Trails of Venezuela

17 Days
from AUD$ 13,858


  • Be introduced to the Warao, the second largest tribe in Venezuela who inhabit the shores of the Orinoco River
  • Discovering the diverse and abundant wildlife of Los Llanos, including river dolphins, capybaras, caimans, and the thrilling opportunity to try piranha fishing.
  • See the mesmerising Catatumbo lightning phenomenon over Lake Maracaibo, a natural wonder that lights up the night sky.
  • Travel via dugout canoe through lush jungles and hike to Angel Falls, which at 979 metres high is considered the world’s tallest waterfall
  • Fly to a remote Indian settlement and navigate Canaima’s lagoon in a motorised dugout canoe, passing waterfalls and hiking to the enchanting Salto Sapo to walk behind the cascade.

Discover the raw beauty of Venezuela’s deltas, waterfalls and remote communities. On the banks of the third largest river in South America, the Warao Indians, the guardians of the Orinoco River, still live virtually untouched by the modern world. They are one of the oldest ethnic groups in the world.

Venture further into Canaima National Park to experience some of the world’s most ancient scenery. Bordering Brazil and Guyana, this national park is distinguished by its numerous tepuis, massive flat-topped mountains that rise from grassy savanna and are often covered in mist. Fly over the 979m-tall Angel Falls waterfall flowing from Auyantepui mountain into the Cañón del Diablo, a steep canyon surrounded by tropical forest.

Witness the Catatumbo lightning – an awe-inspiring experience as the sky above Lake Maracaibo in Venezuela comes alive with a mesmerizing dance of constant, brilliant flashes. This natural phenomenon, known as the “everlasting storm,” illuminates the night with its breathtaking and seemingly endless display of electric beauty. A journey of mother nature at her best

Journey map

Fitness level



Day 1 - Arrival in Caracas

Welcome to Venezuela! Upon arrival at Maiquetía International Airport in Caracas, you will be met in the arrivals hall by our representative who will transfer you to your hotel for the evening. The remainder of the day is at leisure.

Overnight Posada Buena Vista Inn or similar

Day 2 - Caracas to Canaima

Early this morning, fly south to the Indian settlement of Canaima. At the airport, you will be met by an Indian guide and accompanied to your camp. After lunch, board your motorised dugout canoe across the lagoon of Canaima passing the waterfalls of Ucaima, Golondrina and Hacha. The water and surface foam in rivers and lagoons are usually reddish here, a phenomenon generated by the presence of tannin, an organic acid produced by vegetation decomposing under the sun. Enjoy a hike of approx. 20 minutes where you will then reach the Salto Sapo. Change into your swimwear as you will walk behind the waterfall to the other side, a breathtaking experience. Tonight you will stay in a posada in the Indian settlement. (B,L,D)

Overnight Campamento Parakaupa or similar

Day 3 - Canaima – Angel Falls

Following breakfast, your day starts in a motorised dugout canoe as you cross the Carrao River towards Salto Angel (Angel Falls). Veer onto the Churun River through the Devil’s Gorge, a unique jungle landscape surrounded by the table mountain Auyan Tepui. Depending on the water level, your trip takes 4 to 5 hours and it may well happen that you have to get out of the boat to push it when the water level is extremely low! Walk approx 1 hour up to the foot of the Salto Angel – a really unique feeling to be so close to the mighty waterfall. After a refreshing swim in the natural pool of the Salto Angel, continue to the hammock camp on the opposite side of the river Churun with a view of the highest waterfall on earth. (B,L,D)

2 nights at a hammock camp

Distance: 5hrs of canoeing

Day 4 - Angel Falls

Today you have another opportunity to reach the waterfall on foot from your hammock camp. The imposing cascade is illuminated by the sun today. An unforgettable experience! Spend the whole day around the waterfall, swimming, exploring the forest or enjoying the wonder of the world from the hammock. (B,L,D)

Distance: Walking of approximately 3hrs

Day 5 - Angel Falls to Canaima

This morning, enjoy the tranquillity of the jungle. Depart travelling the same way, in a dugout canoe back to the Indian settlement of Canaima. After an exciting ride through the rapids in a canoe, you are scheduled to arrive at the lodge in Canaima in front of the Canaima lagoon in the afternoon. The rest of the day is at your leisure. (B,L,D)

Overnight Campamento Parakaupa or similar

Distance: Canoeing 5hrs

Day 6 - Canaima to Ciudad Bolivar

Your morning can be used to visit the beautiful lagoon and take a swim or walk through the village and look over the shoulder at the activities of the Indians going about their daily lives. In the early afternoon, you will take a Cessna over the jungle back to civilisation in Ciudad Bolivar. Once there, visit the very well-preserved old town with its beautiful, colourful colonial buildings and then continue to your hotel overlooking the gigantic Orinoco River.

