Mérida Off The Beaten Path Tips by ukmagicman Top 5 Page for this destination
Mérida Off The Beaten Path: 17 reviews and 54 photos
One of the most beautiful regions in Venezuela is "Los Llanos." Here you can get close to nature and encounter many different species of wildlife. The llanos are huge plains where only the horizon stops your sight. Both, the vegetation and the fauna are full of beauty.
In this region there are only two seasons: rainy and dry season. However, pick the time you go correctly as you will have completely different experiences with the two. In the rainy season, the woods, the rivers, and the trees all show all their beauty and a large part of the region is under the water. In the dry season, the area becomes yellow and brown, and dust covers most parts of the plains, but this is the time when all the wildlife converge in the few spots where water is present. It is the season where you can see the most birds and animals. The difference between the two seasons is so big, that you can't say that you know the "llanos" unless you go during both periods.
There are many different animal species in Los Llanos. In the rivers and ponds you can find crocodiles and toninas (similar to dolphins), in the land deers, chiguïres (capybaras), jaguars and foxes, on the trees monkeys and birds. You can also find piranhas in the waters.
Summer (dry season) is the best moment for bird and watchers, because all the animals must go to the few spots that have water. Transportation in winter (rainy season) is also more difficult because many roads are flooded. However, this is the season when nature is more spectacular.
One thing is for sure, whichever the season, this is a must visit place. This is the one place that you have a high liklihood of coming across the huge Anaconda as well as can come face to face with piranha when fishing for them.
Visiting Los Llanos from Merida is easy as most of the tour companies offer 3 day tours to the area. A fully inclusive tour costs around $US 150 for 3 days and includes a mix of hotels and hammocks to get the full experience. Am happy to recommend tour companies if you shoot me an email.
Did you know that the unique lightning fenomena that occurs over the Catatumbo river happens to be the biggest regenerator of the Ozon layer worldwide?
The mysterious Relampago del Catatumbo (Catatumbo lightning) is a unique natural phenomenon. Its cause is unknown. Centered on the mouth of the Rio Catatumbo at Lago de Maracaibo, the phenomenon consists of frequent flashes of lightning with no thunder. The luminosity and frequency of the lightning have diminished over the last decade and it can stop for days, but on clear dry nights it is still a special experience.
Most of the tour companies in Merida offer tours to Catatumbo for around $90 to $150 for 2 or 3 days including food, tours, and lodging. Make sure you ask around as different trips will stop off at different places. You should see a lot of wildlife on the trip, especially bird species and butterflies.. and probably some monkeys too. A lot of the trips take you to sleep in hammocks on the lake so you can watch the lightning through the night.
High in the mountains is a picturesque lake named Lake Verde. You can visit it by planning a hike up the mountain through one of the many tourist companies in Merida or the easier way is to take the teleferico to the 3rd station and eithter hike from there or take a donkey ride to it.
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