Playa Puy Puy to Mochima, Venezuela


Route Playa Pui Pui – Mochima, Venezuela (9)
Distance 225 Km
Travel Time 6.5 hours
Road Conditions Ok tarmac, beware of potholes & road-edge damage!
Weather Hot, sunny
Terrain Tropical, steep mountain crossing before Mochima
Food and Petrol Casaay, Cumana
Accommodation No name recorded, Mochima


Mochima is a little coastal town on the Caribbean, facing a number of little islands, beautiful to visit. We ride there from our beach camp at Playa Pui Pui, through cacao plantations, along a jagged coast line with lots of curves and slopes and splendid CastAway beach views!

I don’t have to mention the fact that Venezuela is littered with old American cars, with huge petrol guzzling engines…

Again I have to remind riders that riding in the North of Venezuela requires a special degree of caution because lurking around corners are invisible speed bumps, potholes and worse still, nasty crevasses on the road edges which could swallow up a bike whole, and unfortunately these are rarely marked with more than a token ribbon.

…”In the shadows of the trees the danger lurks.”


Somewhere around Cumana we encounter road-side stalls selling what seems to be food, so we stop to check it out. Good thing we did, because these people are stocked up with fresh fruits of the sea, ready to crack open and serve up to us in a delicious seafood cocktail – Venezuela style! I must admit most of what goes into these cups looks like chopped up naughty bits, but they are very delicious (and apparently quite helpful to your own naughty bits).



The other highlight en route is a cacao museum, where not only can you view the roasting process and do on, there is also a little exposition about cacao in Venezuela, its uses, and most importantly of all, several different types of chocolate to taste and to buy….. PARADISE!

Picked up 3 bars of pure brown gold… Cacao!

To our frustration it turns out that the rest of (employed) Venezuela is here, too, on holiday. The place is so packed up that we have trouble finding a space in a vacant bedroom, let alone a parking space.


Unfortunately we also observe that the general attitude of many Venezuelans really stinks: as if lifting a finger (even to do their job) is just too much to ask. (Is this the down-side of socialist charity?) For example, one of the ladies, a guest house owner here in Mochima, says she has a vacant room, but it’s not clean at the moment. Well, can she get it ready for us? No, she doesn’t feel like it. – And this is not the only occasion we experience this specific scenario in Venezuela. We have similar experiences in various shops, where the attendants shift uncomfortably in their chairs upon your request for assistance, as if you’re disrupting their flow. – It seems no wonder that all the supermarkets are run by Chinese.


After hours of looking we do find a guest house (no name recorded, 200VEF/dbl) with room for us and I can park Falconita in the alleyway-entrance. There are many other guest houses here (most 200-300VEF/dbl) which have garages or will let you park your motorbike in the entrance, but at the moment they are all occupied.

The place is quite a racket day and night, people are drinking all the time and the music doesn’t end.


We take a tour boat out to an island where we’re able to do some snorkelling and sit in the sun. Down at the port there are boats available to various islands and beaches here in the Mochima National Park, each with one or another attraction (even scuba diving), but most people seem to go for the most popular white beach. I can’t remember the exact cost but there’s a table at the port office.


We ask specifically to go to a place which is good for snorkelling and we end up on a small beach with rocks forming the bay. It’s nice because not so many holiday makers have come and it’s less crowded. The snorkelling is ok – nothing amazing, but we do see some pretty little fish, some squid and even a passing ray.


The food situation is a bit dire for us as our guest house has no kitchen and there seems to be only street food (hot dogs), a style of empanadas (very good indeed but not always on sale) available, aside from a few more costly restaurants. (One day… but for now we have to remain cheap…)

We make one day trip over to Puerto La Cruz, about an hour down the road, in order to look for the replacement laptop screens we need, but unfortunately we have no luck here. We do however find a lot of Arabic restaurants so we treat ourselves to some middle eastern food!


We also take the opportunity to inquire about the ferry prices for Isla Margarita, which we may want to visit in the future.

Here is some information about ferries between Puerto La Cruz and Isla Margarita we gathered:
– There are two big terminals at the sea front, each of which cater for a number of ferry operators such as Navibus / Gran Calique.
Rates vary slightly between most operators and more dramatically with some others, and depending on the speed of the ferry service i.e. generally called Express (fast) or Tradicional(slow).
– There are a number of departure times available from morning to afternoon and evening/night but these change from season to season so best inquire there.
– Lots of queuing in terminals for ticket booths and the information desk (half the time unattended) but if you check carefully you might find the rates table stuck on the wall or desk of the info counter which will save you the wait.

UPDATE:We experienced that the journey times are unreliable so would recommend just going for the cheapest option!

Ferry prices we were quoted were all around:
Express: 125VEF per person; 135VEF per motorcycle
Tradicional: 75VEF per person; 85VEF per motorcycle
Charges for motorbikes above 500cc were higher.

On the way back to Mochima we have to pay the first bribe on this trip. At a dodgy police checkpoint around 30Km from Mochima / 20Km from Pto. La Cruz, the first guy waves us on but his boss (I suppose) gestures frantically to hold us up, so we pull aside. He can not find any problems with our paperwork so his story then is that we cannot drive the remaining 25Km to Mochima because it’s after 5PM and motorcycles are not allowed to drive this route thereafter, because it is far too dangerous. This seems to count only for us today. And he doesn’t really know what to say about the fact that it’s be far more dangerous for us to return to Puerto La Cruz at this time of night and try and find a place to stay….

Anyway, in the end he incites that we pay him and his colleagues some money to buy some refreshments, and so he will turn a blind eye to the matter and let us pass. Reluctantly we pay a bribe of about 30 Bolivares but it gets us back on the road. Bastards!

So, motorbike travellers, note that stopping at the police control post around 30Km from Mochima / 20Km from Puerto. La Cruz is best avoided! I should have continued riding and pretended not to see them in my rear – it all went pear shaped when the other guy saw my foreign number plate.

However I have to state that, despite the horrible stories we’d heard from various other (bus) travellers about police and military checkpoints, we had not had any problems at all until now, from the Gran Sabana all the way to here. Most folks were friendly, and at the most checked our documents.

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