Canaima National Park is in Venezuela’s remote south eastern corner and contains some of the most interesting flora, fauna and geological formations found anywhere on the continent. At roughly the size of Belgium it contains flat table mountains known as ‘Tepuis’, black lagoons fed by multiple waterfalls lined by pink sandy beaches, mist shrouded plateaus inhabited by pemon Indians; it is no surprise that this was the setting for Conan Doyle’s ‘Lost World’.
The Gran Sabana is Venezuela’s last frontier, where few tourists come. The best way to reach it is by plane and 4WD vehicle. The area is characterised by the 114 ‘Tepuis’, flat topped mountains which emerged over 600 million years ago. Through its isolation, unique flora and fauna have emerged, so many species are endemic to a single mountain.
Los Roques is amongst the very best of the Caribbean islands, situated 160 km north of the central coast of Venezuela; it is made up of a chain of 40 coral islands, along with hundreds of smaller islets, sandbanks and flat sandy cays.
Merida, in the heart of the Andean range is situated on a giant plateau, surrounded by snow capped peaks. It has a relaxed atmosphere with colonial architecture and neatly cobbled streets; the national park of the Sierra Nevada surrounds the city.
The Llanos is a savannah wetland at the base of the Andes. Life here revolves around the rains which cause the flats to flood from May to November. The flooded savannah eventually subsides making it one of the top destinations for ornithologists.
The Orinoco River is a rarely visited paradise, flowing into the Atlantic in the form of endless creeks and channels. The entire delta is protected by the Venezuelan government as the Orinoco Delta Nature Reserve contains luxuriant mangrove forest that harbours endemic species of flora and fauna. The delta can be explored by motorised canoe, passing by small communities of subsistence farmers scattered along the riverbanks.
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