|The Orinoco is one of the longest rivers in South America at 2,410 km,
(1,497.5 miles). To the south
and southeast of the Orinoco you'll find the land known as
Guayana, an expansive area that extends across three states:
Amazonas, Bolivar, and Delta Amacuro
where the Orinoco meets the Atlantic Ocean. This land is endowed
with rich and diverse ecosystems. The confluences of the Orinoco
and Amazona rivers rule this land and the dense rain forests
found here. This is the home of Venezuela's #1 visitor
attraction Angel Falls and the tallest
tabletop mountain Roiraima where a lost
world has drawn adventurers for over a century and the
boundaries of Brazil and
the wake of Christopher Columbus and Walter Ralegh on his search
for El Dorado, you too can take a boat up the Orinoco river
The Warao of
eastern Venezuela's Orinoco first had contact
with Europeans when, soon after Christopher
Columbus came upon Orinoco river delta,
Alonso de Ojeda decided to navigate the
river upstream. There, in the delta, Ojeda saw
the distinctively stilted Warao huts, balanced
over the water. Ojeda likened the sight to
Venice, with its famous canals below and
buildings above; Ojeda thus dubbed the land
Venezuela — literally meaning "Little
warao.org/ “People of the Canoes'” are the native
ones of the delta. With a population of 24,000 inhabitants their main
activities are fishing and crafts.
Communal house of the Ye'kuana.
The circular structure has a cone-shaped roof made of palm
leaves. Building the atta is considered a spiritual activity in
which the group reproduces the great cosmic home of the Creator.
Also called ëttë.
[more from orinoco.org]
Excellent on-line museum styled collection, find
objects from twelve distinct ethnic groups living in Venezuela.
The Waraos are
known for making beautiful baskets of Moriche palms, and some of
them have made it to international Galleries and Museums,
because of their beauty and rarity. The Moriche palm is also
provides year round food for the whole tribe, since it is can be
used as a source of bark flour , worms, or palm hearts
and to a lesser extent Tucupita are the
gateways to the Orinoco Delta
from Venezuela. The Orinoco Delta is a vast, intricate
labyrinth of waterways weaving through a simmering jungle to carry the
waters of the Orinoco
as it splits up into
thirty-seven mouths and branches as it flows into the the Atlantic Ocean.
At its mouth it forms a wide delta that branches off into hundreds of
rivers and waterways that flow through 41,000 km² of swampy forests. In
the rainy season the Orinoco can swell to a breadth of 22 kilometres and
a depth of 100 meters. The 200 km long Orinco river empties into
the Gulf of Paría and the Atlantic Ocean, a very large delta
(some 22.500 km² and 370 km at its widest).
Over the last century alone, some 1,000km² has been added to the delta,
which continues to extend into the Atlantic at a rate of 40m per year
over its entire 360km coastline. The Orinoco branches off into over 60 caños (waterways) and 40 rivers which diffuse through 41,000km² of
forested islands, swamps and lagoons.
The lower delta, still under the influence of the Orinoco, is subject to
flooding during the dry season, when water levels may vary by up to 15m.
Since 1991, 331,000ha of the lower delta has been protected by Turuépano National Park which is at the extreme western edge of the Gulf
of Paria, south of Paria Peninsula, and north of the San Juan River. The upper delta has experienced increased
salt water intrusion because of flood control projects.
The wildlife of the delta is also
extremely rich and varied. Jaguar, puma, ocelot, red howler and capuchin
monkeys, capybara, agouti, giant otter, manatee and dolphins are just a
handful of the countless species of mammal that can be observed in their
natural habitats. Among the extensive bird population are hoatzin,
macaws, parrots, toucans, caciques, kingfishers, cormorants, egrets,
falcons, hawks, harpy-eagles, weaverbirds and hummingbirds. There is
also an untold number of amphibians, reptiles and fish species,
including anaconda, boas, vipers, fer-de-lance, coral snakes, iguana,
cayman, turtles, piranha, stingrays and catfish.
|The climate of the Orinoco River basin
and delta is tropical with a pronounced wet and dry season. Rainfall
depths typically range from 1200 to 3600 mm per year and are greater to
the south, in the Guyana region
The climate is tropical, with a rainy season from April to
October. Temperatures are normally in the 10-12C range in the
mountains; 20-25C in areas between 1,000 -1,500 meters above sea
level; and 25-35C in the lowlands of Guyana and Amazonas.
Temperatures have been known to reach as much as 40C, though
they become dramatically cooler at night.
