Caracas, Venezuela's capital is located along the Guaire River in the northern mountain valley. Here, colonial buildings have given way to multi-storied edifices such as the twin towers in Parque Central. The Caracas Cathedral on Plaza Bolívar with Romanesque architecture, dates to the 17th century. Around the corner, the Basilica of Santa Capilla, houses some artistic treasures. Nearby, National Pantheon of Venezuela, is a final resting place for national heroes, including the Independence leader Simón Bolívar.
Venezuela is one of the most bio-diverse countries on the planet. Within its borders, are the Andes Mountains, Amazon Rainforest, Gran Sabana, the Llanos plains, and the stunning Caribbean coastline – to name but a few places of geographical interest. This comprehensive tour of Venezuela includes a brief introduction of some of these regions, such as the Llanos and Gran Sabana before travelling to Canaima National Park to soak in the warm waters of the Caribbean Sea.
TRAVEL UNTAMED ON THIS 12-DAY VENEZUELA HIGHIGHTS TOUR…
And, explore the colonial city of Caracas with its impressive churches.
Start in the Llanos, the Venezuelan central plains that are one of the world’s richest tropical grasslands. The region is rich in bird and animal life and host to an exotic myriad of flora and fauna, as well as native, often primitive, tribal communities.
Continue to Canaima National Park, in the south-east; the region of unsurpassed splendour – home of the highest waterfall in the world, the Angel Falls, more than 15 times higher than Niagara Falls, spectacular flat-topped mountain plateaus, known as 'tepuis', a unique bio-geological entity of great interest and grand, surging rivers.
Next, travel to Los Roques Archipelago National Park, a marine ecosystem of exceptional beauty and dominated by coral reefs, mangroves, and seagrass beds. The coral reefs here host some of the most beautiful underwater fauna and flora of the Caribbean. And the exceptionally beautiful beaches are of white sand and crystalline warm waters make it a diving, sailing and fishing paradise. It is without a doubt one of the most beautiful natural areas of Venezuela.
The Avior and SBA Airlines offer direct flights to Miami but not to any other US or European destinations. European carriers such as Air France, Iberia and Air Europa operate direct flights from mainland Europe. Nearly all international visitors arrive at Caracas' Aeropuerto Internacional Simón Bolívar in Maiquetía, 26km from Caracas. The national carrier is Conviasa.
Caracas, Los Llanos, Gran Sabana, Canaima National Park and Los Roques National Park
(12 Days – Travel Any Day)
Day 1 – Arrive
Caracas Arrive in Maiquetia International Airport and after reception, transfer to your hotel for your overnight stay.
Day 2 – Transferto an Ecological Reserve
Los Llanos Today, depart on your flight to Barinas. Then take a 4-hr transfer across the “Los Llanos”- the plains that extend as far as the eye can see creating a legendary landscape. Stay in a fantastic working cattle ranch, considered an ecological reserve for its varied wildlife.
Overnight at Hato El Cedral (D)
Day 3 – Experience Working of a Ranch
Los Llanos Los Llanos, the vast plains which dominate the central area of Venezuela, are inhabited by more than 50 mammal species, including the well-known capybara, the world’s largest rodent, opossum, tapirs, ocelots and magnificent jaguars, while local rivers are inhabited by fresh-water porpoises and the largest American crocodile, the Orinoco caiman, among a variety of other tropical species.
Enjoy your stay at a working cattle ranch, whose mission is to protect the spectacular wildlife of the Llanos. Morning and afternoon animal-watching excursions are done by open trucks, boat, or on foot
Overnight at Hato el Cedral (B, L, D)
Day 4 – Transfer to “The Lost World”
Gran Sabana Transfer to the airport for your flight to Puerto Ordaz. Meet with our guide and depart in a 4x4 vehicle to La Gran Sabana. En-route, we will pass through old gold mining towns and cross rivers that were believed to be invaded by electric eel. It was one of reasons; the maximum security prison of El Dorado was built there and from where the famous Papillon escaped.
