This unique adventure is a remarkable blend of adventure and learning that will take us exploring a stunning country having once in a lifetime escapades, whilst gaining a fantastic knowledge of the Spanish language and South American culture. Based in the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, this program will take us on a voyage of excitement through a country filled with spectacularly beautiful scenery and a rich tapestry of dramatically different landscapes from wild snow capped mountain peaks to the exotic golden sands of over 1,750 miles of Caribbean coastline.
Our main base will be a Caribbean Lodge on one of Venezuela’s most beautiful beaches, Playa Colorada (literally ‘the beach of many colours’). From here we will embark on amazing adventure travel expeditions to explore remarkable caves and caverns, kayak under the lush canopy of a rich jungle delta, meet uniquely preserved indigenous tribes, wander the streets of historic cities, and dance to the beat of exotic Latino! Our opening and closing weeks of adventure will be spent on the shores of the Caribbean, sea kayaking to remote islands, playing a variety of beach sports, and swimming in Caribbean waters amid a kaleidoscope of tropical fish.
There are 7 start dates each year and students can enrol for 3,4,5,8,12 or 24 weeks. Over the course of 24 weeks we will fit in 200 hours of Spanish lessons around our adventure for the day, with learning designed to be interactive and spontaneous. Rather than being cooped up in classrooms we will take our Spanish lessons in the open air of South America to make speaking Spanish seem entirely natural, thus progressing our written and oral communication from the very first day. Our Spanish skills will progress so much during our time here that for eight weeks we will be able to interact naturally with the local community as we work on local community volunteer projects. As well as improving our Spanish, aiding an under privileged yet extremely beautiful part of the country will also give us the opportunity to help with some extremely necessary and worthwhile local volunteer projects, gain some amazing new friends, and take home amazing memories and stories to tell for years to come.
Our prices are very comprehensive with no hidden extras! We can also assist booking your internal flight from Caracas to Barcelona (where we will provide airport transfer to our Caribbean Lodge on Playa Colorada).
START DATES Remainder 2015: 5th Oct, 30th Nov
START DATES 2016: Jan 11th, Mar 7th, 2nd May, 27th June, 25th July, 3rd Oct, 5th Dec
Upon request we can assist with process of earning Academic Credits.
Weeks 1,2 and 3 - Learn Spanish, kayak to remote Caribbean islands, swim in crystal waters, rock climb, abseil down a waterfall, explore mysterious caves and caverns, see the rounded mountains of Caripe and explore the flourishing Guacharo National Park.
Our plane touches down in Barcelona where a Jakera representative will meet us and take us to our new home amid the coconut palm trees of the Playa Colorada. Here we will spend the opening fortnight of our adventure learning Spanish, visiting local islands, going on a kayaking adventure, learning to rock climb and abseil, and immersing ourselves into the local culture and atmosphere with some Salsa and Merengue dancing classes!
Each weekday morning we will fit four hours of intensive Spanish tuition around our daily adventure with lessons designed to teach Spanish in a natural and spontaneous fashion by imitating the way people acquire their mother tongue. The lessons are comprised of four 45-minute sessions with 15-minute breaks and focus on developing student comprehension of the four main language skills: listening, speaking, reading and writing. Speaking Spanish from the very first day and practicing it in specially designed exercises such as role-plays, situational dialogues and work projects, will improve vocabulary and accent whilst giving students the confidence to actively use and improve their Spanish outside the classroom. Visiting the area’s vibrant markets and beautiful surrounding towns will provide the perfect opportunity to interact with native speakers whilst immersing us in the area’s colourful South American culture.
Outside Spanish lessons’ we will also get the opportunity to practice our adventure sports skills as we embark on a variety of exciting adventure activities. We will perfect our sea kayaking technique, learn to climb, and even get the chance to abseil down a waterfall! Our culinary skills will also be improved and expanded when we are taught how to cook the delicious local dishes such as Catalina, Calamari, Arepas and Pabellon. A three-day kayaking voyage will take us exploring the beautiful islands that are scattered along Venezuela’s coastline in the warm crystal waters of the Caribbean Sea. At each island we visit we can explore, relax on the golden sands and snorkel in the brilliantly clear waters seeing a kaleidoscope of tropical fish, soft corals, seawhips and dolphins, before camping on the deserted beaches and falling to sleep to the sound of the sea.
We will then head to lush mountains of the Caripe to visit Venezuela’s most famous cave and first natural monument, the Cueva Del Guacharo. The 6.38-mile length of cave harbours incredible stalactites and stalagmites, and is long considered to be one of the most complete cave ecosystems on earth. The limestone cavern is home to a vast array of wildlife that includes a spectacular colony of huge Guacharos birds, the only nocturnal bird species on the planet that feed on fruit. To conserve the cave-system and natural feeding ground of the birds, the Guacharo National Park was created, meaning over 242 square miles of beautiful lush vegetation lie stretched out before you when you emerge from the cave. We can go trekking in the nearby mountain areas, or can explore the surrounding area visiting coffee plantations, fruit and vegetable farms, and the lively local markets famed for selling delicious locally grown strawberries topped with cream! End 3 Week* program...
Week 4 - Final Week 4 Week* Program A week of volunteering in the local community. Jakera Club was started in 2002 and is based in the fishing village of Playa Colorada where our Caribbean Lodge is situated. Projects include replanting of trees in the surrounding hillside (to help prevent landslide), marine conservation at La Piscina and working in a wild animal sanctuary. We work closely with the local community to make Playa Colorada a fun place for all to enjoy – we also organize games and events and help to keep the beach and recreational areas clean and safe. One off projects have included building a Community Centre, a small base ball stadium, a volley ball court and help maintain the football pitch. Local volunteers and students, tackling a different theme each day of the week, work together to make this a very rewarding and successful program.
Weeks 4 and 5 - Final Week 5 Week* Program Explore the Orinoco Delta seeing an abundance of wildlife, kayak to remote Warao settlements, and learn to survive in the jungle like a Warao Indian.
Our fourth and fifth weeks will take us on a spectacular adventure to kayak along the Orinoco River in the Orinoco Delta; an area fringed with beautiful mangroves and freshwater swamp forests. The delta is home to a great variety of species of fantastic scientific and biological importance, which will give us sightings of river otters, crab-eating foxes, the rare manatee, and an amazing colourful spectrum of birds that include parrots, toucans and macaws. The Orinoco Delta is also the home of the Warao Indians, an indigenous people inhabiting thatched roof huts built on stilts along the fertile delta. ‘Warao’ literally translates as ‘The Boat People’, referring to the Warao’s intimate connection to the Orinoco River, where babies often learn to paddle in a ‘bongo’ (a wooden canoe) before they learn to walk.
Living from the river and fertile delta, the Warao are masters of fishing, farming, and weaving, using their skills to turn plants into baskets, hammocks, and other fine products. Visiting the Warao families will give us the rare opportunity to sample their way of life, learning how to cook in clay cooking pits and weave basket trays. Our guides on this unique adventure will also show us how to survive in the jungle with lessons that include how to forage for food, fish in the delta, cook our catch, make shelters to sleep in at night, and live in the spectacular scenery the way the Warao’s have for centuries.
Finally, we return to 'base camp' - our Caribbean Lodge on Playa Colorada to enjoy a final few days soaking up the sun and enjoying the beauty and beaches of Mochima National Park.