4 days excursion: Los Llanos

This excursion offers a 4 days/3 nights stay in a working cattle ranch (hato) in the nature reserve of Los Llanos as well as an overnight stay in an Adventure Camp on the River Acequias and includes piraña fishing; guided jungle walks and river trips to see the local plant and animal life; and white-water rafting. The trip begins either in Mérida or Barinas.

Please note that the following itinerary is for your guidance only. The order of the activities may vary without prior notice depending on local weather conditions and your point of arrival and departure.

Crocodile eating a piraña in Los Llanos Cows in Los Llanos Scarlet Ibis Capibaras and ducks in Los Llanos Caimans and turtles in Los Llanos

Daily Itinerary

Day 1

You leave from Mérida in the morning, heading for the hato (cattle ranch) in Los Llanos. On the way you pass by San Rafael de Mucuchíes (3,140 m) and the glacial lake in Mucubají (3,450 m) stopping in some of the small Andean villages in the Sierra Nevada National Park. As you descend from the Andes into the vast Llanos plains, you will begin to notice the wildlife all around you. After a break for lunch, you continue your journey for a few more hours before arriving at the camp, situated near a wildlife sanctuary. Then you have the time to settle in and enjoy a few drinks with the other guests, followed by a light dinner and then bedtime in your mosquito net and hammock.

(- / Lunch / Dinner)

Day 2

After breakfast you take a small boat that will gently drift through wildlife sanctuary where you can see pink dolphins, turtles and alligators as well as a wide variety of birds including ospreys, hoatzins, jacanas, sunbitterns and the great black hawk. You will stop to fish for piraña, the infamous flesh-eating fish that populate the rivers of Los Llanos. These taste great when fried up with a little garlic: so eat them before they eat you!!! After a lazy lunch you will go searching for caiman and anacondas. These snakes can grow to over 8 metres long and can be deadly, but your experienced guides know how to catch and handle them without harming either the snakes or the guests! Once again in the evening after dinner you can enjoy a few drinks with your fellow guests before retiring for the night to your comfortable hammock.

(Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner)

Day 3

After breakfast, you go for a guided walk through the savannah gallery forest, on the lookout for more animals, birds and reptiles. Your guide can explain to you about the characteristics and habits of this abundant local wildlife, as well as other features of life on the plains. After lunch, you say goodbye to the Hato and travel by road for a few hours to the Acequias River, which runs down from the foothills of the Andes Mountains. You spend the night here in an Adventure Camp on the banks of the river, where you have the chance to go white-water rafting before dinner.

(Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner)

Day 4

Breakfast and – if your itinerary permits – back on to the river for a few hours. Then you leave the Camp for the drive either back through the Andes to Mérida, or on to Barinas airport and on to the next part of your Venezuela adventure.

(Breakfast / - / -)

Prices 4 days / 3 nights

Basic accommodation 250 US$

Superior accommodation 325 US$

approx. price per person

What is included?

  • Transport to and from Mérida or Barinas by road
  • Accommodation in the Hato and the Adventure Camp in hammocks or bunk-beds
  • Breakfast, lunch and dinner as indicated in the itinerary
  • Non-alcoholic drinks
  • All excursions (led by English and Spanish speaking guides)

What is not included?

  • Breakfast on Day 1 and Lunch and Dinner on Day 4
  • Alcoholic drinks (available from the hato/camp bar)
  • Snacks between meals (should be purchased before arriving at the hato/camp)
  • Tips for hato/camp staff (cooks, drivers and guides)
  • Personal accident and health insurance
  • Additional expenses encountered because of flight delays, cancellations or missed connections

NB: No refunds will be given if you do not arrive at the pick-up point at the agreed time. If this happens you may have to pay an additional charge for the rescheduled pick-up.

What you need to bring

  • Valid passport/identity card
  • Travel/health insurance
  • Anti-mosquito spray/cream
  • Sun block cream
  • Hiking boots and waterproof coat/trousers
  • Photography equipment
  • Long-sleeve shirt, long trousers and socks to minimize insect bites in the evenings
  • Binoculars
  • Any medication you may need

Other Important Information

Overnight trips in rural areas are not recommended for travellers with serious health problems, as emergency medical treatment is not easily available. If you are taking anti-malarial medicine we recommend Mefloquine because malarial strains in Venezuela are Chloroquine resistant. For those travellers who are taking long trips deep into jungle areas, it is also recommended that you have other vaccines such as Triple Polio, Yellow Fever and Measles.