Having only really been to Europe and snorkelling just off the beach in Sharm El Sheikh, I suddenly decided that this time we would try somewhere new. I found a very reasonable package trip to an island called Margarita, just off the coast of mainland Venezuela. Imagining two weeks of laying in searing heat on the beach I didn’t yet know about the exciting places to visit in Venezuela itself. I had not imagined getting in a plane until the ‘ride home’. I had definitely not imagined getting in three different TINY planes with propellers. But what we saw and encountered on this trip would stay with us forever. Here are my top unusual ‘musts’ if you ever venture over this side of the World.
Get Lost in the Time Zone and See Sunrise
It is inevitable travelling west around the world your body will not have a clue what time it is and you will wake up before the crack of dawn for the first days. Until you adjust, why not get up and enjoy the glorious sunrise shows down at the beach. We did this the first few days after we landed as we were so wide awake it was a shame not to do something. Sunrise was basically the only thing going on and it was wonderful. We didn’t venture out of the hotels beach boundaries though as the security guards warned us about ‘Bandido’s’. The sunrises were glorious and we did exactly the same thing when we travelled to Costa Rica years later.
Take a Flight to the Mainland
I know you may have just landed on the lovely island but don’t get too comfortable. There is much to see and do on the mainland which whilst you are here you MUST see. It may mean you need to get in a tiny tiny plane such as this one, not quite the aircraft I am used to being in. However it was very safe and quite a short journey, and the rewards for being brave were about to get amazing.
Get on a boat right in to the Orinoco Delta
Just as you are getting over the plane journey, you are bout to embark on a lovely boat ride (for about an hour or so) right in to the jungle. The boat takes you deep in to the Orinoco Delta where the adventure really begins. The river winds its way along, the banks covered in thick vegetation. If you are lucky you will spot monkeys and loads of beautiful birds. The bigger ‘animals’ come later!
Stay In A Jungle Lodge
Basic would be how I summed up our accommodation, however what do you expect in these circumstances. We were staying only one night and if I didn’t get any sleep I could make up for it another day. The rooms all had bathrooms with showers, and there was a communal restaurant room where our meals were served. The room was completely covered in netting which I would be immensely grateful for in the evening…..see below!
Fish for Piraña
For my first ever fishing expedition I would apparently be trying to catch something that could strip my flesh! I wasn’t too sure how I felt about this, however I never thought I would actually catch one so I threw myself into the challenge. Armed with a piece of line tied to an actual stick I was given a piece of ‘meat’ to put on the hook at the other end of the line. I was in a slight quandary as i really wanted to wash my hand after touching the meat. But in the water I was about to fish for piraña in?
What to do?
Sounded wrong so I stuck my hand in quick! Well, would you believe it, i caught one before Mr C! Although when tasked with photographing my triumph he mostly got my armpit (out of spite I think lol)! They were all thrown back in after we had finished ogling them and we set off for the lagoon.
Swim with River Dolphins (& don’t get eaten by the crocs)
Our guides took us next to a lagoon off of the river where they declared there were no piranhas. Apparently they only live in rivers with currents, so lagoons are safe. That being said I was not about to do what they suggested. Jump in. Let me set the scene. The water is dark brown from the tannin in the soil so you can’t see anything. The sun is setting….and this is when the crocodiles who live in the lagoon wake up.
So what does Mr C do?
Jump in of course! Show off. I did take a photo of him in it and then quickly asked him to get out and stop being so stupid! I don’t think we had been married long and I didn’t fancy being a widow by a crocodile! The dolphins who also live in the lagoon were in a playful mood and we saw quite a few of the pod.
See biggest bugs of your life
Everything seemed bigger in the jungle. The moths, the toads, in fact all of the bugs. During the evening when we were in the netted restaurant the walls were constantly being hit by giant bugs who were attracted by the light. I was very glad of the netting as I think it would have been awful to have so many bugs trying to hit your face!
During the night I woke to the sound of something being hit. It turned out whilst Mr C had got up to use the facilities he had spotted a huge cockroach in the room and was pummelling it with his trainer! I think I had not long drifted off from hearing the sounds of goodness knows what being eaten in the jungle outside! No sleep tonight!
See the Milkyway – yes really!
The most beautiful part of being out in the middle of nowhere was the sky. After the sun had set it was pitch black, so black you could see the actual Milkyway. My terrible camera couldn’t capture it however it was one of the most amazing things I have ever seen. No telescope either!
Fly over Angel Falls
Leave the jungle behind you for your next adventure and get in another little plane. This time the destination is Canaima National Park…..via Angel Falls. The scenery is just stunning with the tabletop mountains rising from the ground. As you round one corner of a really tall one the waterfall is cascading down the entire side. Rainbows are visible towards the bottom where the spray and the sun collide. Stunning!
Go behind the waterfall from Last of the Mohicans
This was a real treat I had no idea was going to happen. We were ushered into another boat, given a life jacket and headed off to a really large powerful looking wide waterfall. The boat then docked on a beach, life jackets taken off of us and we were told to follow. We were being taken behind the waterfall we had just gone past, exactly like you see in the films! And this particular waterfall had been featured in the film Last of the Mohicans (still not seen it). It was loud, wet but amazing!
Annnnnddddd Relax Back at the Hotel
After all that excitement you are now due a holiday! Luckily you are on the holiday Island of Margarita so grab a cocktail and watch the sunsets after laying on the beach all day. I think you will agree that there are ‘Exciting Places to Visit in Venezuela’!
If you like South America have you ever visited Mexico? Check it out, you can swim in a sink hole!!
- Airport Parking
- Rail Europe
- Holiday Taxis
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