In the water holes of the flat landscape of the Llanos spectacle caimans are moving from one place to the other as well as different kinds of turtles and Capybaras. Anteaters become more active after the sunset when they are looking for insects. In one place or the other an Anaconda moves smoothly on the street. And Orinoco dolphins and piranhas swim in the rivers.
We offer two different tours in the Llanos:
1. The incomparable Tour with the ecological station of Hato el Frio
2. The Low Buget Tour which offers a great image of the Venezuelan Llanos
1. Hato El Frío:
Lenght of time: 3 days
Service: Jeep and boat safari, Lodging at comfortable hotels (Hato El Cedral, Posada Altamira), food (meals and soft drinks), Professional English-speaking guidance, transfers.
The most scenic highway of Venezuela leads through colonial-styled Andean communities. We have a visit to a stone-built chapel made by Juan Felix Sánchez (UNESCO cultural heritage) and to the condor station. Then we ascend up to 4200 meters to the Eagle Pass.
In the obscure environment of the Paramo its typical plants called Frailejones grow up to three meters high. From the glacier lake of Mucubaji we hike to the Laguna Negra. After the hike we eat a fresh trout fried in garlic.
Afterwards we descend along the outer ridge of the Andes passing various vegetation zones, like Paramo, Dwarf Forest, and subtropical rainforest up to the colonial-styled village of Altamira. Here we will lodge at a colonial, well-equipped mansion which is located at the center of the community, the Plaza Bolivar, with having a delicious dinner. Lodge: Posada Altamira
After breakfast we depart to the Llanos and arrive at Hato El Cedral (typical Llanos farm) at lunchtime. Its property of about 56000 hectares includes both a cattle ranch and a resort where many of the protected animals of the Llanos live such as caimans, capybaras, turtles and iguanas. After lunch you have the opportunity to start a tour that allows you to watch those animals in the savanna as well as up to 300 different bird species of which the most distinctive are the Purple Ibis, the Roseate Spoonbill, the Jaribu Stork, macaws and parrot, eagles, and owls.
Even in the rain period you have got good chances to trace the Tamandua, the Little Anteater as well as the Giant Anteater. The Anaconda, the world’s biggest serpent, is used to show up as well. On our excursions we already have found some exemplars of more than about 7 m of length. Ranch: Hato el Cedral
Early in the morning we go for a short hike for watching some macaws and parrots. At 8:00 am we have a rich breakfast. Then we will go for a boat ride where we will observe some pink fresh water dolphins. The Cano Matiyure and the Cano Caicara side rivers which flow across the grounds of Hato El Cedral seem to be tempting on rare bird species such as the Agami Heron as well as on many different raptor species.
Also caimans, crocodiles and capybaras encounter in and around the water. At midday we return to Mérida by bus if you not desire to get off in Barinas to connect with airplane or bus for further destinations. At Hato el Cedral you get very close to the animals, that’s why cameras with a low zooming objective are sufficient enough to be able to get some excellent wildlife shot.
2. Low Butget Tour:
Lenght of time: 3 days ?
Service: Jeep and boat safari, trip on horseback, accommodation in basic hammock camp, food (meals and soft drinks), professional guide ?
Transfer from the city of Barinas into the heart of Los Llanos. Lunch in the camp, in the afternoon boat trip on a lonely side arm of Caño Guaritico River. There we are going to see fresh water dolphins.
In the morning we do a jeep safari through the grass land to observe spectacled caimans, capybaras, turtles, and with some luck as well anacondas and giant anteaters. In the afternoon we do a trip on horseback.
In the morning we do another short safari, after that we drive back to Barinas, from where you can continue to Mérida or another part of the country.
Tip: this tour combines perfectly with a full day in the Páramo and accommodation in the beautyfull colonial village of Altamira de Cáceres.
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