The Hato El Cedral ranch is set on a working cattle ranch in the Llanos – a vast, sparsely populated region of savannah, wetlands and forest. Rooms are simple but provide the essentials: a ceiling fan, mosquito net and hot showers. There is also a buffet-style restaurant and a small swimming pool. Some buildings are slightly shabby around the edges but if your focus is on the wildlife and scenery this should not detract from your stay.
A day's schedule is typically composed of a couple of 3-hour excursions by boat, jeep or open-sided truck – one in the morning after breakfast and one in the late afternoon. The guides speak limited English, but the sight of the plethora of birds and animals is jaw-dropping.
Visitors to Venezuela should be aware that government intervention is prevalent even across the private sector. The hato is a case in point and since being taken over by the government and managed from Caracas, the level of service and maintenance has been reported as rudimentary. Come here to see the birds and animals, but not for luxurious accommodation with top quality personal attention.