Best places to visit Venezuela

Angel Falls Andes Llanos

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Best places to visit Venezuela

Venezuela is located at the northern coast of South America, where the continent meets the Caribbean Sea. Its myriad landscapes, together with a huge wildlife and vegetal diversity, make Venezuela a singular place. 
Within 916.445 square kilometers surface (twice Spain’s extension), Venezuela offers white sand beaches and blue and turquoise waters, plains of extraordinary beauty and particularly interesting for nature lovers, mountains proudly represented by the Andean Mountain Range and Tepuis, emerging from the dense green of the jungles. All this diversity can be reached in a few days and we Osprey Expeditions can arrange the best experiences. 
 
You will find in Venezuela:
 
The highest waterfall of the world: the Angel Falls
One of the most strange natural phenomenons: The Catatumbo Lightning
The third biggest river in South America: the Orinoco River. 
The longest and highest cable car railway of the world: in Mérida.
The most ancient rocks of the Earth: Guayana’s Massif
43 national parks and 21 natural monuments.
 

Here I enlist the 10 most interesting from my point of view, those that in 20 years with Osprey Expeditions I have been able to define as the most important ones. 

Canaima National Park

Canaima National Park was decreed as such by the National Government on June 12th, 1962, with an area of one million hectares (1,000,000 Ha.), which was increased to three million hectares (3,000,000 Ha.) on October 10th, 1975, making it one of the largest national parks in the world.  It is located in Venezuela’s Guayana region, South of the Orinoco River, in the Gran Sabana Autonomous Municipality and the Sifontes Municipality in Bolívar State.
Canaima National Park is truly one of the world’s greatest natural wonders, op by its very size and because of its joi spectacular scenery and vast natural resources. It is crossed by huge rapids as well as slow, majestic rivers, which flow TI in marked contrast to the thick jungle of this paradise, reflecting the variety of green hues as they blend with the water. On the plains, the rivers weave across the open grasslands, interrupting their course only at the many indescribable waterfalls that are the common feature of Guayana, Venezuela.
The rolling scenery meets the legendary tepuis, table-top mountains which rise abruptly, with polychromatic vertical walls transporting the spectator back over thousands of years and showing
the Earth’s physio chronology as if in an open book. Exuberant wildlife and flora = join in a variegated concert of living beings, with intense color and light in harmonious natural surroundings.
The daily spectacle includes jungles, forest, grasslands, mountains, strong winds and torrential rains, which give way to wide, blue skies.
In this landscape beyond comparison one cannot forget the human element Indian communities found in Canaima National Park are made up of members of the Pemón group. Even though they have been influenced by other cultures as a whole, they maintain their own culture and traditions.
Canaima is The Lost World, a place to be revered and preserved.

Tepuis
Among the main features in Canaima National Park, we find the tepuis with their vertical walls carved by the erosion of millions of years. Tepui walls are composed of poly chrome sandstone, quartz and agglomerates, which emerge abruptly out of the grasslands and thick jungles.
Tepuis have flat, slightly sloping tops, where plant life is endemic. Scientific men have termed the table-tops island in time or ecological islands.
The very peculiarities of these mountains, especially the plant life at the table-tops, make these ecosystems unique. Rising up through the clouds, the beholder cannot help but feel he is traveling back in time.

Climate
Most Canaima National Park is under the influence of Equatorial Climate.
The park’s average temperature is 10°C to 21°C.   The average annual precipitation varies between 1,500 and with rather pronounced two seasons: period of relative dryness between January and April, and rainy season between May and December.

Geology
The most ancient rock formations in the world’s geo chronology are found in Canaima National Park. Dating from the Precambrian period, they are assumed to have been formed between 1,5 and 2 billion years ago. These rock formations belong to the Guayana Shield

All these places look great, right?
To be frank, Canaima is just full of many places like them, there are 1000’s of waterfalls, caves, canyons, grottos, rock formations, unique spots that would be a Top notch attraction anywhere else but they are still not even photographed/named/ known in Canaima or Venezuela.
Distances are huge! You see the map and they look so close, looks like a walk in the park but in reality you need to join an expedition and have a big budget, logistics to reach them.
For Angel Falls you need a minimum of 4 full days.  There are flights on Thursdays and Sundays, only one airline available. We have departures at least once a month and run our expeditions with small groups only.  Keep reading our website, sure you will find more valuable information. 
Roraima, you need a minimum of 6 days for the trek + 2-3 travel days. We have at least 1 departure every 2 months. 
Let's talk about the different possibilities we can offer you 

