Day 1: Catia La Mar - Caracas Airport. Meet a Turpial Travel assistant at the Maiquetía airport in Caracas. Our assistant will welcome you to Venezuela, answer all your questions, and transfer you to your hotel. Overnight at a hotel.
Day 2: Catia La Mar - Caracas Airport - Barinas - Mantecal. Early in the morning take a flight to Barinas. Upon arrival, you will be transferred to one of the most spectacular Hatos (ranches) in the world! Between the airport of Barinas and the Hato, enjoy a 3-4 hour drive with our guide and marvel at the countryside. Overnight at a ranch. Includes: (B, D).
Day 3: Mantecal. Spend the following day taking an excursion to observe the wildlife at its best! At the ranch there are over 250 species of birds and nearly 50 species of mammals, including jaguars, pumas, ocelots, white-tailed deer, foxes, capybaras, red howler and capuchin monkeys, opossums, anteaters, and armadillos, and over 40 species of reptiles, including caimans, green iguanas, anacondas, turtles and red-footed tortoises. Overnight at a ranch. Includes: (B, L, D).
Day 4: Mantecal - Santo Domingo. Take a morning excursion at the ranch. Around noon, head to Santo Domingo with our guide. On the way, see the beauty of the Andean Region bound by Sierra Nevada and Sierra de la Culata. Overnight at an ex-monastery. Includes: (B).
Day 5: Santo Domingo - Mérida. On the way to Merida, travel through the Andean Paramo. The paramo is a high-altitude region with a neotropical ecosystem. It is located between the upper forest line (about 3800 m altitude) and the permanent snow line (about 5000 m). The ecosystem consists of glacier formed valleys and plains with a large variety of lakes, peat bogs and wet grasslands intermingled with shrubs and forest patches. This neotropical ecosystem hosts about 5000 different plant species, where 60% of the species are native to the area. You will see tussock grasses, ground rosettes, dwarf shrubs, cushion plants, and conspicuous giant rosettes such as the Espeletia (frilejon) and Puya (in the family Bromeliaceae).
Visit colonial Andean villages and enjoy the drinks and cuisine they have to offer. Drive up the Pico Aguila (4,125 meters), the highest point in Venezuela, where you will get a chance to visit the Andean Condor Station and the Mucubaji Lagoon (3,800 meters). At the Mucubaji Lagoon, you will see the yellow flowers of frailejones – a plant only seen in the Andean regions. Next, walk or take a horseback ride to the Black Lagoon (optional), where you will enter into a microclimate that due to its special ecosystem receives more rain and humidity than the surrounding Paramo area. This extra humidity gives life to an interesting diversity of plant species, adding color and greenery to the wind-swept Paramo region. The black waters of the lagoon form a perfect mirror of the surrounding trees and mountainside on a clear calm day. Overnight at a hotel. Includes: (B, L).
Day 6: Mérida. Visit the world’s longest and highest cable car that takes you from the Barinitas station (1577 meters) to Mirror Peak (Pico Espejo) at an altitude of 4,765 meters above sea level! From the cable car enjoy panoramic views of the beautiful city of Mérida, enclosed between mountains and peaks covered with snow. As you ascend in the cable car you will see detailed landscapes of Sierra La Culata, the Chama valley river, and the majestic Bolivar’s Peak (Pico Bolivar).
Note: If the cable car is not operating when you are there, this section of the trip will be changed for a tour of the city of Mérida. Visit the Heladería Coromoto, which is in the Guiness Book of World Records for having over 900 flavors of ice cream. Overnight at a hotel.
Day 7: Mérida - Maracaibo. Leave Mérida in the morning and head to Lake Maracaibo for a bird and butterfly watching expedition. In the evening, take a night safari and observe the Catatumbo lightning – a mysterious semi-permanent lightning storm that occurs where the Catatumbo River meets Lake Maracaibo. The frequent, powerful flashes of lightning over this relatively small area are considered by some to be the world's largest single generator of tropospheric ozone. Overnight in Palafitos; sleep in hammocks. Includes: (L, D).
Day 8: Maracaibo - Mérida. After breakfast, continue to enjoy the landscape and wildlife of the Maracaibo region. After lunch, return to Merida City. Overnight at a hotel. Includes: (B, L).
Note: When you arrive at the hotel that evening, reserve a taxi to El Vigia Airport. This service is not included in your package.
Day 9: Mérida - El Vigía - Caracas Airport - Los Roques National Park. Take a morning flight from El Vigia airport to Caracas and then to Los Roques National Park. At the main island, there will be a travel assistant waiting for you. Our assistant will take you to an all inclusive guest house (posada). Rest, freshen up and take a short walk around the picturesque fishing village. Around 8:00 P.M., enjoy a wonderful dinner at the posada. Overnight at a posada. Includes: (B, D).
Day 10: Los Roques National Park. Spend the day lying on a white sandy beach at your own private island key, reading a book or swimming in the turquoise blue waters. Overnight at a posada. Includes: (B, L, D).
Day 11: Los Roques National Park. Another day at the spectacular archipelago. If you feel like snorkeling, diving, canoeing, kayaking, windsurfing or taking an ultra light aircraft flight over the keys, this can be arranged at an additional cost. Overnight at a posada. Includes: (B, L, D).
Day 12: Los Roques National Park - Caracas Airport - Catia La Mar. Fly back to Caracas. Upon arrival, our travel assistant will be waiting for you to transfer to your hotel. Overnight at a hotel. Includes: (B).
Day 13: Catia La Mar - Caracs Airport. Our travel assistant will pick you up from your hotel and transfer you to the airport to take your flight home. End of services. Includes: (B).
- A comprehensive pre-departure information
- Airport assistance
- Accommodation (including overnights in camps and hotels) on a twin-share basis
- Domestic flights, if indicated on the itinerary. If not, it is not included. Baggage allowance in domestic flights is 10kg.
- Private ground transfers as listed on the itinerary
- Excursions and meals as indicated on the itinerary
- Professional English-speaking local guide for the tours (for comfort and superior service levels)
- International flights
- Maiquetia international airport departure tax ($52)
- International airport tax ($64)
- National airport taxes, if we include the internal flights in the itinerary (approximately BS.F.27.50)
- Alcoholic drinks
- Personal expenses
- Personal gear (or other items of a personal nature)
- Entrance fees to National Parks if included in your itinerary ($26)
- Meals, alcoholic beverages, tours, or other services not listed on the itinerary
- Holliday surcharges
- Expenses incurred in preparing for the trip such as but not limited to: non-refundable airline tickets, travel insurance or additional expenses encountered as a result of flight delays, cancellations, or missed connections.
Also see tour packages in:
South America Venezuela Nature & Wildlife Wildlife Viewing Ecotourism