|Costs||£2550 / $4995 (US) / €3227|
|Group Size||4 - 20|
|Dates||05 Jul to 28 Sep 2010|
02 Aug to 26 Oct 2010
11 Oct 2010 to 04 Jan 2011
06 Dec 2010 to 01 Mar 2011
17 Jan to 11 May 2011
- 14 Mar to 06 Jun 2011
- 09 May to 01 Aug 2011
- 04 Jul to 26 Sep 2011
- 01 Aug to 24 Oct 2011
- 10 Oct 2011 to 02 Jan 2012
- 05 Dec 2011 to 27 Feb 2012
- 16 Jan to 09 Apr 2012
- 12 Mar to 04 Jun 2012
- 07 May to 30 Jul 2012
- 02 Jul to 24 Sep 2012
- 30 Jul to 22 Oct 2012
- 08 Oct to 31 Dec 2012
- 03 Dec 2012 to 25 Feb 2013
Venezuelan 3 Month Explorer: Full Itinerary
Weeks 1 to 3 - Learn Spanish, kayak to remote Caribbean islands, swim in crystal waters with dolphins, rock climb, abseil down a waterfall, explore caves and caverns, and discover the beautiful area of Caripe.
Our plane touches down in Caracas Barcelona, Venezuela, where a Yomps representative will take us to our new home amid the coconut palm trees of the Playa Colorada. Here we will spend the opening fortnight of our adventure learning Spanish, visiting local islands, going on a kayaking adventure, learning to rock climb and abseil, and immersing ourselves into the local culture and atmosphere with some Salsa dancing classes!
Each weekday morning we will fit four hours of intensive Spanish tuition around our daily adventure; with lessons designed to teach Spanish in a natural and spontaneous fashion by imitating the way people acquire their mother tongue. Each lesson is comprised of four 45-minute sessions with 15-minute breaks and focus on developing student comprehension of the four main language skills: listening, speaking, reading and writing. Speaking Spanish from the very first day and practicing it in specially designed exercises such as role-plays, situational dialogues and work projects, will improve vocabulary and accent whilst giving students the confidence to actively use and improve their Spanish outside the classroom. Visiting the area’s vibrant markets and beautiful surrounding towns provides the opportunity to interact with native speakers whilst immersing ourselves in the area’s colourful South American culture.
Outside Spanish lessons’ we will also get the opportunity to hone our language skills whilst practicing our adventure sports skills as we embark on a variety of exciting adventure activities. We will perfect our kayaking technique, learn to climb, and even get the chance to abseil down a waterfall! Our culinary skills will also be improved and expanded, as we are taught how to cook the delicious local dishes such as Catalina, Calamari, Arepas and Pabellon. To limber our limbs for our climbing and kayaking adventures whilst immersing ourselves in the South American culture, there will be the opportunity to learn to dance Salsa and Merengue during the evenings! A three-day kayaking voyage will take us exploring the beautiful islands that are scattered along over 1,750 miles of Venezuelan coastline in the warm crystal waters of the Caribbean Sea. At each island we visit we can explore, relax on the golden sands and snorkel in the brilliantly clear waters seeing a kaleidoscope of tropical fish, soft corals, seawhips and hopefully dolphins, before camping on the deserted beaches and falling to sleep to the sound of the sea.
Heading to lush mountains of the Caripe, we will visit Venezuela’s most famous cave and first natural monument, the Cueva Del Guacharo. The 6.38-mile length of cave harbours incredible stalactites and stalagmites, and is long considered to be one of the most complete cave ecosystems on earth. The limestone cavern is home to a vast array of wildlife that includes a spectacular colony of huge Guacharos birds, the only nocturnal bird species on the planet that feed on fruit. To conserve the cave-system and natural feeding ground of the birds, the Cueva Del Guacharo National Park was created, meaning over 242 square miles of lush vegetation lie stretched out before you when you emerge from the cave. We can explore this and the surrounding area, to visit coffee plantations, fruit and vegetable farms, and vibrant local markets.
Weeks 4 and 5 - Explore the Orinoco Delta, see an abundance of wildlife, kayak to remote Warao settlements, and learn to survive in the jungle like a Warao Indian.
Our fourth and fifth weeks will take us on a spectacular adventure to kayak along the Orinoco River in the Orinoco Delta, an area fringed with beautiful mangroves and freshwater swamp forests. The delta is home to a great variety of species of fantastic scientific and biological importance, which will give us sightings of river otters, crab-eating foxes, the rare manatee, and an amazing colourful spectrum of birds, which include parrots, toucans and macaws. The Orinoco Delta is also the home of the Warao Indians, an indigenous people inhabiting thatched roof huts built on stilts along the fertile delta. Warao literally translates as ‘The Boat People’, referring to the Warao’s intimate connection to the Orinoco River, where babies often learn to paddle in a ‘bongo’ (a wooden canoe) before they learn to walk. Living from the river and fertile delta, the Warao are masters of fishing, farming, and weaving, using their skills to turn plants into baskets, hammocks, and other fine products. Visiting the Warao families will give us the rare opportunity to sample their way of life, learning how to cook in clay cooking pits and weave basket trays. Our guides on this unique adventure will also show us how to survive in the jungle with lessons that include how to forage for food, fish, cook our catch, make shelters, and live in the spectacular scenery the way the Warao’s have for centuries.