Ben Rodriguez

Top destinations in Canaima National Park

Angel Falls Venezuela

Angel Falls

It is the world’s tallest uninterrupted waterfall, with a height of 979 metres. The waterfall starts on the top of the Auyán-tepui mountain in the Canaima National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage site in the region of Bolívar State, Venezuela.

Mount Roraima

is one of the world’s most extraordinary natural geological formations and the highest of South America’s Pakaraima Mountains. The 31-square-kilometer summit area is defined by 400-meter-tall cliffs on all sides and includes the borders of Brazil, Venezuela, and Guyana.

Venezuela Tours
Best places to visit Venezuela

Gran Sabana

is a region in southeastern Venezuela that offers one of the most unusual landscapes in the world, with rivers, waterfalls and gorges, deep and vast valleys, as well as impenetrable jungles and savannas. The region also hosts the isolated tabletop mesas known as tepuis.

Los Roques Archipelago

Some 42 small islands surrounding a lagoon of around 400km. Toward the Northeast rise the scanty heights of El Gran Roque, with its three lighthouses and a mesh work of little houses which once belonged to the fishermen, those that came from Margarita Island. The rest of the archipelago are flat and deserted keys, populated by an abundant variety of birds. But the real treasure of Los Roques begins where the land ends, and extends down to the depths of the sea. Here, where all the unimaginable greens and blues mix, the coral reefs gather thousands of species in an underwater world as spectacularly beautiful as it is fragile. Bathed by the light of the tropics, the changing depth of the Los Roques sea presents the visitor with a paradise lavished by dazzling colors, where the smallest space is densely populated and luxuriously built by marine creatures.
 
Although the name is Los Roques, there are hardly any rocks to be found. The only rocks on the island end in the cliffs of El Gran Roque and the archipelago could well have adopted another name, more in accordance with the landscape. The sand and the sea have it all, they only await the visitor. At the end of the day, there cannot be any other place in the world where the light has placed itself in accordance with all the corners so as to be the most perfect of hostesses. 
 
Marine Ecosystems
The rich variety of the species in the archipelago impresses. Its coral reefs hold great value with regard to biological, ecological, physiographic and scenic elements; the marine fauna and other forms of oceanic life they hold constitute the richest and most important natural resource, infinitely more than the species found on land.
The coral reefs are exceptionally varied environments in habitats where fluctuations in temperature, small areas of rough and calm waters, bright and shady areas with an abundance of nutrients are generated. Some species of fish, such as ocean surgeonfish, angelfish, the spotfin butterflyfish have adapted specially to on the coral reef; the flashy cleaner fish clean other fish; the parrotfish scrape polyps off the calcareous surface of the corals with their mandibles. In the areas surrounding the reef there are barracudas, nurse sharks, various species of rays and manta rays; enormous screens of plankton. The snappers, yellowtail snappers and groupers are of great commercial value and of even greater value is the spiny lobster, since more than 90% of national production comes from Los Roques.
 
Another underwater ecosystem is composed of seagrass beds: unlike algae, they are flowering plants which, like terrestrial plants, reproduce themselves​  ​means of their fruits. They are found in bright shallow waters, in depths which range from 0.5 to 6 meters. They 5; form dark zones in lagoons of low depth behind coraline y barriers; or are located in mangrove swamps, where they all make up the ideal substratum to keep these plants firm. The most common species are the turtle grass, the 7 favorite food of green turtles, parrotfish and surgeonfish; and the manatee grass, the leaves of which resemble } spaghetti. Hundreds of fish find the seagrass beds to be the perfect labyrinth, filled with nutrients, to spawn, live out their young life and hide from their enemies. It also serves as a refuge for cushion sea stars and sea cucumbers, sea worms and mollusks like the much sought queen conch, one of the best snails of the Caribbean, with a pinkish shell and much appreciated meat. The queen conch has been commercialized on a large scale as a typical dish of some Caribbean islands. Moreover, it has had aphrodisiac qualities attributed to it and its shells have been widely used in religious ceremonies, as domestic utensils and as souvenirs. Hence, like turtles, its capture has been prohibited as its populations have been affected.
 
