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'The Birds of Venezuela'

Itinerary map for Venezuela 'The Birds of Venezuela' holiday

Itinerary

  • Day      Overnight
  • 1 Macuto
  • 2 Merida
  • 3 Merida
  • 4 Merida
  • 5 Merida
  • 6 Merida
  • 7 Barinas
  • 8 Llanos region
  • 9 Llanos region
  • 10 Llanos region
  • 11 Henri Pittier NP
  • 12 Henri Pittier NP
  • 13 Henri Pittier NP
  • 14 Caracas
  • For the detail of each day click the ‘Day-by-day’ tab above.

Day-by-day itinerary for 'The Birds of Venezuela'

DAY 1

You are met at the airport and transferred to a seafront 3-4* hotel in nearby Macuto.

DAY 2
BLD

Mérida and the Andes

Fly to Mérida in the Andes where you meet your local English-speaking bird guide who will accompany throughout your time in the Andes. Drive to La Azulita area, picking up the commoner species en route and perhaps seeing Black-mandibled Toucan, Crested Oropendolas and the endemic Rose-headed Parakeet. Walk in secondary forest to a large waterfall for Emerald Toucanet, Black Phoebe, Blackburnian Warbler, and Southern Rough-winged Swallow. Stay at a delightful new lodge at 2,360m on the edge of a band of cloud-forest below the Páramo del Tambo, with comfortable cabins in attractive gardens and a good selection of hummingbirds at the feeders.

DAY 3
BL

Today we explore varied habitats around La Azulita and La Carbonera for Long-billed Starthroat, Violet-fronted Brilliant, Bronzy Inca, Mérida Sunangel, Crested Quetzal, Scarlet-fronted Parakeet, Blue-headed and White-capped Parrot, Andean Guan, Barred Forest-falcon, Black-and-chestnut Eagle, Smooth-billed Ani, Squirrel Cuckoo, White-necked Jacobin, Venezuelan Wood-quail, Smoky Bush-tyrant, Venezuelan Tyrannulet, Collared Jay, Moustached Wren, Golden-fronted Greenlet, and Superciliaried and Oleaginous Hemispingus. Return to Mérida for 2 nights.

DAY 4
BL

Visit the Sierra Nevada NP to bird the lower section of the Pico Humboldt Trail. Here we expect the endemic White-fronted Redstart, Slaty Brush-finch, Golden-headed Quetzal, Golden-olive Woodpecker, Long-billed Gnatwren, Strong-billed, Montane and Black-banded Woodcreepers, Rufous-shafted Woodstar, Chestnut-crowned Antpitta, Short-tailed, White-chinned and White-collared Swift, Broad-winged and White-rumped Hawk, Collared Inca, Golden-bellied Starfrontlet, Band-tailed and Ruddy Pigeon, Mountain Elaenia, Bank Swallow, Mountain Wren, Tropical Gnatcatcher, Capped Conebill, White-sided and Bluish Flower-piercer, Black-headed and Beryl-spangled Tanagers, Black-throated Mango, and Cinnamon Becard.

DAY 5
BLD

We bird the Transandean Highway onto the high páramos, a treeless habitat of frost-shattered rocks, grasses, lichens, gorse and frailejónes: home to the near-endemic Bearded Helmetcrest, the endemic Páramo Wren, and Andean Siskin, Páramo Pipit, Andean Tit-Spinetail, Ochre-Browed Thistletail and Streak-Backed Canastero. Stop at the Andean Condor sanctuary at Pico El Aguila and at Laguna Mucubají (3,500m). Look for Speckled and Blue-winged Teal, Torrent Duck, Andean Condor, Black-chested Buzzard Eagle, Anhinga, Speckled, Violet-chested and Steely-vented Hummingbirds, Eared and White-tipped Doves, Tropical Peewee, White-throated Tyrannulet, Brown-bellied Swallow, and Bar-winged Cinclodes. Stay 2 nights at Hotel Moruco; its gardens attract Blue-backed Conebill.

DAY 6
BLD

Today’s highlight is a lek of the Andean Cock-of-the-Rock. It is a scramble down a ravine to overlook the lekking area but the sight is unforgettable. Our current record is 50 males displaying at once! On the trail you may find Golden-winged Manakin and Immaculate Antbird and at least hear the Ocellated Tapaculo.

DAY 7
BL

Bird at descending altitudes stopping at La Soledad and Río Barragan Bridge en route to Barinas and the lowland plains. Look for Plain-breasted Hawk, Black-crowned Night-heron, Lazuline Sabrewing, Golden-tailed Sapphire, Orange-throated Sunangel, Fork-tailed Woodnymph, Lyre-tailed Night-jar, Torrent Tyrannulet, White-capped Dipper, Yellow-bellied Elaenia, Cerulean Warbler, American Redstart, Masked Flower-piercer, Purple Honeycreeper, Lachrymose Mountain-Tanager, Silver-beaked and Bay-headed Tanagers, Streaked Flycatcher, Orange-fronted Yellow-Finch, Lineated Woodpecker, Orange-chinned and Yellow-headed Parrots, Stripe-backed Wren and White-vented Plumeleteer. Say goodbye to your Andes bird guide this afternoon. Overnight in Barinas.

