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13 days South-east Venezuela Birdwatching in Venezuela
Venezuela lies in the Neo-tropics, the world's most bio-diverse area, and with over 1390 species, has the sixth highest avifaunal biodiversity in the region. The tour area is in Eastern Venezuela and includes the famous Gran Savanna (Canaima national park) a remote and almost untouched tableland (Pantepui) around 1000 m with Tepuis peaks to 2800m, offering some of the most spectacular scenery and birding on the continent with species from the Guianan shield and the Amazon basin. Habitats visited in this area (Sierra de Lema and Gran Sabana) include premontane, mossy and gallery forests, morichales, grasslands and bushy savanna. The tour also visits other highly-reputed areas further north: the lowland Tierra firme and varzea forests of Imataca; and part of the eastern branch of the Andes around Caripe (Turimiquire mountain ridge) and the Paria Peninsula (Paria mountain ridge). About 60% of the country's birds are present in the tour area and the birding is extraordinary.
Some of the highlights include: about 20 pan-tepui and other endemics, an exceptional number (potentially) of Cotingas (11), Manakins (14), Tanagers (33), Euphonias (10), Antbirds (38) and Fly-catchers (65), and numerous Macaws (6) and other Psittacidas (20), Toucans (7), Humminbirds (40), Trogons (6), Jacamars (6); and many specialties hard to see elsewhere.
Just a few of the species which are almost always seen: Crested and Harpy Eagles, Red-fan Parrot, Stygian Owl, Tufted Coquette, Crimson Topaz, Venezuelan Sylph, White-tipped Quetzal, Roraiman and White-throated Barbtail, White-plumed, Spot-backed, Scaled-backed and Ferruginous-backed Antbird, Golden-headed, Blue-crown, Scarlet-horned, Striped and Crimson-hooded Manakin, Guianan Cock-of-the-Rock, White and Bearded Bellbirds, Pompadour and Spangled Cotingas, the bizarre Capuchinbird, Red-banded and Handsome Fruiteater, Rose-collared Piha, Dusky Purpletuft, Musician Wren, Grey-headed Warbler and Venezuelan Troupial.
Other Species will delight the ears with their beautiful vocalizations, but will be more difficult to see.
During the total tour (16 days),you can expect around 400 species of birds.
13 day birdwatching tour to south-east Venezuela.
This 12 days itinerary will take you to south-east Bolivar state, including the areas of Imataca rain forest, Sierra de Lema mountain ridge and the Gran Sabana, including the Santa Elena –Pauji Road. This tour includes species from the Guiana shield and the Amazon basin
Arrival at the international Airport Caracas (Maiquetia). If possible take the domestic flight connection to Puerto Ordaz City. If not possible spend the night at
hotel Costa Real Suits in order to take the early flight to Puerto Ordaz the next morning.
Overnight: Puerto Ordaz or near the international airport. Day 2.
For the people who spended the night at Costa Real Suits: transfer to the airport to take the early flight to Puerto Ordaz. For the people who speeded the night at Puerto Ordaz, have breakfast and wait at the airport for the rest of the participants for the beginning of the tour. Ground transfer to the town of el Palmar, birding on the way. Afternoon birding the surroundings of el Palmar. Species to be expected: Green-rumped Parrotlet, White-headed Marsh Tyrant, Yellow-chined Spinetail, Black-crested Antshrike, Venezuelan Troupial.
Breakfast, lunch and dinner. Overnight at Posada Taguapire. Day 3.
Full day Imataca rain forest reserve. After early breakfast, ground transfer to one of the active nesting sites of the Harpy Eagles, where we will try one more time to have an spectacular view of the most power full bird on earth, besides looking for other specialties of the area. Species to be expected: Harpy Eagle, Red and green Macaw, White-cheasted Emerald, White-chinned Sapphire, Ferruginous-backed, White Plumed and Rufous-throated Antbirds, Purple-throated Fruitcrow, Turquoise Tanager, Crested Oropendola and more.
