Colombia Travel Tips

Did you know that Colombia is getting closer to the U.S. every day? Traveling to the country has never been easier. Over 200 flights per week leave the U.S. towards Colombia making it possible for American travelers to reach Colombia in the blink of an eye. With 884 weekly international flights operated by 22 different airlines, Colombia is now directly connected with 24 countries and is closer than ever. Also, on October 2nd, 2014, the decree 1903 from the National Directorate of Taxes and Customs (DIAN) came into effect and will regulate the reimbursement of the sales tax (VAT) on the purchase of goods encumbered in the country to all non-resident tourists. If you are traveling to Colombia make sure to get reimbursed for the sales tax!


Posted on by Joanne Castillo in Our Trips, Travel Tips Leave a comment

Looking for secret locales in South America well worth the trip?

Are you looking for secret locales in South America worth the trip? A BBC travel article mentions two places in South America:

A sky-high Colombian sanctuary in the town of Ipiales, Colombia called Las Lajas Sanctuary and Brazil’s northern coast where desert sand dunes meet crystal blue lagoons in Jericoacoara, a small fishing village located more than 300km west of Fortaleza.

 Ipiales, Colombia

Jericoacoara, Brazil

Let Turpial Travel help you organize an incredible adventure to these two destinations. Contact us today!


Posted on by Joanne Castillo in Latest News Leave a comment

Venezuela Holidays: When to Travel, What You Don’t Want to Miss

Venezuela holidays are exciting adventures like no other! If you’re planning a trip to the country, get ready for the experience of a lifetime.

When to Travel

Venezuela holidays are great any time of the year, but some months are considered a bit better for travel. The period of May to October is recommended as the best time to visit the country, as tourists miss the dry season and the coolest months of the year. The average temperatures during January and February are lower than the rest of the year, making conditions less than ideal to explore this tropical country. The dry season in Caracas lasts from December to April and October to May in the Andes, which unlike many other areas of the world is not the optimal time for a visit, as the country is most enjoyable after the rain, when the humidity is low and the rivers are full of freshly fallen water.

Highlights of Venezuela Holidays

Venezuela is full of fun and exciting things to do. Whether you’re looking to have a city experience, take in some of the country’s natural wonders, or both, check out some of the top places to visit on Venezuela holidays:

  • Caracas: The capital of Venezuela is a bustling city, filled with things to do. Visit the El Silencio area of downtown for a look at some of the city’s stunning historical architecture, including O’Leary Square and Miranda Square. Check out the Parque Central area, the more modern, artistic part of the city, which is home to museums, galleries, a concert hall, shops, restaurants, and cafes.
  • Canaima National Park: Considered one of the world’s most beautiful natural wonders, Canaima National Park was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site, due to its tepuis. These raised plateaus with vertical walls and flat tops are millions of years old and a beautiful site to see. An estimated 65% of the park is covered by tepuis, with Mount Roraima as the tallest and Auyantepui as the home to Angel Falls, the world’s tallest waterfall, standing approximately 980 meters high. The park is home to a very diverse assortment of wildlife, plants, and birds, including a number of endangered species.
  • Merida: Nestled deep in the Andes, this village offers more authentic Venezuelan experience. There’s plenty of things to do, as the city is home to Universidad de los Andes, one of the country’s major universities, but the remote, serenity of the area is entirely different from Caracas. Enjoy the views of the Andes on all sides and the fresh mountain air, while visiting sights like Catedral Metropolitana, Los Nevados, and Museo Arqueologico.

Venezuela holidays are exciting, offer travelers sites and experiences that cannot be duplicated anywhere else in the world!

Posted on by Joanne Castillo in Recommendations, Travel Tips 4 Comments

Venezuela Caracas City

When visiting Venezuela Caracas is often overlooked by travelers in favor of heading straight to some of the country’s noteworthy natural wonders. While Venezuela is home to some of the world’s most beautiful natural sites, Caracas is a stop that should be added to any itinerary.