"The traveler who has just arrived
to the jungles of South America will encounter an unexpected
scenery. With each step he will find himself in a continent
where everything is huge, the mountains, rivers the
vegetation”... “I don’t know what will impress him most, the
contrast of beautiful sights or the exuberance of the
Alexander Von Humbolt
is a definite technique to piranha fishing -- use the end of the
rod to give the water a good thrashing and let the piranhas know
there is a potential victim near. We fished in fairly shallow
water along the mangroves in early morning and at sunset,
letting the hook hang down about three or four feet and
"Moments after spotting the anaconda gliding across the water,
our local guide, Rafael, pulled on his rubber boots and hopped
out of the boat in pursuit.
Standing in foot-deep water along the river’s edge, he searched
the floating vegetation for movement, or a flash of
olive-colored skin, before suddenly turning around and running
back to the boat.
“Grande! Grande!” he shouted [more]
"Capital of the state Monagas. I saw a
lot more open air markets here than I saw anywhere else. This is
the area where I probably bought the bulk of my souvenirs,
including a couple of hammocks, a domino set, a mounted piranha,
and lots of jewelry and similar junk. The most fun part about
the markets was haggling with everyone. You have to haggle,
because they always quote you these ridiculous prices first,
then you end up paying about a third of that in the end
| "Arriving at Boca Grande
delta, just beyond the northern fringes of the Orinoco basin, we
anchor in the shallows and jump overboard into the swirling mix
of fresh and salt water. After pausing to feast on yellow
passion fruit as big as oranges, we dive down to collect
handfuls of velvety, grey mud from the delta bed. Full of
minerals, it makes a great face pack. We return to Hacienda
Bukare looking five years younger"
|I took a por
puesto taxi to a small city called Tucupita, in the
Delta de Orinoco area, hoping to take a tour to the delta.
According to the Lonely Planet, there are numerous tour company
competing in the city for the tour. However, what I found
was...several tour agencies doing overpriced tours, not so
| "Most of the indians
still lived in their traditional houses on timber piling. In the
narrower waterways the trees met overhead. The heat and humidity
were stifling when we stopped, although not so bad as Amazonas.
We slept in our Indian guide's village, hammocks, on the first
night. The generator was rigged up with party lights. Our cook
got cracking, our worldly goods were offloaded. The hammocks
were rigged. The whole village turned out to help us eat the
food, smoke the fags and get drunk in case we couldn't manage it
all ourselves. Naked children were on hand to scavenge any
left overs. The night was quite cool. The mosquitos were the
biggest I have ever seen, however this at least meant they
couldn't get through the mosquito net, (unlike the "pica pica")
flies of Amazonas.
We also went on a night dugout canoe trip, spotting various
nocturnal birds and crocodiles etc. (A real spooky one that.)
There was also the howtomakefirebytwirlingastick demo,
free pyromaniacs souvenir kit provided afterwards for all. In
spite of it all we slept well.
more at Wild Macaws
|"The trip to Macareo River is one of
the highlights so far in my journey. I have never before came so close
to people who lives so totally different from what we does. No
electricity, shopping centers, roads, or factories."
trip to Macareo River.
(MUN) Quiriquire Airport, Maturin,
Terminal de Pasajeros about 2km southwest of where Avenidas Orinoco and
Liberatador intersect. Tucupita [4 hrs] Ciudad Guayana/Porto Ordaz [3.5
hrs] Caripe [3 hrs] & Carupano [3.5 hrs]
Car:Monagas has the only road linking Tucupita capital of the
Delta Amacuro State as well as providing a main route to Ciudad Guyana
across the Orinoco River
is the capital of the Venezuelan state of Monagas, 520 kilometres from
Caracas, the city was founded in 1760. It is one of the most important
cities in the east of the country as its strategic position serves as a
bridge to the other states of the region. The city has a population of
over 400,000 people, has some tourist attractions and it is possible to
travel there by land or by using José Tadeo Monagas International
Airport. The city has grown during the last few years mainly because of
the increase of the oil industry in the state.
In 1797 a British force from Trinidad actually occupied Maturin and for
200 years Trinidad was the cities main link with the outside world until
a road link was built from El Tigre. In 1998, the oil was opened up to
development by concessions to foreign companies and Maturin became a
boom town with the discovery of the largest Venezuelan oil deposits in
30 years at El Furrial.
the capital of Delta Amacuro, located inland from the coast and is the
only town which deserves to be called that. Some of the Missions have
settled here, and one of the most important is the Capuchin Mission,
which by now has existed for more than 50 years.
The town has about 70,000 residents and another 70,000 live in 280
settlements scattered throughout the delta, most without any back service.