Weeks 6 to 8 - Learn Spanish, play beach sports, snorkel in crtstal-clear waters, visit historical sites, go on a Jeep safari to the mystical highlands, and trek to the top of Mount Roraima.
During our sixth, seventh, and eighth weeks we will continue our Spanish course to expand our vocabulary, hone our grammar, improve our confidence, and get more and more fluent in the wonderful language every day. We should be progressing well and be able to have basic conversations with each other and the area’s inhabitants, which can be put to good practice when we learn how to play volleyball and enter into a tournament with the local community! In the afternoons’ we can explore the area, snorkel, play sport on the beach, swim in the gorgeous warm sea, kayak, abseil, or just relax soaking up the impressive weather of Venezuela. As well as possessing stunning beaches, scenic delta’s, and impressive mountains, Venezuela also contains amazingly beautiful cities filled with history and culture.
We will take a trip to Cumaná, a busy maritime city that boasts one of the largest tuna fleets in Venezuela and is the capital of Venezuela's Sucre State. Situated at the mouth of the Manzanares River on the Caribbean coast, Cumaná was the first city to be founded by Europeans on the South American mainland, and still possesses a wide variety of colonial style architecture, including a large old Spanish fort named the ‘Castillo de San Antonio de la Eminencia’ (‘Castle of Saint Anthony of the Eminence’). The city is the birthplace of Andrés Eloy Blanco, one of the most important Venezuelan poets of all time, and is now the home of Vanessa Peretti, Miss Venezuela 2007! Travelling to the capital of the Anzoátegui State, we will get a much better opportunity to witness the beautiful colonial architecture of Barcelona than at the start of our time in Venezuela. Due to its historical buildings and tourism infrastructure Barcelona proves to be a popular destination for tourists, who often visit the colonial buildings that surround the Plaza Boyaca, the original plaza built when the city was founded. Often visited is the city's cathedral ‘Iglesia El Carmen’, built between the years 1748 and 1773 (taking so long to build due to the extensive repairs for damages caused by an earthquake), and now standing a beautiful representation of the area’s architecture.
Leaving Barcelona we will then embark on a weeklong Jeep Safari into the mystical highlands of Venezuela. We will visit various indigenous settlements, witness the amazing array of huge waterfalls scattered along our route, and travel through the amazing Tepuis, huge vertical 3000 foot table-like mountains that stand as isolated islands in the Sabana. Known to local people as ‘Houses of the Gods’, the Tepuis are the wild, beautiful home of the Pemon Indians, which remain largely unexplored. During our eighth week, we will hike to the summit of the world’s largest tabletop mountain, Mount Roraima. Being the location that inspired Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s The Lost World, we will embark on an adventure with the same excitement, having ‘no doubt that our leader will make good his statement… that we are really on the eve of some most remarkable experiences.’ (The Lost World) Each day on this beautiful route to the top of the mountain, we will have our dinner under the stars and fall to sleep in tents listening out for dinosaurs! Our 5-6 day journey will take us passed stunning waterfalls, unique rock formations, and through cloud forests until we reach the summit. The top of the 3,000 foot Tepui will be our home for two nights, so we may fully experience the amazing environment with its moon-like appearance and out of this world views.
Weeks 9 to 12 - Volunteer in the community
Now we have mastered the basics of Spanish our language skills will be put to the test as we get involved in one of the variety of community projects that take place in the area. During this final month though we will no longer have Spanish classes, everyday we will interact with native speakers of Spanish using Spanish as the main language in which we communicate, which is always the most effective way to learn and master any language. The variety of community projects ongoing in the area includes building a doctors’ surgery, setting up waste collection facilities, improving the facilities at a local school, teaching subjects such as sport, geography, and English to local children, and providing basketball and football pitches for local poor children. There is also the opportunity to get involved in other projects, including helping a foundation for street children, volunteering in rehabilitation centre, and helping the animals of a local zoo. Getting involved in such essential projects will give us a true sense of achievement, as we help this underprivileged region of Venezuela. To be able to stay, work, aid, and learn from these communities is a rare opportunity and great honour. It will completely submerge you in the language and culture of Venezuela, whilst allowing you to make a huge difference to the local community, and providing remarkable experiences to tell for years to come!
8 week option -
For those with limited time, we also offer the first 8 weeks of the 12 week program as an alternative shorter package. This includes all the adventure activities but not the volunteering (see first 8 weeks of the itinerary above).
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Please note that when completing the online booking form, you should select the applicable start date and specifiy your desired trip duration in the 'Other Details and Information' section.
Malaria Awareness -
Travelling to long-haul destinations can be a wonderful and exciting experience. Before you go, make sure you take the right travel advice about visiting Malaria risk countries. At Yomps we are committed to stopping traveller deaths from malaria which is why we support the campaign being run by Malariahotspots.com. Click here to download our free guide about Malaria Awareness (opens in a new window).
Our Partners On This Trip -
We work in partnership with established projects, courses and expeditions. The information on our website comes from our local partners and we work with them to ensure the information is as accurate as possible. However, due to the very nature of the trips themselves the exact details of what happens on a daily basis can vary.