DAY 8
BLD

Llanos

A morning’s transfer into the Llanos—one of South America’s great wildlife areas. Here you are guaranteed water birds in profusion plus Capybara, piranha and Spectacled Caiman, with good chances of Orinoco Crocodile, Anaconda, Freshwater Dolphin, Giant Anteater, armadillo, Giant River Otter and Red Howler Monkey. You arrive at Hato Cedral for lunch and the afternoon wildlife excursion (by boat or vehicle) led by the ranch’s English speaking naturalist guide. Stay 3 nights. (Excursions are shared; private excursions can be arranged in advance at extra cost.)

DAY 9
BLD

Two busy days of general wildlife viewing on excursions around ranch with excellent chances of Scarlet, Bare-faced and Green Ibises, Roseate Spoonbill, Wattled Jacana, Orinoco Goose, Brazilian Duck, Maguari Stork, Jabiru, Whiteling and Boat-billed Heron, Rufescent Tiger-Heron, Greater and Lesser Yellowlegs, American Stilt, Large-billed Tern, Cattle and Great White Egret, Paraguayan Snipe, Double-striped Thick-knee, Amazon Kingfisher. Highlights include Hoatzin, endemic Yellow-knobbed Curassow, Sunbittern, Sungrebe and Horned Screamer. Plus Vermilion Flycatcher, King Vulture, White-tailed, Double-toothed and Snail Kite, Scarlet and Chestnut-fronted Macaws, White-tailed Hawk, Common and Ruddy Ground-doves, Scaled Dove, Great Potoo, Oriole Blackbird, Dickcissel, Crimson-crested Woodpecker, Trinidad Euphonia, Pale-headed Jacamar, Great Horned Owl, Burrowing Owl, Nacunda Nighthawks, Band-tailed Nightjar and the national bird, the Venezuelan Troupial.

DAY 10
BLD

Another busy day of general wildlife viewing

DAY 11
BD

Henri Pittier NP

Fly to Caracas and transfer to Maracay at the edge of Henri Pittier NP, arriving in time for late afternoon birding with a local English-speaking birdwatching guide and vehicle. 578 species of birds have been recorded here in habitats from deciduous and transition forest through cloud forest to desert scrub. Stay 3 nights at a 3* lodge with garden on the outskirts of Maracay. (Or you might drive yourself in a hire car collected at Caracas airport, finding your own birds, or bird with a local driver and vehicle—ask for details.)

DAY 12
BL

Dawn birding from the Rancho Grande building with views over and into the cloud forest canopy. You have a good chance of seeing flocks of the endemic Blood-eared Parakeet, White-tipped and Vaux’s Swift, Russet-backed Oropendola, Plain Antvireo, Buff-fronted, Guttulated and Montane Foliage-gleaners, Venezuelan and Yellow-bellied Bristle-tyrants and Red-billed Parrot. You may also see the endemic Rufous-cheeked Tanager and Handsome Fruiteater. At Portachuelo Pass you can see White-Tipped Quetzal and hear Venezuelan Wood-quail and Northern Helmeted Curassow. The pass is used by northern migrants and local species, such as Golden-tailed Sapphire, Ruby-topaz Hummingbird and Lilac-tailed Parrotlet, and many butterflies. The far side of the range may produce Black-backed Antshrikes, Lance-tailed Manakins, Glittering-throated Emerald, Red-eyed Vireo, Tropical Peewee, Blue-black Grosbeak, Rufous-and-white Wren, Wire-tailed Manakin, Red-rumped Woodpecker, Ferruginous Pygmy-owl and Great Antshrike.

DAY 13
BL

Another full day of birdwatching.

DAY 14
BL

A final dawn’s birding at Rancho Grande before the drive back to Caracas for flights home.

Guide prices for 'The Birds of Venezuela'

options based on all year low season mid season high season peak season other season
Selfdrive, self-guided in H Pittier 2 people sharing £2,465
With specialist bird guide in H Pittier 2 people sharing £3,045
With English speaking driver (no bird guide) in H Pittier 2 people sharing £2,640
Prices are per person and include:
  • all travel in Venezuela
  • all accommodation
  • meals as indicated B=breakfast, L=lunch, D=dinner
Prices do not include:
  • international flights
  • travel insurance
  • airport and departure taxes
  • items of a personal nature such as drinks, tips, laundry, etc
  • any optional excursions you may buy locally

Customer reviews for 'The Birds of Venezuela'

Recent reviews are shown here from holidays based on this initial design. In each case the itinerary may have been modified (a little or a lot) to suit the individual traveller.

Average customer rating 100%

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Seasonal information for 'The Birds of Venezuela'

Along this route in January

Day Location Max °C Monthly rainfall
1 Macuto 28°C rainfall 58mm
2 Merida 21°C rainfall 34mm
3 Merida 21°C rainfall 34mm
4 Merida 21°C rainfall 34mm
5 Merida 21°C rainfall 34mm
6 Merida 21°C rainfall 34mm
7 Barinas 33°C rainfall 16mm
8 Llanos region 33°C rainfall 6mm
9 Llanos region 33°C rainfall 6mm
10 Llanos region 33°C rainfall 6mm
11 Henri Pittier NP 25°C rainfall 35mm
12 Henri Pittier NP 25°C rainfall 35mm
13 Henri Pittier NP 25°C rainfall 35mm
14 Caracas 25°C rainfall 30mm

Typical weather for January

rainchart

Max °C figures are the average daily maximum temperatures for the month. Rainfall is the average precipitation for the month.

Hotels for 'The Birds of Venezuela'