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Angel Falls and Orinoco
15 days
Venezuela - Trip code AF

Angel Falls and Orinoco

Experience the diversity of little-known Venezuela as we travel to some of the most remote regions of the country. We witness the culture of the Warao indigenous community in the Orinoco Delta and explore the natural surroundings of mangrove creeks. We spend four days travelling by motorised canoe to the spectacular Angel Falls and discover the wildlife of Los Llanos Wetlands including alligators, anacondas and giant anteaters.

Trip highlights

  • Orinoco Delta - Visit a Warao Indian community and witness their culture, as well as the natural surroundings of mangrove creeks with their fascinating flora and fauna
  • Angel Falls - Five day boat trip down the Akanan and Carrao rivers towards the base of Angel Falls by canoe
  • Los Llanos - Discover the wildlife of the wetlands including alligators, anacondas and giant anteaters
Accommodation grade:
Simple
These are often small, family run establishments or campsites which provide a no-frills experience with adequate amenities and service standards. Sleeping arrangements are simple, sometimes with en suite facilities.
Trip pace:
Moderate
Moderate pace tours are ideal if you want a holiday which combines exciting activities and experiences with plenty of time to relax and unwind. Typically you’ll be active and busy for part of the day but then also have time to rest and recharge your batteries.
Group Size:
10 - 16
Maximum group size ranges from between 6 to 20 people, depending on the type of trip, the transport and accommodation used and activities included. We rarely have groups that are smaller than five or six people and the average is 12 people plus an Explore leader.

Itinerary

Itineraries on some departure dates may differ, please select the itinerary that you wish to explore.

Day 1 - Join tour in Caracas

Arrive in Caracas and check-in to hotel.

Accommodation: Hotel Avila(or similar)

Standard Hotel
Swimming pool available
Single room available
Meals Provided: None
Day 2 - Fly to Maturin; drive to San Jose de Buja and boat to the Orinoco Delta

We take a flight eastwards along the rugged Caribbean coastline before flying inland across the plains to Maturin, the capital of Monagas state and an important commercial centre. From here we descend to the great plain of Monagas and then head towards a small port, San Jose de Buja, on the banks of the Morichal Largo River. Here we board the river boat that will take us into the maze of creeks and channels that form the delta of the Orinoco River. As we travel we see a variety of birds and perhaps even dolphins; there is also the chance of seeing the rare manatee. Tonight we stay in a comfortable rustic camp beds or hammocks.

Accommodation: Morichal Largo River Camp(or similar)

Simple Camping
Meals Provided: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Day 3 - Boat journey into the delta, visit a Warao Indian community

This morning we take an early boat journey into the misty silence of the tranquil delta at dawn, hoping to catch a glimpse of further fauna before breakfast. After breakfast we will take an excursion to visit a Warao Indigenous community, try our hand at piranha fishing and explore the maze of channels in the delta. The name Warao comes from War-aroa, meaning 'people of the canoes' and even the youngest children are able to swim and paddle canoes almost as soon as they can walk. Dugout canoes, which form the basic mode of transport in the delta, vary from two to ten meters in length and are used both for fishing and for going to the clearings in the jungle cultivated by the villagers. The Warao's proximity to nature is reflected in the excellence of their delicate basket-work and hand-woven hammocks of moriche palm, which can be purchased locally.

Accommodation: Morichal Largo River Camp(or similar)

Simple Camping
Meals Provided: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Day 4 - Return to San Jose de Buja; drive to Ciudad Bolivar

Returning to Buja, we then continue by road and cross the mighty Orinoco River near Puerto Ordaz, a large industrial centre, important to the Venezuelan economy because of the processing of bauxite into aluminium and iron ore into steel. We continue to Ciudad Bolivar, arriving in the late afternoon.

Accommodation: Hotel Laja Real(or similar)

Standard Hotel
Meals Provided: Breakfast & Lunch
Day 5 - Fly to Kavac, optional Kavak Waterfall and Canyon

From Ciudad Bolivar on the Orinoco, we fly south to the Pemon Indian settlement of Kavac in the Kamarata valley. Here we enjoy the breath taking wilderness and prepare for our exciting river trip. We fly over the vast bulk of Auyantepui (the Devil's Mountain) and, weather permitting, hope to see Angel Falls from the air. This is included in the dry season and optional in the wet season. On arrival at Kavac there may be the opportunity to visit Kavac Canyon (optional).

