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'Natural Venezuela'

Itinerary map for Venezuela 'Natural Venezuela' holiday

Itinerary

  • Day      Overnight
  • 1 Caracas
  • 2 Estancia La Bravera
  • 3 Merida
  • 4 Merida
  • 5 Santo Domingo Valley
  • 6 Santo Domingo Valley
  • 7 Llanos region
  • 8 Llanos region
  • 9 Barinas
  • 10 Choroní
  • 11 Choroní
  • 12 Choroní
  • 13 Puerto Ordaz
  • 14 Canaima
  • 15 Canaima
  • 16 Ciudad Bolivar
  • 17 Orinoco Delta NP
  • 18 Orinoco Delta NP
  • 19 Caracas
  • For the detail of each day click the ‘Day-by-day’ tab above.

Day-by-day itinerary for 'Natural Venezuela'

DAY 1

Arrive Caracas

You will be met on arrival at Caracas airport and transferred to the nearby coastal town of Macuto where you stay for a positioning night.

DAY 2
LD

Fly to the Andes - cloudforest retreat

Early next morning you are collected from your hotel and driven back to the airport for your flight to El Vigia in the Venezuelan Andes. Here you are met by your English-speaking local guide and transferred to Hacienda La Bravera for one night on a full board basis. This is a special place to stay and relax after the long journey. The sensitive owners have created a garden of native plants, hummingbirds buzz busily around the nectar feeders. A trail through the cloud forest leads up onto the open moors paramos.

DAY 3
BL

Humming Birds and Colonial village, then to Merida

A morning at La Bravera to enjoy the wonderful local birdwatching opportunities, the lodges small botanical garden and forest trail. In the middle of the day you will be taken to the restored Andean village of Jají, with its classic colonial layout around the main square, then to Hacienda El Carmen—a former coffee hacienda with a quirky museum. Back in Mérida you stay at a stylish renovated town house in the historic quarter, with patio garden and decor showing the work of local contemporary artists: your base for two nights.

DAY 4
BL

City tour of Merida

Private English speaking guide will take you on a morning tour exploring Mérida and seeing its main sights including the Plaza Bolívar, the Cathedral and the covered market. Perhaps call in at the ice-cream parlour Helados Coromoto which features in the Guiness Book of Records as offering the greatest selection of flavours in the World. [if the cable car has re-opened by the time of your visit then this would also be a possible activity today - at extra cost locally]

DAY 5
BLD

Paramos villages & Mucubaji Lagoon in the Sierra Nevada National Park

Today you can mix touring with birdwatching and/or walking as you travel along the Transandean Highway through traditional villages and impressive scenery of 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. In the villages explore the streets of traditional houses, and step into small churches—including a stone chapel created by sculptor Juan Félix Sánchez. To earn extra money children sell flowers by the road or hold up fat Mucuchíes puppies for sale—a local breed of giant-size mountain dog. Visit Mucubaji Lagoon at 11,500ft (3,500m) from where you might choose to stretch your legs and walk over the moors to reach the more distant Black Lagoon (Laguna Negra). It’s about an hour's walk in each direction. Or hire a mule to ride there if you prefer. Stay 2 nights at a comfortable altitude in the Santo Domingo Valley.

DAY 6
BLD

Andean Cock of the Rock and Andean Condor sanctuary

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. Then you will be taken 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. 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
BLD

to Llanos plains

Early start to descend to the Llanos reaching Hato El Cedral for a late lunch. After a siesta, take a wildlife safari in the late afternoon. This lodge has a small swimming pool and air-conditioned rooms. All guests stay on a full board basis and go out and about on wildlife viewing safaris (by boat and vehicle) with the resident naturalist guides. You are likely to see capybara, caiman, giant river otter, anaconda, piranhas, giant anteater, scarlet ibis, roseate spoonbill, large jabiru stork, hoatzin, armadillo, several species of monkey, deer, and orinoco crocodile up to 18ft long.

DAY 8
BLD

Wildlife safaris

Full day of safaris at Hato El Cedral shared with other guests led by resident naturalist guide. A.m. safari, lunch, siesta, p.m. safari, dinner.

DAY 9
BLD

a.m. final natural history safari at Hato Cedral p.m. transfer by road (3hrs) to the city of Barinas for a positioning night. [Note: an optional upgrade is possible to stay tonight at the upper range Hato Cristero - supplement of £ 108 pp full board basis, including an afternoon excursion]

DAY 10
B

to Henri Pittier National Park

after breakfast, transfer to Barinas airport. Fly from Barinas to Caracas 09.05/10.05 (daily except Sundays) You will be met on arrival at Caracas airport and driven (4hrs) to Choroni on the mainland Caribbean coast. The final two hours of the drive is through the beautiful Henri Pittier National Park, a coastal cloud forest. Here you stay for three nights on a B&B basis. [Note: keen birdwatchers may choose to stay just out side Maracay on the edge of the Henri Pittier National Park for easy access to the fabled Rancho Grande feeding tables for a focus on nature rather than relaxtion. We recommend birdwatchers visit mid-week to avoid weekend traffic passing through the cloudforest]

DAY 11
B

Choroni/Puerto Colombia

Free day relaxing at Choroní. Transport to the seafront can be arranged by the posada locally, as can boats to transfer you round headlands to remote beaches.