Breakfast, lunch and dinner. Overnight Posada Taguapire.
Half day (full morning) Imataca rain forest. After early breakfast, ground transfer to the Rio Grande to continue the search for the specialties of the area. After lunch transfer to the town of Las Claritas, stopping at Barquilla de Fresa to visit the hummingbird feeders. Species to be expected: White-tailed Trogon, Crimzon Topaz, Long-billed Starthroat, Gray-breasted Sabrewing, Rufous-breasted Hermit, Gray and Dusky Antbird, Tiny-tyrant Manakin, Amazonia Barred Woodcreeper, White-chinned Woodcreeper, Musician Wren, Riverside Warbler, Rose-breasted Chat, Slate-colored Grosbeak and more.
Breakfast, lunch and dinner. Overnight Camp. Manakas.
Full morning Cuyuni Road. After early breakfast, we will bird the high Cuyuni Road (Capuchinebird road) for the specialties of the area. After lunch we will continue the birding and slowly climb our way up the Escalera road (Sierra de Lema) picking up species as we go up. Species to be expected: Red-fan Parrot, Paradise Jacamar, American Pygmy Kingfisher, Black-spotted Barbet, Black-necked Aracarie, Yellow-tufted Woodpecker, Chesnut-rumped Woodcreeper, Gray Antwren, Guianan Warbling Antbird, Cliff Flycatcher, Moriche Oriole and more.
Breakfast, lunch and dinner. Overnight at Posada Kamoiran.
"Guianan Cock of the Rock"
Full day Sierra de Lema (Escalera road, alt. 400-1400 mts). After early breakfast, transfer to Sierra de Lema to start the search for the Pantepui endemics and other species restricted to the area of the Tepuis. Habitats: Evergreen pre-montane forest, mossy forest and savanna scrubland. Species to be expected: Tepui Tinamou, Tepui Swift, Rufous-breasted Sabrewing, Velvet-browed Brilliant, Tepui Spinetail, Roraiman Barbtail, Tepui Foliage-gleaner, Streak-backed Antsrhike, Tepui Antpitta, Scarlet, Horned, Olive and Orange-bellied Manakins, Ruddy Tody Flycatcher, Rose-collared Piha, Red-banded Fruiteater, Guianan Cock of the Rock, Bearded and White Bellbirds, Black-hooded Thrush, Tepui Greenlet, Roraiman Warbler, Tepui Whitestart, Tepui Brush-Finch, Golden-tufted Mountain Grackle.
Breakfast, lunch and dinner. Overnight at Posada Kamoiran.
Full day birding Sierra de Lema (Escalera road, alt. 400-1400 mts.). After breakfast, transfer to Sierra de Lema to continue the search for the Pantepui endemics and other species restricted to the area of the tepuis.
Breakfast, lunch and dinner. Overnight Posada Kamoiran. Day 8.
Full morning birding Sierra de Lema (Escalera road). After breakfast, transfer to Sierra de Lema to look for species that we still have not seen. Afternoon transfer to Santa Elena de Uairen, stopping for birding and sightseen at Mirador el Oso (beautiful views of the eastern Tepui chain, Canaima national park), Kama Waterfalls and Divina Pastora Bridge. Species to be expected: Lesser Yellow-headed Vulture, White-tailed Hawk, Pale-breasted Spinetail, Black-chinned Antbird, White-throated Manakin, Plain-crested Elaenia, Pearly-vented Tody Tyrant, Tawny-headed Swallow, Buff-breasted Wren, Wedge-tailed Grass-Finch.
Breakfast, lunch and dinner. Overnight Campamento Yakoo.
Full day birding Santa Elena el Pauji Road (el Brujo – 5 ranchos). After early breakfast, ground transfer to el Brujo for a full morning of birding, after lunch we will bird 5 ranchos area. Habitats: primary and secondary pre-montane forest (alt.700 to 900 mts). Species to be expected: Crested Eagle, Orange–wiged Parrot, Brown Jacamar, Gilded Barbet, Ruddy Foliage-gleaner, Spot-backed Antbird, Blue crowned, Striped, Dwarf Tyrant Manakins, Ringed Antpipit, Paradise Tanager, Black- faced Tanager, Moriche Oriole.
