Venezuela - Andes, Llanos and the coast
A good overview of this diverse country, staying in lovely small inns with an emphasis on nature and wildlife.
Day 1: Spend the first night at the comfortable Ole Caribe Hotel, close to the airport.
Days 2-6: Fly to Mérida, pick up a hire car and drive to Posada Las Sevillanas, a charming family-run inn, where you have 3 nights. Set at the head of the Pedregosa valley above the town of Mérida there are excellent walks from the posada which reach all the way to the páramo. After a very scenic drive north spend 2 nights at the pretty Hotel Los Frailes.
Days 7-9: Drive east down the Andes to Barinas and hand back hire car at the airport. Met for a 3 hour drive across the plains, and 3 nights at Hato Cedral. This is a 55,000 hectare ranch with plenty of wildlife.
Days 10-14: Return to Barinas for a flight to Porlamar, via Caracas. Spend 4 nights at Casa Caracol (formerly Casa Chiara), an oasis of peace and tranquillity just north of the town Juan Griego. Fly back to Caracas for onward connections.
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