Venezuela's southernmost state, Amazonas, covers nearly 70,000 square miles—roughly one-fifth of the nation's territory. This is a region of dense virgin rainforest, linked by fanning networks of rivers and tributaries. Nearly 30% of the state is protected within four enormous national parks: Yapacana, Duida Marahuaca, Serrania Le Neblina and Parima-Tapirapeco. Few settlements are found here; Amazonas is home to less than 1% of Venezuela's population. Rather, this is the domain of jaguars, caimans, freshwater dolphins, giant river otters and hundreds of bird species.
Venezuela's Amazon region is a nexus of two distinct river basins. One feeds the majestic Orinoco—South America's second largest river—which arcs west and then flows northeast to the Caribbean. The second, in the deep south, empties into the Rio Negro, which joins the mighty Amazon River in Brazil. These two systems are linked by the Brazo Casiquiare, which carries roughly one-third of the Orinoco's volume to the Rio Negro.
The gateway to Amazonas is the town of Puerto Ayacucho, located on the banks of the Orinoco near the Colombian border. Nonstop flights from Caracas reach the town's airfield in 50 minutes. From Puerto Ayacucho, visitors can travel to rustic riverside lodges offering multi-day tour packages. In addition to wildlife tours, these lodges provide guests the opportunity to learn from the region's indigenous peoples, such as the Yanomami, Piaroa, Guajibo and Yekuana.
Unlike the flat Amazon Basin of Brazil, Venezuela's rainforest region is partly mountainous; the Tapirapeco and Parima ranges form the eastern border, and another chain of peaks rises to the southeast of Puerto Ayacucho. These ancient, sheer-walled table mountains are known as tepuis. One unforgettable tour option is the two-day journey by motor canoe from Puerto Ayacucho to Cerro Autana. This cave riddled tepui is sacred to the Piaroa people, who revere it as the Giant Life Tree from which all life emerged.
Near Puerto Ayacucho, the dry season extends from December to April. These are also the warmest months, with highs in the 90s and 90% humidity. The prime months to visit are October, November and December; water levels are high enough to allow exploration of side streams, but rains are less frequent than in the May to September rainy season.
Mosaico Travel Services arranges lodging and tours in the Amazon Region, with a recommended stay of at least four nights. Extensions to Brazil and Colombia are also available. In fact, Mosaico Travel Services arranges personalized travel throughout South America. We organize luxury accommodation, private transportation, and tours with expert guides. Speak with a Mosaico travel planner today at 801.582.2100. We’ll take care of the details.
"You find yourself in a new world, in a wild, untamed nature. Sometimes it is a jaguar, the beautiful American panther, on the banks; sometimes it is the hocco (Crax alector) with its black feathers and tufted head, slowly strolling along the sauso hedge. All kinds of animals appear, one after the other. ‘Es como en el paraiso' our old Indian pilot said."