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Osprey Expeditions - highly recommended tour operator

San Francisco
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Osprey Expeditions - highly recommended tour operator

While I think the latest version of Lonely Planet Venezuela (2010) is slightly paranoid about crime (e.g. Caracas: Dangers and Annoyances, p56-57), the "Behind the Scenes" section rightfully extends a "huge thank you to Ben Rodriquez of Osprey Expeditions and his team in Caracas for all the help, advice, logistical support and general assistance given over my entire time in Venezuela - I couldn't have done it without you."

My girlfriend and I visited to Venezuela this past month (August 2012) and we are so thankful for the help of Ben Rodriguez, and the rest of his staff at Osprey Expeditions. Traveling to Venezuela is difficult because any advance reservations you make will be charged at the official rate $1 to 4.3Bs but you can change dollars unofficially once you are in Venezuela for $1 to 9Bs (at the time of this writing). So in order to save money, we didn't make any advance reservations and hoped that we could accomplish everything on the ground once we were there. We planned to visit Angel Falls/Canaima, Parque Nacional Morrocoy, Los Roques (and unavoidably, Caracas). We first negotiated getting to Morrocoy on our own by bus but there were no travel agencies in Chichiriviche so three days into our trip, we still didn't have plane tickets or lodging for Canaima or Los Roques. We got back to Caracas in the early afternoon, found Osprey Expeditions offices (in Sabana Grande) and were able to get our flights and lodging to Canaima for a flight out that evening. There are no good direct flight routes to Canaima but Ben was able to arrange flights for that evening to Puerto Ordaz, with a connecting flight to Canaima in the morning. However, our 8pm flight was delayed until 1am. I expected to just wait in the Puerto Ordaz airport overnight but Ben's team was still waiting for us in Puerto Ordaz and took us to one of their homes just so we could get some quick rest for the morning's flight. The host's mother even got up as some god-forsaken hour in the morning and cooked us breakfast. The price of the whole package to and from Angel Falls was less than the other four travel agencies we looked at and I can't believe any of them would have provided the service that Osprey did. Ben was literally still coordinating our arrival by the time our plane left in them middle of the night.

We were also able to arrange flights to Los Roques with Ben while we were en route to Canaima. We checked all the airlines at the airport before and Ben somehow was able to get us flights that we had been told did not have availability. I want to stress that this was all during high season, so the man and his team are truly miraculous.

I often read LP forums but don't regularly contribute advice back in return but I do so now because Osprey was so instrumental in allowing us to see all the places that we hoped to visit in Venezuela at the right times

Caracas, Distrito...
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1. Re: Osprey Expeditions - highly recommended tour operator

It's refreshing to read some positive results for such a complex trip, you guys did it all! Hope Caracas wasn't too rough, everyone seems to have a different experience with it, from what I'm reading.

Isla de Margarita
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2. Re: Osprey Expeditions - highly recommended tour operator

I own a B&B on Margarita Island and receive guests from Osprey Expeditions and have yet to hear anything but good things about the service rendered by them and have seen them go way out of their way to resolve any problems that may have come up with the tourists that use their services for tours whithin Venezuela and Colombia.

Venezuela is not an easy country to run a tour business. Airlines are notoriously unreliable and one must really work to make things run smoothly.

Edited: 02 September 2012, 13:11
Reno, Nevada
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3. Re: Osprey Expeditions - highly recommended tour operator

I just booked Angel Falls with Ben and he was incredibly professional in his booking. I will respond later to report on the trip itself.

Edited: 03 October 2012, 00:16
London, United...
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4. Re: Osprey Expeditions - highly recommended tour operator

I just returned from a 12 night trip booked with Ben at Osprey and I'd also like to vouch for the service he provides. I arranged a trip to Angel Falls, Orinoco Delta and Margarita Island, Ben suggested the itinerary and arranged all the transportation and accommodation, it was 250 quid cheaper for me for Ben to book my international flights too.

If you're travelling to Venezuela don't expect everything to run like clockwork. The key thing is when things go wrong you need a good tour operator to resolve the problems.

For instance, my bags were lost upon arrival at Caracas Airport, Ben took my call at 4am and assured me I'd be ok to proceed to Angel Falls the next day. He tracked my bags down and arranged for them to be returned to me at Ciudad Bolivar when they arrived 3 days later.