Breakfast, lunch and dinner. Overnight Posada Intiguiazi. Day 10.
Full day birding el Pauji area (Amariba, granza, aiport). This day we will fully bird watch the area surrounding the village of El Pauji. Depending on your physical conditions, we have a series of trails to choose from. Habitats: Primary and secondary pre-montane forest, savanna and savanna scrub (alt.700 to 900 mts). Species to
be expected: Little Chachalaca, Red-Shouldered Macaw, Eastern Long-tailed Hermit, White-tailed and Amazonian Violacious Trogons, Paradise Jacamar, Channeld-billed Toucan, Guianan Slaty Antshrike, Mouse-colored, Imery, Warbling and Scaled-backed Antbirds, White-throated Manakin, Long-billed Gnatwren, Wing-banded Wren, Blue-black Grosbeak, Rufous-crowned Elaenia, Smokey-fronted Tody-Flycatcher.
Breakfast, lunch and dinner. Overnight Posada Intiguiazi. Day 11.
Full day Uaiparu River Valley. After early breakfast, ground transfer to the Uaiparu Road, we will spend the complete day birding the Uaiparu River Valley Road and trails. Habitats: Primary and secondary pre-montane forest (alt.600 mts). Species to be expected: Plumbeus and Hook-billed Kites, Blue-headed Parrot, Little Cuckoo, Many-banded Aracarie, Plain-crowned and Ruddy Spinetails, Chesnut-crowned Foliage-gleaner, Long-winged Antwren, White-shouldered and Spot-winged Antshrike, Black-faced Antbird, Magpie Tanager, Pectoral Sparrow, Green and Olive Oropendolas.
Breakfast, lunch and dinner. Overnight Campamento Yakoo. Day 12.
Travelling day from Santa Elena towards Puerto Ordaz. After early breakfast we will drive to Sierra de Lema to catch species that we had not seen before, during the previous visits to the area. We will continue north and have lunch on the road, we will eventually bird on the way to the place, where we will spend the night.
Breakfast, lunch and dinner. Overnight at a hotel near Puerto Ordaz. Day 13.
Early ground transfer to the Puerto Ordaz airport to take the first flight available to return to Caracas for the international flight connections. If clients are to sleep another night at CCS airport, this service is not included on the price. We can help the clients solve this.
Birding Pals! Price reduced 20% for 2017 from prices below!
13 Days tour price is: 2 pax US$3090 per person double room. 4 pax US$2491 per person double room. US$150 single supplement.
Due to currency fluctuations and fuel cost we reserve the right to adjust any pricing prior to departure.
This 5 days extension will take you to north-east Venezuela, Caripe (Turimiquire mountain ridge) and the Paria peninsula (Paria mountain ridge) to search for the endemics and other specialties of the region.
After sleeping at Puerto Ordaz, we will drive to the town of Caripe in the Turimiquire mountain ridge, where the famous Oilbird cave is located. We will bird on the way at several places and visit the cave during the afternoon to finally see the coming out of the oilbird right at dusk. Some of the species we have chance to see are: Scarlet-fronted and Venezuelan Parakeets, Inca Jay, Oilbird, Green Hermit, Venezuelan Flycatcher, Rufous-breasted Wren, Yellow-legged and Glossy-black Thrush, Orange-crowned Oriole among others.
Breakfast, lunch and dinner. Overnight Caripe. Day 2.
After early breakfast we will birdwatch all day around the Turimiquire mountain ridge area (cloud and mossy forest). Depending on your physical conditions we will choose between El Peru or Cerro Negro. Both places are good for the endemics an other specialties of the area, including: Venezuelan Sylph, White tipped Quetzal, Groove-billed Toucanet, Scale Piculet, Crested Spinetail, White-throated Barbtail, Gutulated Foliage-gleaner, Golden-faced Tyrannulet, Handsome Fruiteater, Gray-headed Warbler, Venezuelan Flower-piercer, Ochre-breasted Brush-finch and other interesting species.