On approach to the Gran Sabana, the vegetation will suddenly change from a dense clutch of vegetation to the great plains of the “The Lost World”, as coined by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. We will continue on to our camp for overnight stay.
Overnight: Chivaton Camp (B, L, D)
Day 5 – Private Touring - Tepuys & Savannas
Gran Sabana In the morning, visit the Indigenous communities and explore the surrounding forest and waterfalls.
After lunch, we will continue to Santa Elena de Uairén, and along the way admire the savanna - a green tapestry interrupted by Moriche or Kuai palms, of great economical importance to the local Pemon community; for making hammocks, baskets and roofs from the fibres; doors and bridges from the wood and flour from the marrow.
Even more charming is the picturesque setting- glimpse the magical tepuys, meaning “mountain” in Pemon, and the Kama Merú waterfall- one of the most beautiful in the Gran Sabana. And from the Nak’piapo view point, you will enjoy the imposing view with several tepuys in the skyline. Continue to Santa Elena de Uairén, next to Brazil, and stay overnight in a simple lodge.
Overnight: Ya-koo Camp in Santa Elena (B, L, D)
Day 6 – Explore Ancient Towns
Gran Sabana Enjoy a brief exploration of the town of Santa Elena de Uairén, followed by visit to gorgeous waterfalls and visit the Indigenous community of San Francisco de Yuruaní. Then to Suruape waterfall for a refreshing and relaxing natural hydro massage.
After lunch, spend some time at the Piscina de Pacheco waterfall, then return to our camp.
Overnight: Ya-koo Camp (B, L, D)
Day 7 – Private Transfer
Canaima National Park Take a private transfer to the airport for your flight to Canaima. Upon arrival, transfer to your lodge.
After lunch, enjoy a fabulous excursion in a local motor canoe, along the Canaima lagoon. Visitors are struck by the immense beauty of the Angel Falls, named after its discoverer the pilot Jimmy Angel. The water and surface foam in the neighbouring rivers and lagoons are usually pink, a phenomenon generated by the presence of tannin, an organic acid produced by vegetation decomposing under the sun.
Overnight: Tapuy Lodge or similar (B, L, D)
Day 8 – Angel Falls Walk
Canaima National Park Today is free for your individual activities with an optional tour to the base of the Angel Falls, Orchid Island, Kavak or Salto El Sapo, all of which are highly recommended.
Overnight: Tapuy Lodge (B, L, D)
Day 9 – Transfer
Los Roques National Park Private transfer to the airport for an optional flight over the Angel Falls, which at 979m high is considered the world’s tallest waterfall and has been nominated as one of the seven natural wonders of the world. The sound of the water falling and the surrounding forest make it one of the most fascinating spots in Venezuela! Later, return to Canaima for your flight to Caracas via Puerto Ordaz.
Upon arrival take your flight to Los Roques and transfer to your Posada.
Overnight: Posada Piano y Papaya or similar (B, L, D)
Days 10 and 11 – Explore Islands
Los Roques National Park These two days are completely dedicated to excursions to the neighbouring islands (Fransisqui & Madrisqui).
Trips to other islands in the archipelago or sports activities such as diving, snorkelling and windsurfing can also be organised.
Overnight: Posada Piano y Papaya or similar (B, D)
Day 12 – Depart
Caracas After breakfast, depart by flight to Caracas. Upon arrival, meet your guide for airport assistance to connect with your onward flight. (B)
The true price is customised based on final choice of hotels, travel dates, and other custom preferences. All prices exclude international flights.
Price Includes: hotels, airport transfers and transportation within the country, unique experiences guided by local experts and 24X7 support during your trip.
Make this your holiday
Overview Venezuela is a country of striking natural beauty; it has the white-sand beaches in the north, the steamy Amazonian jungles in the south, ranges of the snow-capped Andean peaks in the west, and a beautiful Gran Sabana plateau, with its strange flat-topped mountain in the east.
Venezuela also has a few geographical superlatives; it has the world's highest waterfall, South America's biggest lake and the third longest river. It also has jaguars, armadillos and some of the most spectacular landscapes you'll ever see.