At Margarita Island my pick-up didnt arrive so I paid 100 Bolivares to get to my Posada, Ben arranged for the owner of the Posada to give me this money back so that I wasn't out of pocket, there was no obligation for him to do that and I didn't ask for it but it was a nice touch.

So if you are like me and a bit nervous about booking a holiday on the other side of the world with someone off the internet you've never met, don't worry, Osprey Expeditions are a good company to deal with!

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5. Re: Osprey Expeditions - highly recommended tour operator

My girlfriend and I just returned after booking our tour with Ben at Osprey. We had an amazing time, felt safe and well taken care of, and the people working for Ben are fun and professional. HIGHLY recommended for your trip to Venezuela

Elverum, Norway
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6. Re: Osprey Expeditions - highly recommended tour operator

Me, my girlfriend and two friends of us just returned from 10 night trip to Los Roques booked with Ben at Osprey. We have ben very well taken care of all the way and we are very greatful for all the help Ben has provided. We were picked up at the airport in Caracas by one of his employe's Veronica and she took us to a hotel nearby the airport and picked us up the next morning. She helped us trough the check in for the flight to Los Roques the next morning. Ben met us at the hotel and spendt an hour with and shared a lot of advice.

It turned out that he had stayed in Denmark and spoke danish very well.

We have probably not been able to make this trip to Los Roques without the help from Ben.

Ben booked everything for us and we got all the help we needed at Los Roques by Libya Parada Rivas that we allso highly recommend. It eves seams like we booked the flight to Los Roques and hotell/posadas in Los Roques cheaper than we were able to do book by our selves.

I would strongly advise everybody who want's to visit Los Roques or other places in Venezuela to book their trip trough Ben an Osprey Expeditions.

Port Elizabeth...
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7. Re: Osprey Expeditions - highly recommended tour operator

Hey there!

Just wondering if you could share on your trip that you booked with Osprey. My boyfriend and I are in the midst of booking and paying (overseas :S) with osprey and we are a little skeptical about wiring money before we know more from other people. We are hoping to do Orinoco Delta, Angel Falls and Roraima tours.

Thanks so much!

Edited: 28 May 2013, 17:39
Washington DC
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8. Re: Osprey Expeditions - highly recommended tour operator

I'm joining the chorus a bit late, but my friends and I took a two week whirlwind tour through Venezuela which was planned by Osprey and Ben Rodriguez. I have nothing but positive things to say about Osprey Expeditions. Ben organized everything, from our flights from DC to Caracas to to our tours with their partner groups on the ground. The one time we encountered a minor hick-up, we made a quick call to Ben and he fixed the situation. We visited Angel falls, hiked Mt. Roraima, and spent our last few days in Los Roques. It was a fabulous trip, and Venezuela is a highly underrated country. It can be a hassle to travel through, but well worth the trouble.

Melbourne, Australia
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9. Re: Osprey Expeditions - highly recommended tour operator

I can also vouch for the quality of service that you get from Ben and Osprey Expeditions. I did a 2 day trip to the Orinoco Delta and then 6 days in Angels Falls and Kavak Valley with Osprey, including dock and airport transfers. Things don't always go to plan in Venezuela, especially when you're dependent on local transport (notably the Canaima region airline) but Ben was on top of things and looked after me when things did go astray.

The lodge they use in the Orinoco is rustic, but the staff there do an excellent job with information, tours and meals and I found it extremely peaceful and tranquil staying right on the river, with the sounds of the jungle through the night. We didn't see a lot of wildlife (some capuchin monkeys, howler monkeys, various birds) but time of year is a factor and the fact that wildlife in natural settings are not in zoos, so nothing is guaranteed. But just taking tours up and along the rivers (by power boat and canoe), visiting the local village, swimming in the river and even just enjoying the setting of the lodge is worth it for anyone that wants to explore/enjoy this part of the world

Angel Falls was spectacular and the trip in the Kavak valley most enjoyable.

Ben also helped me with flights to Los Roques and a posada there.

I have no reservations whatsoever in recommending Osprey Expeditions for any Venezuela trips

Tallahassee Florida
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143 posts
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10. Re: Osprey Expeditions - highly recommended tour operator

Interesting,

I sent them 2 e-mails about booking Angels Falls and Roraima trip . 2 weeks passed and I did not here anything back.

So I line up my trip with Kamadac instead

Edited: 31 August 2013, 19:48