Venezuela is one of the 10 most diverse countries in world of herpetology. The vast richness in species is astonishing, the total number of reptiles and amphibians is larger than those from the United States, Canada and Europe combined. With well over 600 known species of reptiles and amphibians Venezuela offers an unbeatable opportunity to visit and reveal such diversity to anyone interested. The number of different habitats is a massive factor behind the high biodiversity; dense and unexplored rainforests of the Orinoquia and Amazon, extensive grassland savanna of los Llanos, the Andean mountains, as well as cloud forests and paramo. This tour delves deep into this high diversity and aims to find as many wonderful reptiles and amphibians as possible including the huge and infamous green anaconda!
Rare & Endemic Andean Frogs
Up to 100 Reptile & Amphibian species
Expert Anaconda Trackers
Night Walks in Cloud and Rainforests
3 Nights in the famous Los Llanos
3 Full Days of Anaconda Tracking
Tour Dates: 14/1/2021 – 23/1/2021
Duration: 9 nights
Type / Focus: Reptiles & Amphibian
On arrival at Maiquetia international airport you will meet your local guide and be transferred to your accommodation, level 3* – Hotel Miramar Suites. You will have your welcome to Venezuela meal and prepare to explore the regions herpetology.
Merida Cloud Forests
This morning you will catch a flight from Caracas south to the cloud forests. After lunch you will have a guided walk through the cloud forests and climb the 2400m to a very unusual plateau. Here salamanders, lizards and snakes, such as (Lampropeltis triangulum and L. andesiana) are the main focus. After dark we will search for the rare and endemic Merida tree frog and during the daylight hours the variety of birds, especially hummingbirds are great to find and watch. Your evening meal will be at your accommodation, level – local estancia (Estancia la Bravera).
Merida Cloud Forests
This morning you will explore the lower cloud forests and try to find the marsupial frog, glass frog and many other species. In addition to the frogs we may happen across the tarantula (Xenestis monstrosa) which is one of the most beautiful tarantulas is the world. Once again your evening meal will be at your accommodation, level – local estancia (Estancia la Bravera).
This morning you will be transferred to the town of Merida for some lunch before continuing on to Los Frailes. During the evening (if it is not too rainy and foggy) a walk can produce many surprises such as moorland rain frogs. The weather up here (3300m) can be a little cold so your hot evening meal will be very welcome at your accommodation, level – 3* Hotel (Hotel Los Frailes).
This morning you will explore wilderness of this amazing region. We will try and find the apparently extinct Rancho Grande harlequin frog and rare skunk frog. After lunch at Santo Domingo you will descend through the Andean foothills where the nanny frogs are a treat to find. When we explore the rainforests here there are plenty of lizards (Polychrus marmoratus) and snakes such as (Mastigodryas boddaerti). After your evening meal at your accommodation, level – camp (Grados Alta Adventura Camp) there is the chance of a night walk which could show up giant tree frogs and the water snake (Helicops pastazae).
This morning you will be transferred to your accommodation, local estancia (Hato El Cedral), this ranch is by far the best in terms of wildlife and is located in a prime position to base any herpetology tour of los Llanos. During the afternoon you can relax and take in this new ecosystem. Los Llanos is one of the most biodiverse regions in the world and it is a stunning setting for you evening meal.
The next couple of day will be spent trying to find as many of the animals here as possible, particularly the green anacondas which we will find by using our feet to feel them out. This area has had more studies conducted on anacondas than anywhere else in the world and they are quite common here. We will also look out for the thousands of capybaras, deer, caiman and Orinoco crocodiles which make the swamp their home. You will have your meals at the accommodation, local estancia (Hato El Cedral).
Today will once again be spent searching out anacondas as well as the many other reptiles of the area including huge iguanas, anoles, runner lizards, geckos, four species of freshwater turtles, South American rattlesnake and boa constrictors. Frogs, like the dairy frog are also seen here but during the dry season they are best seen in the accommodation, local estancia (Hato El Cedral) in the bathrooms. Other animals which are often seen here include hundreds of species of birds, jaguars, giant anteaters, tapirs and peccaries.
This morning after breakfast you will be transferred to the Barinas airport for your return flight to Caracas. Once here you will be taken to your accommodation, 3* Hotel (Hotel Mirama Suites) for your evening meal and de-briefing.
Today after breakfast you will be transferred to Maiquetia international airport in time to catch your return flight home.
Please note that the itinerary stated above is correct as our planned intentions for the tour. However adverse weather conditions and other local considerations can necessitate some modifications of the itinerary during the course of the tour; any changes will be made to make the best of the time and weather conditions available to us.
This tour is available on different date (subject to availability) please contact us for more details about running this tour on a date which suits you more.
The weather in Venezuela is very nice in January and February with an average temperature of 19degrees C and very little rainfall.
Everything mentioned in the itinerary is included. Including three meals per day (breakfast, lunch and dinner). There will be an amount of bottled water (approx 1ltr) available for each guest each day. We have our own private vehicle to be driven by a local guide. Internal flights are also included.
All our excursions including treks, guided walks, canoe trips and park entrance fees are also included.
We recommend you bring along your own binoculars or scope as well as appropriate clothing; which should be warm clothes for the nights in the Andes (such as a fleece, woolly hat and gloves) as well as waterproofs (although rain is scarce it can still pour down from time to time). Comfortable waterproof walking shoes are a must. Insect repellent is needed. Any medication, books or other items of a personal nature is of course up to you to bring along. Oh and please bring plenty of memory cards or film for your camera. Also do not forget sun cream, sun hat and sun glasses as the sun can be very strong here during the day.
We provide a comprehensive species list of all the vertebrates present in the areas we are visiting as well as some of the best field guides and reference books for the areas we are visiting. There is usually a spare pair of binoculars but in a group of 4-6 people these do not stretch too far. A spotlight is usually provided for nocturnal wildlife watching (when local conditions allow) and Camera Traps will also be used to try and capture hard to see wildlife in the dead of night and a borescope will be available to let us see down into burrows.
Nearly everything is included in this tour. The only things not included are international flights, travel insurance (contact us for more information one what is required from your insurance policy), any food bought outside of the three main meals, drinks outside of any offered with the meals and the bottled water provided each day and any items of a personal nature such as souvenirs and tips. Any departure taxes applicable when leaving are not included (but may be included in the cost of your flights), Please check this before hand.
As we are based in Manchester we recommend flights from Manchester International Airport
We recommend Iberia as a good airline for flights to Caracas. One of the best websites to search for the best fares for all these flights is www.opodo.co.uk; who are ATOL bonded and IATA accredited this is a link direct to their site. Please check our terms and conditions regarding booking flights.
Please contact us for more information about flights and we can provide you with a link direct to the flights from another supplier; in which case you only have to enter the passenger information and payment details. By using the above link you will leave our site and we at Royle Safaris hold no responsibility for the content on the site.
All UK passport holders are not required to have a visa for Venezuela. However things change so the easiest way to find information is by visiting http://venezuela.visahq.com/ (be aware that these links leave our site and we at Royle Safaris hold no responsibility for information on the site).
There are no mandatory vaccinations needed to visit Venezuela, but it is recommended to be protected against TB, polio, typhoid, tetanus and hepatitis It is however very important to be taking a form of malaria prophylactics during your time in Venezuela. Please consult your GP about your individual requirements for visiting Venezuela as soon as you have decided on this trip.
Mr. M Watson, Dublin
Mr & Mrs Holdsworth, Chesterfield
M.V. Lalas, Holmes Chapel
Ashley Johnston, Wales
Mr. Dave Board, Cardiff - Wales
Brecht Debels, Belguim