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'Venezuelan Odyssey'

Itinerary map for Venezuela 'Venezuelan Odyssey' holiday

Itinerary

  • Day      Overnight
  • 1 Caracas
  • 2 Jaji
  • 3 Merida
  • 4 Merida
  • 5 Llanos region
  • 6 Llanos region
  • 7 Barinas
  • 8 Ciudad Bolivar
  • 9 Ciudad Bolivar
  • 10 Angel Falls
  • 11 Puerto Ordaz
  • 12 Orinoco Delta NP
  • 13 Caracas
  • For the detail of each day click the ‘Day-by-day’ tab above.

Day-by-day itinerary for 'Venezuelan Odyssey'

DAY 1

Caracas

You will be met on the arrival of the international flight of your choice and driven from the airport to a 4* hotel in the seaside town of Macuto. There is a small pool at the hotel. In the evening we meet for a welcome cocktail overlooking the Caribbean.

DAY 2
LD

to the Andes, Jaji village

This morning we take the morning commuter flight, there are opportunities to take breakfast at the airport, to the town of El Vigia situated just west of the Andes. We will be met on arrival by our local guide and driver who will take us up to the Andean mountain town of Mérida, set beneath the snow-capped peaks of the ‘Five White Eagles’. On route up into the mountains we will tour through the lush coffee-growing region to the south of Mérida visiting the village of Jají. Founded in 1558, Jají is laid out according to colonial regula-tions with church, public buildings and the best private residences fronting the plaza, now restored. We will call in at a quirky small museum on a former coffee hacienda. Our base for the next 2 nights is one of our favourite posadas in Venezuela, a stylishly converted town house in a city centre colonial street of Merida.

DAY 3
BLD

Mérida

Today we will make a city tour of Mérida 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 (some options more a photo-op than a gastronomic delight!). Dinner at a lively restaurant. Note: if the city's once famous cable car has re-opened by the time of your visit then this would also be a possible activity today - tickets to be purchased by you locally.

DAY 4
BLD

Paramos villages & Mucubaji Lagoon

Today we tour the traditional villages and impressive scenery of the páramos region north of Mérida. We explore 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. We will visit Laguna Mucubaji, from where if the weather is favourable and the group is resonding well to the altitude we follow an easy trail (an hour’s walk on foot or horseback in each direction) which leads us to the Black Lagoon (Laguna Negra), a lake whose surface often forms such a perfect mirror that it disappears into a reflection of the mountainside above. The path through the moorland of the Sierra Nevada National Park gives as the opportunity to examine the fascinating adaptations of high altitude vegetation. Our journey continues past Hotel Los Frailes, built to resemble a monastery, where we may stop for a coffee or hot chocolate, then down to stay at a more comfortable altitude at a good quality lodge in traditional Andean style buildings where we also have dinner.

DAY 5
BLD

Llanos

With an early start we descend down the slopes of the Andes by scenic road, we enter the flatlands of the Llanos and arrive in time for a late lunch at Hato Cedral, a now nationalised cattle farm, but former wildlife conservation ranch that still welcomes visitors, providing simple but adequate accommodation, air-conditioned rooms, and even a small swimming pool (not always in service). Around the ranch and on safari by vehicle and boat over the next two days we will experience one of the most impressive arrays of easily-viewable wildlife in the South America continent from a species list of 349 birds, 86 mammals, 24 reptiles, and 21 amphibians. We will see countless capybara and caiman, and a good assortment of fresh-water dolphin, giant otter, capuchin and howler monkeys, iguanas, armadillo, giant anteater, anaconda, river turtles, orinoco crocodile, and more. The birdlife is superb, with huge numbers of waterbirds in particular, from the enormous jabiru stork and the unmissable scarlet ibis, to beautiful but more reclusive birds such as zigzag and agami herons, and the ungainly but extraordinary hoatzin. There are macaws and parrots among a host of others. It is usually possible to take a night drive to see some of the nocturnal mammals and birds.

DAY 6
BLD

a.m. and p.m. Wildlife safaris at Hato Cedral by boat or vehicle.

DAY 7
BLD

to Hato Cristero

a.m. final wildlife safari at the nature rich Hato Cedral. In the middle of the day we will travel back to the Barinas area (3hr drive) to have a final night at the more comfortable Hato Cristero. Dusk excursion at Hato Cristero. Enjoyable but unlikely to be as productive as our previous natural history excursions perspective. This makes a sensible positioning night prior to tomorrow's morning flight to Caracas.

