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Venezuela - Off the Beaten Track

Tour Code: VEN03

A 9-day birdwatching tour to the outstanding wetland of Morrocoy National Park and the cloudforest at Yacambú, site of the recent discovery of Great Antpitta.

dates & prices to be confirmed Land Only Price: £ SRS: £


h3>A birding tour combining cool Andean cloudforests with globally important coastal ecosystems – plus a sprinkling of desert endemics./h3>

Based in the charming, family-run Posada El Encanto, one of Venezuela's best birding inns, this holiday first focuses on Yacambú National Park, set on a quiet spur of the eastern Andes that is home to a glittering cast of Andean birds, from tapaculos to tanagers and hummingbirds to antbirds. Here we will explore the cloudforests, coffee plantations and desert scrub in search of an unusual group of xeric endemics. The second leg of our tour then takes in the open country of Morrocoy where a national park, wildlife refuge and Ramsar site converge on a Caribbean coast best known for its limestone outcrops, mangroves, reefs and coral atolls. Here we'll enjoy an abundance of wetland birds as well as more exciting endemics.

  • Cloudforest specialities, eg. Northern Helmeted Curassow, Crested Quetzal, Merida Tapaculo and Scaled Fruiteater
  • Rarely-seen desert endemics: Bare-eyed Pigeon, White-whiskered Spinetail, Black-backed Antshrike, Slender-billed Inezia and Tocuyo Sparrow
  • A spectacle of wetland and shore birds, amongst them the endemic Rusty-flanked Crake and Plain-flanked Rail
  • An exciting destination that is definitely “Off the Beaten Track”br />

Food

All meals are included, except the evening meal on the day of arrival and on the day of departure.

Accommodation

A mixture of small hotels and birding lodges, all included within the tour cost.

Bare-faced Ibis (Michael Frankling)

Bare-faced Ibis (Michael Frankling)

Outline Itinerary Download

Day 1 Maracay

Day 2/3 Morrocoy National Park

Day 4 Morrocoy/Sanare

Day 5/7 Yacambu

Day 8 In flight

Day 9 London

About the region

Just four hours from Caracas, and with a bird list of over 350 species, the area around and including Morrocoy National Park has only recently begun to find its way onto standard birding itineraries. The area’s protected marine and Caribbean coastal habitats represent a birding enclave in eastern Falcon State.

Yacambu National Park is set on a quiet spur of the eastern Andes and is justly famous as a cloudforest park – it holds many of the bird specialities of the Coastal Cordillera and Andes. The park has become one of Venezuela’s prime birding locations since the rediscovery a few years ago of the Great Antpitta.

The tour ‘in a nutshell’

This is a 9-day bird watching tour to the outstanding wetland of Morrocoy National Park and the cloudforest at Yacambu.

What birds might I see?

For most birders the chief attraction of Morrocoy National Park is waterfowl. We’ll spend time looking for many of the region’s ducks and migratory shorebirds. We’ll also be hoping to see the stunning Scarlet Ibis and superb spectacle of several thousand American Flamingoes! Other species we’ll look for include the endemic Rusty-flanked Crake and Plain-flanked Rail – the rediscovery of the latter here a few years ago put Morrocoy firmly on the birding map.

The slightly more humid limestone forests inland provide habitat for Black-and-White Hawk-eagle, Horned Screamer, Red-and-Green Macaw and White-eared Conebill, as well as a host of other birds.

Among the Andean species we’ll hope to see in Yacambu National Park are mixed tanager flocks and Neotropical migrants, as well as a wide range of hummingbirds and antbirds. Cloudforest specialities we’ll hope to see include Northern Helmeted Curassow, Crested Quetzal, Merida Tapaculo and Scaled Fruiteater.

Other birds we’ll search for include some rarely-seen desert endemics such as Bare-eyed Pigeon, White-whiskered Spinetail, Black-backed Antshrike, Slender-billed Inezia and Tocuyo Sparrow.

Anything else?

We’ll be based for part of this tour in the charming, family-run Posada El Encanto, one of Venezuela's best birding inns.br />

We currently don’t have any images for this tour. If you have any suitable image you would like published then please email us.

A.B.
Shropshire
Altogether a worthwhile and very enjoyable trip.
P.G.
Suffolk
Overall and excellent trip - well led - good company - I look forward to another trip to South America in the future
J.P..
Buckinghamshire
Cecilia worked very hard for the two weeks she lead us, she has a pleasant outgoing personality, leaderships skills and above all, knows the birds and their songs... don’t lose her!
C.R.
Gwynedd
Cecilia was knowledgeable and a pleasure to be with.
J.R.
Hampshire
Cecilia is a highly competent birder, and excellent guide and a fun person. The accommodation was entirely sufficient for a bargain holiday... food was good and so was the service of friendly staff. The general population was also friendly. The birdwatching was great and more the 250 species in 7 days was most rewarding and interesting. Gabriel was a good driver... personal security never seemed the slightest problem.
D.B.
Cheshire
I saw 273 species of bird of which 91 new to me. A good result. Overall an excellent trip.
B.B.
London
Pepe Clavijo - an excellent guide, knowledgeable, very enthusiastic and approachable. Very popular with the group.
G.M.
Middlesex
Posada El Encanto - Wonderful, superb food, service, rooms all with the very personal touch.
P.W.
Kincardineshire
I should like to praise our guide Cecilia Herrara who was outstanding. Extremely knowledgeable, helpful and great fun - she made the trip.
P.F.
North Yorkshire
I thoroughly enjoyed my holiday and the superb birding experience.
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We will be running this tour in the near future but as yet have not finalised dates and prices. To register your interest and be added a waiting list to be informed when details are confirmed, please contact us or phone 01962 733051.

Visiting: Venezuela

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Andy Tucker
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01962 733051

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Tour Reviews

Altogether a worthwhile and very enjoyable trip.
A.B., Shropshire