Things to Do in Venezuela Caracas City

This bustling metropolitan area is actually the capital city of Venezuela and home to approximately four million residents. It boasts stunning historical architecture, especially in the El Silencio area, museums, art galleries, shopping, theater, and so much more. Some of the most popular sites in the city include:

  • Cathedral: Located on the eastern side of the Plaza Bolivar, this beautiful, elaborate church is a site not to be missed. The structure took 48 years to be completed and contains the Bolivar family chapel. Admission to the Cathedral is free.
  • Parque Central Area: As one of the more modern areas of the city, you’ll be surrounded by large, impressive buildings. Parque Central is an artistic part of the city, home to museums, art galleries, a concert hall, shops, restaurants, and cafes.
  • National Pantheon: Originally built as a church, this structure now serves as a resting place for national heroes, including the famed Simon Bolivar. The vault of the building is adorned with 1930s paintings of scenes from Bolivar’s life and a huge chandelier hangs in his honor, which was mounted on what would have been his 100th birthday, in 1883.
  • The Plaza Bolivar: Serving as the center of activity in the old town area, the Plaza Bolivar is an essential stop not to be missed.
  • National Capitol: The home of the country’s Legislative Power is a beautiful site to see. The Capitol includes the Legislative Palace and the Federal Palace buildings. The great fountain on the grounds serves as a picture perfect spot for visitors.
  • La Estancia: Although this 220 year old coffee house has been renovated, history still surrounds it. The property includes an art museum, displaying pieces by local artists. On the weekends, people bring picnic baskets and gather on the patio for free concerts.

Getting to Venezuela  Caracas Transportation

When visiting Venezuela Caracas is an easy place to get to for most travelers. Simon Bolivar International airport is located in the town of Maiquetia, which is approximately 25 kilometers from central Caracas. Many major airlines fly into the airport and non-stop flights are offered from countless cities across the world. If you choose to use a taxi to get from the airport, you’re advised to use an official airport black Ford Explorer cab. Many unlicensed taxis offer shuttle service for a presumably cheaper fare. While it’s not advisable to take this transportation option, if you do, don’t share a ride with anyone else and negotiate the price before driving away from the airport.

Posted on by Joanne Castillo in Recommendations, Travel Tips 4 Comments

Venezuela Pictures: Take Our Armchair Photography Tour Now

Turpial Travel - South and Central America

Turpial Travel books tours to some very photogenic places. Come see what your camera can capture!

Canaima National Park

Canaima National Park is a large area of mainly uninhabited wilderness in eastern Venezuela. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and boasts some beautiful and unusual topography as well as ancient archeological sites. The table mountain, or tepui formations, should definitely be included among your Venezuela pictures.

Canaima National Park is also the location of Angel Falls. At over 3,200 feet, Angel Falls is the world’s highest water fall. Waterfalls are great opportunities to practice many motion capture techniques, as well as practice photographing shadows, not to mention some great rainbows.

Also located in Canaima National Park, Mayupa Savannah, also known as Gran Sabana, provides opportunities for striking wide angle photos.

Auyantepuy is an example of one of the table rock formations. The same techniques used to photograph the southwestern United States or the western Sahara can be used in Venezuela pictures of this area.

Los Llanos and the Orinoco Delta

Los Llanos and the Orinoco Delta is another expansive savannah in southwestern Venezuela. Part of the year, the area is very dry, but it floods in the rainy season which attracts many species of animals, reptiles and birds.

Be sure to include wildlife in your Venezuela pictures. Andean Condors, capybaras, sloths and other unusual creatures can be part of your Venezuela pictures, either in the wild or at refuges.

Los Roques National Park

Los Roques National Park is located along the Caribbean coast in northern Venezuela. This area and others offer opportunities to photograph beaches, the rocky coastline and some gorgeous sunsets. Try your hand at snorkeling and add some underwater shots to your Venezuela pictures.

Other Scenic Spots

Although most of the Amazon Rainforest is located in Brazil, Venezuela has some lush jungle areas. Canoeing along the Caura River will provide some breath-taking photographic opportunities.

The capitol city of Caracas is an endless palette for shutterbugs. Historic buildings, street life, open air markets, sports and entertainment venues provide diverse and interesting subjects for pictures.

Many small and picturesque towns dot the Caribbean coastline of northern Venezuela. Make sure to ask permission before photographing residents and respect the answers they give you. Also, if you promise to send someone a copy of one of your Venezuela pictures, be sure to honor that promise. You are using their image, so hold up your end of the bargain.

Lake Maracaibo is an important shipping area and the location of the historic Battle of Lake Maracaibo during Venezuela’s war for independence in the 1820s. This enormous bay used to be an inland lake until a channel was dredged in the northern shore connecting it to the Caribbean Sea. The Maracaibo Basin is the center of Venezuela’s busy oil region and provides many opportunities for those who like to photograph machinery and industrial equipment.

The town of Merida is located south of Lake Maracaibo in the Venezuelan Andes and has the world’s longest and highest cable car ride. If you don’t mind heights, add some shots from the cable car to your Venezuela pictures.

Posted on by Joanne Castillo in Latest News 3 Comments