Anden, Llanos Wildlife, Orinoko River
1. Day. Caracas Airport – Hotel Transfer (-, -, -)
Pick up service and transfer to hotel by our airport assistant. Accommodation at Costa Real Hotel.
2. Day: Flight to Merida. (B, -, -)
Transfer to the airport and flight to El Vigia in Merida. Drive through the cloud forest and Coffee plantations. Arrival at the Posada in La Azulita. After lunch a short hike in the nearby surroundings of La Azulita. Accommodation in El Tao (Spa guest house)
3. Day: From Cloud Forest to Paramo vegetation – Merida (B, -, D)
After breakfast we drive to Merida. On the way to Merida we´ll make several stops to take photos in the Cloud Forest. For lunch we stop at La Bravera Lodge, a great place to observe Humming birds flying around while eating. In the afternoon we visit the colonial town of Jaji and the former coffee Hacienda EL Carmen. In the late afternoon we arrive at Posada Casa Vieja in Tabay. Accommodation in Posada Casa Vieja Merida in Tabay.
4. Day: Cable car and city tour – Merida (B, -,D)
In the morning we drive to Merida. With the highest cable car of the world we ascend to Pico Espejo (4765m). On the way we’ll stop at La Montaña (2435 m), La Aguada (3452 m) and Loma Redonda (4045 m) stations. Each station offers a spectacular view over the valley and the snow-covered summits of the Andes. Afterward we descend to Merida for lunch and for a city tour. In Merida we’ll visit the Mercado Principal, a three story building replete with small colorful stores which offer not only fruits and vegetables, but also handcrafts and textiles. Later on we’ll visit the Guinness ice cream parlor Heladeria Coromoto with its over 800 types of ice. On the main square of Merida -Plaza Bolivar- we’ll visit the statue of the Liberator as well as one of the biggest and most beautiful cathedral of Venezuela: the Inmaculada Concepción Cathedral. Accommodation in Posada Casa Vieja Merida in Tabay.
5. Day: La Mucuy, Sierra Nevada National Park (B, L, -)
After of approx. 15min drive we reach La Mucuy in Sierra Nevada national park. Along the way to La Mucuy we contemplate the Mucujun River and a forest landscape that evoke a fairy tale. At the margins of the forest we might have good chances to observe and take photos of Andean Guan, Ica Jay Arassari. We go for a short hike above 2000m in the subtropical cloud forest between tree ferns, Bamboos, Bromeliads and Orchids. For Lunch we’ll get a picnic box. In the afternoon we could visit the botanical garden in Merida city. Accommodation in Posada Casa Vieja Merida.
6. Day: Along the tropical Venezuelan Andes (B, -,D)
Above 3000 and 4300mts height we drive along the Paramo landscape, passing by the Andean towns Mucuruba, Mucuchies as well as by Mucubaji Lake at the Sierra Nevada national park. The Mucubaji Lake is one of the biggest glaciers in Merida state where we might find North American duck species that haven’t even been registered! Later on we continue our drive to Mifafi and to the Eagle Pass where we observe the Andean chains and its impressive flora: the Frailejones (Espeletia) Accommodation at the Hotel Refugio Mifafi.
7. Day: From Paramo to Altamira in Barinas state (B, -, D)
After some more time in the Venezuelan Paramo, we continue our journey down to Santo Domingo Valley. We drive by San Isidro, a place where the lek of the Cock of the Rock is. If we are lucky, we might see and take a picture of the cock of the rock from the road. The hike to the lek is in somehow hard, but it is worth it. At the end we might even see a Cock of the Rocks courtship. San Isidro is also well known for being a butterfly zone and for its special nature. Accommodation in Casa Vieja Altamira.
8. Day: Wildlife in los Llanos (B, L, D)
Early in the morning we drive to Hato El Cedral in los Llanos. Los Llanos is the Serengeti of South America. It is an amazing and unique experience for those who want to get in touch with the Venezuelan wildlife. Hato el Cedral is a cattle ranch and also a touristic lodge in the heart of Apure state. Over 150 different bird species can be seen in one day. Los Llanos or the Venezuelan plains is also the home of the Orinoco crocodile, caimans, anacondas, giant anteaters, different kind of turtles, capybaras, monkeys and much more. If we are lucky we might see a jaguar, ocelot or a puma! Hato el Cedral ein he Llanos is one of the best places in Venezuela to observe wildlife.
