- Day 1: Barcelona / Maturín / Puerto Ordaz – Orinoco River
Puerto Ordaz is one of three airports that we may use to travel to the interior from Caracas depending upon the day of the week and hour. Upon arrival we will travel by road to the Uracoa pier and then transfer to a launch for the last leg of our journey.
The lodge is located in the middle of the dense rainforest, along one of the many tributaries of the Orinoco river. From the comfort of your launch you may observe a wide variety of flora and fauna – including water hyacinths, pink dolphins, capuchin and red howler monkeys and any number of birds such as anhingas, kingfishers, toucans, macaws, parrots etc. Along the riverbanks we will pass small Warao settlements – the Warao are the indigenous people that live here in unique stilted dwellings known as “palafitos” built over the river’s edge.
Depending upon the hour of your arrival you will be able to snack on something before taking your first excursion, maybe a brief “jungle” walk – your Warao guide will point out edible plants, such as the heart of palm, which you will get a chance to taste and if you feel like the full experience try one of the juicy grubs that can be found living in fallen trees – they are one of the staples of the indigenous diet full of protein!
When you return to the camp, you will relax in your room or in a hammock before dinner after which you will have the chance of enjoying the silence of the Orinoco river from the harbour of the lodge. (S, D)
Day 2. Orinoco Delta – Full day
Rising early to the cacophony of sounds – birds singing and chirping or the screeching (more like roaring) of red howler monkeys in the distance. Prior to breakfast maybe take a canoe ride before navigating the Orinoco river in a larger boat in search of various species that live there, have your camera and binoculars at the ready. Among the highlights; there are river dolphins and spectacled caiman in the water, capuchin and red howler monkeys up in the dense foliage, macaws, toucans, hummingbirds and kingfishers in the skies above.
Returning to the lodge for lunch, after which you will be taken on another side trip to some of the Warao villages and palafitos that line the riverbanks in this part of Orinoco. Your guide will explain a little about the simple life of the Warao and their culture as well as the flow of the community’s daily life – a fascinating experience. The Warao are great crafts people, you will have the opportunity of seeing their work first hand and supporting them and their families by buying something. Beautifully woven hammocks made from the surrounding palm tree fronds and bowls, trinkets etc.
In the evening, you will be offered a hearty meal after which, for a nominal extra cost, you could embark with the guide on a nocturnal tour of the surrounding waterways. We can recommend this tour as one sees another side of the wildlife that lives here. (B, L, D)
Day 3. Orinoco Delta – Barcelona / Maturín / Puerto Ordaz / Canaima
Should you be up for it, this morning you will be taken out to a quiet spot in the river to do some Piranha fishing and after an early lunch we travel by river one last time to Uracoa pier and drive back to your departing airport.
Time permitting, we may even stop to see if we can find tarantulas alongside the river. (B, L)
Notes: there are local Warao families that tend to visit the lodge whilst you are staying there. We would suggest you save a little cash, preferably dollars to buy some goods from them so no-one will be disappointed – every little helps them and their families. You can negotiate with bags of rice, cooking oil, olive oil and even medicines. The children here suffer from bad nutrition, headaches and sadly, diarrhoea, so any medicines you could bring would be really appreciated.
The Warao families are quite large often with 6-10 children so clothing for adults and the children are also very MUCH appreciated.
For your comfort and peace of mind – we suggest that you bring some bottled water with you, Loperan tablets and a strong mosquito spray (non-deet if possible) to be comfortable. There are mosquitos and these are prevalent on the jungle / canopy tour and especially at dusk. Loperan is a medicine for the prevention of tummy sickness such as diarrhoea – not to worry unduly but if you are sampling “delights” from the jungle then it may help.