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“Authentic ranch experience with abundant wildlife”
Review of Hato el Cedral

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Hato el Cedral
Phoenix, Arizona, United States
Level 2 Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Authentic ranch experience with abundant wildlife”
Reviewed 19 March 2013

First, this is a "working cattle ranch". Lodging, food, noise and roads is what is expected at a true ranch. Thank goodness Hato el Cedral is NOT A PLUSH RESORT. There is a reason so many birds and wild animals are abundant on the ranch grounds. The workers and managers at the ranch do an amazing job of keeping the grounds clean and the buildings in good condition. Steps are on-going for goals for increased eco-sustainability and nature conservation.

We booked 3 days/3 nights for Hato Cedral ourselves and traveled there without a guide. My wife and I do not speak any spanish and had zero problems with communications while at the ranch.

The meals were delicious with great variety. All meals were typical Venezuelan type food with something different at each meal. The meal bell rang precisely at 7 am for breakfast, noon for lunch and 7 pm for dinner.

Wildlife excursions were 8 - 11:30 in the morning and 3 to sundown in the evening. Each excursion was by truck or boat and the staff made sure that no guest had a "repeat" route while at the ranch. Excursions were designed based on water levels and reported animal sightings. Lots of guides who spoke Spanish, English, German and French.

During your free time you can wander the ranch, take a dip in the pool, have a afternoon nap in your room or sit by the bar and have an ice cold beer! Price of beer at the bar was equivalent to fifty cents U.S.

Yes, the air conditioners in the rooms are loud and need to be upgraded. Although the only bug we ever encountered in our room was a single pesky fly, I can see that you may get an occasional insect in the room but think about where you are located.

We had a delayed flight then a three hour drive from the Barinas airport to the ranch, yet a truck was waiting for us in the dark at the front gate. Then before even checking in, they still had a warm dinner waiting for us at 8:30 pm.

Hato el Cedral is a very unique place that will provide you a wonderful experience. Feel free to contact me for more information or check out our video at www.quickadventures.net

Room Tip: We had room 16 that was near the back. Very quiet and gave us a view of cattle and horses.
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  • Stayed March 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank Donald S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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63 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
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  • Sleep Quality
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  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (3)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Pinner, England
Level 5 Contributor
52 reviews
34 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 67 helpful votes
Reviewed 15 March 2013

Let's start with the very good. The wildlife at the ranch is brilliant. There is so much of it that I would have no hesitation in comparing the animal and bird spotting experience to somewhere like the Galapagos. The boat excursions were particularly good. An experience that I'll never forget.
Now the very bad. The ranch was taken over by the Venezuelan government a few years ago and like many government owned entities it is run by staff who are either incompetent or careless.
Here is quick run down. Insects in the room. Aircon that is so noisy you can't leave it on. Also in some rooms the aircon doesn't work at all. The rooms are only serviced if you complain. The food is poor. The bar serves no alcohol except beer. The internet only works if you sit by the pool and even then only at certain times of the day. The communication to guests as to when excursions are run is haphazard to say the least.
One last comment to anyone who doesn't speak fluent Spanish. Make sure that there is an English speaking wildlife guide on site for your booking. When we were there he was off on his holidays.

Room Tip: Test the aircon and whether the room has insects before you agree to sleep there.
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  • Stayed February 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank PeterSF
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
Level 5 Contributor
80 reviews
42 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 46 helpful votes
Reviewed 7 February 2013

We have just spent three days here & had the most amazing experience of bird life that we have ever had but please expect that to be the only highlight of your trip as there was not one English speaker there when we arrived and in fact no one who spoke English there (other than a few guides for some private parties) for the whole three days. You go out on drives and by boat (only one of each was working) & see the most incredible selection of bird life but we unfortunately had no one who could tell us in English what we were seeing which was very frustrating. The manager & assistant manager had gone away on hols & that is why there was no one speaking English. The washing we had done was excellent but rooms very basic with one friends air con not working & no hooks on wall to hang anything - such a pity as it is an amazing place. Food was edible except for a beef steak and breakfasts weren't great - needs some investment quickly.

