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From Elizabeth Kline's Book "Guide to Camps, Posadas and Cabins":

ORINOCO DELTA LODGE

By reservation only.

Continuing past Ubanoko (see above) on Caño Manamo, this facility built by Tucupita Expeditions is found on Caño Guamal, just some 300 m. off of the Manamo, + 1,5 hours from Tucupita by fast boat.

Since its inauguration in 1993, this camp has grown tremendously, expanding from an extremely rustic, small facility with just one large churuata with open space to hang hammocks, separate bathroom some distance away, and a cozy dining-social area… to the largest and most appealing in the delta.

There are currently 37 individual cabañas (each with 2-3 single beds and private bath). The design of the cabins is particularly handsome: exterior walls with wooden base about 1 m high, then screening to the roof all the way around to allow breeze, light, the enjoyment of sounds of the jungle. However, privacy is created by the shaggy palm roof with an extremely long overhang to block the view of passersby into the cabin. Likewise, the bathroom area is separated by a solid interior wall on two sides, lined with ceramic tile on the inside. Good thick mattresses. Pretty matching sheets. Large towels.

Always introducing creative changes, the founder-director-architect of the camp, Anthony Tahbou, is in the process of progressively replacing all of the cabins with a new design with cantilevered (rather than vertical) exterior walls (still with same combination of solid bottom and screen above, but giving the spacious rooms an even larger feel, and roof still of palm but with a more typically of Warao design. Designs painted on the wood floors add another appealing touch. He also replaced the former main social building with a truly spectacular enormous new palafito on the shore line with dining-social area, kitchen, and bar under, palm roof reaching a height equivalent to + 3 stories. This also has cantilevered walls and the interior spaces is subtly divided, by container with live banana trees and other plants into different spaces to give visitors many areas for seating, reading (there is a library with magazines and books in various languages), talking, connected to it is an extensive deck area with a built-in tables and benches (great for watching the amazing every-six-hours about face of the flow of the river-due to the ocean tides and rapid movements of floating bora (water hyacinth with showy purple flowers)… or by night, for star gazing. All the structures are joined by a network of elevated plank walkways and lined with kerosene torches to light the way by night. There is electricity in the cabins provided by generator from sunset to + 11 Pm Grounds have been beautifully landscaped with jungle plants.


in Simoina Camp - Click to enlarge
in SImoina Camp
By far, the best food I have eaten at any camp in Venezuela-and even among most restaurants. A great variety of menus that are not in any way the routine received at the majority of camps (which all seem to be stuck on a plain fried chicken or fish, served with rice and grated cabbage and carrots salad or spaghetti with some tasteless sauce devoid of spices). Just as an idea, even at the "rustic camp" of Simoina, a delectable "perico" (scrambled eggs with unions, sweet peppers) made with fresh shrimp was the feature for one breakfast (light years beyond expectations); in the main camp, beef with a delicious wine sauce, sweet and sour chicken…always with a different salad and vegetables, or perhaps sautéed potatoes with unions… and addictive freshly-made hot bread with every meal (even in the rustic camp), hats off to them for realizing the importance of visually appealing, varied, and tasty meals-even un a camp!!

Fauna abounds (where the songs of the birds and the unique sounds of howler monkeys serve as the morning wake-up call) in the surrounding area and they have acquired a number of "pets" which were baby animals found orphaned that they raised and which come and go as they please and live a natural life in the jungle and caños (including hunting for their own food now), but are tame around people (and constantly roam freely through the social area) due to their having been raised with love by humans. These include 3 nutria and a beautiful ocelot. There is also a cougar in a huge caged natural environment (since he IS dangerous!) and a giant anteater ("Oso" was roaming free when I was there in 7/2000, but they were planning on building a large corral for him-where he could live naturally and visitors could observe him, but he would be contained-since he was beginning to destroy the upholstered furniture with his powerful claws which could present possible danger to guests).

They have their own fleet of boats with new powerful motors to be able to move up to 120 people at a time (for this reason, coupled with the capacity/quality of their lodging, along with regular tourists, they have frequently served as the based companies making films in the delta and the scientific expeditions).

Another interesting alternative is to combine a stay at the main lodge with several days in their Simoina Camp; a very rustic (but thoroughly charming and comfortable) option beside a remote caño in the northern part of the delta. A series of palafito modules (a large one for the social/dining area, one for sleeping, the kitchen and the bathroom-with just toilets and sink; bathing is in the caño) joined by elevated boardwalks with; cap. for 20 in hammocks (recommended for of 2-5 days to enjoy a variety of excursions, min. 6 pax).

