Witness one of the most interesting atmospheric phenomenon that occurs only over the mouth of the Catatumbo River in Maracaibo Lake especially between April to November.
The Catatumbo Delta, with its wildlife, tropical forest and the largest lake in South America, stilt villages and the incredible Catatumbo lightning, is an absolute must while travelling in Venezuela.
We depart from Merida and our first stop is at a sugarcane plantation where will learn about the process of transforming the sugar cane juice to brown sugar locally known as “panela” . After that, we will have a short visit to the only salt lake of Venezuela known as Urao Lagoon to continue our drive in the cloud forest of to visit a Coffee Farm where we can see the old machines and get immersed in the coffee process. Lunch en route and we drive southwest to the flat lands of the Maracaibo depression with cattle, plantain and fruit farms surrounding this landscape.
In the early afternoon we begin our wildlife adventure with a 5 kms boat trip through dense flooded forest. Howler monkeys are common along with iguanas, butterflies and different species of birds. This forest is part of the Cienagas de Juan Manuel National Park, a 2300 sq. km. natural reserve.
We may spot Capuchin Monkeys, Collared Aracaris, Ospreys, Purple Gallinule, Giant River Otters, Spectacle Caimans, Lesser Anteaters and Sotalia Fresh water river dolphins.
By late afternoon we will reach our basic stilt lodge on the biggest lake in South America: the Maracaibo Lake. With a surface area of 13000 sq. km., this lake looks just like the ocean.
Tasty Dinner, drinks and we ride the boat for an amazing night tour to spotting Spectacle Caimans, Snakes and the rare Giant Potoo. As we return, we will get our hammock to sleep for the balance of the night waiting for the lightning show which is usually after 2am and lasts for a few hours.
After breakfast we ride the boat to head a bit further in the Lake to observe the local fishermen in their activities. The blue crabs are one the main products of this region which is even for exportation. We will ride the boat back to the pier with more wildlife observation on the way and heading back to Merida after stopping in La Azulita forest to practice Zip Lining and visit the Pirates Cave. A refreshing bath at La Palmita falls is a must before taking up to Tierra Negra and close our adventure with a Paragliding Tandem flight of 20-30 minutes; no experience needed and all flights are with highly experienced instructors.
Our tour ends by 5pm and we drive you back to your accommodation in Merida or beyond.
– All meals & soft drinks in the excursions, except Breakfast on Day 1 & Dinner on Day 2
– English speaking tour guide
– All land and boat transfers
– Zip Lining helmets, belts and all equipments
– Paragliding Equipments and protection
– Overnight at rustic lodge with shared bathroom, great location and best service
– Trip insurance – mandatory
– Tips to staff, allow US$ 10 per person
Suggested Items to Bring
– Hiking shoes + River shoes + sandals with good tread and closed toes
– Light cotton trousers, shorts, tee shirts, long-sleeved shirt
– Rain protection (poncho) + Head protection – baseball cap, hat or scarf
– Bathing suit + Microfiber fast drying towel
– Sun protection / sun block + insect repellent
– Small flash light and spare batteries (ideally a “free hands” head torch lamp)
– Small backpack for daily essentials + plastic bag for wet clothes
– Camera + memory cards and a spare battery.
– Phone and Camera charger (110V for Venezuela)
– Phone + Whatsapp application
– Cash money (at least US$ 50 per person for every 2-3 days of travelling)
– Mini Tripod for the camera to avoid blurry images of the lightning
– Join this trip ideally between April and November for the best Lightning observation.
– This tour can be extended to 3 days, ask us how!
– Soft hiking.
– Departures every day
– Only smalls groups, we can run this tour with minimum 2 people.
– We can arrange hotel accommodation in Merida and flights IN & OUT, ask us about this!
– Fishing tours can be arranged as optional.
– Perfect as family tour
– Zip Lining and Paragliding does not require experience at all
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