Accommodation: Camping at Kavac(or similar)

Simple Camping
Meals Provided: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Day 6 - Motorised canoe to Iwana Meru

This morning we have some free time with the possibility of visiting an Indian plantation or walking up to a lookout for a breathtaking view of the Kamarata Valley. We then cross the plain by vehicle to the village of Kamarata, following in the footsteps of Ruth Robinson who, funded by the National Geographic Society, in 1949 organized the first expedition, led by Alexander Laime, to the base of the falls and measured their height. We board our motorised canoes and begin our exciting journey to Angel Falls. Today we will sleep in hammocks near the Akanan River.

Accommodation: Iwana Camping(or similar)

Simple Camping
Meals Provided: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Day 7 - Motorised canoe to Angel Falls

For the next three days we make our way round the imposing flat-topped bulk of Auyan-Tepui by river - a journey relatively few people have experienced. Our skilled Indian boatmen guide their 10m craft through the rapids and whirlpools of the river, whilst all around is virgin forest where brightly plumed birds break the eerie silence with their strident calls. During our river journey we stay in Spartan accommodation, sleeping in hammocks with mosquito nets, so be prepared to rough it a bit - the experience is well worth it. Today we will continue downriver to the Carrao river and either camp at Arenal or, if we arrive early and the water levels permit, continue to our camp at Ratoncito Island at the base of the falls.

Accommodation: Arenal Camp(or similar)

Simple Camping
Meals Provided: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Day 8 - Launch to Angel Falls, trek to the lookout

In the wet season, when there is enough water, it is possible to reach Ratoncito campsite from where we will take a hike to Alexander Laime's look out. The walk is through light jungle on marked trails climbing about 250m in altitude, sturdy footwear is recommended as the trail is quite steep in places. From the lookout, we can feel the spray from the falls and if tthe current isn't strong, we can swim in a pool at the base of the falls. Discovered only in 1933 by the pilot-adventurer Jimmy Angel who was searching for gold, the falls are a spectacle of extraordinary beauty as they leap some 975m off the top of the mesa and plunge to the foot of the gorge.

Accommodation: Angel Falls Camp(or similar)

Simple Camping
Meals Provided: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Day 9 - Motorised canoe to Canaima, fly to Caracas

On our final day on the river, we continue to Canaima. On arrival, there is a chance to visit Salto el Sapo nearby. At this waterfall it is possible to walk behind the curtain of falling water as it tumbles into the lagoon (approximately one hour). Canaima is located on a wide stretch of the Carrao River known as Canaima Lagoon. Facing us is the beautiful sweep of the Hacha Falls which continuously pour amber-tinted water (from the tannin leached from the rainforest) into the lagoon. With the backdrop of distant and mysterious tepuis and a foreground of a sandy beach and palm trees, this is a fitting final highlight to our river journey of adventure. We then transfer to the airport where we will board our charter plane to Puerto Ordaz where we will catch our scheduled flight to Caracas.

Accommodation: Hotel Ole Caribe(or similar)

Standard Hotel
Single room available
Meals Provided: Breakfast & Lunch
Day 10 - Fly to Barinas, drive to Canafistola ranch

Today we fly to Barinas or Barquismeto, depending on flight availability, and drive to Canafistola ranch. Situated at either side of the Andes, these dynamic cities provide a gateway for travellers to Venezuela's Hot Plains, or Llanos, home to more than 100 species of mammals and reptiles including alligators, anacondas, anteaters and capybaras. This vast area contained between the Andes and the Orinoco is the largest wilderness area in Venezuela.

Accommodation: Canafistola Game Ranch(or similar)

Simple Hotel
Meals Provided: Breakfast
Day 11 - Discover the Canafistola wildlife, boat trip and piranha fishing

On our stay at a working cattle ranch we hope to see alligator, anaconda, capabari, turtle, freshwater dolphin and armadillo. We may be lucky enough to spot the huge Orinoco crocodile and the giant anteater as well as over 100 of the 750 species of birds found in the area. We may also see the Venezuelan cowboys close up as they work with the cattle on the ranch. We will have an opportunity to fish in the rivers where we can expect to catch piranhas!