Although Venezuela is geographically a part of South America, it has the feel and flavour of a Caribbean country. Its vast palm fringed beaches could easily be mistaken for that of some paradisiacal Caribbean island, and at night the discos in Caracas come alive with rhythms from all over the Caribbean.
Where to go Caracas: Venezuela's capital is a city of soaring skyscrapers and crumbling shanty towns. It is also a surprisingly green city, spread along the fringes of the lush Avila National Park, and is one of Latin America's most cultured capitals, with superb modern art galleries and a thriving theatre scene.
Isla Margarita: Venezuela's prime island beach resort and one of the Caribbean's most popular budget destinations for Europeans and North Americans who want to enjoy sun and surf without seriously denting their wallets.
Islas Los Roques: A corner of paradise is how most visitors describe the archipelago of Los Roques, lying approximately 166 km north of Maiquetía, a small plane flight of about 40 minutes. With some 40 islands and cays large enough to bear names, pristine white sand beaches and crystalline waters, it is one of the country's most popular yet idyllic hideaways.
Orinoco Delta: For millennia, the world's eighth-largest river, the 2,140-km long Orinoco has surged towards the Atlantic, creating some 44 metres of new land each year. With the opening of tourist lodges in the interior of this water wonderland, visitors have a chance to observe its abundant fauna and learn about its original and principal inhabitants, the Warao people.
Angel Falls: The star attraction of Canaima National Park in the vast Gran Sabana, this is the highest (978 metres) and longest (807 metres) free drop of water in the world. The whole region draws adventure seekers, for exploration of its tannin-dyed rivers and mysterious flat-topped tepuyes (plateaus).
Mount Roraima: The biggest and most famous of the hundreds of tepuyes that dominate the horizon of the Gran Sabana in southern Venezuela. Climbers explore its labyrinthine surface, which is pitted with potholes, filled with lush carnivorous plants and bristling with age-worn rockscapes.
The Llanos: Covering nearly a third of Venezuela, from the base of the Andes to the delta of the Orinoco, the vast plains or llanos comprise enormous expanses of land occupied only by huge ranches or hatos. Some of the hatos have established ecotourism camps geared up for safaris of the region's impressive wildlife.
When to go Venezuela’s proximity to the Equator allows few climatic variations making it a year round destination. The best time however, is the dry season, which is more pleasant and runs from December to April. The wet season runs from May to November and is not all that bad for some sights, including the famous Angel Falls that are certainly more impressive in the wet season.
On the coast, there is less rain and fewer mosquitoes, if slightly higher temperatures. In the Andes, it is more difficult and uncomfortable to climb the popular snowcapped peaks in the wet season, when freezing rain and snow are frequent. In Los Llanos, wildlife spottings are much more abundant during the dry season, when the animals congregate at the few watering holes, and hordes of pesky mosquitoes make walking very unpleasant during the wet season. Travel in the Guayana region is more comfortable during the dry season, though Angel Falls tends to be fuller and therefore more spectacular during the wet season.
Venezuelans are great travellers and like to visit their friends and families during the holidays, especially during Christmas, Carnaval (days before the Ash Wednesday) and Semana Santa (Holy week before Easter Sunday). However, these periods are also colourful and entertaining. The average temperature in Venezuela is about 27C, but cooler temperatures prevail at higher elevations, especially in the Andes, where jackets are needed.
Visa Visas for Venezuela are not required by British and other EU countries, Australian and Canadian citizens. However, they require a tourist entry card, which is issued free of charge by an authorised air carrier on presentation of valid air tickets (including return or onward ticket) for stays of up to 90 days. Foreign nationals arriving by sea or land do need a visa in advance from a Venezuelan Embassy or Consulate.
For British Citizens: British nationals arriving by air, can enter Venezuela for up to 90 days on a tourist card issued on arrival. You must have a valid return ticket. If you are arriving overland, or by sea, you must get a visa in advance from your nearest Venezuelan Embassy or Consulate.
Passport validity: Your passport should be valid for a minimum period of 6 months for entry into Venezuela.
Visa information source: www.gov.uk