DAY 12
B

Second full day relaxing in the Choroni area.

DAY 13
B

to Eastern Venezuela

Leisurely start, then return by road to Caracas airport (4hrs) for an afternoon flight to Puerto Ordaz Fly Caracas/Puerto Ordaz R7764 16.50/17.50 You will be met on arrival at Puerto Ordaz airport and transferred to a hotel for a positioning night. Note: prepare to store some luggage in Puerto Ordaz tomorrow as there is a weight restriction on your flights to/from Canaima.

DAY 14
BLD

Fly Canaima National Park

a.m. transfer back to the airport Fly Puerto Ordaz/Canaima Transaven 08.30/10.00 (10kg weight restriction) you will be met on arrival at the landing strip and transferred to a local guest house in Canaima P.m. boat ride on the Canaima Lagoon to Hacha Falls and walk behind Sapo Waterfall. Overnight at lodge in Canaima there will be free time to enjoy the stunning view across the lagoon to Hacha Falls.

DAY 15
BLD

tablemountain and waterfall scenery

Free day based at Canaima. A range of optional, shared excursions can be booked locally. The choice of tours available will depend on the riverl levels and visitor demand as minimum numbers are required for some activities. All year: ===== - sightseeing flight over Angel Falls - full day river trip to Orchid Island - full day tour flying over Angel Falls and visiting Kavac Canyon May - Oct (possibly in Nov & Dec too - if river levels remain high enough) ====== - a very long, full day boat trip to reach the foot of the Angel Falls (starts pre-dawn, ends after dusk) or - a two day/one night river trip to foot of Angel Falls with a night in a shared hammock dormitory in the jungle near the Angel Falls (this should be pre-booked so that we can release your need for the room in the guest house tonight and adjust the overall holiday cost accordingly). Both of these are run locally at a basic backpacker level.

DAY 16
BD

to the Orinoco Delta

a.m. assistance to the landing strip at Canaima Fly Canaima/Puerto Ordaz 11.30/13.00 daily (10kg baggage allowance) You will be met on arrival and transferred by road to the dock at Boca de Uracoa, then transferred by boat to the Orinoco Delta Lodge on a tributory of the Cano Manamo river in the Orinoco Delta. Arrive in time for an afternoon excursion (shared with other guests). Accommodation is in individual thatched cabins with private bathrooms.

DAY 17
BLD

exploring the flooded forest - world of the Warao people

A full day of shared excursions exploring the Delta for a mix of unusual flora and wildlife such as freshwater dolphin, monkeys, turtles, hoatzin and parrots, with insight into the life of the Warao people. They live in stilt villages, travel by dugout, and are master weavers of moriche palm.

DAY 18
B

return to Caracas, depart Venezuela

a.m. transfer by boat back to the dock at Boca de Uracoa. From the dock you will be transferred by road to Puerto Ordaz airport Fly: Puerto Ordaz/Caracas e.g. R7743 12.30/13.30 Airport assistance to catch your chosen onwards international / domestic flight [perhaps add a beach extension to Margarita Island or the Los Roques coral archipelago].

Guide prices for 'Natural Venezuela'

options based on all year low season mid season high season peak season other season
Mid-range hotels throughout £2,500
Upper range hotels (where possible) £2870
Prices are per person and include:
  • all travel in Venezuela
  • 18 nights accommodation
  • services of private local English speaking driver guide in the Andes
  • shared services of local resident guides while in Los Llanos, Canaima and the Orinoco Delta
  • 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 'Natural 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

rating

Andes & the Orinoco Delta

Seasonal information for 'Natural Venezuela'

Along this route in January

Day Location Max °C Monthly rainfall
1 Caracas 25°C rainfall 30mm
2 Estancia La Bravera 22°C rainfall 36mm
3 Merida 21°C rainfall 34mm
4 Merida 21°C rainfall 34mm
5 Santo Domingo Valley 31°C rainfall 48mm
6 Santo Domingo Valley 31°C rainfall 48mm
7 Llanos region 33°C rainfall 6mm
8 Llanos region 33°C rainfall 6mm
9 Barinas 33°C rainfall 16mm
10 Choroní 28°C rainfall 32mm
11 Choroní 28°C rainfall 32mm
12 Choroní 28°C rainfall 32mm
13 Puerto Ordaz 30°C rainfall 27mm
14 Canaima 30°C rainfall 43mm
15 Canaima 30°C rainfall 43mm
16 Ciudad Bolivar 32°C rainfall 21mm
17 Orinoco Delta NP 29°C rainfall 121mm
18 Orinoco Delta NP 29°C rainfall 121mm
19 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 'Natural Venezuela'

Day 1

Ole Caribe

Macuto
rating

Average rating 4.1 (23 ratings)

Due to its convenience for Caracas airport, the coastal town of Macuto is the ideal place to stay for a positioning night. All the hotels here are rather characterless. Ole Caribe is the best of the 4* options, but nothing special. All the rooms have: Satellite TV, a/c, mini-bar, hair-dryer, security box and the hotel has a swimming pool.

