own gym.
The Renaissance Caracas La Castellana Hotel is your budget accommodation option in Caracas, with rooms starting at around US$80 per night. This might be the cheapest hotel in our selection, but the food is world-class, as is the staff.
Do Not try to stay in hostels here – they’re basically concrete cells with a mattress on the floor. They cost almost nothing to stay in, but you won’t enjoy the experience.
Figuring out the exchange rate for your dollars or euros is usually pretty straightforward in South American countries. Unfortunately the unit of currency in Venezuela is the Bolivar Fuerte (VEF), which replaced the standard Venezuelan Bolivar in 2008.
At the time of writing the exchange rate is US$1 to 10 Bolivar Fuerte, but each of the new Bolivars is worth 1,000 of the old units of currency. There's a currency black-market here, so be prepared to use it.
Your day-to-day expenses here range from $100 per day for any guy working with a smaller budget, through to $500 per day for wealthier guys who want to live like a king.
If you plan on spending most of your time in Caracas then you'll meet lots of women who speak English reasonably well. Older people, and people living anywhere else in the country, will only speak Spanish though, so be prepared for that. You can save yourself a lot of headaches, and quite a bit of embarrassment, by spending a few weeks taking daily lessons through Duolingo.
Venezuela is a Roman Catholic country, so women aren't always fans of using condoms, with the immediate downside that the risk of getting an STD here is much higher if you have unprotected sex. So, unless you enjoy rolling the dice with your life, always wear a condom.
Don't carry around large amounts of cash, and you also need to watch out for card cloning scams and ATM skimmers. It's also important that you don't travel to the border with Colombia because of the risk of kidnapping.
Also don't even think about bringing illegal drugs into the country with you, or taking them back out with you - either of these will land you inside a Venezuelan jail. How bad could that be? A few months in one of these prisons will leave you wishing you'd died in a plane crash.
The tap water here is not safe for consumption, and the same applies to using ice in your drinks – don’t do it unless you want to spend several days glued to your hotel room toilet.
British, Canadian, Australian and EU citizens do not require a visa to visit Venezuela. US and Israeli citizens, however, do require a visa, and it must be requested at least 5 days before you plan on visiting. However, it is only $30 for a ninety-day visa which is good for a year.
The country is served by direct flights from both Europe and the United States, including Air France, Delta Airlines, American Airlines, Turkish Airlines, and Air Europa. Anyone flying from North America to Venezuela can expect a flight time of at least 4 hours, which is a whole lot shorter than the 14 hours you'll have to endure if you're flying from mainland Europe.
Then again, that’s a small price to pay to spend a few weeks in paradise.