Venezuelan eco-tourism became popular in the 1980s, and with good reason. The tropical country features 25 different ecosystems, including rain forest, mountain, coastal reef and savanna. Two of the world’s largest rivers flow through Venezuela: The Orinoco and the Amazon.
Venezuela boasts 40 national parks, where people can go to relax, hike, bird-watch and try their hand at amateur wildlife photography. Canaima National Park is Venezuela’s largest park, offering the photographer or wanderer over 6,000 different varieties of plants to look at. The area is also host to hundreds of animal species. Canaima National Park features the world’s highest waterfall, Angel Falls.
Protected Marine Parks:
Venezuela’s protected marine parks contain fragile coastal ecosystems, but visitors are allowed to scuba dive and snorkel in these areas. Take the time to visit the marine parks to view the unique, and sometimes rare, fish and amphibian species in the area. Be sure to respect the natural environment; do not disturb the aquatic creatures found here. Seeing the wide variety of Venezuelan ecosystems is a great way to spend your time. However, if you’re likely to take in more adventurous activities in the remote wilderness, you may want to consider hiring a guide and purchasing a product like TravelGuard trip insurance to safeguard you and your belongings while you’re on vacation.
Tourism and the Locals:
The Venezuelan government doesn’t encourage mass tourism because it wants to preserve the country’s natural resources, but small groups of tourists are welcome. Some of the country’s indigenous people even host visitors in their villages. Those that welcome tourists often sell handmade pottery, musical instruments, baskets and woven fabrics. Others act as guides through the region, helping outsiders to spot native wildlife and flora they otherwise wouldn’t notice. Many locals still hunt and fish to make a living.
Table Top Mountains:
Cerro Autana is a tabletop mountain — a quartzite-sandstone tepuy — located in western Venezuela. The local Piaroa Indians worship it as the stump of the tree of life. Another tabletop mountain, Mount Roraima, is on the border of Brazil, Guyana and Venezuela. You can easily reach the top via natural staircases on the Venezuelan side. Reaching the summit from the other countries is more difficult.
Water Sports and Activities:
If you’re not the hiking or climbing type, there are plenty of rivers and lakes to explore. Whitewater rapids ranging from Grade III to Grade V in difficulty are available for rafting. Kayak or canoe on one of Venezuela’s many rivers, or go kite-surfing at El Yaque Beach. Horseback riding and bicycling are among the other leisurely activities available. As for lodging, visitors to Venezuela can opt to stay in eco-friendly lodges, beach front cabins, or at dedicated campgrounds. Be sure to plan your trip well enough so that you can see everything you want to see.
Staying Safe on Your Trip
While you visit Venezuela and enjoy the eco-tourism, be sure to stay safe. Take these precautions to make sure your vacation is stress-free.
- Keep all valuables with you at all times. Do not keep them in a room safe.
- Make copies of all identification and travel documents (including your passport) before you leave. Keep these extra documents with your attorney or in a safe deposit box.
- Leave emergency contact numbers with a close friend or relative. Make sure someone knows where you are staying at all times. If you unexpectedly change accommodations, be sure to notify someone.
- Follow all rules and regulations of the country you are visiting.
- Ask your cell phone carrier to switch your plan to an international plan while you are out of the country.
About Author : Dustin spent his post-college years backpacking through South America. He is now a freelance writer and travel consultant with a focus on Spanish-speaking countries.
Tags: beach front cabins, Canaima National Park, Cerro Autana, Eco tourism, eco-friendly lodges, National Parks, Protected Marine Parks, scuba dive, snorkel, Staying Safe on Your Trip, Table Top Mountains, Tourism and the Locals, Venezuela, Venezuelan eco-tourism, Venezuela’s largest park, Water Sports and Activities, wildlife photography.