Day 2: An Amazing Journey from the Andes to the South American Grasslands
On this trip, you’ll have the opportunity to visit Los Llanos, a vast tropical grassland plain the size of Germany. Located between Colombia and Venezuela, this savannah is very well known for its important and unique biodiversity. Here, you will be able to see several species of birds such as: scarlet ibises, herons, savannah hawks, double-striped thick-knees, spectacled thrushes; wild reptiles such as: anacondas, spectacled caimans, gold tegus, iguanas; and the largest rodent in the world: the capybara. Our trip starts at 08:00AM from mérida. We will go over the mountains to Barinas, on a paved road that reaches the 3,500 m. at its highest point (134 km, 3h 30 min). We will feel how temperatures will start rising rapidly as we go getting closer to the foothills. Depending on time schedule and weather conditions, we will make several stops and a 1-hour hike around the mountain lakes and through the pine forests. After leaving the mountains behind, we we’ll make a stop to eat lunch at a traditional restaurant where we will try “Carne en vara” (Venezuelan-style grilled beef). Later, we will continue our trip towards Mantecal. From this point on, the climate will start changing gradually, and more and more abundant wildlife can be seen as we go deeper into the Savannah. (350km, 3h 30min). Once we get to Mantecal, you are going to stay overnight with a host family.
Accommodation: Viviano's family, cold water and electricity during the night.
Transport: Toyota Land Cruiser model 70.
Communication: No network.