Geology
The Los Roques Archipelago is a formation whose foundation originated the Cretaceous period (approximately 130 million years a period in which the igneous-metamorphosed rocks which the Archipelago now composed, began to shape. Subsequently, during the Tertiary Period, the form was uplifted, remaining relatively close to the face of the sea.
On this platform, which today only emerges in the ed areas of El Gran Roque, layers of calcareous sediment were deposited, caused by the action of marine currents​  ​and in particular by the crumbling of coral, mollusk shells and the skeletons of other marine organisms.
 
Starting from the Pleistocene epoch, towards the end of the last glaciation 15-19 thousand years later, the ice began to melt. The coral reefs expanded with the increase in sea levels, giving rise to the North and South Barriers which served as protection for inner areas, thus leading to the formation of keys. Since then, specific conditions of temperature, salinity, clarity and depth of the waters have kept stable creating a suitable environment in which corals, calcareous algae, mollusks and other organisms have managed to survive and preserve the reef structure.
Location: In the Caribbean Sea, to the open north of Venezuela‘s central coast and at a distance of 166 kms (84 nautical miles). 
Surface: 221.120 hectares. 
Climate: Warm and dry. Temperatures ranging from 28,9 to 33.9°C in July and lows of 23.6°C in January. The days are sunny and hot and the nights are cool. 
How to get to Los Roques: By commercial and charter flights from Caracas. 
 

Are these the best beaches of Venezuela?
Not really!
We have so many great beach locations here and Los Roques are surely one of them.
You only reach Los Roques by plane, there are 1 or 2 departures per day and they all depart from Caracas Airport only.
The Posadas in Los Roques have a good standard but they can be pricey sometimes, for example a decent place to stay can be around US$ 100 per person per night with 3 meals.
Feel free to contact us and let's explore all beach possibilities in Venezuela.

Ben Rodriguez
Director

Orinoco Delta

The Orinoco Delta (known in Venezuela as Delta Amacuro State), is a largely undeveloped complex of tropical wetlands and shallow aquatic ecosystems within the coastal plain of eastern Venezuela that covers an area of about 30,000 square kilometers on both banks of the Orinoco river which runs through almost all of Venezuela and part of Colombia with hundreds branches. The Orinoco is the second largest river in South America after the Amazon and the fourth largest in the world.

The easiest way to explore the diversity of the Orinoco Delta is directly on the river. A tour on the Orinoco brings out the spectacular views of this spectacular river delta. Small boats, from motorized excursion boats to rustic dugout canoes, allow our clients to immerse themselves in the lush and dense green world of tropical sensations.

The fauna of the Orinoco Delta is as diverse as its flora. The most likely things to be heard and seen are the colorful parrots, macaws, birds and butterflies, as well as the howler monkeys and capuchin monkeys. Along the banks and in the water are numerous fish, including the infamous Piranhas, caimans and freshwater dolphins.

Warao Indians - Original inhabitants of the Orinoco Delta

Despite its apparent untouchedness, the jungle in the Orinoco Delta is inhabited by people. The Warao, an Indian people, have settled mainly on the river banks arms and live completely in harmony with nature.   

