Day 1 : Watch the World’s Most Mysterious Lightning Phenomenon from a Village Built on Stilts
On this trip, you are going to visit three fantastic places: Jají, a very well preserved Spanish colonial village; Las Cuevas del Pirata (The Pirate’s Caves), an enigmatic eco-tourist park with interesting caves; and finally, a settlement built out of stilts over Lake Maracaibo, the largest lake in South America. At the end of the day, you’ll also be able to observe the Catatumbo lightning, a unique natural phenomenon that has won the Guinness world record for having the highest number of lightning per square kilometer per year. Our trip starts at 08:00 a.m. First, you and your guide will be driven to Jaji village. Here, you can find arts and crafts. Then, back on the curvy road, we’ll go through dense vegetation and spectacular waterfalls in the mountains, and after some lay-bys to enjoy the astonishing scenery, we'll get to the town of La Azulita. Once here, we will visit Las Cuevas del Pirata (the Pirate’s Cave), where it is believed that pirates of the Caribbean used to come into to take refuge. Afterwards, you can have lunch at a nearby traditional food restaurant. Later, you will be taken to Puerto Concha (02h 30min), where the boat departure point is (here, you’ll also be able to see monkeys and toucans). Next, you’ll continue your trip on a boat across the lake for about two hours, dolphins might be seen leaping and swimming alongside the boat. Finally, we’ll get to the stilt village near Congo Mirador. Once here, you’ll have to set up your hammock from where you might be able to see the Catatumbo lightning, a mysterious symphony of rapid-fire lightning bolts that create the greatest light show on Earth, more than 40,000 bolts ripping across the night sky as many as 180 nights a year for nine hours at a time.
Accommodation: Local family, on hammocks. Cold water and no electricity.
Transport: Toyota Land Cruiser model 70.
Communication: No network.