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internal flights (1 Viewer)


Well-known member

I am presently planning a Feb 2010 independent trip to Venezeula but am having trouble finding flight details to Merida from Caracas. Is Merida airport closed still after a major accident there? Is it possible to book any internal flights online from the UK without going through travel agents either here or in Venezeula?

At the moment the trip will be with a US buddy, going to the Andes around Merida and Henri Pittier Nat Pk on the coast plus sites in between. We might go to Los Llanos, perhaps decide that when we arrive. We both like to wing it and never rush.

Can anybody recommend any decent places to stay in or around Merida or Henri Pittier area. No 5 star places please, strictly budget travellers but not too tight, as we are getting older we require a few more comforts.

Thank you



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I've been doing a little more searching. Merida airport does still seem to be closed to commercial traffic. Flights instead to El Vigia down on the lowlands then take a bus up hill - an hour or so?


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Does anybody actually go to Venezuela anymore? There are no trip reports on here for a year or so.


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I went independently last year and rented a car in Caracas
I would use El Vigia airport. The road from here to Merida was the best road I can remember on my trip.

by the way I wouldn't reccomend staying in merida - very noisy -car alarms being set off with firecrackers every night. Merida IMO is not a nice city.- you will need a car for this general area.
Near Merida, Estancia la bravera is superb accomodation, right on the azulita road (perhaps the best birding area around merida)

posada el limon http://www.posadaellimon.com/ I highly reccomend for accomodation near Henri Pittier

Another option (for northern cordillera birds) if you are on a budget is to contact Norbert Flauger:
This is excellent (and reasonably priced) accomodation in Pal Michel. There is a large overlap of birds of this area and Henri Pittier.
He also does reasonably priced excellent guided tours. If you want to avoid the expense of car rental and bird the northern cordilleras you can perhaps fly to Valencia where they could pick you up

By the the way I wouldn't wing it with the hatos. Both (Pinero and Cedral) were excellent when I went, however you have to make sure all your guiding (reasonable costs) are pre-arranged.

Venezuela is a country I wouldn't wing too much. Decent accomodation is thin on the ground and it is a dangerous country. That being said, my holiday was superb.

feel free to PM me
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Thanks for your reply. I cancelled last month (a first). So looking for somewhere else to go.


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check out this report from another guy that went independently:

I won't discuss too much about safety, but generally, I felt very secure when I was there. I did everything with bus, which proved to be convenient, fast and hassle-free. Merida was not bad at all, it has some relaxed atmosphere (but definitely not so around x-mas when kids have fireworks in their hands, and you as their targets!). I took a 4-days classic Llanos trip with arassari.com (run by a swiss guy and based in Merida), which wasn't bad for the birds, but with the company of four other non-birdwatchers proved to be a bit more of a challenge to stop the car for every bird!


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Opus Editor
Thanks for your reply. I cancelled last month (a first). So looking for somewhere else to go.

Just spent 3½ weeks in Chile on independent travel; this felt like a very safe country. (The guide book says never, ever, try to bribe a policeman in Chile!)



Well-known member
Thanks Niels;

Now that's an interesting possibility for the future. Will have to do a little research.


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Outside of the cities is also where the birds are ;-)
On the other hand, some places in the countryside (especially bordering Colombia) are to be avoided.


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The devaluation of the currency will not help matters. More poverty, more crime, more attacks on "rich" birdwatchers.


Active member
Just to add to this I would say that Venezuela has become such a difficult place to travel right now that it would be better always to go with someone who knows their way around like a guide or a local company. It's not the same country as when I used to bird there and I would be scared to travel alone now. Great birds, great birding but be prepared and BE CAREFUL!!!

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