The highest waterfall in the world, and justifiably the jewel in Venezuela’s tourism crown. This silver ribbon of water tumbles 979m off a flat-topped mountain into jungle below. To fly over the falls is to be dazzled by one of the wonders of the natural world, while a boat trip to the base will bring home the sheer scale of them.
At the very end of the Andes, this relaxed university town is the adventure sport capital of Venezuela, with hiking, mountain biking, rafting and paragliding just some of the activities on offer. For the less active, a ride on the world’s longest and highest cable car will transport you to Andean heights.
Los Roques Islands
You’ll find perfect white sand beaches and turquoise waters on these collection of over 300 islands. The entire archipelago was declared a national park in 1972, so they’re free from the usual Caribbean curses of highrise hotels and cruise ship mobs. Instead, expect phenomenal snorkelling, scuba diving and Grade A chilling out.
The Caribbean coast
As you’d expect from the country with the longest coastline in the Caribbean, mainland Venezuela has some seriously good beaches. Mochima national park is easily accessible and offer excellent diving. A little further away, but worth the journey, Parque Nacional Morrocoy is a fractured stretch of coastline broken into numerous picture-perfect islands.
A vast area of flatlands cut by rivers, Los Llanos offers incredible wildlife viewing, from birdwatching to monkeys and rare river dolphins. A stay on a local hato – cattle ranch – is the best way to enjoy the warm local hospitality.
A riverboat ride into the lost world
Venezuela’s slice of the Amazon basin is almost completely roadless. Some of the continent’s most isolated tribes still live here, in thick jungle pocked with flat-topped mountains called tepuys. A riverboat tour will take you through some of the continent’s most remote landscapes, complete with all the outlandish plant and wildlife that you’d expect from the Amazon.
Set on the border with Brazil and Guyana, Roraima is the tallest and most famous of Venezuela’s tepuys. These eerie flat-topped mountains inspired Arthur Conan-Doyle to write of a lost world inhabited by dinosaurs. You might not see T Rex on the six-day trek to the summit of Roraima, but with swirling clouds and sheer rock walls, he won’t feel that far away.
Parque Nacional Henri Pittier
Near to the capital, Venezuela’s oldest national park covers mountains and sublime Caribbean beaches. In amongst this are charming colonial towns and plenty of opportunities for hiking