Venezuela Bolivarian Revolution and Angel Falls Spring Tour
Due to popular demand, our Venezuela tour is back! After years of absence, it’s finally back on our travel calendar. During the tour, you will experience the incredible diversity that Venezuela has to offer to visitors.
Of course, a YPT-tour is not complete without the full socialist experience. So expect the Chavez mausoleum, socialist murals, the square where the anti-government protests took place and a walk through a socialist neighbourhood in Caracas.
One of the best-hidden secrets of Venezuela is Catatumbo lightning in the south of Venezuela. It’s a hell of a tour to get here (car, plane, boat), but it will surely leave you in awe. This incredible phenomenon happens around 140 to 160 nights a year, 10 hours per day and up to 280 times per hour. So what is it? It’s a major storm cloud in the distance that gives this incredible lightning show. Scientists still don’t know exactly why it happens at this specific spot, but it surely is a once in a lifetime experience!
Another (not so hidden) gem of Venezuela is, of course, Angel Falls and the Orinoco Delta. Both parks are located in the east of the country, which means we’ll have to take a local flight to get there. While the Orinoco Delta is a proper swamp, Angels Falls is more into the jungle of the border area with Brazil. Angel Falls is the highest waterfall in the world. While in other countries it would be a packed place, in Venezuela you are probably the only one!
Arrive in Caracas. You’ll be met by our local and YPT guide at the airport.
Pre-tour meeting will be held at the lobby of our hotel to discuss tour itinerary and to meet your fellow travellers.
Visit the “Eternal Commander” Hugo Chavez Mausoleum in Cuartel de la Montaña – his mausoleum is situated in one of the socialist neighbourhoods of the city.
Lunch in town
Stroll through El Calvario Park – one of the most beautiful parks in Caracas and a popular spot to mingle with the locals.
Visit Simon Bolivar Museum – Bolivar was a Venezuelan military and political leader who led Venezuela, Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, and Panama to independence from the Spanish Empire.
Visit the National Pantheon – a 17-story-tall white-tiled mausoleum built to hold the remains of the national hero Simon Bolivar
Simon Bolivar’s birthplace – seventeenth-century house and one of only a few houses from the colonial era which has survived in central Caracas
Plaza Bolivar – one of the most important and recognised Venezuelan public spaces. It’s located within the centre of the first 25 blocks of Caracas when it was founded as “Santiago de León de Caracas” in 1567
Caracas Cathedral – holds the burial site of the parents and wife of Simón Bolívar
City Hall – first erected from the seventeenth century, the Palacio Municipal de Caracas is the very site where the Declaration of Independence was signed on 5 July 1811
National Assembly – has been in conflict with the rival constituent assembly, but is now back in Government hands.
Church of San Francisco – where Simon Bolivar received the title “El Libertador” and his funereal occurred in 1842.
For dinner we’ll explore what the Caracas street food scene has an offer, sampling classic dishes such as Pabellón Criollo (juicy pulled beef, black beans, white rice and fried plantain) and Arepas, a flat, round, unleavened patty made from corn flour and stuffed full of whatever ingredients you choose.
Wind down with some evening drinks and overnight at the Alba Hotel.
Sunday 17th April – Caracas – Galipan
After a hearty breakfast at the hotel, we will take a walk over to Sabana Grande Boulevard. This street used to be the bustling main shopping street of Caracas However, today, it is eerily quiet, and you will be able to see the effects of the ongoing crisis.
Your next stop of the day will be Plaza Altamira. Plaza Altamira has been the site of many anti-government protests over the past few years, and pictures of those whose lives were lost in the demonstrations are on display.
You will then take a cruise around Caracas, hunting for socialist street art with most of it dedicated to Hugo Chavez. Whenever something captures our eyes, we will stop for the perfect photo opportunity.
We’ll have a lunch break, and you will have the chance to try Cachapa – a pancake-like cake made from fresh corn batter with some pieces of corn kernels and often served with hand-made cheese and meat.
Time to head to the Avila National Park Televirico Cable Car – this is a cable car ride like no other, as you’ll slowly move up the mountain, where you’ll have an incredible overview of the Caracas skyline.
Walk along Avila Mágica in the village of Galipan – this area is a famous weekend trip for the locals, as the air is much cooler and fresh here. There are also a ton of souvenir and streetfood stands in this area.
We will take a walking tour through the 23 de Onero neighbourhood – this socialist neighbourhood used to be a stronghold of socialism during the Chavez era. Our local guide will share with us the stories of locals who lived in the community during the Chavez era and what their life was like.
Dinner and drinks in the 23 de Onero neighbourhood.
Breakfast at the hotel, and then it is time to say goodbye to Caracas as we head to the airport to board our flight to Merida, a city located in the stunning Andes range in the Northwestern section of the country.
Upon arrival at Merida airport, we will be met by our local guide and hit the ground running, heading to Puerto Concha. The landscape along the way is entirely different from what you will have experienced in Caracas as we make our way through the Maracaibo depression and take in the Andes, which will be next to us.
Upon arrival in Puerto Concha, we will board a boat on the Maracaibo lake to take us to our next destination: Ologo. The Maracaibo Lake is the biggest lake in South America, covering a whopping area of 13,000 square kilometres.
During the boat ride we will be entering the Juan Manuel National Park, One of the most famous in Venezuela. Our local guide will go into details about the lake and wildlife in the surrounding area, and if we are lucky, we may even be able to spot dolphins.
