Day 1: Caracas Airport - Mérida. From the Caracas airport, take an early flight to El Vigia. Upon arrival you will be transfered to Merida. In the afternoon, if you are up for it, take some time to explore the beautiful Andean city - an easy-going town surrounded by spectacular mountain scenery.
Places we recommend visiting include: Bishop's Palace, City Hall, University buildings, Merida's Cathedral and the colorful parks of the city. Most important of all, take some time to meet its charming well-bred population. Overnight at a hotel.
Day 2: Mérida. After breakfast, tour the páramo (a high-altitude region with a neotropical ecosystem). The páramo is located between the upper forest line (about 3800 m altitude) and the permanent snow line (about 5000 m). The ecosystem consists of accidented, mostly glacier formed valleys and plains with a large variety of lakes, peat bogs and wet grasslands intermingled with shrublands and forest patches.
This neotropical ecosystem hosts about 5000 different plant species where 60% of these species are endemic, adapted to the specific climate characteristics of the place. Vegetation you will get to see in this trip are: tussock grasses, ground rosettes, dwarf shrubs cushion plants and conspicuous giant rosettes such as Espeletia (frilejon) and Puya (in the family Bromeliaceae). Visit the beautiful Mucubaji lagoon and the picturesque towns on the way. Overnight at hotel. Includes: (B, L).
Day 3: Mérida - Maracaibo. Leave Mérida early in the morning for Maracaibo Lake. Bird and butterfly watching. In the evening, take a night safari and watch the Catatumbo lightning. Overnight in Palafitos (basic services, sleep in hammocks). Includes: (B, L, D).
Day 4: Maracaibo - Mérida. After breakfast, trips to see landscapes and wildlife. After lunch, drive back to Merida City. Overnight at a hotel. Includes: (B, L).
Day 5: Mérida - Barinas. Early departure to Barinas - the capital of Los Llanos. Drive through the beautiful Transandina highway. The city is located in the northwest part of the state, along the river Santo Domingo in the Andean foothills about 165 km from the city of Mérida. The city has approximately 270,000 inhabitants. Overnight at a hotel. Includes: (B).
Day 6: Barinas - Mantecal. Early in the morning you will be transferred to one of the most spectacular Hatos (ranches) in Venezuela! Between Barinas and the Hato enjoy a 3-4 hour drive with our guide and marvel at the countryside. Overnight at a ranch. Includes: (L, D).
Day 7: 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 8: Mantecal - Barinas - Caracas Airport. Early breakfast and morning excursion. Drive to Barinas airport. Includes: (B, L, D).
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South America Venezuela Nature & Wildlife Wildlife Viewing