Day 1: Caracas. Welcome to Venezuela! Airport reception and transfer to your hotel. Overnight accommodations at the Costa Real Suites, with typical breakfast included. The hotel is conveniently located in Caracas' Central Coast, in the Tanaguarena/Caraballeda area, just 20 min drive from the airport. There are only 15 colorful suites, with a comfortable bedroom with big windows, private bathroom (shower with hot water), a spacious living room with couches and a double hammock, a/c, fan, cable TV, hairdryer, safe, and minibar/fridge. There is a swimming pool and a restaurant/bar.
Day 2: Caracas – Canaima. Hotel pickup and transfer to the airport for your flight to Canaima. Upon arrival, pay National Park fee, before proceeding to Jungle Rudy's Ucaima Camp, a small lodge located on the banks of the Carrao River, above Hacha Falls with views of three tepuis and the Auyantepui in the distance. Your transfer to the lodge involves a five-minute jeep ride, followed by a five-minute dugout canoe ride to the lodge. Ucaima Camp offers tranquility and personalized service. Accommodations are in comfortable cabanas with private bathrooms.
The grassy area in front of the lodge is a perfect place to sit back and enjoy the unique backdrop of Canaima National Park, and Canaima lagoon's cool, dark but clear water offers refreshing respite from the Gran Sabana's mid-day heat. In the afternoon, set off on an excursion to Sapo Falls. Setting off in a motorized dugout canoe up the Carrao River to the Sabana (plain) de Mayupa, you will enjoy a short hike to Sapo and Sapito Falls. Depending on water levels, the rocky trail actually follows behind the powerful falls. Return to the Lodge for dinner. Includes: (B, L, D).
Day 3: Angel Falls. After coffee and a light snack, board a motorized dugout canoe (curiara) and set off up the Carrao River, which is lined by luxuriant vegetation. After another short jeep trip around Mayupa rapids, continue up river, stopping to view the spectacular scenery of the "Lost World." Giant tepuis loom over the savannah and jungle below and countless waterfalls gracefully descend the face of Auyan-tepui. The journey continues passing by Arautaima rapids, Pozo de la Felicidad and Orchid Island. Upon arrival at Orchid Island, breakfast will be served.
Afterward, continue upriver, leaving the Carrao River behind, and proceeding up the Churun River. After about one hour, you will reach Ratoncito Island, from where you can observe Angel Falls. From Ratoncito Island, a one hour hike leads to El Mirador, a lookout point offering superb views and photographic opportunities (weather permitting) to capture the massive rocky face of Auyan-tepui and "Salto Angel" in the warm morning sun. The rest of your day will be spent exploring this "Lost World" on your own. Your overnight accommodations are in a rustic shelter close to Ratoncito Island. Includes: (B, L, D).
Day 4: Angel Falls - Ucaima Camp. After another full morning enjoying Angel Falls, return downriver to Ucaima Camp in time for dinner. Includes: (B, L, D).
Day 5: Canaima - Caracas - Merida. Transfer to the airport for your flight to Caracas. Connect with a flight 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 Don Miguel Andean guesthouse. All meals included. Includes: (B, L, D).
Day 6: Andes. Explore the region with an optional ride on the world's longest and highest aerial cable car. From the top, you’ll see snow capped 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 del Carmen. Includes: (B, L, D).
Day 7: Andes. 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 and crafts at the roadside stall. There is opportunity for light trekking and horseback riding to glacier lakes. Overnight at Los Balcones de la Musui, a world-class mountain lodge with a spectacular view of the Sierra Nevada mountain range and nearby hot springs. Includes: (B, L, D).
Day 8: Andes. 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 helmet crest 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. Includes: (B, L, D).
Day 9: Merida - Caracas – Los Roques. Transfer to the Merida Airport for your flight to Caracas. Connect with a flight to Los Roques, 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 boat trip to a nearby deserted key with nothing more that a cooler, lunch, and umbrella. Fisherman will find Los Roques to be a heaven for flats fishing.
Bone fish are abundant year round, and tarpon and permit also easily caught in these waters. There is a first class windsurf club located on adjacent Francisky key. 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 (Posada Mediterraneo, or similar) 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. Includes: (B, L, D).
Days 10-11: 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 keys from Gran Roque. At Dos Mosquices visit to 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. Includes: (B, L, D).
Day 12: Los Roques – Caracas - Int'l departure. Return to Caracas and connect for your departing flight. Includes: (B).
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