Ole Caribe
Hotel
Day 2

La Estancia Bravera Lodge

La Azulita
rating

Average rating 4.9 (7 ratings)

This is a delightful cloud forest lodge run by a family who are committed to conserving their local habitat. It is situated at 2,360m just below the Paramo del Tambor. Bravera Lodge has a flower filled garden and cloud forest trail which leads up onto the moors. Hummingbirds are busy all day at the nectar feeders.

La Estancia Bravera Lodge
Exterior
Days 3 - 4

Posada Casa Sol

Merida downtown
rating

Average rating 4.2 (9 ratings)

Our favourite posada in downtown Merida. This is a stylishly renovated colonial house with interior patio garden where breakfast is served. The public areas are decorated with modern handicrafts created by local artisans.

Rooms are comfortably furnished and have private bathrooms, safes, laptop internet connections and TVs.

Posada Casa Sol
Days 5 - 6

Moruco

Santo Domingo Valley

Moruco is a birders lodge, recommended specifically for people who do not wish to sleep at high altitudes when travelling between Merida and the Llanos.

Accommodation is divided into simpely decorated rooms, cabins and suites, all with good basic ammenities such as private bathroom and hot water.  All of the rooms have heating.

Moruco
Days 7 - 8

Hato El Cedral

Llanos

Hato Cedral has a small swimming pool and comfortable rooms (2 queen beds) with a/c and private bathrooms. Resident English-speaking naturalist guides escort guests on morning and afternoon safaris. All visitors stay on a full board basis with meals served at fixed times in the day. It is a 3hr drive from Barinas airport.

Hato El Cedral
Day 9

Hotel Bristol

Barinas

Hotel Bristol
Days 10 - 12

Posada Las Garcia

Choroni
rating

Average rating 5.0 (5 ratings)

Posada Casa de las Garcia is a restored colonial house, and was originally part of a cocoa-producing hacienda. It has a lovely flower-filled courtyard garden and a swimming pool.  The 15 rooms have private bathrooms, ceiling fans and a/c and antique furnishings.

The posada has a tranquil, country setting between the seafront village of Puerto Colombia & Choroni. It is a 15 minute walk to the village of Puerto Colombia where there are bars and restaurants and from where  fishermen offer boat transfers to beaches which can only be accessed from the sea.  Or you can walk via the village to the broad local beach. Candle lit dinners can be served in the garden (pre-book locally).

Posada  Las Garcia
Hotel
Day 13

Venetur Orinoco (former Intercontinental de Guyana)

Cachamay Park
rating

Average rating 4.4 (5 ratings)

Nationalised recently by Chavez this 4* hotel (formerly the InterContinental)  is situated beside the impressive boiling rapids of the Cachamay Park with fine views of Llovizna Falls. This was the furthest point Sir Walter Raleigh could navigate up the Orinoco River.

All the mod cons are available as one would expect from what was until recently a major international chain hotel. Rooms have a/c, cable TV, mini-bar, private bathroom. There are two restaurants, a swimming pool, gym and spa.

We use it because of its great location.

Venetur Orinoco (former Intercontinental de Guyana)
Days 14 - 15

Parakaupa Lodge

Canaima
rating

Average rating 4.7 (6 ratings)

Located at a short distance from the Laguna Canaima, the Parakaupa Lodge offers a distant view of the water falls of Laguna de Canaima from the edge of its property.

All rooms have a  private bathrooms and ceiling fans, ice makers, and mineral water.

There is  a dining room, bar and a communal living area

Parakaupa Lodge
Day 16

Posada Angostura, Ciudad Bolivar

rating

Average rating 4.4 (5 ratings)

Posada Angostura, Ciudad Bolivar
Days 17 - 18

Orinoco Delta Lodge

Orinoco Delta
rating

Average rating 4.3 (16 ratings)

The lodge is situated on the banks of Caño Guamal in the Orinoco Delta. It comprises of 37 bungalows, all built in traditional local style, with wooden walls and palm thatched roofs. Some are on stilts in the river, connected to the communal areas by raised wooden walkways.  Access is solely by motorised river boat along the Caño Manamo.

Guests stay on a full board basis including daily excursions with resident guides (shared with others). Windows are screened with mosquito netting. The Lodge helped set up and now helps run a school for local Warao children.

Orinoco Delta Lodge
Exterior