Safari and boat excursion will be part of program for the next days. We will have enough time to take great pictures. This ranch in los Llanos is an excellent area where mammals, amphibian, reptilians and birds gather perfectly together.
After lunch we have a short break and after it we go for an excursion in the Hato. Accommodation at Hato el Cedral.
9. Day: Wildlife in los Llanos (B, L, D)
After breakfast we do a safari with a safari truck. From the truck we easily observe caimans, lots of birds of prey, capybaras and if we are lucky we might even see an anaconda or a giant anteater.
After lunch we go for a boat excursion in the Matiyure River, an amazing boat ride along a gallery forest to see hundred of birds, caimans and piranhas. We might even get the chance to observe sweet water dolphins! Accommodation at Hato el Cedral.
10. Day: Wildlife in los Llanos (B, L, D)
On this day we will explore some other areas of Hato el Cedral. The ranch is a huge territory of aprox 54.000 hectars which offers different and interesting routes for safaris and boat excursions.
Accommodation at Hato el Cedral.
11. Day: Drive to Puerto Ayacucho, Amazonas state (B, L, D)
After breakfast we drive to the capital city of Amazonas state: Puerto Ayacucho. First of all we drive through San Fernando de Apure and later through an uninhabitated territory of the southern Llanos. One hour drive before we reach Puerto Ayacucho, we will take a ferry and cross the huge Orinoco River. Later in afternoon we will arrive to a camp located 25km from southern Puerto Ayacucho city. This camp lies directly on the river back of Orinoco River. Accomodation at Orinoquia Camp.
12. Day: Boat excursion in Orinoco River (B, L, D)
After breakfast we drive for an hour to the southern Samariapo pier. From here we start an adventurous boat ride on the Orinoco River. This ride takes us over the Isla Raton -Mouse Island- til Sipapo River. A short excursion to the rapids of Calderon River will show us the tropical rainforest and the beautiful savanna landscape of the area. In the afternoon we return to Campamento Orinoquia.
Accommodation at Campamento Orinoquia.
13. Day: Excursion through the rainforest (B, L, D)
In the morning we drive to Morichalito, a small native community of the Pirao Indians. From there we start a 1.5 hour hike through the rainforest just to the Piroas, a community that still keeps his traditions as in the past. If we are lucky we might see them prepare “Casabe”, a sort of bread made of the poisoned manioc root. Casabe belongs to the basic food for most Venezuelan native Indians of Orinoco and Amazonas area. After lunch in the lodge we drive to Puerto Ayacucho. Once there we visit an Indian market, an ethnological museum and the small Columbian Indian community of Cazuarito. Accommodation at Campamento Orinoquia.
14. Day: Flight to Caracas (B, -, -)
After breakfast we drive to the airport in Puerto Ayacucho. Flight to Caracas and transfer to a hotel. Accommodation at Costa Real Hotel.
15. Day: Transfer to Caracas international airport (B, -, -)
In the morning we still have some time for swimming in the pool. Afterward transfer to Caracas International airport.
Important notice: Because of weather conditions national flights might not be on time. Sometimes they might even be cancelled. Therefore we recommend being the day before the international flight near Caracas airport.
Westvenzuela / Rundreise
Duration: 15 days
Level of difficulty: 0-1 (0-5)
Services: Flights, tours and transportation as described on the itinerary. Accommodation in Double Room, meals as described in the itinerary, soft drinks.
International and national taxes, as well as alcoholic drinks are not included.
Price: By request
What to bring:
- Sun cream
- Swimming wear
- Hiking shoes
- Sandals or trekking sandals
- Light wear Raincoat and fleece jacket for the Andes.
- Head flashlight
- Adapter (110v)
- Extra batteries