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Customised English-speaking travel agency in Venezuela.

Excursion to Catatumbo Lightning 2D/1N - Venezuela

On this trip, you are going to visit three fantastic places: Jají, a very well preserved Spanish colonial village; Las Cuevas del Pirata (The Pirate’s Caves), an enigmatic eco-tourist park with interesting caves; and finally, a settlement built out of stilts over Lake Maracaibo, the largest lake in South America. At the end of the day, you’ll also be able to observe the Catatumbo lightning, a unique natural phenomenon that has won the Guinness world record for having the highest number of lightning per square kilometer per year.

  • - This expedition allows you to observe a natural preserved park with dolphins, toucans, caimans and a whole community that lives in another time.
  • - This circuit mixes a variety of transportations: 4*4 and boats that will take you from the cool Andean zone to the Maracaibo Lake's warmth.
  • - An almost unique phenomenon occurs over 180 days a year: "The Catatumbo lightning"
  • - A bit long roads
  • - Rustic accommodation.

Detailed program

video Catatumbo Venezuela

lightning Maracaibo lake catatumbo Venezuela
lightning Maracaibo lake catatumbo Venezuela
Day 1 : Watch the World’s Most MysteRíous Lightning Phenomenon from a Village Built on Stilts

Our trip starts at 08:00 a.m. First, you and your guide will be driven to Jaji village. Here, you can find arts and crafts. Then, back on the curvy road, we’ll go through dense vegetation and spectacular waterfalls in the mountains, and after some lay-bys to enjoy the astonishing scenery, we'll get to the town of La Azulita. Once here, we will visit Las Cuevas del Pirata (the Pirate’s Cave), where it is believed that pirates of the Caribbean used to come into to take refuge. Afterwards, you can have lunch at a nearby traditional food restaurant. Later, you will be taken to Puerto Concha (02h 30min), where the boat departure point is (here, you’ll also be able to see monkeys and toucans). Next, you’ll continue your trip on a boat across the lake for about two hours, dolphins might be seen leaping and swimming alongside the boat. Finally, we’ll get to the stilt village near Congo Mirador. Once here, you’ll have to set up your hammock from where you might be able to see the Catatumbo lightning, a mysteRíous symphony of rapid-fire lightning bolts that create the greatest light show on Earth, more than 40,000 bolts ripping across the night sky as many as 180 nights a year for nine hours at a time.
Meals: (-L-D)
Accommodation: Local family, on hammocks. Cold water and no electricity.
Transport: Toyota Land Cruiser model 70.
Communication: No network.
small village Congo Mirador Catatumbo Venezuela
small village Congo Mirador Catatumbo Venezuela
Día 2 : Discover South America’s Largest Lake

The next stop is the village of Congo Mirador, an unusual place where the fire station, the church and the schools are built on stilts; students literally have to get in the water and make their way to their classrooms. We will leave at 08:00 a.m. Once you get to Congo Mirador, you along with your guide can visit some streams, and watch numerous butterflies and birds species such as: herons and ospreys. Back on the motorboat, we’ll take you back to Puerto Concha, and after two hours of sailing, you’ll be able to have lunch at a small local restaurant at midday. Then, we’ll continue our trip all the way back to the valley of Mérida.
Meals: (B-L-)
Accommodation: none.
Transport: Toyota Land Cruiser model 70.
Communication: Partial mobile network.
    • Catatumbo Express (Direct trip to Catatumbo from Mérida):
    • 4 people: 150 USD/pers
    • 2 people: 260 USD/pers
    • 1 person: 475 USD/pers

    • Catatumbo Full(the route described above):
    • 4 people: 275 USD/pers
    • 2 people: 410 USD/pers
    • 1 person: 735 USD/pers

    Are included in this price:
    • - All the transports from Merida and back to Merida
    • - All the accommodations facilities.
    • - Meals when specified (B-L-D) = (Breakfast-Lunch-Diner).
    • - Guides speak English & Spanish.
    • - All the excursions and safaris mentioned in the programme.
    Not included:
    • - International flights
    • - Alcoholic drinks
    • - Meals specified free (by yourself) (--) = no meal included
    • - Private English-speaking guide during the whole tour.
    • - Personal expenses
    • - All sorts of insurance.
    • - Everything that is not mentioned above « is included in the price».
    Travel organization:
    Our programmes are individually organised in terms of dates and content. However, our tours are not fully private, so you could meet other travellers at different stages of your trip.
    What to Bring?
    Hat; sunscreen; water bottle; hike pants; insect repellent; headlamp; raincoat; passport copy; sleeping bag liner; you don’t need big, heavy or cumbersome shoes, but good trainers (orienteering shoes); plastic bags to keep water away from electronic devices; first-aid-kit; polar fleece jacket; bath towel.
    Further Advice:
    Don't forget your travel insurance! You can benefit from the travel cancellation insurance offered by your credit-card company when paying for your tourist package at our point of sale. You must get neither a visa nor vaccination to come to Venezuela. However, Franbrasil Tour’s C.A. recommends you should get the yellow fever vaccine and the preventive treatment of malaria. You also need to have a valid passport for at least six months before arriving in Venezuela, and you have to carry it with you when travelling within the country.
    Means of transport are mentioned as examples of the models of vehicles used most often.
    Your advisor informs you:
    The tour of Catatumbo alternates fresh zones with hot zones. You need to bring cold cloths but short, tongue, torch and rain cloth too. The ideal is to put all these stuffs into a little bag which will follows you everywhere. During your transports, we recommend you to have always your passport with you in case of a control on the road. 
    map of Catatumbo Venezuela