Breakfast, lunch and dinner. Overnight Caripe. Day 3.
Early breakfast and early morning birding around Caripe. Ground transfer to Guaraunos (Paria peninsula). Afternoon birding finca Vuelta Larga. Some of the species possible include: White-eyed Parakeet, Russet-throated Puffbird, Pygmy Kingfisher, Cream-colored Woodpecker, Jet and Silvered Antbird, Crimson-hooded Manakin, Cinnamon Attila, Lance-tailed Manakin, Bicolored and Stripped-backed Wren and other species from the area.
Breakfast, lunch and dinner. Overnight Guaraunos. Day 4.
Early drive to the small village of Las Melenas. Today we will climb up to Cerro Humo (cloud and mossy forest) for the endemics of Paria peninsula mountain ridge. We will spend the whole day in small steep trails in search of the Scissor-tailed Hummingbird, White tipped Sabrewing, Black-faced Antthrush, Slate-crowned Antpitta, White-throated Barbtail, Handsome Fruiteater, Golden-fronted Greenlet, Paria Whitestart and others.
Breakfast, lunch and dinner. Overnight Guaraunos. Day 5.
Early breakfast, transfer to Cano Ajies for the river boat excursion. Species posible to be seen: Rufous-crab Hawk, Pygmy Kingfisher, Black-chinned Antbird, Spotted Toddy-flycatcher, Bicolored Conebill among others. After lunch ground transfers to Maturin to take domestic flight to the international airport or overnight near the airport for next day flight.
End of tour
Breakfast and lunch.
5 Days tour price is: 2 pax US$1285 per person double room. 4 pax US$1035 per person double room. US$90 single supplement.
Due to currency fluctuations and fuel cost we reserve the right to adjust any pricing prior to departure.
Included: Transportation (Toyota Land Cruiser 4x4), meals and lodging as mentioned, profesional guide (Ivan), 2 domestic flights, hotel transfers in and out at CCS. Excluded: Alcoholic drinks, airport tax, tips and any items of a personal nature.
North and south-east Venezuela tours can be customized to the requirements and targets of the clients. Depending on the number of days you have available. We can taylor make your birding tour.
Costa Real Suites: (full services). Posada Kamoiran: Private bathroom (cold water shower), Wi-Fi. Campamento Yakoo: Private bathroom (hot water shower), Wi-Fi, Movil telephone. Posada Intiguzi: Private bathroom (hot water shower).
Birding season: I have worked with birdwatchers year round, but the main groups come during the months of November through March.
All the date of itineraries include arrival and departure dates.
All trips are available year round, but prices may be adjusted around special holidays.
Minimum lead time six (6)weeks. To check availability for tours on short notice, fill out Request for Quote form with desirable dates. Fitness:
Most of the tour and extension will be on asphalt and dirt roads. Relatively easy walking, but one or more longer, moderately strenuous rainforest and mountain walks is necessary, specially to see some of the endemics of Paria peninsula and Caripe.
Weather: Hot and humid in the lowlands, warm and damp in the Tepui (Sierra de Lema) and the (Paria-Turimiquire) area.
Binoculars, scope, light trekking shoes, sandals, Wellington boots (rainy season), insect repelent, long sleeve shirts, rain jacket, poncho or umbrella, sunscreen cream, hat, flashlight, water bottle, personal medicines.
Should you only need a guide for a day or need more information please send a message to Ivan.
Ivan Tepedino, your local Birdingpal guide
Ivan Tepedino, born in Caracas, Venezuela 24-09-1961.
Since 1985 Ivan has been involved in birdwatching and natural history in his country. He has worked in private wildlife reserves like Hato Piñero, El frio and Cedral as local guide. For some time he ran his own company, providing services of ground transportation and specialized guidance for birdwatchers around the country.
