In recent years, Venezuela has gained a bad reputation amongst international travelers as a dangerous country with a high level of crime, political polarization and insecurity. It is true that Caracas, the capital, is a dysfunctional urban nightmare. Here, the wealthy elite live in comfortable, well-protected communities while on the edges of the city, shanty towns (barrios) of poor people struggle for survival in a culture of drugs, violence, gangs, unemployment, corruption and high inflation. Why would you want to visit this country? The answer lies far away from the concrete jungle of the capital. In the real heartlands of Venezuela, where the natural beauty and biodiversity truly are exceptional.
Your first experience of Venezuela probably will be your arrival in Maiquetía (Caracas) airport, about 25 kms from Caracas. Forget about the city and go into the interior. The real Venezuela is not yet overwhelmed by mass tourism: it is a New World of adventure. In our Eco-camp in the unspoilt Orinoco Delta you can stay amongst the indigenous Warao Amerindians, whose river-based culture gave them the name, ‘the people of the canoe’.
After the Delta you could find yourself on the banks of the impressive Orinoco River in the colonial town of Ciudad Bolívar, where Simon Bolivar – the Liberator – made Venezuela’s history. From there, flying into the beautiful Canaima National Park, you can spend a night on the banks of the spectacular Lagoon. Then travel by canoe and jungle trek to the camp at Angel Falls – the world's highest waterfall – and swim in the cool, clean waters at its base.
If you are physically fit enough to accept the challenge, we offer a demanding 6-day round-trip, cross-country hike to the top of the ancient, formidable Roraima tepui, the highest of the distinctive ‘table mountains’ that tower over the plains and forests of the stunning Gran Sabana. After the trek, you can relax for a day or two in the small, laid-back town of Santa Elena de Uairén – a short ride from the Brazilian border – with its large population of Pemon Amerindian people.
Many of our travel itineraries start or finish on the Caribbean island of Isla Margarita in the small, enchanting fishing town of Juan Griego, where the sun sets over the ocean 365 days a year. On the island you can go on a jeep safari, wind- and kite-surf, horse-ride in the mountains, sail, or simply relax on the golden, sandy beaches where the sun is hot and the rum is cheap. From Margarita you can ‘island-hop’ by small plane to the paradise archipelago of Los Roques, where the clear, blue-green water of the Caribbean Sea is perfect for scuba or snorkeling. From Margarita, you can also fly to the English-speaking Caribbean islands of Trinidad & Tobago, St. Vincent, Grenada and Dominica.
Travelling by plane to El Vigia airport or by inter-city night-bus, you can get to the lively university city of Mérida. Here you can trek, horse-ride or mountain-bike through the foothills of the vast Andes mountains – South America's ‘backbone’. Perhaps you will try a thrilling tandem hang-glider ride; or take an exciting white-water river-rafting trip. In the ranches of Los Llanos, you can do a photo-safari on horseback through this magnificent nature reserve and see exotic animals such as caiman and anaconda.
Take one of our suggested routes, or ask us to plan a trip especially for you. Whatever you need, your great Venezuela Adventure begins right here.