English, Arabic, Dutch, German, and Italian spoken.
Special discount for backpackers.
Price includes: transfer Tucupita-Camp-Tucupita, all meals, local tours.
NOT included, but available separately: alcoholic beverages, softdrinks.

Definitely the most attractive camp in the delta! Day tours to the main camp and Simoina are also available from Margarita.

Note: I fully expected to be swarmed with mosquitoes, especially with my visit in the rainy season. But, this was not the case! Even on a jungle trek and a night excursion by curiara in one of the tiny caños, there were virtually no nasty biting insects. Nevertheless, using repellent is still wise. Recommended cash or confirmable checks only.


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From Valentina Quintero

Amigos: Anthony, Maria Victoria, Yakara, Amazona y Simoina.

Cabins on the river - Click to enlarge Cabins on the river
La primera visión del Orinoco Delta Lodge después de tantos años fue verdaderamente una alucinación. Esa churuata gigante como primer impacto es demasiado. Cuando la ves y entras y la recorres, sabes que todo lo demás que puede ocurrir ahí será perfecto, mágico, exótico y exhuberante.

Los animales salvajes corriendo libremente entre los muebles. Los bancos y las mesas colocados sin orden formal. Las butacas cómodas en combinación con los muebles de animales. Los techos altísimos para que la selva no se pierda. Los palafitos para las habitaciones para que jamás olvides la sensación del río por abajo. Los puentes entre un lugar y otro para que camines sobre el agua. La vegetación metida por donde voltees. El amanecer entrando en el cuarto desde la serenidad del río. Se la comieron con ese campamento. Todo el que llega debe sentirse una especie de explorador de lo desconocido. Un Tarzán tropical. Un aventurero en serio.

Y así me sentí en Orinoco Delta Lodge, ni hablar de la travesía y estadía en Simoina. Se ve que ambos entienden a la perfección lo que aspiramos encontrar en un viaje de esa naturaleza. Ese ambiente de río, curiaras, animales y mangle se te tiene que meter en el alma. Es verdad que dormí horrible por la humedad, pero nunca olvidaré ese baño de noche y ese amanecer de Orinoco y esa pesca fallida pero emocionante. Fueron generosos y especiales con nosotros y se les agradecemos por siempre. De verdad gozamos cada minuto y desde que llegamos hemos contado fascinados la travesía. Las imágenes son insuperables y estamos todos orgullosos. Se que haremos los honores al Delta. Reciban un beso grande todos y de nuevo gracias por cada segundo vivido a lado de ustedes. Valentina Quintero


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Caracas, domingo 11 de abril, 1999

Alternativas distintas a las tradicionales en todo el país

Hospedarse en Venezuela bajo la guía de Elizabeth Kline

Esta norteamericana recorre el país en busca de alojamientos que recopila en su guía que este año llegó a su cuarta edición y que reseña más de mil opciones de campamentos, posadas, cabañas y otras alternativas

Ileana Matos


Elizabeth Kline recorre el país en busca de
opciones de alojamiento (Foto Luis Vallenilla)


La cuarta edición de la Guía de Campamentos, Posadas y Cabañas en Venezuela, de Elizabeth Kline, ya está a la venta. Con un total de 1.126 sitios que proponen alojamiento en todo el país ofrece al interesado en el turismo por Venezuela opciones para todos los bolsillos, con datos específicos acerca de la calidad y la atención que se ofrece al viajero en cada uno de ellos.

Basta una consulta para averiguar todo acerca de las condiciones físicas de los lugares, así como la atención que se presta a los huéspedes, para que éstos opten por aquellos en donde la estadía será inovidable, sin ser necesariamente los más lujosos o costosos.

'Muchos de estos sitios tienen un elevado nivel de atención por parte de los dueños, muchos de ellos profesionales que decidieron entrar en el negocio del turismo', dice Kline, quien destaca además la labor realizada en Falcón y Mérida, donde se ofrece excelente información a los viajeros y la página web de Think-Venezuela http://think-venezuela.net responsabilidad de Delta Orinoco Lodge.

Todos los textos están en español e inglés y la información, así como las observaciones, son de Kline, que viaja por su cuenta y sin avisar, en la medida de lo posible. Los datos incluyen cómo llegar, cómo hacer los contactos, con qué se va a encontrar el interesado, los precios y la forma de pago, las restricciones y los requisitos exigidos.

La guía está a la venta en más de 100 librerías de Caracas, las más importantes de las capitales del interior y en muchas de las posadas. El precio es de Bs. 6.500 y puede adquirirse además llamando a Kline a través del (02) 945.1543 o el e-mail ekline@cantv.net. Hay descuentos para pedidos al mayor.

 

 
 

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