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Advises needed

San Francisco...
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27 posts
15 reviews
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Advises needed

Hi,

I am planning to visit Venezuela for a month or so from the end of Oct. Any suggestions will be greatly appreciated.

The itineraries:

Caracas -- Ciudad Bolivar -- Angel Falls -- Santa Elena – Roraima -- Santa Elena -- Gran Sabana (may be) -- Ciudad Bolivar -- Delta del Orinoco (may be) -- Puerto Ayacucho -- Amazonas (may be) -- Los Llanos – Mérida – Caracas -- Los Roques -- Isla de Margarita (may be) – Caracas

Here are my questions, there may be answers in other posts, sorry about the repeating, but I couldn’t find the most recent info:

Does the itinerary make sense?

Will it be too late to see Angel Falls in late Oct?

Is it a good idea to take overnight bus from Caracas to Ciudad Bolivar? I travel alone.

What is the current black market exchange rate? How to exchange money safely and where? I don’t know anybody in Venezuela.

A traveler told me that Laguna de Unare is the best place for birding, but I can’t find any information on how to get there except hiring a car. Anybody knows?

Thanks a lot for your help!!

Caracas, Venezuela
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1. Re: Advises needed

Your itinerary makes sense except for Puerto Ayacucho (Amazonas). With Canaima/Angel Falls and Roraima/Gran Sabana, it's MORE than enough for the Lost World experience.

It hasn't stopped raining, so Angel Falls should be reachable by boat even in October. If it stops raining, you still get the tour to Canaima and a fly-over of Angel Falls.

The overnight bus is also your accommodation for the night before the tour. You get to Ciudad Bolivar at 5:30 am and the tour start at 7:30 am at the airport (if you're on list. You can0t just GO there). If you go by plane on the evening of the previous day, you have to spend the night before the tour in Ciudad Bolivar. There are a few nice places to stay.

The rest of the tour is fine. Watch out who you do the Delta Orinoco one with, because some are real and knowledgeable tours while others are just a bored boat driver taking you around random rivers.

About money exhcnage, FORGET THE BLACK MARKET. Change only at the Tourist Rate with your Posada/Guesthouse/or B&B owners or managers. Forget trading with luggage carriers, anonymous cab drivers, guys on the street, etc. The tourist rate is safe (no false bills or trade&rob like in the black market) and it doesn't fluctuate so much. Right now the Tourist Rate is 7.0.

Now you know at least someone in Venezuela!

About Unare, it's big and there are a few towns on it. The main one is Boca de Uchire, and to get there there are various ways, from buses to cab rides. Forget about renting cars in Venezuela unless you have already driven in countries such as India or Egypt, or you will be going with a knowing local. The learning curve for learning to drive solo in Venezuela is very high (cars at night with no lights, holes, no respect for traffic lights, no signs, broken down cars right after curves, false police roadblocks, corrupt cops, etc). Only use buses or cabs if you plan to go alone.

Your're welcome!

Isla de Margarita
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2. Re: Advises needed

Your itinerary is covering all of the country but I would leave out Puerto Ayacucho-not that nice.

La Gran Sabana is crossed going to Santa Elena and Roraima- you will need a guide to do Roraima and as well the river trip and trek to the base of Angel Falls and Delta Orinoco.

You may want to check with a tour operator to arrange the trips to, for example, Delta Orinoco, Angel Falls and Roraima- altho Los Roques, Margarita and Merida you could do on your own without involving a travel agent.

We recently had guests that used ''Osprey Expeditions'' in Caracas to do several tours and they where quite happy with quality, price and service (www.ospreyvenezuela.com/)

If you are trying to make a circuit and if you want to include Margarita in your travels- upon arrival in Caracas get a flight to Margarita and from there you can get flights to Canaima and the Gran Sabana area without returning to Caracas. Or fly to Margarita and return to the mainland by ferry to either Cumaná or Puerto la Cruz and catch a bus to Ciudad Bolivar to begin your Gran Sabana adventures.

San Francisco...
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27 posts
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3. Re: Advises needed

Hi Nelven,

Thanks you so much for your detailed answers of my questions!!

The reason I am thinking about going to Puerto Ayacucho, is hoping that I can find a tour to visit the Yanomami community, but I’d read a few criticisms on this. I don’t know if I should go now. I would like to learn and know different cultures during my travel, but I don’t want to affect people’s life in a negative way at the same time. What do you think?

I am not sure if I should book the Canaima/Angel Falls tour ahead of time. Is the overnight bus normally on time? My experience on traveling with long distant local buses is that they are never on time.

Any Delta Orinoco tour you would recommend?

Good to know someone is currently living in Venezuela. Can I have your contact in case I have some more questions during my trip?

Thanks again!

San Francisco...
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27 posts
15 reviews
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4. Re: Advises needed

info_posadamargarita,

Thanks for your reply!

I will look into the tour company you recommend.

I would love to go the Margarita, but it all depends on my travel schedule. If I can go, do you have any recommendations?

Cheers!

Isla de Margarita
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1,185 posts
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5. Re: Advises needed

Margarita has many beaches-some developed and others not at all.

You can hike in the mountains to the top of Cerro Copey and visit pools and waterfalls of Fuentedueño.

But Margaritas´ strong point is its beaches.

6. Re: Advises needed

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