The town is the trading supply center for the western Delta but its
infrastructure got little benefit from the since departed oil industry and
it dumps minimally treated sewage into the river. There's a struggling tourist
industry built primarily on offering tours into the Delta to the
occasional visitors. The shady
Plaza Bolivar and an esplanade along the river are attractive
enough to linger for an afternoon but the low hanging high-voltage power
lines lines preventing boat passage up the river unfortunately
discourages a lot of potential boat visitor traffic.
|Tucupita Tourist Office
Diturda, 2nd flr, Edificio san Juan, Calle Bolivar by the plaza [no
phone] Mon-Fri 8-12 & 15-17
|(TUV) Tucupita Airport, VE
3km north of the city. Does mainly charter flights. Check to see
for a regularly scheudled flight.
no longer has one
|Bus Terminal de Pasajeros you can
save an hour of the 4 hours to Maturin by using por puesto service
a passenger service to Pedernales 110km [5 hrs] leaves daily from Puerto
Fluvial on Paseo Manamo
|Organized tours to the delta are
becoming increasingly popular. Day trips can be arranged, but most trips
encompass at least one night's stay in the heart of the jungle. Tours to
the delta can be arranged in most tour agencies around the country;
Tucupita and Barrancas have several agencies specializing in
delta trips. The main access points to the delta are Tucupita, Boca
de Uracoa, Barrancas, La Horqueta and Volcan.
Fast motorized canoes can take tourists into the remotest parts of the
delta where a range of lodges have been constructed, ranging from simple
rustic huts to more luxurious accommodations. Tourists can also stay in
the stilted houses of the Warao for a few days and see how they
live and learn some of their skills in herbalism, food foraging,
fishing, boatbuilding, firemaking etc. In the delta itself only travel
by boat is possible.
Places To Stay
|Florencia suites hotel [Calle Florida Entre Raul
Maturin Mo, Venezuela
an all suite hotel with 40 units in the quiet residential area
of juanico in maturin, only two miles from the airport, and with
easy access to the city and the nearby oil fields. Each suite is
air conditioned with color tv and phone, as well as an equipped
|"$ 25 a night. Taxis are everywhere so don't
rent a car and find time to check out some hot spots
such as the Golden Bar
|Hotel Stauffer Maturin Av Alirio Ugarte Pelayo,
|Morichal Largo [Rooms: 212] Av. Bella Vista Km
3 vía La Cruz | P.O.Box. 180, Maturin, Venezuela West side of
city, 15 min from airport, 5 min from downtown.
Having some issue maintaining 5 star standards
agency located here
|Gran Hotel Amacuro
[25 rooms] Calle Bolivar near Okaza Bolivar tel; 721 0404/0452
|Hotel La Rivera
[50 rooms] 3 blocks from Plaza Bolivar restauarnat 721 0777/0578
http://orinocodelta.info/ Flotel Warao 10 rooms
with private bath on the lonely river arm "Cano Madre vieja"
The base is a catamaran with the
hotel on top made of wood. Huge windows give a stunning view to
untouched nature Guides will help you see water hyacinth, pink
dolphins, giant river otters, anacondas, and side neck turtles.
Along the riverbanks you will see Indian villages.
[26 rooms] Ranch San Andres is a beautiful cattle property
surrounded by exuberant tropical forest. Great foto gallery!
Boca de Tigre Lodge
Discover the fascinating wild water world of the Delta Amacuro,
where the mighty Orinoco River flows into the Atlantic Ocean.
37 individual comfortable cabins
with private bathroom. A huge dinning and bar area overlooking
Expeditions: deep jungle camps: Jakara Camp in Morichal
Largo & Simoina Camp in Waranoco, for the adventure
type many night expeditions
The Orinoco River Delta in Venezuela is accessible yet still
virgin. Its web of countless small and big rivers allows us to
venture deep into spectacular galleries of untouched beauty.
comes from around the world - our guides were
Christophe, a Frenchman, and Tino, a German. Maria,
the bartender was from Argentina. Many of the staff
are also locals who live in the delta and canoed to
the lodge for work in the morning.
The lodge has 37 thatched-roof cabins built on the
water or nestled into the jungle.
Ours was on the river, a few metres from a pen
shared by Toby the puma and three caiman
The cabin was open on all sides to allow cooling
breezes in, but screened to keep bugs and other
creatures out. The vaulted ceiling gave it an airy
It boasted hardwood floors and an ensuite bathroom
with bamboo walls, a flush toilet and a cold-water
shower, perfect for refreshing yourself after a day
sweating in the jungle."