In 1998 Ivan moves to the little village of El Pauji in the south-east part of Bolivar state, close to the Brazilian frontier. Ivan has been working on the vocalizations of the avifauna of his area (Sierra de Lema-El Pauji) with the assistance of Tony Creasse (Tony has several publications in Cotinga magazine and has worked on extension ranges for many species in south-east Bolivar). Ivan participated in the NeoMapas Aves 2010 projet (inventory and maping of the bird diversity of south-east Bolivar state), sponsored by the Instituto Venezolano de Investigaciones Cientificas. He also forms part of the local team for the annual bird counts supported by the Venezuelan Audubon Society. Ivan is actually monitoring a nesting site of a Crested Eagle in his home area, together with Tony Creasse. During the time he has been living in the area, he also has become one of the most importand trekking guides for climbing the local tepui mountains (flat top mountains), where species like Band-winged Nightjar(roraimae ssp.) and Tepui Wren can only be seen. Lately Ivan has been leading and co-leading birding tours for companies like: Ascanio Birding, Wings, Sunbird and the organization Birdingpal in north and south- east Venezuela. He also is the local birdwatching guide recommended by the Venezuelan Audubon Society for the south-east part of Venezuela.
Ivan worked with me and my team on the birds of Sierra de Lema, Gran Sabana and Rio Grande,Venezuela, in January 2012. Our 6 week long expedition in Venezuela was part of the on-going project for the forthcoming Photographic Handbook of the Birds of the World.
Ivan worked for us a local bird-expert/spotter. His work was extremely good, he was well performed during the week, in all aspects, and most important his company was the best- and it was not taking long to get very close friends. It was a pity to have Ivan for just one week on the expedition. He was simply one of our best birders to work with over the years.
Hadoram Shirihai (Photographic Handbook of the Birds of the world.). Venezuela January 2012.
Ivan Tepedino is passionate, about birds, conservation and making a difference in his personal approach to life and the world around him. Some guides want you to see the bird more than you do yourself, and Ivan is truly one of those. If your travels take you to the southeastern corner of Venezuela, one of the most legendary birding spots in the Neotropics, then Ivan will make a fine host.
Guy Kirwan. (Editor Cotinga Magazine). Venezuela January 2012.
Ivan Tepedino guided me for a couple of days in El Pauji and the amazing Sierra de Lema. I recommend Ivan as a knowlegeable, enthusiastic and very pleasant guide that know where to find all the endemics and specialities in the area of Sierra de Lema, Mt Roraima and El Pauji. During my days in the area we spotted almost all the tepui endemics, unforgettable! Martin Berg, Stockholm Sweden martin.berg20(AT)gmail.com
February 2013, I just completed 8 days of birdwatching with Ivan and must say he is one of the hardest working guides; I ever experienced birding around the world.
He managed to show our small group 20 endemics for the region, 20 Antbirds, 22 Hummingbirds and 12 different Manakins to name a few. Plus Bellbirds, Cock of the Rock and Harpy and Crested Eagles, not to mention the rarely seen Tepui Tinamou. If you enjoy forest birding Ivan is your guide in south eastern Venezuela.
Knud Rasmussen, Birdingpal
Ivan took part in this expedition - Birds of Venezuela Dec 2011-Jan 2012 and spotted a never photographed bird. Have a look here
Some facts about Venezuela.
Important fact about the tour.
National parks and protected areas we will visit include: Canaima National Park (Sierra de Lema-Gran Sabana).
Paria peninsula National Park (Cerro humo). Cueva del Guacharo Natural Monument (Oilbird cave).
Ethnic groups of the area: The Pemon ethnic group is the original people of the Gran Sabana, who have inhabited the region for centuries, and whose linguistic origins stem from the Caribbean people. Today they are some 20000 pemons. Pemons are divided in 3 sub-groups: Kamarakotos-Arekunas and Taurepangs.