Venezuela is often skipped by travelers who are taking their grand tours of South America. Countries that are deemed safer and more politically stable – like Brazil and Chile – are normally the first choices for folks heading to Latin America. But for the experienced and adventurous traveler, there is no better country to visit on the continent than Venezuela. It’s so remarkably beautiful, home to some of the best places to visit on earth.
Despite political turmoil, the people here look on the brighter side of life and the incredible landscapes dotted across the country make that a lot easier. From Angel Falls to Los Roques, Venezuela is easily one of the most beautiful countries in South America. If visiting this gem of a country is on your bucket list for 2022 then we have some important tips for you.
Firstly, to book your travels with confidence, contact the team at Osprey Expeditions (founded by Ben Rodriguez). They have over 20 years of experience running tours and expeditions in Venezuela and Colombia – catering for solo backpackers, group trips and tour agencies. Osprey Expeditions has been recommended by the likes of Lonely Planet and the reviews of this company are simply the best you will find in Venezuela.
Secondly, you should know that Venezuela has an endless amount of places to visit, so narrowing down your selection is crucial. Along with the team at Osprey Expeditions, we have put together the 8 best places to visit in Venezuela for 2022. These destinations range from waterfalls to mountain tops to islands, and everything in between. With the country open again after the pandemic, there has never been a better time to go!
8 Best Places to Visit in Venezuela
1. Angel Falls, Canaima National Park
Angel Falls needs no introduction. It’s the tallest waterfall in the world and a true wonder of the world. Standing at 979 meters, the majesty of this place will take your breath away! Combine the nature of Angel Falls with the surrounding beauty and ancestral culture found in Canaima National Park, and you have yourself one of the world’s greatest destinations.
Being at Angel Falls gives you the chance to reflect on this planet and your role in it. This park is one of the oldest places on earth – with pure and pristine nature found around every corner. The energy of the waterfall itself is electric. No photograph can do this place justice, you simply have to see it and feel it for yourself to appreciate this giant of Venezuela.
You can book an Angel Falls Expedition with Osprey Expeditions. They offer three itineraries for experiencing this waterfall: a 4-day, 5-day or 16-day trip (the 16-day itinerary includes Angel Falls, Mount Roraima and the Orinoco Delta). These trips involve everything from dense jungle walks, to river boat trips, to eating food with local tribes, to sleeping in hammocks. You will also get to visit other waterfalls along the way such as Hacha and Ucaima.
2. Mount Roraima, “The Lost World”
Mount Roraima shares a border with Venezuela, Brazil and Guyana. It has a sacred energy to it very much similar to Angel Falls. Roraima is the tallest table-top mountain in South America (known as tepuis, meaning “house of gods”, to the native people). This mountain reaches over 2,800 metres in height and is a whopping eight kilometers long!
3. Los Roques National Park, Archipelago
Did you know that Venezuela has the longest Caribbean coastline in the world? This makes it a beach-lovers paradise! One of the best places to visit in Venezuela in the Caribbean Sea is Los Roques. This archipelago/national park is home to roughly 350 different islands, cays and islets – all boasting beautiful, white-sand beaches and shimmering turquoise waters.
You can take a flight to Gran Roque where the airport is located and then go island hopping. Some of the best islands to visit are Francisqui, Noronkey, Madrisqui, Crasqui and Dos Mosquises Islands. The weather is warm, the sun shines daily and the waters are perfect for snorkeling!
4. Orinoco Delta, Eastern Venezuela
The Orinoco Delta is one of the most unspoiled regions in the world. It’s a rich ecosystem of wetlands, wildlife and tribes. The indingeous people who call the delta home live in thatched huts which are all dispersed throughout the area. Development is almost non-existent. The only way to get around in Orinoco is on the river by boat or traditional canoe.
The most unique wildlife species here include Red Howler Monkeys, Giant River Otters, Toucans and Caimans. The variety and sheer number of different birds you will see in the delta is nothing short of remarkable! So as you can probably tell by now, the Orinoco Delta is a wildlife-lover’s dream.
Book your Orinoco Delta adventure with the team at Osprey and experience all the magical wildlife mentioned, and immerse yourself in the culture of the Warao communities – meeting villagers and craftsmen along the way. Your amazing Warao guide will give you the chance to try edible plants and juicy grubs of the delta (which is an experience in itself). Although, you will need to have a strong stomach for this!
5. Catatumbo River, Near Lake Maracaibo
For a truly unique sight head to the Catatumbo River where it flows into Lake Maracaibo. It’s in this corner of the country where you find Catatumbo Lightning raging for 160 nights of the year, for 10 hours at a time. This is known as the “Relampago del Catatumbo”. Considered the most electric place on earth, this slice of Venezuela should definitely be on your list!
6. Caracas, Capital City of Venezuela
Join Osprey Expeditions for an exciting day tour of Caracas, the capital home to 2 million Venezuelans! On this day trip you will visit famous sights such as Simon Bolivar house, Plaza el Venezolano (San Jacinto) and the Panteon Boulevard situated in the Altagracia District. This can include pick-up at Simon Bolivar International Airport and transfers to your next tour, so you are fully looked after as soon as you arrive in the country.
7. Margarita Island, Caribbean Sea
If you’re looking for more beaches in Venezuela then head to Margarita Island! The beaches here are lovely but that’s not the only reason to visit. The island is also home to intricate mangroves, awesome little coastal towns and colonial old villages where the Spanish past is still felt today. In the interior of the island, you will discover high hills and lush vegetation – perfect for taking a hike or for a horseback riding adventure.
Indeed, by booking your Margarita Island trip with Osprey Expeditions you will be able to enjoy horseback riding, snorkeling and kayaking. The minimum stay here is for two days but you can always extend your trip for a few more days if you fall in love with this slice of Caribbean paradise.
8. Choroni Locality, Northern Venezuela
Choroni is a coastal locality located in the north of Venezuela. This destination is well off-the-beaten-path and offers travelers a truly authentic experience. Beaches, waterfalls, hikes and more can all be enjoyed. The locals are notorious for their hospitality too. Ben Rodriguez, Director of Osprey Expeditions, recommends this as the perfect ending to your trip:
“Not only are the beaches great but the people are friendly. Here you can see how the local fishermen live. You should visit the pier and see how the fresh fish arrives to get traded. Also, if you have the energy, swim at Playa Grande by 6:30am to enjoy the dawn with clear waters. To me this is the ultimate way to finish a trip in Venezuela, it’s pure relaxation”.
Need to Know Before you Go
Booking with a reputable company like Osprey Expeditions will give you a boost in confidence to travel to Venezuela for the first time. Their English speaking staff will meet you at the airport and look after you from start to finish, so you can focus on experiencing all of those epic places that Venezuela has to offer (instead of worrying about safety or logistics).
While the news media and government agencies paint a dark picture of Venezuela, the reality on the ground is that Venezuela is a safe country as long as you practice common sense. If you have trepidations about your safety, you should get out of the cities (like Caracas) and head to nature. You will find Venezuelans to be just as friendly as any other nation.
Most Venezuelans speak Spanish so if you took Spanish classes at school, make sure you brush up on it before you go! This will make a big difference to your experience as most people here don’t speak a word of English. But remember, the staff at Osprey Expeditions can speak English.
One of the biggest questions people have about Venezuela is visas and this changes depending on your nationality. The best option is to do extensive research online or call up the nearest Venezuelan embassy. They should be able to provide information on visa applications. Apart from that, just book your flights and tours with Osprey Expeditions, and then this gem of South America is waiting to greet you with open arms!