Accommodation: Canafistola Game Ranch(or similar)

Simple Hotel
Meals Provided: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Day 12 - Morning wildlife viewing, afternoon travel to Barinas

Today we continue to explore Canafistola in the morning and in the afternoon we make the return drive to Barinas, hopefully spotting some wildlife on the way out of the area.

Accommodation: Hosteria Los Guasimitos(or similar)

Standard Hotel
Swimming pool available
Meals Provided: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Day 13 - Journey to the Caribbean foothills, overnight in La Colonia Tovar

This day begins with an early start as we have a long days' driving ahead to the Caribbean foothills. We intend to reach Colonia Tovar early evening.

Accommodation: Hotel Freiiburg(or similar)

Standard Hotel
Single room available
Meals Provided: Breakfast
Day 14 - Explore La Colonia Tovar

The attractive village of La Colonia Tovar is nestled in the cloud forest to the east of Henri Pittier National Park. Founded by German settlers in 1843, the villagers\ Black Forest ancestry is reflected in their architecture and clothing. Today the Colonia Tovar is a quiet farming community, dedicated to producing temperate climate fruit and vegetables.

Accommodation: Hotel Freiiburg(or similar)

Standard Hotel
Single room available
Meals Provided: Breakfast
Day 15 - Tour ends Caracas Airport

The tour ends at Caracas Airport.

Meals Provided: Breakfast

What's included?

Included meals
  • Breakfast: 14
  • Lunch: 10
  • Dinner: 8
Transport
  • Bus
  • Boat
  • Flight
Trip staff
  • Explore Tour Leader
  • Boat Crew
  • Driver(s)
Accommodation
  • 6 nights simple camping
  • 6 nights standard hotel
  • 2 nights simple hotel
Award Winning Explore Leaders
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Price Guarantee Promise
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Airport Transfers
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FairFX currency card
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Trip information

Country information

Venezuela Trips

Climate

Tropical with little seasonal change in temperature, but great variation with altitude. It can be hot at midday, but cold at night. The rainy season is from June to November. Caracas can be cool at night, especially December to February.

Time difference to GMT

-5

Plugs

2 Pin Flat

Religion

92% Roman Catholic

Language

Spanish

Budgeting and packing

Optional activities

Kamarata - Visit Kavak Canyon US$ 20. Angel Falls - Overflight (wet season) US$ 70. Canaima - Visit El Sapo Waterfall US$ 10.

Clothing

You will need loose-fitting, comfortable clothes for hot, humid conditions. Caracas can be cool at night during the winter months (December to February), so a fleece is advised. Lightweight waterproofs (inc trousers) and plastic bags to keep clothing dry are essential. Also bring a sun hat, long sleeved shirts and trousers to protect from the sun.

Footwear

Lightweight trail boots and sandals for travelling. Whilst on the river you will need tennis shoes/trainers/river shoes, which you don't mind getting wet, to protect your feet.

Luggage

20kg

Luggage: On tour

You need 3 bags for this tour: 1) Main luggage (holdall); 2) Smaller bag/daypack for your immediate requirements; 3) Soft small bag for gear you will need to take to the Delta. Your main luggage will be taken to the hotel in Ciudad Bolivar. Total allowance: 10kg for internal flights

Equipment

Bring a 2-season sleeping bag and a sleeping bag liner, a head torch (and spare batteries), a towel, toilet roll and a water bottle. High factor suncream, insect repellent, inflatable cusion (helps with the sitting in boats!) and bio degradeable soap. Large plastic bags to keep personal equipment dry are also essential. Water purification tablets are useful. Please note that mosquito nets are provided with hammocks. Rooms are normally screened where necessary, but mosquito nets are provided whilst camping. Please note: Any equipment you bring is included in your luggage allowance. Whilst full provision has been made for your trip our local representative in Venezuela is recommending that you bring a few personal items with you as a precaution due to current shortages in Venezuela. These include - toilet paper, tea and any necessary sanitary items that you might require. If you find that you don't use all or any of the items, we would recommend donating them to local communities who are in short supply.

