Venezuela is South America’ s best-kept secret. Many travellers are familiar with the Colombian beaches or the Brazilian rainforest, but it is not so common for tourists to cross the border into this stunning country. We finally made it to Venezuela after postponing the trip for a couple of years, and all we can say is that it was the journey of a lifetime.

Our Venezuelan adventure began in Caracas, where we transferred into a flight to Ciudad Bolivar, a charming colonial town. Once there, we arranged a tour to Canaima National Park to see the famous Angel Falls. There are no roads into Canaima, so we flew from Ciudad Bolivar into the park’s main settlement. The 45-minute flight took us over some of the most spectacular landscape we have ever seen. We flew over the confluence of the Orinoco and Rio Negro rivers, two of the Amazon River main tributaries, and marvelled at how the black and copper waters of these rivers merged into one. Beyond the river, the impressive tepuis (table-top mountains) appeared to welcome us into a different world. We recommend to book a three-day tour to Canaima, as the trip to Angel Falls itself takes a whole day. Our next stop was the Orinoco Delta, which is known for its amazing variety of wildlife.

We stayed in Tucupita for a couple of nights to recover from the long bus ride from Ciudad Bolivar. The town’s slow pace was perfect to recharge batteries, and we particularly loved spending the evenings sitting by the promenade over the Caño Manamo River. The sunsets are simply breathtaking! We chose a four-day trip, which gave us the opportunity to visit the stilt houses where the indigenous Warao people live, to hike into vast expanses of savanna and tropical jungle, and to spot tapirs, macaws, toucans, and even a jaguar. We decided to spend a few days chilling by the beach to end our trip. Los Roques is an archipelago made up of 40 tropical islands. And believe us when we say that you’ll wish you’d find yourself stranded in one of these islands. We had never seen whiter sand or cleaner water, and although the islands are touristy, it is not hard to find a beach all to yourself. Our suggestion is to spend at least five days here so that you have time to soak in the laid-back atmosphere. And don’t leave without trying all the different seafood dishes on offer. We returned by boat to Caracas, where we ended our backpacking trip around this unique and captivating South American country.