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“Teeming with Wildlife”
Review of Hato el Cedral

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Hato el Cedral
Certificate of Excellence
Devizes, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
182 reviews
172 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 147 helpful votes
“Teeming with Wildlife”
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.

  • Liked — birds, animals & reptiles right outside the door.
  • Disliked — dull food served buffet style, noisy air con in room, shabby.
  • Stayed May 2008, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank MyrtleWiltshire
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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63 reviews from our community

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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (3)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Frankfurt, Germany
Level Contributor
30 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
Reviewed April 26, 2008

Don't expect luxury, but this place is a gem if you can get over the fact that the aircon is noisy and the electricity supply comes in waves. The rooms are basic, but clean and comfortable enough.
The food is good, plentiful and served buffet style. The slight problem with this was the tendancy for mealtimes to be a rushed affair, but you could linger in the evening a bit when local muscians play joropo musice while you eat.. The only alcohol available is light beer, so if you like wine with your meal you need to bring a supply with you as the ranch is in the middle of nowhere. They are happy to keep wine cold for you. You need to speak some Spanish to interact with most of the staff, but they are all very friendly. The small pool in the grounds is very welcome in the heat of the afternoon.
The main reason to stay here though is the fact that the wildlife you see is truly amazing, and the guides from the ranch (particularly Barbarito) are brilliant at spotting things for you, and making the experience really first rate.

  • Liked — Safari facilities and location
  • Disliked — noisy aircon
  • Stayed April 2008, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
Thank Trixi222
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
UK
Level Contributor
54 reviews
31 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 68 helpful votes
Reviewed June 9, 2007

This is a place eveyone should visit! A cattle ranch in the Los Llanos area of Venezuela - an area the size of France - and split into hatos (ranches). The point of it is the wildlife which is astounding - and exhausting. Anteaters slouching, racoons nesting, puma tracks, river dolphins leaping, iguanas hurling themselves from trees, birds and birds and birds - and of course the capybaras - the world's largest rodents - about the size of a small pig and a mixture of hippo and hamster.

I am not a birdy person but got - in 3 days there - to recognise quite a few. Over 350 species have been recorded there. Feel I saw 349. Rivers are full of caimen - and a handful of crocodiles. Perhaps the most amazing thing is that I had the place - and guide Raphael and driver Victor - to myself. I was the only guest! Each day we went out in a big truck at 9am and 4pm. Also out in a boat one day to feed the caimen and cruise amongst the turtles.

I had wanted to stay at Hato Pinero, but it is now closed. All the Hatos have been under threat - the government wants to use the "idle land" to resettle slum dwellers and farm. They are still nervous about the future at Hato el Cedral. I feel it would be a tragedy if anything altered it.

There is a small pool - I swam every afternoon. Rooms are in cabins - and basic - but a reasonable size. Have strong air conditioning. Hot water OK. Meals rather dull. Meat and rice and salad. Best was when they did the Venezuelan national dish - rice with shredded beef and plantains. Little fruit though nice freshly made juices. Got BBC world programme on my radio!

Overall it was well organised plus had times to relax. It's another world and was a shock to return to this one.

  • Liked — Space. We all ate together in a separate building.
  • Disliked — Bit basic
  • Stayed June 2007, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank rowanLondon
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

Property: 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 #3 of 11 Specialty Lodging in Caracas
Also Known As:
Hato El Cedral Hotel Caracas

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