During the 60's , due to the economic wealth that oil brought to Caracas, an immigration of rural population, looking for better jobs, occurred. Many people without affordable housing end up in one of the slums in the surrounding hills, while the "formal city of Caracas" remained at its valley. Now days, the population remained at the hills, and the new generation that some time ago where raised there, are raising their new families in the same place, but in an upper floor of the house.
Fast occupation of the "informal space" and political lack of interest are the cause of an urban space, designed, planned and managed by the same settlers, without any help of the government or engineer experts. A complicated urban pattern and high densities spaces make every day more difficult to improve the accessibility (for cars, police, fire fighters...), service systems (fresh water and sewer systems) and the creation of public spaces (schools, squares, hospitals...).
For foreign people from developed country, the image of a slum may appear catastrophic and shocking, but you have to remember, medieval cities may look like this 500 years ago (with the use of different materials), or London may smell like this only 200 years ago. Every city has its own process, and Latin America's cities have just begun theirs only 100 years ago.
Now days, Caracas is the 4th most dangerous city in the world. Slums are the most dangerous places in the city, ruled by gangsters and lacking of police protection. In order to provide a SAFE Mini-Tour to a slum, We have deal (and are still dealing) with the gangsters bosses . The relationship between us and gangster's bosses chance as the bosses are changed (very often), but we keep updated. This relationship is build through our personal and our friend's voluntary social work in this communities, trying make a better life for them. We have gather the community into this tourism project, basically to ensure the savetyness of our clients and to provide a 100% contact tour with the reality of this places.
San Agustin Offers us a unique opportunity for tourism, it combine the real essence of a slum, located in Caracas, plus a Cable Car that aloud us to go to the top of the place, walk around and get fast access back to the formal city.
Please contact us ahead at email@example.com in order to find out if this journey may be possible or not.
The Way to Get There Safely
TaxiToCaracas's Mini-Tours 4/5 Hours
San Agustin - a Slum to Visit
Taxi driver will pick you up at your hotel, park at a parking lot in Altamira area, then walk with you to the subway station. Once at the subway station, it connects directly to the cable car system. Went the cable car reaches the top of the slum, you will meet some of the community's leaders that will wait for you (and the driver) on a cable car station. From there, you will walk into the slum and get inside of the poor village, walk between normal people that live there, some of them live in misery, but most of them enjoy a working place at the "formal city", and refuses to go to another place or cities because, they will not longer keep their jobs. As you walk, you will understand that San Agustin has its own history and identity. You will stop for refreshments (bottle water or sodas) and then go back to the cable car and subway system. Once in Altamira station, you will walk back to the parking lot and the the driver will leave you at your hotel.
Some Information about Slums: