This tour offers the opportunity to get to know a little of what Venezuela has to offer; mountains, plains, sea, forests. There is also the opportunity to see the meteorological phenomenon, the Catatumbo Lightning, unique in the world, which can be seen from April until the beginning of December. There you will have the opportunity to visit a typical village where people live in stilt houses over the lake. You can enjoy discovering the country while, at the same time, taking part in activities with a hint of adventure.
Our regional tours are particularly designed to give visitors the greatest variety of options to discover the most interesting and difficult to reach areas of Venezuela. These tours are a combination of individual trips, split into zones. What is and isn’t included is outlined for each itinerary. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us and we will do our best to answer your queries.
Day 1: Arrival in Caracas We will meet you in the terminal at Simon Bolivar International Airport at Maiquetia, hand over your air tickets and vouchers, then transfer you to a hotel close to the airport where you will overnight.
Day 2: Caracas – El Vigia – South of Lake Maracaibo We will meet you at your hotel and transfer you to the domestic airport for your flight to the Venezuelan Andes, to El Vigia, around 50 minutes from Merida. We then drive for around an hour and a half to the location where we board a motor boat; we then cruise for around an hour and a half to our camp by Lake Maracaibo. There we will see dolphins, howler monkeys and toucans, amongst others. We will spend the night in hammocks from where we will be able to experience the meteorological phenomenon, the Catatumbo Lightning. This phenomenon in the ozone layer is silent lightning, which can be seen intermittently for around 10 hours throughout the night, and flickers around 200 times per hour. (50 mins by plane, 1hr 30 mins by road, 1hr 30 mins by boat) (B,L,D)
Day 3: Travel through the mangrove swamps Visit the waterways of Cienagas de Juan Manuel National Park by boat, where you may see manatees, caimans, babas, jaguars, freshwater dolphins, white herons, blue herons, wild ducks, seagulls and many more species. At the end of the day transfer to Merida. Spend the night in a colonial posada in Merida.
Day 4: Canyoning We will leave Merida at around 0830 hrs and travel for around 25 minutes, until we reach 1750m above sea level, following the road to El Morro in the Sierra Nevada. Then we walk for a further 25 minutes, mainly downhill, until we see the gorge from where we have fantastic views of the whole of Merida. Once in the gorge, the guide will instruct you on how to use the equipment and to rapel down the waterfalls. From here we begin our tour along the river. En route we will pass many small waterfalls and three much larger: 12m, 22m and 25m. You can rapel down the side of the falls or through the water. Depending on the size of the group, around 3-4 hours will be spent in the gorge. Overnight in a colonial posada located in Merida.
Day 5: Set out for Los Nevados We set out for El Morro then begin to climb, following an intricate network of roads, heading for Los Nevados at 2700m. On arrival at Los Nevados take a stroll around and then enjoy a typical meal. (5 hrs by jeep) (L,D)
Day 6: In Los Nevados The mules set out from 2700m for the ascent through the mountain pass to Alto de la Cruz at 4200m. From this point there is a marvellous view of Pico Bolivar. The mules remain at the Loma Redonda cable car station and the group descend on foot for around two hours to Los Calderones valley at 3500m where we will set up camp or overnight in an Andean posada. (4 hrs by mule, 2 hrs walking) (B,L,D)
Day 7: Leave Los Nevados After breakfast we start to descend on foot through the cloud forest for around 4 hours until we reach Mucunutan. We then return by jeep to the hotel or posada in Merida. (1hr by jeep, 4 hrs walking) (B)
Day 8: Adventure camp in Los Llanos After spending a few days in the mountains we head to the plains in the Barinas foothills to have some adventurous fun in a friendly camp. Today you can relax in the surroundings of the camp, explore the forest, swim in the river or relax. Spend the night in a standard room in the camp. (B)
Day 9: Rafting in Los Llanos Today you can take part in the activity of your choice: rafting along one of the rivers, canyoning or going on a bike ride. Spend the night in a standard room in the camp. (B)
Day 10: Camping in Los Llanos Transfer to our base camp in the low-lying plains (llanos) of Apure State. The friendly plains dwellers, guided by our host family, will give us a warm welcome and treat us to a typical llanos meal. Accommodation is in dormitories with hammocks, mosquito nets and shared bathrooms. There are some beds, but these are subject to availability. As the sun begins to go down, and after a coffee, we head off in our jeep for an exciting safari in the savannah that surrounds the camp. You will see lots of birds along the riverbank, caimans, small groups of capibaras (the largest rodents in the world), some deer and, with the help of our plainsmen guides, we may be able to find the intimidating anaconda or the gaudy anteater. (B,L,D)
Day 11: Camping in Los Llanos Travel by boat for around 4 hours. In the Cano Guaritico it is possible to spot delightful freshwater dolphins (toninas), anteaters, caimans, iguanas, several birds, possibly otters and even some anacondas. We will also attempt to fish for piranhas and watch out for the Aguila Solitaria bird which will also be looking for fish. After lunch we leave to try our luck and skill at fishing for piranhas. At night, the advantage of our location is that we can see the constellations of both hemispheres. (B,L,D)
Day 12: Transfer to Choroni After an early breakfast we embark on our journey to the coast; this overland journey takes around 10 hours and you will see the countryside changing in route, with a spectacular descent to the fishing port of Choroni, through the mountainous cloud forest of Henri Pittier National Park. Overnight in a twin share in a posada. (B)
Day 13: Relax on the coast – transfer to Caracas – international flight departure Choroni is hidden between the cloud forest of Henri Pittier National Park and aquamarine waters of the Caribbean Sea; this colonial town will take you back in time. From your accommodation you can go on many trips such as to the cloud forest in Henri Pittier National Park to enjoy its flora and fauna and to take a refreshing dip in the magnificent waterfalls. Also of particular interest are visits to cacao and sugar cane plantations with their colonial architecture. Or, of course, you can spend the days on the nearby beaches, such as Playa Grande in Puerto Colombia. (B)
Day 14: From your accommodation you can go on many trips such as to the cloud forest in Henri Pittier National Park to enjoy its flora and fauna and to take a refreshing dip in the magnificent waterfalls. Also of particular interest are visits to cacao and sugar cane plantations with their colonial architecture. Or, of course, you can spend the days on the nearby beaches, such as Playa Grande in Puerto Colombia. (B)
Day 15: From your accommodation you can go on many trips such as to the cloud forest in Henri Pittier National Park to enjoy its flora and fauna and to take a refreshing dip in the magnificent waterfalls. Also of particular interest are visits to cacao and sugar cane plantations with their colonial architecture. Or, of course, you can spend the days on the nearby beaches, such as Playa Grande in Puerto Colombia. (B)
Day 16: On the last day you will be transferred early in the morning to the international airport at Maiquetia for your flight home. (B)