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Venezuelan Wings

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Key Information:
Tour Duration: 9 - 10 day(s)
Group Size: 2 - 12 people
Destination(s): Venezuela  
Specialty Categories: Ecotourism   Birdwatching  
Season: January - December
Airfare Included: No
Tour Customizable: Yes
Minimum Per Person Price: 1000 US Dollar (USD)
Maximum Per Person Price: 1945 US Dollar (USD)

Fitness level: Relaxed and Easy
Destinations: Henry Pittier National Park and Los Llanos
Duration: 10 days / 9 nights

This is a relaxed & easy bird watching tour designed for travelers who want a slower pace with light physical activity. It involves short walks, usually not more than a half mile one way avoiding difficult terrains.

In this tour you should get to see bird species which include spectacular birds such as the Yellow-knobbed Curassow, the Sunbittern, the Black-and-white Owl, the Agami Heron, both Great and Common potoos, the Scarlet Macaw, the Jabiru, the Gray-necked Wood-Rail, the Grey-headed Tanager and many others. In the evening spotlighting of mammals, night birds, reptiles, and amphibians is considered one of the highlights of the tour!

Day 1. Caracas - Maracay

Upon arrival at the airport in Caracas, you will be transferred by road (about a 5-hour drive) to Maracay. That night we have a welcome reception for you where the guide will explain what the tour will be about. Overnight at Hotel Pipo. ( - / - / D).

Days 2 - 4. Henri Pittier National Park

The National Park Henry Pittier is very famous between birdwatchers. Henry Pittier National Park is located between Aragua and Carabobo States and is the largest and oldest national park of the Coastal Mountain Range region in Venezuela. The park's elevation gradient ranges from sea level to 2,346 meters (7697 feet) above sea level. Henry Pittier National Park has a vast biological diversity and it has more than 500 different bird species to offer to bird lovers. It holds over 140 species of mammals, 97 reptiles and 38 amphibians. The number of insect species is estimated to be over one million!

Birdwatching Henri Pittier National Park offers an interesting mix between mountains, sea coast and rivers. In this tour we will explore the Cumboto Area, close to Ocumare de La Costa; Colonia Tovar which brings the opportunity to visit this colonial European town and enjoy its landscapes; and the Rancho Grande station, a perfect and special place for nature lovers, with a giant biological diversity. It is considered one of the world’s greatest cloud forests!

Bird species to be found at the National Park are: the Bay-headed Tanager, the Blood-eared Parakeet, the Blue-winged Mountain-Tanager, the Blue-grey Tanager, the Brown Booby, the Buff-fronted Foliage-Gleaner, the Crimson-crested Woodpecker, the Crested Oropendola, the Green Honeycreeper, the Green-tailed Emerald, the Groove-billed Toucanet, the Handsome Fruit eater, the Red-eared Parakeet, the Rufous Nightjar, the Swallow-Tanager, the Thick-billed Euphonia, the Yellow-rumped Cacique, the White-tipped Quetzal, hummingbirds, and eagles. We will also see the Bicolored Hawk, the Rufous-breasted Hermit, the Stripe-throated Hermit, the Russet-throated Puffbird, the Black-crested Antshrike, the Black-backed Antshrike, Northern White-fringed Antwren, White-bellied Antbird, Fuscous Flycatcher, and Venezuelan Flycatcher. Overnights at Hotel Pipo. ( B / - / D).

Day 5: Henry Pittier National Park – Los Llanos

Leave early in the morning after breakfast to Hato Piñero - a 80,000 hectre (200,000-acre) ranch owned by the Branger family. On our way to the Hato we will stop in water ponds to enjoy birds such as the Scarlet Ibis, Sunbittern, several species of egrets, Jabiru Stork and other waterbirds. We will drive through the Venezuelan Llanos, or flatlands, which provide a wildlife spectacle you will never forget. During the wet season the flatlands flood, turning parts of it into a vast lake. During the dry season the waters drop and caiman, anacondas and capybaras congregate around the remaining water sources to feed. The abundance of wildlife concentrated along streams during the dry season must be seen to be believed! (B / - / D)

Days 6 – 9: Los Llanos - Hato Piñero

At the Hato we will observe one of the greatest scenes of bird life in South America! Hato Piñero produces birds such as the Bare-faced, Buff-necked, and Scarlet ibises and a few Sharp-tailed, White and Glossy ibises, and Green Ibis (but this is rare). Other well-known species include the Yellow-chinned Spinetail, Pied Water-Tyrant, Oriole Blackbird, and Venezuela’s national bird, the Troupial.

In the lagoons or drying pools we will see the Jabirus, Wood Storks, Limpkins, and hundreds of herons, egrets, and ibises (seven species are possible). We will also see large birds, such as Yellow-knobbed Curassows, Scarlet Macaws, Rufescent Tiger-Herons, and an occasional Capped Heron or Horned Screamer.

In the dry forest, we will see the Ruby-topaz Hummingbird, Glittering-throated Emerald, Russet-throated Puffbird, Ochre-lored Flycatcher, and flocks of seedeaters and Saffron Finches. If we are lucky, we might see an Orinocan Saltator or Pale-headed Jacamar.

We will observe wildlife from a boat in the Caño San Jeronimo. Here we may see several hundred Hoatzins, several dozen Gray-necked Wood-Rails, several species of raptors, Rusty-backed Spinetail, four or five species of kingfishers, many Sunbitterns, and, with a little luck, an Agami Heron. We have an excellent chance of seeing pairs or small groups of Yellow-knobbed Curassows on these river trips.

Last but not least, the Hato has a population of spectacled caiman estimated at 75,000! Other mammals present are the jaguar - though our chances of actually seeing one are very slight - the Brazilian tapir, giant anteater, hog-nosed skunk, crab-eating raccoon, ocelot, puma, crab-eating fox, collared and white-lipped peccaries, southern tamandua and tropical cottontail rabbit, Great and Common potoos, Great Horned, Mottled, Spectacled, and Striped owls, Tropical Screech-Owl, and several nightjar species. Overnight at Hato Piñero. (B / L / D).

DAY 10: Hato Piñero - Caracas.

Early transfer to the Caracas airport in time for flights departing between 8-10:00 AM. Transfers for flights departing at other times can be arranged in advance at an additional charge. (B / - / - /).

Total meals: Breakfast (B); Lunch (L); Dinner (D)
B= 9 / L= 4 / D= 9

Airfare is not included in the tour price.

The Birding tour includes:

transportation as indicated
meals and drinks as indicated
accommodation as indicated
excursions as indicated
snacks and drinks during the bird-watching trips.

The Birding tour does NOT include:

international or domestic flights
personal expenses
tips for local staff
alcoholic drinks.
Be sure to bring

insect repellent.
sun protection.
light clothing,
good walking shoes,
pocket knife.
Best season for this program: All year round, although wildlife watching in Los Llanos might be better in the dry season.