Catatumbo & The andes

(3-4 days)

Catatumbo & The andes

Let Angel-Eco Tours be your guide on this two or three day exploration of Catatumbo / Lake Maracaibo and the surrounding areas in Western Venezuela – visiting a number of different ecosystems along the way. 

The wildlife in this region is abundant and colourful, as are the locals that live in the palafitos or stilted houses on the edge of this expansive Lake Maracaibo.

Experience the Catatumbo phenomenon which according to Wikipedia – the Catatumbo Lightning (Relámpago del Catatumbo) is an atmospheric phenomenon which occurs strictly in an area located over the mouth of the Catatumbo River where it flows into Lake Maracaibo.

The frequent and powerful flashes of lightning over this relatively small area are considered to be the world’s largest single generator of tropospheric ozone, that is ozone that does not necessarily replenish the atmospheric ozone layer. It originates from a mass of storm clouds that create a voltaic arc at more than 5 kms of height, during  approximately 140 to 160 nights per year, 10 hours per day and up to 280 times per hour. It occurs over and around Lake Maracaibo, typically over the swampish areas formed where the Catatumbo River flows into the lake.

Catatumbo Lightning.

Catatumbo Lightning Tour Venezuela
Typical Catatumbo Lightning strikes.


Catatumbo Lightning Tours. Venezuela
Osprey with catch.

Catatumbo Lightning Tour. Venezuela
Overnight in hammocks in a apalfito.

Day 1. Catatumbo

Departure from Caracas or Mérida. Visit a typical coffee plantation, zipline in the Andean forest and enjoy some wildlife spotting / observation.. 

Then take a boat on to the lake of  Maracaibo to experience the nighttime Catatumbo lightning Phenomenon.

Basic accommodations in hammocks. 

Day 2. Catatumbo

Early boat ride back to the pier and drive up to the foothills of the Andes visiting a sugar cane plantation en route. On arriving in the Andes take a downhill hike to Los Nevados to overnight at local posada.








Day 3. Los Nevados – Mérida

Morning hike visiting different villages in the mountains of Sierra Nevada National Park. 

Paragliding could be added to your agenda as an option – cost approx. US$ 40 / 30 mins flight).

Leisure afternoon to relax in the city of Mérida.  

Catatumbo Tour. Venezuela Paragliding in Mérida.

 Hummingbird feeder.

 Day 4. Mérida – Caracas

Visit the hummingbirds garden and a time permitting a local market before exploring downtown Mérida. An afternoon flight to Caracas. 

Overnight in a standard hotel close to the airport.

Optional Extensions 

Angel Falls Expedition

Drive to Los Llanos (wildlife safari) or Mérida in the Andes or return to Caracas for overnight and then take a flight to Canaima National Park and visit Angel Falls .

Boat trip onto Canaima lagoon and hike to Sapo or Hacha Falls. River expedition to the base of Angel Falls.

Accommodation in hammocks in front of Angel Falls for one (1) night  + beds for two (2) nights at a local standard lodge / camp.

Flight from Canaima to Caracas.

All meals  (except lunch and dinner on last day). English speaking guide.

End of services.

Angel Falls, Venezuela - the tallest waterfall in the world Angel Falls. The tallest waterfall in the world.

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