Los Llanos , Venezuela

Los Llanos is Venezuela's wildlife capital and one of the continent's top places to see a wide range of flora and fauna including Capybaras, Anacondas, Caiman and giant ant-eaters.

Between the months of July and November, Los Llanos enters the rainy season and with water covering a large section of the land - the animals become more elusive and the insects thrive! From mid-November, the water begins to recede meaning the animals gather in the wetter parts and are more easily seen. Between December and July are probably the best months to visit Los Llanos although at any time of year, you are unlikely to leave disappointed!

This is an amazing part of the country with rolling plains and such a concentration of wildlife rarely found anywhere in the world. Explore the rivers and creeks filled with caiman, turtles, pink river dolphins, piranhas and crocodiles or ride through flocks of Igrits on the savanah - this is quite the wildlife enthusiast's dream!

Most people arrange tours to Los Llanos through agencies operating from Merida but these can also be booked from other points across the country. A typical tour is all-inclusive and costs between $130 and $250 for 4 days. These are varied and interesting trips normally based at camps about an hour from Mantecal and usually include safaris by horse, by boat, by jeep and by foot.

For travellers on a budget, try contacting Campamento Rancho Grande directly and arranging something with the owner. You'll have to sort out your own transport to Mantecal though. This will cost you around half the price and your Spanish will need to be up to scratch to truly make the most of the wildlife descriptions.
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