The second largest in the American continent after the Amazonian delta, it is a labyrinth of caños (canals) that form impenetrable green islands which makes the jungle seem to expand and swallow the course of the river. In the midst of these canals, small paddled canoes from the local communities are seen travelling from one village to the next. The Warao inhabit the shores of the canals in typical wooden and thatched houses built in stitches over the water, often with no walls and hammocks for beds. Their houses are on stilts due to the significant rise and fall of water levels in the Delta. The Warao are the second largest tribe in Venezuela with their own indigenous language. (B,L)

Overnight Casa Grande or similar

Day 7 - Ciudad Bolivar to Orinoco

After breakfast, will travel by car to the state of Monagas. Pass huge pine plantations, cattle and buffalo farms, and arrive at the river village of San José de Buja. In San José, a motorised canoe will take you to your Eco Camp – a 30-minute ride along the river surrounded by dense tropical rainforest and Warao communities. Upon arrival, you will take a short tour of the camp before heading to your Warao-style cabin to relax before lunch. In the afternoon, take a boat trip along some of the delta’s smaller channels, looking for wildlife such as macaws, toucans, capuchin and red howler monkeys, sloths and freshwater dolphins. At sunset, lie comfortably in a hammock until dinner is served and you end your day with a drink at the bar. (B,D)

2 nights Delta Lodge or similar

Distance: Driving 2hrs, boat half an hour

Day 8 - Oriocco

In the morning after breakfast, you will set out again to explore the delta by boat, travelling through primary forest and mangrove forest. Your guide will lead you on a walk through the jungle (rubber boots provided) and explain how the Warao Indians use many of the trees and plants that grow there for food, medicine and tools. You will either have a picnic lunch by the river or back at camp. Later, you will have the opportunity to swim in the river (in Piraña-free waters). You will also visit a Warao community to get a glimpse of indigenous life and buy some locally made handicrafts such as jewellery and baskets.

You will spend the evening at the camp enjoying the peace and tranquillity of the delta, interrupted only by the sounds of jungle animals. (B,D)

Distances: 2hrs by boat

Day 9 - Orinoco to Caracas

In order to catch your flight in time from Maturin to Caracas, leave the Delta before breakfast by boat and then by car. Fly for an hour to Caracas. On arrival, embark on a city tour of the tropical metropolis of Caracas. The almost 500-year-old city at the foot of the 2800 m high mountain, Avila, has a lot to tell, extensive facets testify to the events of modern times, the colonial era and not least the pre-Columbian period. Spend the late afternoon to enjoy the pool at your hotel before visiting one of the many great restaurants in Caracas. (B)

Overnight Hotel Tamanaco or similar

Distances: Boat 2hrs, driving 2hrs, plane 1hr

Day 10 - Caracas to Catatumbo

Today you will continue to the next natural wonder which can only be admired in Venezuela. The weather lightning at the Catatumbo. With your scheduled flight, fly one hour from Caracas to El Vigia. By car, it takes another hour to a small village on the shores of Lake Maracaibo, where you will board a fishing boat and travel through mangrove forests, swamps and open water. Lake Maracaibo is the largest freshwater basin in all of Latin America. Along the way, with luck, you will see howler monkeys, iguanas and many, many birds. You may also see Tucuxi dolphins, which are marine dolphins, but can also be found in freshwater. In the evening, spend the night on a palafito, a traditional wooden pile structure built on the water. At dusk, with patience and luck, we see the extraordinary Catatumbo spectacle: the weather glows high above the lake! The lurid flickers that bathe the surroundings in ghostly silhouettes are very distant thunderstorms, whose lightning can only be perceived on the horizon without hearing the thunder. To this day, no scientist has been able to explain how this natural phenomenon occurs. It will be an exciting night. (B,D)

2 nights on a palafito (overwater cabin)

Distances: Plane 1hr, driving 2hrs, boat half an hour

Day 11 - Catatumbo

After spending the night with hopefully a lot of thunderstorms, and again admiring the location of where you slept (on the lake!), visit the village of Congo. Congo is completely built on the water and only accessible by boat, the village was founded a few hundred years ago by descendants of some pirates who were hiding there. It is really another world! Enjoy a night excursion by boat through narrow channels to see the nocturnal fauna: spectacled caimans, orbicular snakes, night herons and hopefully another night of thunder. (B,L,D)

