presents ... presents ...
Orinoco river at Sunset Tucupita by Matt Hamm ©2006

Getting There
Getting to Tucupita
Moriche Palms
Orinoco River
Places To Stay
Stay: Tucupita
Stay: Delta
Stay: Maturin
Trip Reports
next page
Puerto Ordaz
Angel Falls
Margarita Airport
Travel Tools-VE
Orinoco Delta
Rio Caribe
Peninsual de Paria for Turuépano National Park
José Tadeo Monagas International Airport.
Delta Amacuro.
Gulf of Paría
Scarlet Ibis
Boto [dolphin]
Orinoco Crocodile
Caribe Piranha
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 Guyana touch Venezuela
In 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 Venice".  “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.

ATTA: 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]  Excellent on-line museum styled collection, find objects from twelve distinct ethnic groups living in Venezuela.
Moriche palms
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
orinoco blue-crowned motmot

Maturín [Monagas] 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 theScarlet Ibis 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 vegetation”
Alexander Von Humbolt
Trip Reports
piranha fishing:
 "There 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 jigging."
Anaconda Pursuits
"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]
Monagas Markets: "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 active. [more]
 "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." The trip to Macareo River.

Getting There
(MUN) Quiriquire Airport, Maturin, VE
MUN Arrival
MUN Departure
Bus: 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
Maturín 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.
Tucupita is 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.
Getting There: Tucupita
Tucupita Tourist Office Diturda, 2nd flr, Edificio san Juan, Calle Bolivar by the plaza [no phone] Mon-Fri 8-12 & 15-17
MUN Arrival
MUN Departure
(TUV) Tucupita Airport, VE
3km north of the city. Does mainly charter flights. Check to see for a regularly scheudled flight. Avior no longer has one
Bus Terminal de Pasajeros you can save an hour of the 4 hours to Maturin by using por puesto service
Boat: 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 Leone
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, Maturin, Venezuela
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 
Travel agency located here
Gran Hotel Amacuro  [25 rooms] Calle Bolivar near Okaza Bolivar tel; 721 0404/0452 restaurant
Hotel La Rivera [50 rooms] 3 blocks from Plaza Bolivar restauarnat 721 0777/0578
Delta 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 cabinsThe Orinoco Delta Lodge - Click to enlarge with private bathroom. A huge dinning and bar area overlooking the river.

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.

"The staff 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 (crocodiles).
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 feeling.
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 Airport
Only chartered planes arrive here.
If you are comming from Caracas or Margarita Island you can fly to Maturin or Puerto Ordaz.
From there you can reach one of our ports (Tucupita or Boca Uracoa) by Land transportations, approximatly 02 hours.

DownloadVenezuela 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 forests.
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). 
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

Orinoco River 
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 northwesterly direction
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.

Manamo Tours Tucupita
East side of Plaza Bolivar tet/fax 721-0179
Italian & English || pdf  Andes, Angel Falls and Paria beaches ||Paria beaches (independent travels)Tel 020 7281 7788 Fax 020 7281 7878 Email enquiries at
116 Tollington Park London N4 3RB Calle Urdaneta opposite Hotel Michelle, Santa Elena de Uairen,
Edo. Bolivar
Orinoco Tours Venezuela
Offers river expeditions, trekking, jeep tours, diving, and wildlife viewing.

Last Update: NOV2006 || Main Page: