Venezuelan Highlights: Andes Mountains, Angel Falls and Los Roques
12 days /
From $3,931 per person, double occupancy for 2013
Day 1: Caracas
(Lost World Adventures can help arrange discounted international airfare for you.)
Welcome to Venezuela! Overnight in the Hotel Ole Caribe along the Caribbean coast.
Day 2: Caracas – Merida
Fly to the Andean capital of Merida, a historic colonial town. Visit Plaza Bolivar, the cathedral, museums and a 150 –year old coffee plantation. Finish the day at an overlook of the Chama River valley where paragliders soar 1,000 meters above the canyon. Overnight at the comfortable accommodations at Papa Miguel’s or similar Andean guesthouse. All meals included. (L,D)
Day 3: Merida
Explore the region with an optional ride on the world's longest and highest aerial cable car. From the top, you’ll see snowcapped mountains, glaciers, and fields of sugar cane and coffee. Visit Eagle Pass, the highest paved road in Venezuela at 4,047 meters and a biological research station to see the Andean Condor, one of the world's largest birds with a wingspan of more than three meters. Overnight at Hacienda El Carmen. (B,L,D)
Day 4: Merida to Los Frailes
Make an early morning start to discover the tiny town of Mucuchies, which was founded in 1596 by the Spanish on the site of the pre-Hispanic Chama Indian tribe. Browse colorful Andean arts & crafts at the road-side stall. There is opportunity for light trekking and horseback riding to glacier lakes. Overnight at Hotel Los Frailes, a world-class mountain inn built on the site of a 17th century Franciscan monastery. (B,L,D)
Day 5: Merida
Today you’ll visit Laguna Mucubají, one of the largest of over 200 glacier lakes in the state of Mérida. Trek or horseback ride to Laguna Negra and observing the incredible variety of mountain flowers. Keep an eye out for the world’s only high altitude hummingbird, the bearded helmetcrest and for the Andean Condor, one of the world’s largest birds with a wingspan of more than 3 meters. Overnight at Estancia La Mucunuy, a restored colonial hacienda that has recently won an international architectural award. (B,L,D)
Day 6: Merida to Canaima National Park
In the morning set off on a flight to Canaima, flying over the massive tepuis into the remote south of Venezuela. After a short dugout canoe ride up the Carroa River, you’ll find Ucaima Camp, ideally situated on the banks of the river, above Hacha Falls with views of three tepuis and the giant Auyantepui in the distance. Here you’ll find abundant wildlife including jaguars, monkeys, toucans, fisher eagles and royal herons. Accommodations are in comfortable cabanas with private bathrooms. All meals included. (B,L,D)
Day 7 and 8: Canaima National Park
Enjoy today either on optional excursions, or relaxing in the tranquil surroundings of Ucaima Camp.
You may opt to take a dugout canoe day or overnight trip to Angel Falls, the world's highest waterfall, cascading 3,212 feet into the jungle below. The falls were discovered in 1936 by Jimmy Angel, an eccentric American bush pilot, who was exploring the area for mineral deposits. An overflight of the falls is possible as well.
Another great day trip is to Kavak Canyon, one of the narrowest canyons in the world. Guided by local Indians, you'll wade and swim through the canyon to the hidden waterfall of Kavak. The park is also home to a small settlement of Pemon Indians, whose adobe and thatch churuata dwellings have changed little in thousands of years.
A half day to trip to Sapo Falls is an exciting way to explore the backcountry of southern Venezuela by motorized canoe. You can walk behind the falls and swim nearby. Afterward, travel up the Caño Moroco stream to see El venado (the deer) and El Zamuro (the vulture) mesas. (B,L,D)
Day 9: Canaima National Park – Los Roques
A flight through Caracas brings you to an archipelago of over 365 islands 60 miles off the north coast of Venezuela. The warm, azure waters are home to healthy coral reefs teeming with sting rays, grouper, angelfish, whitespotted filefish, barracuda, and moray eels that are as of yet undiscovered by most divers and fisherman.
We can arrange diving and instruction at the local dive shop for a variety of skill levels. Designated a National Park, all sites in the archipelago are limited to 10 divers, so you get the intimate feeling of diving in untamed, untouched waters. Most often, you will be the only divers in any given area. Visibility varies, but can reach 100 feet. At the coral-laden wall at Cayo Sal, you can take a break inside a cavern at 100 feet and watch as tens of thousands of fish swim by castles of hard coral and tall, swaying bushes of soft corals.
Snorkelers will find an underwater paradise as well. The clarity of the water allows you to see schools of fish and coral reefs while staying near the water’s surface. Or you may opt for the complimentary boattrip to a nearby deserted cayo with nothing more than a cooler, lunch, and umbrella.
Fishermen will find Los Roques to be a heaven for flats fishing. Bonefish are abundant year-round, and tarpon are also easily caught in these waters. There is a first class windsurf club located on adjacent Francisky cayo. They rent a variety of equipment for excursions ranging from one hour to a full day of windsurfing. Private instruction for beginners is also available. From the resort you may spend the day exploring the surrounding islands via windsurfer.
Accommodations are at a simple guesthouse in comfortable rooms with private bathrooms and ceiling fans. All meals are included in your stay, and optional excursions can be easily arranged through the guesthouse. (B,D)
Day 10 – Day 11: Los Roques
From the guesthouse you may also arrange a full-day boat tour to visit Dos Mosquices Biological Station, located on one of the farther cayos from Gran Roque. At Dos Mosquices, visit the biological station escorted by a guide who will provide you with a tour of the marine turtle hatchery. For those who want to stay on dry land, Gran Roque's lighthouse, the oldest on the Venezuelan coast, is recommended for a late afternoon visit as a great spot to enjoy the sunset. (B,L,D)
Day 12: Los Roques – Caracas
Return to Caracas and connect for your departing flight. (B)