The capital is definitely what I would call "gritty" and has a decent amount to offer if you have a day set aside to explore. In the centre of the city, you'll find Bolivar Plaza, which is a great central landmark to use. Within walking distance you can visit Caracas Cathedral, Municipal Palace, and Simon Bolivar House. Then a further 10 minute walk to the National Pantheon, National Library, and the mausoleum of founding father Simon Bolivar.
On the outskirts of the city, you can visit the Caracas Sphere, which is an iconic landmark of the city. It's a kinetic sculpture made from a series of aluminium rods, which forms what looks like a large orange ball.
Note - There's also plenty of street art murals dotted around the city.
Morrocoy National Park
If you're looking for beach vibes with a Caribbean feel, you can visit Morrocoy National Park on a day trip from Caracas. It's a 4 hour drive each way, but the road conditions are fine, and you are rewarded with a protected island and marine reserve. You can pick up a private boat from the dock and visit multiple cays with white sand beaches, mangroves, shallow water to swim, sun beds, and ice cold beer. The fresh ceviche on offer was amazing! All of the cays are a little different, so I'd recommend checking out more than one.
Another simple day trip from Caracas is taking the scenic mountain roads up to Colonia Tovar, which is essentially "Mini Germany". The town was formed by a group of immigrants back in 1843 and is now a popular spot for both local and international tourists. You'll even be greeted with dual flags of both Venezuela and Germany at the entrance to the town. There's a beautiful church in the centre, then plenty of German style bars, cafes, and restaurants scattered around. Due to its altitude and cooler climate, it's said that this is the best spot in the country to purchase fruit and vegetables via the street lined market.
Canaima National Park
The absolute highlight of my trip was definitely the visit to Canaima National Park. There's a couple of domestic airlines operating flights to Canaima (I used Conviasa), but most are only bookable 4 weeks in advance. The NP is breathtaking with spectacular landscape all around. For those not wanting to venture far, you can easily visit 5 waterfalls from Canaima town, as these are all directly next to each other. The two top picks are Golindrina, as you can walk behind the back of the falls via a short hike, and then my personal favourite of Sapo Falls. At Sapo, you can view take in spectacular views from the top with many tepui mountains in the backdrop, and you can also swim in a sinkhole at the base of the falls.
For those wanting to venture further, I can 100% recommend the trip to Angel Falls via motorised canoe. There's the option to do a day trip or camp overnight in hammocks (my choice), Your reward at 979 metres in height is Angel Falls, the highest waterfall on Planet Earth. There's many view points to admire this spectacular landscape, as well as a 1-2 hour hike to the base.
Angel Falls Helicopter Flight
One worthwhile excursion whilst in Canaima is the panoramic Angel Falls helicopter flight. First off, it's not cheap at $400 a person based on capacity of 6, but it truly is a spectacular experience. This is by far the best scenic flight I've taken during my travels. The 1 hour flight enables you to fly across the roof of the Canaima rainforest, as well as weaving in and out of multiple mountain rock formations until you reach Angel Falls itself. This is the only way to see the very top point of the falls, as well as experiencing vantage points that aren't possible from ground level. In my opinion, when you've came all the way to deep Venezuela, it's worth the extra cash for such a memorable experience.
A full day excursion from Canaima is a trip to Kavac, which is via a 12 seater plane. The indigenous town of Kavac has a rural feel to it with a small population of locals dotted across the horizon. From here you will set off on a short 1 hour hike which passes a number of small waterfalls where you're able to stop off for a swim, prior to reaching the main event. Kavac Cave is beautiful and has a stunning 30 metre waterfall towering through the cave itself. You'll swim majority of the way, whilst being supported by a rope system along the canyon.
Bonus: The Kavac trip includes a scenic overflight of Angel Falls on the way back to Canaima. Okay, you don't get as close as you do via helicopter, but it's a great extra.
Central University of Venezuela
For something completely different, take a walk round Central University of Venezuela in Caracas. The university is actually a UNESCO site for its architecture and labelled a "masterpiece" for its urban planning. Surprisingly as a tourist, you're able to enter and wander round inside and outside of the campus. In my opinion, the architecture is quite brutalist in a large block concrete design, but does have a charm about it. The uni was founded in 1721 and is believed to be the oldest in the Western Hemisphere.
My recommendation is definitely Waku Lodge in Canaima. The quality of lodging was excellent, with spacious rooms and hot running water. The restaurant and the food choice far exceeded expectations, and the staff really go out of their way to make you feel at home. It's not the cheapest available, but they do often have "bundle deals" with significant savings. Our booking included full meals, snacks, the 5 waterfalls excursion, the Angel Falls trip, and the domestic flights to/from Caracas.
Note - If only staying in Caracas, check out Hotel Alex. It's central and great price.
Across the Altamira district in Caracas is where you'll find the best selection of restaurants to enjoy your dining experience. My recommendation would definitely be La Casa Bistro in Miranda neighbourhood. The restaurant has both indoor and outdoor dining, as well as a simple menu offering both national and international dishes. It's a chilled vibe, moderately priced, and has a good wine selection.
I didn't use a specific guide in Venezuela, as I pieced together the itinerary myself, although here are some useful contacts...
Caracas - I rented a car via Acoa Rent a Car in Caracas Airport. Their service was great and they were a lower price compared to alternatives. I communicated via Whatsapp on +1 786 788 1068.
Morrocoy NP - If you want to organise a boat for Morrocoy National Park, you can reach Ricardo on +58 4124 290129. Worth noting that his English is minimal, so use Google Translate to communicate.
Canaima NP - To converse with Wakü Lodge directly you can Whatsapp +58 4148 686659 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. They can assist you with booking a package, as well as outlining all the optional excursions. All excursions in Canaima depart from Wakü, even if you're staying at an alternative lodge. The manager of Wakü goes by the name J-Lo and she speaks excellent English.