  • Stayed February 2013, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
4 Thank fido0
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hampshire, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
198 reviews
95 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 127 helpful votes
Reviewed 9 December 2012

First Of all this property is NOT in Caracas as stated by Tripadvisor. It is in Los Lllanos in Apure state! It needs to be merged with another listing " El Cedral Ranch Elorza, Venezuela"

The wildlife is the reason to be here and I think most people would not be disappointed. The excursion by boat was particularly memorable. Three nights is about right to see the wildlife in the this vast ranch. The accommodation is not luxurious but is adequate. Noisy old conditioners. Erratic mobile phone signal and Wifi signal, which is not surprising due to its isolation. Food quite adequate and plenty of free water supplied at mealtimes and on excursions. Water cooler in dining room. No drinks of any kind on sale. Satellite TV in the rooms. No room safe.

  • Stayed November 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank mps1948
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Newbury
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 13 August 2012

My wife and I decided that for our honeymoon we wanted an adventure - and a tour of Venezuela seemed to fit the bill.

Our first stop was three nights at El Cedral, and it proved to be a magical start to our trip. The staff were welcoming and the guide (Rafael) excellent. The food was delicious traditional Venezuelan such as chicken and black beans, arapas, with some great stuffed peppers. The cook is excellent and went out of her way to get up at 0430 to cook breakfast for us on our final day.

Tours are either by boat where you can fish for piranha or on the back of a truck. The wildlife was spectacular – from crocodiles to capybara and we even saw fresh water dolphin. While not initially thinking I had a great interest in birds I was proved wrong. Sitting back at the Hato in the evening to hear and see the vast flocks of enormous birds roosting above us was something special.

While visitors need to remember that this is a working cattle ranch in the middle of Venezuela (hence the simple amenities) the experience is one that I’ll never forgot.

  • Stayed September 2011, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank Daniel P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Tampa, Florida
Level 6 Contributor
718 reviews
70 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 359 helpful votes
Reviewed 28 May 2012

We went on a safari on our first afternoon and saw lots of wildlife: birds, deer, capybaras, anteater, iguanas.
Our rooms were very basic with a small bathroom, a small refrigerator and two twin size beds. There were lots of mosquitoes and some other flying insects in our room.

Food was basic : scrambled eggs for breakfast and partially melted slices of cheese and some slices of boiled ham, cold pancakes and slices of white bread. We had fruit punch or orange flavored Tang drink, coffee and hot tea. They served overcooked pasta with some bland tasting tomato sauce over it for dinner. Food presentation was very unappetizing.

On our second day, we went on a boat ride to see more wild life. There were lots of brids and crocodiles. The boats were wet because of the heavy rain the night before. They wiped the seats but not the floor of the boats so they were very slippery. They could have put some old blankets or towels to avoid the passengers from slipping. I was first let into the boat. I was holding my Nikon D 7000 Digital camera with a brand new 55-300 telephoto lens on my right hand I slipped and landed on my right side which really hurt. The staff did not even asked if I needed any help. They did not have any first aid kit. I was not offered any ice cap to apply over my bruised areas. I was bruised all over my right side (right arm, hips, thigh and leg) and bruised my left thigh as well. I kept quiet although I was hurting badly because I was embarassed that I fell!

The bruises turned black and very sore as the days went by. Luckily, there was a surgeon in our tour group who advised me to stop my blood thinner that I was taking for a clotting problem. I had to see my primary physician as soon as I went back to the USA. It has been 5 weeks after the fall and I am still sore.

  • Stayed April 2012, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
1 Thank TRAVELdglobenow
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Lacey, Washington
Level 4 Contributor
39 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
Reviewed 17 January 2012

This place is not what it was 13 years ago. Taken over by the government, it lacks good motivated management. Rooms were clean but in disrepair, there was no soap, the air conditioner sounded like an aircraft at close range. Food was mediocre but palatable. Dining room chairs lack cushions so you sit at a level where you can almost push the food right in.

We had one guide who was pretty good but he got sick and we were left with a guide who was either bored or lacked a lot of knowledge. The larger creatures were all he seemed to care about. I was really put off by their catching an Anaconda and injuring it in the process. Animal planet comes to the llanos.

BUT the evening bird display right over your head at the Hato and all the creatures you can see if you venture out with a private guide, and even the Disneyland package tours, make it worthwhile for the serious photographer or wildlife lover. The staff is friendly and one can only hope that they will try to restore the Hato's once fine reputation.

  • Stayed January 2012, travelled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank Sallyvogel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Hato el Cedral

Property: Hato el Cedral
Address: Av. La Salle EDF. Pancho | Piso 5, Nº 33, Los Caobos, Caracas 1071, Venezuela
Region: Venezuela > Capital Region > Caracas
Hotel Style:
Ranked #4 of 10 Speciality Lodging in Caracas
Also Known As:
Hato El Cedral Hotel Caracas

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