GETTING THERE: Tucupita
Only chartered planes arrive here.
If you are comming from Caracas
or Margarita Island you can fly
to Maturin or
From there you can reach one of our ports (Tucupita or
Boca Uracoa) by Land transportations, approximatly 02 hours.
North East Maps
Turuepano National Park
|Turuepano National Park –
encompasses Turuépano Island in the Gulf of Paría, south of the
Peninsula. Covering some 70,000ha, it is the most extensive area of
protected marshlands in Venezuela. The many lagoons, channels,
marshes, mangroves, swamp forests and peat bogs form an incredibly
biodiverse landscape. The most prolific flora are ferns and moriche
palms which together with
mangroves, make up one of the continents most important protected swamp
This is a
vast swampland, criss-crossed by canals is filled with caimans, fresh
water dolphins, manatees, otters and piranha. Wildlife of the park
includes puma, ocelot, opossum, capuchin and red howler monkey,
kinkajou, skunk, water-snakes, coastal alligators and
rattlesnakes. The park also protects large populations of West
Indian manatee (Trichechus manatus) and other threatened
species like the giant otter (Pteronura brasiliensis),
neotropical river otter (Lontra longicaudis), and Brazilian
tapir (Tapirus terrestris).
Birdlife is prolific, and species common to the park include
racket-tails, wrens, finches, woodpeckers, mockingbirds muscovy duck (Cairina moschata)
and spectacular flaming red flocks of
Scarlet Ibis (Eudocimus ruber)
Numerous streams that empty into the Gulf
of Paria including Guariquén, Ajíes, Turuépano, Aruca, and Laguna.
The park is also inhabited by the Warao Indians, who live in open-sided
stilt houses linked by raised walkways, and whose presence in the region
dates back over 6,000 years.
GETTING THERE: The entrance to
the park is from Puerto Ajíes and can only be reached by boat
The great Orinoco River is a crucial part
of the Venezuelan environment. It originates 1,047 meters above sea
level in the Venezuelan State of Amazonas, in the southern part of the
country at the Brazilian border.
Traveling north along the Colombian border and then east to the ocean,
it effectively divides the country in two. The majority of its length is
navigable, one spectacular exception being the thundering rapids of the
Atures and Maipures streams.
The Orinoco course describes a
wide ellipsoidal arc, surrounding the Guiana Shield;
Some 200 streams and 600 tributaries
flow into the impressive Orinoco, the third largest river in the world,
spanning 2,140 kilometers. It begins at an altitude of 1,047 meters at
the Delgado Chalbaud mountain in the southeastern tip of the Amazon
State, travels first north, then turns sharply east.
Some of Colombia’s largest rivers flow
into the Orinoco River’s vast basin, which covers over one million
square kilometers. The largest being the Caroní, which joins it
at Puerto Ordaz, close to the
Llovizna Falls. A peculiarity of the Orinoco river system is the
Casiquiare canal, which starts as an arm of the Orinoco, and finds its
way to the Rio Negro, a tributary of the Amazon, thus forming a 'natural
canal' between Orinoco and Amazon.
Upper Orinoco, 240 km long, from its headwaters to the rapids
Raudales de Guaharibos, flows through mountainous landscape in a
Middle Orinoco, 750 km long, divided into two sectors, the first
of which ca. 480 km long has a general westward direction down to the
confluence with the Atabapo and Guaviare rivers at San
Fernando de Atabapo; the second flows northward, for about 270 km,
along the Venezuelan - Colombian border, flanked on both sides by
the westernmost granitic upwellings of the Guiana shield which
impede the development of a flood plain, to the Atures rapids
near the confluence with the Meta River at Puerto Carreño,
Lower Orinoco, 959 km long with a well developed alluvial plain,
flows in a Northeast direction, from Atures rapids down to Piacoa
in front of Barrancas
Delta Amacuro, 200 km long that empties into the Gulf of Paría
and the Atlantic Ocean, a very large delta (some 22.500 km² and 370 km
at its widest). At the ocean some 300 channels make up a delta of
about 30,000 square kilometers. During the rainy season, the river
reaches a width of 22 kilometers at San Rafael de Barrancas and a depth
of 100 meters. 1,670 kilometers of it are navigable, and about 341 of
those can be used for sailing large ships.
To the south of the Orinoco are
Venezuela’s Guayana and Amazon regions, which together comprise nearly
half of the country’s territory. The Orinoco and Amazon basins might be
considered Venezuela’s cradle of civilization for it is there that many
of the country’s indigenous people have lived long before recorded time.