Distances: Boat 4hrs

Day 12 – Catatumbo to Merida

Today you will return to the port where you will have solid ground under your feet again. On the way to Merida, you will visit a coffee hacienda. There you will obtain an insight into the processing of coffee beans and certainly, there is the possibility to buy some coffee. In the afternoon, you will visit the city

centre of Merida. In the evening, you can again enjoy comfortable rooms and discuss the adventures of the last few days. For the fun-loving among us, you can also enjoy a cold beer in one of the many bars in town. (B)

Overnight Casa Sol or similar

Distances: Boat half an hour, driving 3hrs

Day 13 – Merida to Santo Domingo

Today you will get to know the Venezuelan Andes from a completely different perspective: In the morning, take the highest (4765 m) and longest (12.5 km) cable car in the world to the mountain Pico Espejo (Mirror Peak). Named due to its snow-covered peak, it reflects the sunlight like a mirror. If you feel like hiking on the way back, you can hike to a lower cable car station. Upon your return, you will head to one of the many glacial lakes in the state of Merida. Along the way, stop for lunch. After a short drive, pass by the impressive Victoria Lagoon. In calm and clear weather, the lake reflects the surrounding landscape so perfectly that you can hardly make out the surface of the water. Here you will notice the Frailejones. This is the typical plant of the Paramo. It has fleshy leaves with small hairs that protect it from the cold. After crossing the highest pass of Venezuela 4200m, you will go downhill to Santo Domingo, where you will spend the night. (B)

Overnight Trucha Azul or similar

 Distances: Cable car 2hrs, driving 2hrs

Day 14 – Llanos

After breakfast, depart the Andes towards Los Llanos. The Llanos, the Venezuelan lowlands, make up in their entirety about one-third of the area of Venezuela and impress with their particularly diverse and species-rich fauna. In the afternoon, set off on a boat safari through the Llanos. Only at dusk many animals become active, and so you will be able to observe river dolphins, caimans, ibises and maybe even an anaconda. Spend the night in a simple cabin on a farm, which is run by a family. (B,D)

2 nights local cabin

Distances: Driving 5hrs, boat 1hr

Day 15 – Llanos

Today you will spend your second day in the Llanos to observe more unusual bird species, crocodiles and also the Capibara, a funny-looking capybara. Along the way, you can also practice a sport well-known in Venezuela, piranha fishing! At dinner this evening, the family members introduce you to the typical singing of the llaneros, the cowboys of the Venezuelan lowlands, singing their melancholic songs, the joropo. (B,L,D)

Distances: Driving 2hrs

Day 16 – Llanos to Caracas

The morning offers another opportunity to observe the birdlife around the cabin before heading to Barinas for your flight to Caracas. Spend the night in an Inn, not far from the sea. There are very good seafood restaurants in the area, which are perfect for your last dinner in Venezuela. (B)

Overnight Posada Buena Vista Inn or similar

Distances: Driving 2hrs

Day 17 - Departure

Enjoy breakfast before transferring to the airport for your onward flight. (B)

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What’s included

  • 16 nights accommodation
  • Meals as per the itinerary
  • Domestic flights as indicated in the itinerary (10kg luggage allowance)
  • Private transportation
  • Services of an English-speaking guide
  • Shared boat transfers in Delta
  • International & domestic flights not mentioned in the program
  • Visas
  • Travel and medical insurance
  • All services, meals other than those indicated above
  • Personal porters
  • Any changes to the proposed and confirmed program
  • All items of a personal nature e.g. drinks, laundry, telephone calls, tips etc
  • Airport tax must be paid locally in national currency of approx Bs S 9,35 /1.00 USD per person (subject to change)
  • National Park Entrance Fee Canaima must be paid locally 15.00 USD per person (subject to change)

**Please note that this tour can be organised on request for private departures.

* Pricing is subject to change at anytime until full payment has been received.

* A minimum of 4 adults is required to guarantee this departure.

A non-refundable deposit of $1000 AUD per person is required to secure your place. Final payment is due no later than 60 days prior to departure. Travel insurance is mandatory for travelling with Crooked Compass. For full terms and conditions, please click here.



Start Date
End Date
Start Date
01st Sep 2024
End Date
17th Sep 2024
17 Days
$13,858 AUD
Start Date
01st Sep 2025
End Date
17th Sep 2025
17 Days
$14,550 AUD