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Wild on Venezuela
ABOUT THE PACKAGE
Travel deep into the Amazon Rainforest of Venezuela, the closest portion of the Amazon to the U.S. and unlock the mysteries of this spectacular region. Witness exotic flora and fauna, majestic rivers and waterfalls and indigenous communities. Next, encounter diverse flora and fauna and breathtaking panoramas in the Andes Mountains of Venezuela.
Discover the Frailejon, a beautiful flower indigenous to this region and witness rare birds, such as the Great Condor and the Andean Cock-of-the-Rock. Finally we take you for a photo safari in the so-called Llanos, a region of vast savannahs infested with all kinds of birds and mammals. We stay at cozy reconverted ranches, where we share time with local cowboys and enjoy the traditional cuisine and famous local friendliness.
1 Arrival in Venezuela (Macuto)
After clearing customs and immigration, proceed to the reception area, where our local representative will be holding a board with your name on it. You will be greeted with a “Bienvenidos a Venezuela” and transferred to a nearby beachfront hotel.
2 On to the Amazon (Puerto Ayacucho)
This morning we begin our adventures flying to Puerto Ayacucho, the gateway to the Venezuelan Amazon. Upon arrival we will visit the traditional Indian Market and learn about the different tribes that inhabit this recondite part of Venezuela. Then continue to our cozy lodge, built in pure Indian-style. Enjoy traditional palm-thatched riverfront cabanas complete with private bathrooms and ceiling fans. In the afternoon we will take a short hike to a vantage point to admire the imposing surroundings.
3 Jungle immersion (Puerto Ayacucho)
In the company of our guide and other guests we will depart for a full day in the surrounding jungle. We will hike in search of local wildlife, learn about medicinal plants and the infamous “24-hour ant” and interact with local indigenous communities, who will show us how they survive in this demanding environment. In the afternoon we will cool off at the “Tobogan de la Selva” (Jungle Slide), a natural water slide and pools, excellent for swimming. In the evening we return to the lodge.
4 Take me to the river (Puerto Ayacucho)
Today we take on the Orinoco River. On small motorboat canoes we explore little streams in search of pink dolphins and otters. We will also see monkeys, toucans and hopefully scarlet macaws. There will also be time to swim and sunbathe in the beautiful deserted river beaches that appear and disappear depending on water levels.
5 Trading places: The highlands (Merida)
This morning say goodbye to our cozy lodge and leave the Amazon jungle heading for the moorlands of the Andean region. You will be arriving in Merida in the late evening after making a change of planes in Caracas.
6 Conquering Venezuelas’ top mountain…by cable car (Merida)
Merida is located at an altitude of 5,360 feet and is the most important city in the Andes region. We start our day with a comprehensive tour of Merida and its main monuments and traditional spots including the cathedral, the quaint colonial quarter, the artisans market, the bullring and other interesting sites. Then we head for the Barinitas cable car station where we board the highest and longest cable car system in the world. The excursion will take us on a four-stage ride to the highest mountain in Venezuela. We will be making stops at each station and admiring the different landscapes and changes in the vegetation as we gain altitude. A fascinating excursion not for the faint of heart.
7 Hiking in the moorlands (Andes region)
This morning we drive into La Mucuy National Park, located in the heart of the Andes Mountains. Take a walk with our guide deep into the cloud forest of La Mucuy to discover the magnificent flora and fauna of this region. You will observe a variety of orchids, bromeliads, and heliconia as well as nearly 100 species of birds. In the afternoon drive to the “Paramos” region of the Andes, a spectacular mountainous zone. Here you will discover vast expanses of Frailejon, a soft, flannel-like flower that can grow to eight feet tall and reach over 100 years in age. The peaks of the Andes will form a magnificent backdrop for this excursion. Take a short hike to a natural hot springs where you will be able to swim, relax and enjoy the spectacular panoramas. After lunch, drive on the highest paved road in Latin America and walk to an area where the Great Condor is fed. This spectacular bird can reach 12 feet in wingspan and is thriving in this well-protected area. Dinner and night in a beautiful lodge located at nearly 5,000 feet: Los Balcones de La Musuy near the natural hot springs.
8 More Andes (Andes Region)
The day starts with an excursion to Laguna de Mucubaji followed by a walk around the area with your guide to discover a wide variety of indigenous flora and fauna including Paramo Pipits, Black-Chested Buzzard Eagles and Great Thrush. Lunch in a quaint Andean town. Later, walk or ride on horseback to reach Laguna Negra, which is one of the deepest natural lakes in Latin America. Learn about the history of this region as you absorb the incredible scenery. Dinner and night at Balcones de la Musuy.
9 Leave the highlands. The savannah awaits (Los Llanos)
The Llanos are a vast territory that occupies two thirds of Venezuela and serve as the main repository of wildlife, especially birds and not only for the country but also for other areas in the hemisphere as far as Alaska and Canada. Los Llanos is one of the most amazing destinations in the continent, where travelers can observe scores of animals during every single excursion or outing they take. We stay in special cattle ranches (hatos) that have been partly reconverted into comfortable lodges with such creature comforts as air conditioning and swimming pools.
10-11 Photo safaris in the Venezuelan Savannah (Los Llanos)
Spend two unforgettable days sharing the unique experience of roaming around the Venezuelan Savannah with the tough but amicable local cowboys known as “llaneros”. Twice a day you will be boarding special all terrain vehicles and boats and departing on fabulous excursions where every minute can produce the photo of a lifetime. The area thrives with more than 350 bird species, including rarities such as the scarlet ibis and the prehistoric hoatzin, and more than 50 mammal species and reptiles including anacondas (the biggest snakes in the world), giant anteaters, howler monkeys, pumas, foxes and many more. Rivers and lakes are inhabited by pink dolphins and manatees, and crocodiles and capybaras (the largest rodent in the world) are particularly common. Every day we will back in the lodge in the early evening, in time to enjoy the premises and savor the Creole and International cuisine.
12 Return to Caracas (Macuto)
We will enjoy a last breakfast at the ranch before heading back to Caracas. Our guide will be driving you across the savannah to the airport in San Fernando or Barinas, where you will board a scheduled flight to Caracas. Upon arrival in the capital city we will transfer you to your hotel. Balance of the day at leisure. Overnight.
13 Depart Caracas
Farewell Eco Voyagers! Today our local representative will be transferring you to the airport in time for your departure flight. We recommend you extend your stay in Venezuela with a visit to the dazzling Los Roques Archipelago. We wish you a pleasant trip back home and hope to enjoy your company in another exciting adventure very soon.
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