Arrival in Ologa Camp, a beautiful and peaceful location on the lake and our home for the next two nights and most famous for the Cataumbo lighting our main reason for coming here. This jaw-dropping incredible natural atmospheric phenomenon takes place at the mouth of the Cataumbo river, where it flows into Maracaibo lake. Between 140-160 days per year, a major storm cloud appears in the distance displaying some of the most breathtaking lightning our planet has to offer. Often lasting for up to 10 hours a day and over 280 lighting strikes per hour, this is a site that truly needs to be seen to be believed. We will be here during the wet season which will work in our favour for catching this event.
Dinner and overnight in the Ologa Camp.
Tuesday 19th April – Ologo – Congo Mirador
Breakfast at the camp before making our way to the Mirador water village located on Maracaibo lake. Here the houses stand on stilts, perched above the murky waters of the lagoon. We will explore the village, including the local church, market, school, vendors, visit a locals house and try our hands on one of the main ways locals survive, which is crab fishing.
Lunch of local specialties at the village.
We will also be on the lookout for some unique animals found in the area during crab fishing, such as collared aracari, otters, ocelot, capuchin monkeys, tamanduas, caiman, amongst many more.
With some crab hopefully to our name, we will make our way back to camp to prepare food, have some drinks and hopefully catch a second lighting show.
Overnight at the Ologa Camp.
Wednesday 20th April – Ologo – Concha – Merida
Breakfast, pack up camp and make our way back to Puerto Concha.
We will get some lunch for takeway and begin the drive back to Merida.
Depending on how we are doing for time, our local guide will take us for a city tour around the fascinating colonial city of Merida. Merida is an affluent Andean city with a youthful energy and a spectacular mountain position. When Venezuela was a more popular tourist destination, this place attracted adrenaline seekers with a myriad of options for hiking, canyoning, rafting, mountain biking and Merida’s specialty: paragliding.
Head to the airport to board our flight back to Caracas and make our way back to the familiar Alba Hotel where we will have a quick overnight.
Thursday 21st April – Caracas – Orinoco Delta
Breakfast at the hotel before heading back to the airport to board our next flight to Maturin, the capital of the Venezuelan state of Monagas and a centre for instrumental exploration and development of the petroleum industry in Venezuela.
Upon arrival in Maturin, we will meet another new set of local guides and make way for San Jose De Buja, a small, peaceful village with a population of 1,000 people, mostly farmers and herders.
We will grab a quick bite to eat in the village and then hop on a half-hour boat trip that will take us to our new home, the Orinoco Delta Eco camp. The Orinoco Delta is a massive delta forming from the Orinoco River and covers the same area as Belgium.
Upon arrival at the camp, you can choose to relax and take in the peaceful environment, or if you are up for it, we will head out and try our luck with a local fisherman who is an expert in piranha fishing.
After fishing, we will then set out into the jungle to meet with the indigenous Warao people. The Warao people have inhabited these areas for 1000’s of years and will show us what their life is like living deep in the delta. We will have a chance to visit one of their communities and explore their heritage and culture.
Head back to the camp for a dazzling sunset over the delta and dinner.
With the sun now down, we will head out into the complete darkness of the jungle to watch the nocturnal world of alligators, snakes and other creatures that come to life under the cover of the dark in the safety of our expert local guides.
Make our way back to camp and overnight.
Friday 22nd April – Ciudad Bolivar – Canaima
Wake up for an early breakfast and depart for the airport of Ciudad Bolivar, where we will board a six-seater prop plane and make our way south towards Angel Falls.
We will make a flyby of the spectacular Angel Falls (if permitted), which is the world’s highest uninterrupted waterfall, with a height of 979 metres and a plunge of 807meter over the edge of the Auyán-tepui mountain, located impenetrably deep inside Canaima National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage site. The flight will also pass by Laguna de Canaima where you will see the spectacular Hacha Falls.
After landing our plane, we will enjoy a delicious local lunch in an indigenous village.
From here, we will trade our plane for a boat and ride past the Hacha falls to also appreciate their beauty from ground level. Once arriving on the other side of the lagoon, you can walk along the pink sandbanks, into the jungle for a short hike to the majestic Sapo falls and enjoy a swim in the nearby lake.
Head back to the camp for dinner and overnight in one of the most peaceful places you will ever fall asleep in.
Saturday 23rd April – Canaima – Angel Falls
Breakfast at the camp and a short walk through the jungle to our motorized canoe that will take us along the Carrao and the Churún Rivers, to the spectacular Angel Falls.
Enjoy the boat ride taking in the beautiful jungle scenery and a light packed lunch along the way.
We will then arrive at Devil’s Canyon, where we will be able to see the mind-blowing Angel Falls cascading over one km from the top of the Auyán-Tepuy to the Rio Churún. From here, we will disembark our canoe and walk an hour through the jungle to the Mirador Laime vantage point to capture stunning shots of the falls.
After we have captured perfect photos from the vantage points, we will make our way down to the rock pools at the base of the falls to swim at one of the coolest freshwater swimming spots in the world.
Once our celebratory dip is done, we will head to a camp close to the falls, where a massive freshly prepared meal and hammocks await us.
Drinks and overnight with the roaring sound of the falls in the distance.
Sunday 24th April – Angel Falls – Canaima
The beginning of the end! After waking up in our hammocks, we will enjoy our breakfast at camp before beginning the journey back to Caracas.
We’ll board our small aircraft again for a flight back to Ciudad Bolivar before making our way onwards to Caracas.
Upon arrival in Caracas, we will check into the Alba Hotel one final time, drop off our bags, freshen up and then head out for a final group dinner to celebrate the epic adventure we just completed.
End of tour or continue your adventure with our Guyanas Tour.
• All travel to complete the itinerary (including airport transfers, domestic flights and joy flight over Angel Falls)
• YPT guide and local guides
• Accommodation in twin share rooms
• Breakfasts and lunches
• Entrance fees