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“Terrific time”
Review of Hato el Cedral

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Hato el Cedral
Reviewed December 5, 2011

Had a great time here. Saw real cowboys rounding up the cattle!! Had a very good time on 'the safaris' spotting the wildlife. We were out with Otto our guide (terrific) when he spots a group of storks about 200 metres away in the marshy ground. That means there is a snake says Otto so he then gets us to take our shoes off and walk through the squelchy ground to see what it is. We find an Anaconda and he and the driver armed with just a broomhandle maniupulate the snake so we can take close up pictures. It was a wonderful experience although the anaconda looked a bit peed off when he was released. We saw a lot of beautiful wildlife and so many different birds. It will stay in my memory for a long time. Good accommodation and food with very helpful staff.

  • Stayed: November 2011, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank westcorktravellers
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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20 - 26 of 63 reviews

Reviewed July 3, 2011

What a beautiful place this Hato is. If you want to see the endangered Orinoco Crocodile, spectacled caimans, anacondas, barn and great horned owls, piranhas, anteaters, capybaras, iguanas and TONS of other birds, this is it! Amazing wildlife all around. The service is good: free linens, good food (all traditional venezuelan food), hot water, clean rooms and nice staff. There's also coffee and tea available during the day.
Be aware that people in Venezuela is very open and the staff is no different, you just need to be also open minded and friendly.
Tours are arranged twice a day: one after breakfast and another one at around 3pm, and in most cases you can ask for a private night tour and hope for puma sightings. You can ask Otto or Rafael (tour guides) to tell you the funny story about Steve Irwin and the piranhas. You can also go on horse rides for an additional price. Make sure you bring binoculars, insect repellent, a hat and sunscreen, it is very bright and sunny!
Tip: if it your birthday, or your friend's, you can ask the staff to make a cake for you, and they will sing happy birthday after dinner. It's really sweet. Make sure you share the cake and give the cooks a piece, too. They deserve it. Try to make friends with other tourists too.
Tip 2: do not miss at least one sunset.
There's a review that talks about racism and discrimination, but I find it hard to believe, since I've stayed at Cedral for long periods of time and never experienced or saw such a thing.
Ask me directly if you want to know more about the place :)

  • Stayed: March 2011, traveled on business
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5  Thank albiventer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 12, 2011

If you want to see wildilfe come here - it is amazing. All around the creatures roam, but beware of the crocodiles. We enjoyed the 3 nights we spent here, exploing the surrounding planes by truck and boat. Rafael, the local linguistic guide was tireless in his energy and enthusiasm (although he should refrain from trying to turn the animals into a circus act - some interaction really was not necessary as the animals are just there - being themselves). The pool was tiny and frankly not very clean, so we didn't even put our toes in. I was amazed that the information I was a vegatarian had trickled down this far, and the lovely kitchen lady always handed me a special dish when necessary (albeit with a baffled look on her face).

You come here for the wildlife experience not for luxury ... ENJOY!

  • Stayed: March 2011, traveled as a couple
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Thank Scorchy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 27, 2011

One has to remember that this accommodation is on a ranch that is mostly state owned, and in socialist countries you won't find a customer oriented management in state owned places. But this of course applies to a lot of Venezuelan accommodation so you just have to know what to expect when travelling in this kind of country. Having said that, the rooms in our minds are above standard in Venezuela, they have hot water (a very rare thing), they are clean, there is a bottle of cool water in the fridge in the room, the Hato has a mini-pool, there is aircondition at all, so nothing to complain about, really. Anyway, all the birds, iguanas, monkeys, owls and more even within the compound made up for anything left wanting in the rooms, let alone outside the compound where you are taken by open truck, by boat or by horse (even if you never rode before), and where you see much more animals than for example in the orinoco delta! Surely a place to stay at least two nights!

  • Stayed: March 2011, traveled as a couple
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Thank JuppHamburg
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 28, 2009

My wife and I stayed at El Cedral for 2 nights whilst travelling around Venezuela. It's surrounded by plains / wetlands (depending on the season) and, as many before have said, is packed with wildlife. We weren't particularly interested in wildlife of the feathered kind, but if you're a keen birdwatcher you'll be in heaven.

Our room was basic and could have done with a bit of a clean, but it was specious and had aircon (albeit quite noisy). There were periodic power cuts, but these were not so long or often as to become a problem.

The food is fairly basic too. There were breakfast, lunch and dinner buffets, which were ready when a bell ouside the dining room was rung. Since El Cedral is also a working ranch, I had hoped that we would get some fantastic beef dishes, but the meat was quite disappointing. Still, there was nothing that couldn't be eaten.

If there was one thing that did disappoint us, it was the wildlife tours themselves. We had been given the impression that we would have a choice of activities, ranging from boat trips to horse rides to 4x4 "safaris". In fact, all that we did was travel around on benches on the back of a converted lorry. This was absolutely fine the first time, but after a day and a half of the same thing (albeit to different parts of the ranch), we were starting to get a bit bored. We were glad that we stayed for 2 nights and no longer. We had met a Swedish family on our travels, who had a very similar tour itinerary to us, but they stayed at El Cedral for a night longer than us. When we next saw them, we got the impression that they had wished they left at the same time as we did.

  • Stayed: October 2007, traveled as a couple
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Thank TandL-Bristol
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 17, 2008

Hato Cedral has truly wonderful wildlife - I was blown away. However, be aware that the management is poor. The rooms are noisy boxes, staff less than friendly, food basci, cheap and bland and managers uninterested in their clients. Nevertheless, despite that I recommend a visit. I have heard that Hato Pinero is much better managed.

  • Stayed: February 2008, traveled solo
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Thank WildBirdGuy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 26, 2008

We were recommended to stay at El Cedral rather than one of the other hatos as we were told it is the best one for wildlife. I can't comment on other hatos, but El Cedral certainly is amazing for animals and birds. We had no sooner turned off the main road onto the 7km track to the ranch when it was as if a curtain had been lifted and the performance started - herds (?) of capybaras grazed, exotic birds flew or perched on fences, beautifully marked iguanas and bright green geckos ran in front of the vehicle. The next couple of days did not disappoint, we saw so much it was sometimes hard to know where to look! As it was the end of the dry season we mostly drove on rutted tracks in an open sided converted truck. Not particularly comfortable but effective, and a cool box filled with bottled water and soft drinks was provided. We took one boat trip amongst turtles and caiman, and our guide held pieces of meat aloft to encourage the caiman to leap for their snack! Our food was a bit dull (apart from delicious freshly squeezed juices), wine was available the first 2 nights but then it ran out and no more was delivered. The lodge and bedrooms are simple, and quite shabby. The air con in the room was welcome but very noisy - no chance of hearing the sounds of wildlife, even the howler monkeys howling in a tree by the small pool. But as the future of the hato is uncertain, we could understand there is no point in spending money on it at the moment. Rather than divide the land into small holdings, it would be so much better to keep it as a wildlife sanctuary, spend some money on the place and market it as one of the great sights of Venezuela - indeed the natural world.

  • Stayed: May 2008, traveled with friends
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Thank MyrtleWiltshire
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Hato el Cedral

Address: Av. La Salle EDF. Pancho | Piso 5, Nº 33, Los Caobos, Caracas 1071, Venezuela
Location: Venezuela > Capital Region > Caracas
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 10 Specialty Lodging in Caracas
Also Known As:
Hato El Cedral Hotel Caracas

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