jon crwys williamsCONDOR VERDECaracasVENEZUELACOLOMBIAHato el CedralLLanos..- -- Orinoco Discovery --- Los Llanos Safari and beach wind-down Los RoquesParia PeninsulaOrinoco DeltaWildlife Venezuela?the Orinoco and Los Llanos South of the River Orinoco, half of the territory of Venezuela consists of barely populated wilderness: the river's immense delta (now a Unesco World Biosphere Reserve) where indigenous tribes live simply on the banks of the spider's web of dark, sluggish waterways; and the blanket of grassland prairies (llanos), with vast cattle ranches patrolled by cowboys on horseback.Accommodation at lodges deep in the delta wilderness consists of simple wooden cabins with basic facilities, constructed in harmony with the environment and the riverside dwellers' pace and style of life. At Mis Palafitos, Bujana or Orinoco Delta Lodge the guides offer walking excursions and activities including canoe trips, bird-watching and piranha-fishing?it's an authentic jungle experience.Visits to Los Llanos are most popularly centred around a stay on a hato, or working ranch?the seasonally flooded open savannahs are used for cattle pasture. However, they are de facto nature reserves. The ranches at Hato El Cedral and Hato Piñero have many different types of wildlife habitat, and the list of mammals and reptiles spotted includes rarities?jaguars, giant otters, and tapirs?and the more common capybaras, caimans and howler monkeys. Some 200 species of birds have been identified. The only planned activities are observation of the flora and fauna, by boat, horseback, truck or on foot. 020 8747 8315 / journeylatinamerica.co.uk bookings, consultant advice and additional information 65Orinoco discovery 10 days, 8 nightsCaracas 1 night, lodge in Orinoco Delta 3n, Paria Peninsula 3n, Caracas 1n.Day 1 Fly to Caracas, transfer to hotel in Macuto on the Caribbean coast. Day 2 Travel by air, road and boat to reach your lodge in the Orinoco Delta. Days 3&4 Savour the simple life of the jungle from your hammock and on guided excursions. Day 5 Travel to the Posada Playa de Uva on the Paria Peninsula, with private beach and pool. Day 6 By private boat to Playa Medina, one of the peninsula's most exquisite beaches. Day 7 Excursion inland to visit the cacao plantation at Bukaré and a buffalo farm. Overnight at Rio Caribe. Day 8 Fly to Caracas from Cumaná. Day 9 Fly to the UK, arriving day 10. Prices from £1,485pp based on two sharing, excluding transatlantic flights. Regular departures from the UK Los Llanos safari and beach wind-down 10 days, 8 nightsCaracas 1 night, hato (ranch) in Los Llanos 3n, Los Roques islands 3n, Caracas 1n.Day 1 Fly to Caracas, arriving same evening, transfer to hotel in Macuto on the Caribbean coast. Day 2 By air and road or by road only to Hato El Cedral in Los Llanos. Accommodation is in rustic-style ranch-house or cabins. A visit combines experiencing 'llanero' cowboy culture at close quarters with some of Latin America's most rewarding wildlife viewing. Days 3&4 Safari-style explorations of the wildlife rich wetlands, spotting a plethora of tropical birds, mammals and reptiles. Day 5 Return to Caracas and fly to Gran Roque in the Los Roques archipelago. Days 6&7 Based at a barefoot family-run posada, you'll have the opportunity to swing in a hammock in mango-tree shaded gardens, explore the sun-drenched beaches and other islands, or participate in water sports such as snorkelling. Day 8 Return to Caracas. Day 9 Fly to the UK, arriving day 10. Prices from £1,458pp based on two sharing, excluding transatlantic flights. Regular departures from the UK Below Drifting down the Orinoco River.
Unspoilt Colombia has arguably the most dramatic scenery, the greatest variety of flora and fauna, the most atmospheric towns, and among the friendliest people in Latin America. Jagged snow-spangled Andean peaks rake the skies above an apron of coffee plantations giving way to unsullied rainforests. Warm Caribbean waters stroke lazy blond beaches, while pre-Conquest ruins and exquisite colonial cities dot the landscape.Colombia has a comprehensive air network - essential in such fractured landscape - and locally a good road system. The tourist infrastructure in these more stable times is expanding rapidly. With a bit of careful planning and judicious use of expert advice, the visitor can enjoy a most rewarding experience. 66