Tipping

Explore leader
At your discretion you might also consider tipping your Tour Leader in appreciation of the efficiency and service you receive.
Local crew
Although entirely voluntary, tipping is a recognised part of life in this region of the world. Some local staff will look to members of the group for personal recognition of particular services provided. Accordingly, you should allow US$ 50 for tipping. In order to make things easier for you, the Tour Leaders may organise a group's tips kitty and if this is the case, they will account for it throughout the tour.
Country Information

Venezuela Trips

Food and drink

The costs for meals may vary depending upon location, type of restaurant and number of courses eaten and so the prices given are an average guide. Local restaurants located off the beaten track may be less expensive, whereas an upmarket restaurant located in the centre of a major city may charge more.


Dinner price
£8.00 - 10.00
Beer price
£1.5
Water price
£0.9
Foreign Exchange
Local currency
Venezuelan Bolivar.
Recommended Currency For Exchange
Carry all your funds in US cash NOT Sterling or Travellers Cheques which are more difficult to exchange. We recommend to take a minimum of US$400-$500 of your total spending money in cash, in mixed denominations. Notes should be in good condition otherwise they might be difficult to exchange.
Where To Exchange
Consult with the TL before changing
ATM Availability
Available in Major towns. Always have some cash as back-up as they are not always reliable
Credit Card Acceptance
Credit cards are useful and can be used in many places, but may be subject to a 10% service charge
Travellers Cheques
Travellers Cheques can be awkward or expensive to change.

Transport, Accommodation & Meals

Transport Information

Bus, Boat, Flight

Essential information

FCO Advice

We strongly recommend that you check your government's travel advisory for up-to-date information and advice about your destination: safety and security, entry requirements, health, local laws and customs. For UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office advice click here.

For more information from Explore about travel advice, click here
 

Under 18 immigration guidance

Please note that some countries require proof of parental consent when travelling overseas with under 18s. Please check requirements with the relevant embassy or consular office well in advance of travel if this applies to your party.

Essential Information

Once your booking has been confirmed we guarantee the price will not increase, whatever the circumstances. Before booking please ensure you have read our important tour pricing information.Booking Conditions

Visa Information

Venezuela: Citizens from UK, New Zealand, Australia, New Zealand and Canada require a Venezuelan Tourist Card to enter. This is obtained from the check-in desk of the airline or on arrival and needs to be kept until exit. Other nationalities should consult the relevant consulate. On March 3 2015, the Venezuelan Embassy in Washington, DC posted updated tourist visa information for U.S. citizens planning travel to Venezuela. All U.S. citizens must have a tourist visa and should plan to apply for a visa three months in advance of travel and expect to pay $30 for a one-year, multiple-entry visa good for a 90 day stay in Venezuela. USA: (including those in transit) Citizens of the UK, New Zealand, Australia, Canada and passport holders from several EU countries can enter the United States without a visa under the Visa Waiver Program (VWP) - where you apply for an ESTA (Electronic System for Travel Authorisation), which applies if you enter the country by sea or by air. This must be done on line - https://esta.cbp.dhs.gov no later than 72 hours prior to travel. Travellers who have not registered before their trip are likely be refused boarding. You must have an electronic passport with a digital chip containing biometric information about the passport owner. UK passports which are biometric feature a small gold symbol (camera) at the bottom of the front cover. If you have visited Iraq, Syria, Iran or Sudan since 2011 or are dual nationals of these countries, you cannot travel with an ESTA and instead you will need to apply for a visa from the nearest US Embassy or Consulate. If you are unable to provide a valid visa before boarding flights to the US, or entering via another method, you may not be permitted to travel. Please note for your ESTA application you will be required to supply Point of Contact information. Explore' s USA contact information will be listed on your final documentation which you will receive approximately 3-4 weeks before departure. If you are leaving for the USA before this, please call the Explore team to get this information.(Not necessary if in transit) For further information please check out the US embassy website. Visa applications - http://london.usembassy.gov/niv/apply.html Canada: An electronic travel authorisation (ETA) is required by British citizens transiting via Canada. For more information see the official Canadian government website: http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/visit/eta.asp Other nationalities should consult their local embassy or consular office.