DAY 8
BD

to Ciudad Bolívar

Morning transfer to Barinas airport to fly via Caracas to Puerto Ordaz, and then on by road for an hour to Ciudad Bolívar, the historic capital of Bolívar state. Here we stay for 3 nights at a hotel with a pool.

DAY 9
BLD

Today we go on a walking tour of the city with its photogenic colonial streets leading down to the Orinoco waterfront. After lunch you are free to explore the city some more, visit the Jesus Soto museum, or just relax by the hotel pool.

DAY 10
BLD

Angel Falls overflight and day trip to Canaima

From Ciudad Bolívar airport we take a morning sightseeing flight over Angel Falls (weather permitting), the plane crosses the top of the tepui mountain and enters the canyon to pass the falls in both directions: a very memorable sight if conditions are good. We land at Canaima in the Gran Sabana and stop for lunch and a boat ride on the beautiful Canaima lagoon, with time to relax by the shore with a view of Hacha Falls with a backdrop of impressive tepui table mountains, before taking off again for Ciudad Bolívar.

DAY 11
BLD

Puerto Ordaz and Orinoco Delta

This morning we are driven (approx 3hrs) to a small landing stage on the edge of the Orinoco Delta. We are collected by boat and taken on a river journey into this extraordinary world. The Warao, the indigenous people of the Delta, can be traced back 6,000 years. They live in stilt villages to cope with changes in water level, with boardwalks between the houses instead of streets, everyone travels by dug-out boat, and the musical instrument of choice is the violin. Wildlife includes parrots and macaws, howler monkey, freshwater dolphin and river turtles. We stay for two nights in a rustic but serviseable tourist lodge, with private facilities, well inside the Delta.

DAY 12
BLD

With the lodge as our base, we go on excursions to explore the Delta. Tonight is our farewell dinner, a chance to relive the events of the holiday in the most remote of surroundings.

DAY 13
B

Return to Caracas

After breakfast we leave the lodge and make our way back by river, then by road to the town of Maturín, where we say goodbye to our guide and board our plane for Caracas. We are met at the airport and you are helped to check-in for your chosen international overnight flight home. Note: or to the beach extension of your choice. Choose between: Choroni, Margarita or Los Roques.

Starts and ends in Caracas (Macuto).

Departure dates and prices

tour code starts ends price per person single supplement
Prices are per person and include:
Prices do not include:

Customer reviews for 'Venezuelan Odyssey'

Average customer rating 96%

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Venezuela is such a huge and varied country that each area provided its special highlights- we were very happy to have the opportunity to experience such a range

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Andes, Angel Falls, Orinoco Delta

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Overall impressions of Venezuela - all of it contributed

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The wildlife at Los Llanos

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We enjoyed all of the areas for different reasons

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They were all fascinating in their different ways - what a varied country Venezuela is.

Seasonal information for 'Venezuelan Odyssey'

Along this route in January

Day Location Max °C Monthly rainfall
1 Caracas 25°C rainfall 30mm
2 Jaji 22°C rainfall 26mm
3 Merida 21°C rainfall 34mm
4 Merida 21°C rainfall 34mm
5 Llanos region 33°C rainfall 6mm
6 Llanos region 33°C rainfall 6mm
7 Barinas 33°C rainfall 16mm
8 Ciudad Bolivar 32°C rainfall 21mm
9 Ciudad Bolivar 32°C rainfall 21mm
10 Angel Falls 25°C rainfall 44mm
11 Puerto Ordaz 30°C rainfall 27mm
12 Orinoco Delta NP 29°C rainfall 121mm
13 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 'Venezuelan Odyssey'

Day 1

Ole Caribe

Macuto
rating

Average rating 4.1 (24 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
Days 2 - 3

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
Day 4

La Trucha Azul

Paramos - Santo Domingo

Modelled as an Andean village and situated at a sensible altitude in the Santo Domingo Valley, this countryside hotel makes a convenient base for a positioning night between Merida and the Llanos. Bedrooms are comfortably appointed with a seating area, private bathroom, hot water and pretty soft furnishings in a rather cutesy style.

La Trucha Azul
Hotel
Days 5 - 7

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
Days 8 - 10

Casa Grande

Ciudad Bolivar

A restored two storey colonial house in the historic quarter, furnished with antiques. It has 15 large rooms, all with private bathrooms, fans, air conditioning, fridges, phones and a safety deposit box at the desk. A pool and jacuzzi in the hotel have views of the Angostura Bridge across the Orinoco River.

Casa Grande
interior courtyard
Days 11 - 12

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