The Warao, some 35,000 by recent count, are so well adapted to their habitat that they are often said to learn to swim and handle their canoes before they learn to walk. As their name War-aroas, canoe-people, indicates, these craft form the basis for their mode of life. Without them they could not fish for the morocotos the caños, nor get to their fields in the clearings they prepare each year in the forests of the innumerable islands. Each family possess at least one canoe, and men, women and children all handle them with great dexterity in the unmapped maze of rivers which so terrified early explorers.
These dugouts are made in all sizes from less than two meters long, piloted by three- and four-year-olds, to huge cargo craft, 10 m. or more long, which hold 40 to 50 people. Giant sassafras and ceiba trees are preferred for the construction of the latter, both for their size and for the durability of their wood, which will last for 10 years in service. Woodskin boats, made from the bark of the copaiba tree, are also used in the quieter waters of the side caños.
Palafitos, rectangular pile dwellings supported on the trunks of moriche palms sunk through the mud into firmer ground, are typical of the Warao houses in the Bajo Delta. (On the higher ground farther east, huts without piles are built.) Walkways, also supported on piles, connect the various houses of the Bajo Delta villages.
The platform, or floor of the dwelling, is made of two layers of split palm trunks-an almost indestructible wood-covered with a layer of clay. Two central forked posts support the ridgepole. The roof is thatched with the fronds of the temiche palm, which grows on the higher ground within 200 meters of the river. The ends and sides of the house are open, but the roof slopes nearly to the level of the floor.
Although most of their villages are concentrated near the Atlantic, the Warao often travel 10 to 15 hours or more to Tucupita or Barrancas to trade.
The moriche palm is the life-giving tree of the Warao. From it they extract flour, called yuruma, for making bread; fat grubs which they eat fried, boiled or raw; and a wine called guarapo de moriche, a sweet, gummy, sap-like liquid from which they make a drink they call mojobo. The moriche seeds are also eaten. After leaving them in the mud of the river bank for a week or sone soften, they prepare a delicious dish with them, which they sweeten with honey. The top of to palm sprout is beaten, split and twisted into strands used to make their chinchorros, alpargatas and the quadrangular curiara sails. This fiber is also twisted into heavier cords and ropes.
The tender lower part of the sprout of the manaca palm, known outside the delta as Hearts of Palm, is here called yabakaba.
Home industries of the Warao include the making of wax candles to light their houses; oil of the castor bean, excellent, they say, for rheumatism and cuts; sassafras oil, which also has medicinal virtues; and sejo, a palm tree oil which not only has curative properties, but which is as good as olive oil for frying foods.
The Warao weave marvelous moriche baskets, some of which are worked in designs. They dye their moriche fibers with extracts from the moriche and other nuts and seeds, and from the bark of various trees. The most intricate and rarest weaves come from Nabasanuka. Baskets are also made from the small cane called itirite, used also by the Panare tribes south of the Orinoco for their wapas, baskets.
 
 
Location: Delta Amacuro, Monagas and Sucre State, Eastern Venezuela.
Surface: 43.646 Square Kilometers
Climate: Temperatures average 26˚C, with a relative humidity of approximately 75%.
How to get to Orinoco Delta:  By commercial flight to Maturin or Puerto Ordaz and then a car transfer to the Orinoco pier. 

Choroni

Located on the outskirts of the coastal mountain range and hidden in the mountains of Henri Pittier National Park, Aragua State, 162 km from Caracas,  It is a fishermen village with a population estimated at under 5.000 inhabitants where major industries consist of fishing, growing cacao, and tourism.  

From Maracay, the state capital, a distance of 40 minutes by car separates the city from this wonderful destination. 
The access road is narrow and has sharp curves, so it is recommended to do it during the day. 

Playa Grande, one of the top beaches of Venezuela, can be reached at a short distance walk, it is well endowed with a gastronomic offer made up of a wide variety of fish. The beach is bordered by an extensive forest of coconut palms.  You can also visit the Mirador after walking up hundreds of steps that can be a challenge for many and enjoy a 360º view of the town, this is a great spot to enjoy the sunset. 

Local fishermen offer boat rides to Chuao (20mins) a cocoa plantation coastal village and Cepe  (30mins), where other activities such as diving, snorkeling or kitesurfing can be done.

Choroni is the best value for your money. I always recommend this place to all my clients, I love Playa Grande and the feeling of freedom feeling you get from the streets of Choroni. Here you can find accommodation from US$ 30 with a nice location and service. You can also find crazy prices and high standard accommodation for those who can afford a higher standard. 

Ben Rodriguez
Location: 162 kms away of Caracas, in Henri Pittier National Park 
Climate: Warm and dry. Temperatures ranging from 34 to 37°C.  Some rains may fall between August and October.
Currency: Bolívar. Some stores, hotels and restaurants will accept the US dollar. Most establishments will accept credit cards.
How to get to Choroni: By local bus from Maracay Terminal or with a private transfer that we can arrange. 
 