If you do require assistance in obtaining a visa then you may consider applying through Explore's recommended visa service in the UK, Travcour. See www.travcour.com to download the relevant visa application for your trip, if applicable (UK citizens only), along with details of how to apply for your visa through Travcour. The Team at Travcour will be happy to answer specific questions relating to visa applications, please call them directly on 0208 5431846.

Booking conditions

Before booking your Explore trip, please ensure that you read both our Essential Information and Booking Conditions.

Transfers

Find out more about Trip Transfer Terms and Conditions before you book.

Booking a land only package with Explore

Customers who have chosen to book on the ‘Land Only’ arrangements of our tour, please ensure that you have checked your tour specific ‘Joining Instructions’ prior to booking your own travel arrangements. Your joining instructions can be found below in the dates and prices information. 

You may also be eligible for the Free Explore Transfer.


Joining Tour Abroad

Customers booked on the ‘Land Only’ arrangements will now receive a Free Transfer, provided you arrive and depart on the tour only itinerary start and end dates. The transfers will be from the Explore designated airport or train station to the joining point of your tour, and then back from the ending point to the designated airport or train station. The exception to this rule is customers who are booked on a tour where the joining and ending point is at the designated airport or train station.  

Free transfers are not available for Self-Guided, Tailormade or Tours for Churches customers.

If you are not eligible for the Free Transfer then you will need to make your own way through to the joining and ending point. On a majority of our tours Explore will be able to provide a private transfer at an additional cost. Please ask for a quote at the time of booking.  


For more information regarding the Explore Free Transfer click here

Insurance

It is a condition of booking with Explore that you have adequate valid travel insurance. It is your responsibility to arrange appropriate travel insurance and ensure you have read and understood the full terms and conditions of your travel insurance policy to ensure that you are covered for all activities you intend to undertake whilst on the tour, including all optional activities. Your Insurance Policy must fully cover you for medical expenses and emergency repatriation to your home country. Please ensure your policy includes medical emergency helicopter evacuation in the event of illness or injury and covers the entire duration of your holiday. If you are trekking at altitude please ensure that there is no upper altitude limit which may limit or exclude cover for your trip. Medical and repatriation insurance cover is not mandatory for UK residents who are travelling on trips within the United Kingdom.
Read more information about what travel insurance is required.

Flight information

Explore offers a wide range of flexible flying options to make joining and leaving our trips easy. Read more about them here.


Flight Information

You are able to book this tour on a 'land only' basis or as a ‘flight inclusive’ package. Your flight inclusive package will be fully protected by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) ATOL protection scheme.

  

Booking a flight inclusive package with Explore

We have a good selection of flights not only from London but from many regional airports around the UK allowing us to compare fares between scheduled carriers as well as low cost and charter airlines. Our dedicated flights team will match the best flight options to your arrival and departure airport.

On our website we display a UK flight inclusive package guide price which is generally based on a London departure. To avoid paying supplements or to secure your preferred flight option, we recommend booking as early as possible, especially for peak travel dates.

Venezuela Trips

Vaccinations

Nothing compulsory, but we recommend protection against tetanus, infectious hepatitis, typhoid, and polio Please consult your travel clinic for the latest advice on Malaria, Dengue and Zika Virus. Please take preventative measures to avoid mosquito bites - these include mosquito repellent as well as long trousers and long sleeve shirts to cover up when necessary. Please note many countries in Central America, South America and the Caribbean require a yellow fever vaccination certificates if travelling from infected areas. A detailed list of these countries can be found on the NaTHNaC website - http://travelhealthpro.org.uk/countries. Also on the NaTHNaC site there is a list of Countries (and specific areas within a country) which are at risk of infection and a vaccination is therefore recommended.. The above is not an exhaustive list. Further information regarding vaccinations and travel health advice can be found by following the NHS and NaTHNaC links at http://www.explore.co.uk/Travelhealth/ and from your local healthcare provider.

Dates, prices and booking

Date
Price from
Single room option

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