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Besides being a working ranch, this place also functions as a biological research center. So in addition to the wildlife that exists across the region, Hato El Frio also houses animals that are the subject of conservation efforts and biological studies, from tortoises to pumas. Want to see a caiman up close? Accompany one of the biologists in residence when they head out for the daily feeding. These knowledgeable—and English-speaking—scientists take you on twice-daily excursions in trucks or boats, answering any questions about the varied flora and fauna. There's also ample opportunity to mingle with the llaneros, whose quarters are a short distance away. The cowboys and researchers work closely together, frequently coming together for an outdoor barbecue or a night out in the local village.
Facilities are basic but comfortable. Fans and a cool breeze make it comfortable enough for sleeping, even in the summer. There is no hot water, but even the "cold" water in these sun-drenched
grasslands is warm enough for bathing. Meals are hearty and always fresh, as the ranch produces its own eggs, meats, and dairy products. You can bet that the fruit that made your juice was still on the tree that morning.
Trips to Hato El Frío must be arranged through a travel agent such as Caracas-based Orinoco Tours. The tour company can also arrange for a car to transfer you from the airport in the town of San Fernando de Apure, two hours away.
145 km (90 mi) west of San Fernando de Apure, Los Llanos, Mérida, Venezuela
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