Margarita Island

Few places on earth seem like paradise. If there were many which seemed like the site of perpetual happiness then we wouldn’t appreciate joy when we find it, as we do in Margarita Island. To some it is pleasing because of the tropical light which bathes the island, while others think its beauty stems from a geographic site which has the aura of a brilliant jewel in a blue-green setting. Whatever the reason, Margarita Island is a lovely place to visit. Its superb beaches are enough to delight anyone, but add to these the mysterious region of Macanao and La Restinga isthmus with its intricate mangroves. In its coastal towns and villages the Spanish past lingers in colonial castles and churches while further inland the warmth of the tropics gives life to lush vegetation that crowds the slopes of the high central hill of the island.
 
Location: Margarita is a Caribbean island off the northwest coast of Venezuela. Together with the islands of Coche and Cubagua, form Nueva Esparta State.
Surface: 940 square kilometers.
Climate: Warm and dry. Temperatures ranging from 34 to 37°C.  Some rains may fall between August and October.
Currency: Bolívar. Some stores, hotels and restaurants will accept the US dollar. Most establishments will accept credit cards.
Transportation: Margarita has excellent highways. Only access to some beaches in Macanao requires 4-wheel drive vehicles. Public transportation lines service most of the tourist sites on the island.
Car rentals: The main rent-a-car services are at the Airport. 
How to get to Margarita: By commercial and charter flights from Caracas, El Vigia, Barquisimeto and Maracaibo.  Ferry service from Puerto La Cruz, Guanta and Cumana
 

Merida & Andes

Mérida, the highest state in the Andes, is called the Techo de Venezuela (the Roof of Venezuela), and is the only place in the country where you can see mountain peaks with perpetual snow. That it is a rigorous area to farm can be seen by the omnipresent walls made from the stones at have been cleared from the fields before cultivation could take place. Some fields even have neat piles of stones in the center, there having been a surfeit of stones for wall-building. Low circular stone walls enclose grain-threshing floors into which mares are turned to thresh the wheat, and the foundations of the houses and granaries are also of stone.
Much Inca-type terracing is evident. Historians believe that the entire Andean region was influenced by the high civilizations of Colombia and Peru, and that the names of the Indian tribes living here may have been Aymara or Quechua. The ancient Peruvians are said to have called small populations or farms situated on a mountain or high hill andes.
Wheat and potatoes are the principal crops of highland Mérida and at almost any time these industrious mountain farmers can be seen working in their fields and terraces, planting, cultivating or harvesting their crops.
or harvesting the crops.
Not all of Mérida is mountainous, however. The state boundaries include a completely tropical zone bordering the Pan-American Highway, and even an outlet to Lake Maracaibo at Palmarito, where the state government has built a balneario called the Palmarito Beach Resort.
 

The Mountains of South America

The origin of the Andean system is the same global geo logical event that gave birth to the Himalayas, the Alps and the Rocky Mountains. This long range of mountains faces the Pacific Ocean on the west and the Amazon and Orinoco basins on the east of the continental mass. Its expanse through seven countries-Chile, Argentina, Peru, Bolivia, Ecuador, Colombia and Venezuela– shelters a great ecological and cultural diversity. The Venezuelan Andes represent the northernmost branch of this impres sive range; by the Maracaibo Lake it forks to the Caribbean coast as the Perijá Sierra, and to the northeast as the Mérida Cordillera.

The world's longest and highest cable car

Mérida’s cable car takes the visitor from the city, at 4,914 feet, to Espejo peak, 14,295 feet above sea level, in four stages along 7.8 miles Just the ride up to one of the highest peaks in Venezuela is reason enough to visit the Teleférico, as the local people call it, but an added attrac tion is to watch the different sierra ecosystems pass slowly below.
 
From each station the visitor can go for hikes and venture into the beauty of the cloud forests, the páramos or the eternal snows. The most popular excursion is a 4-hour mule ride from the Loma Redonda station to the town of Los Nevados, across the Páramo de La Media Luna up to one of the most beautiful sites in the heart of the moun tains. Recently built, a precipitous dirt road reaches Los Nevados from the village of El Morro; however, many people prefer the beauty and safety of going up on foot or by mule.

Amazing places, unique experiences...