Squeezing 10 people into the back of a truck, we set off into the Venezuelan jungle for what our tour guide called "costal explorer." We drove though La Jolla and were given told a little about the history. In 1999 there was a horrible flood where 30,000 people went missing. Still to this day the damage that was done to the city can be seen. Five years later areas that were hit are still waiting to be declared by the government safe to rebuild. Many of the stops that we made were in areas that couldn’t be found on maps and the name was never divulged to us. The first stop was in the village in the middle of nowhere. We were taken to see Peppy, the town monkey. He was chained to a tree and looked sickly, but the locals took great pleasure in feeding him chips.
The next stop on the trip was a beach with houses on the sand. The one advantage about traveling with a guide was that he knew where the safest beaches were. The people who live on the beach open their houses up for the tourists to change and use the bathroom. I felt strange when I was told to use their house, but when I found out that they had an arrangement made with the tour guide I felt better, but I still didn’t go in. The beach was still dangerous, because the further you go out into the water the rockier it gets. The locals showed us what was safe. Regardless of how safe the beach was or wasn’t it was glorious and we were the only tourists there.
The rest of the tour we were shown out of the way destinations. The first being a waterfall that was only a 2 minute walk from the road, but not visible to passing cars. Lunch was in another town where our tour guide had a deal with one of the restaurants owners. The small, unnamed restaurant was in the home of a family of three. While our food was being prepared the couple’s toddler entertained us by hiding and running laughing from us. On a side note the food was amazing. We were served fresh fish and fried plantains. Dessert was in another town where our tour guide grew up. The guide got us all homemade ice cream that tasted much like Italian shaved ice.
Although most of the tour guides offer the same tour but visit different places I would highly suggest getting one to show you out of the way places. They know all of the great information that you just wouldn’t know if you tried to go at it alone. At one point of the tour the guide even had us get out of the truck so that he could point out all of the flora and fauna that we saw along the road.