Venezuela might have the world's cheapest gas. But if you are heading through a McDonald's drive-thru, don't expect the same deal: It's got the most expensive Big Mac in the world.
The Economist's most recent "Big Mac" index shows that the McDonald's trademark will run you just over $9 in Venezuela, whose capital city Caracas now also ranks among the top 10 most expensive in the world, according to the Economist's cost of living index. It's the only city in the Americas to land in the top 10, sandwiched between Paris and Geneva.
Of course, as the Economist points out, cost calculations in the birthplace of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez's "Bolivarian Revolution" are inflated. They are made using the country's currency controls, which peg the dollar at about a quarter of its street value.
The survey admits that swapping greenbacks on the vast unregulated exchange market makes Venezuela's capital as cheap as Mumbai or Karachi, at the bottom of the list.
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Changing money on the black market is technically a jailable offense, but anyone who's entered a Venezuelan airport knows finding a trader is as easy as hailing a cab.
This is good news for travelers seeking a quick trip to Angel Falls, or for locals with access to foreign currency that they can exchange. But for most Caraqueos the city is no bargain.