Tucupita (Lat 9:03:25N Long 62:02:59W) is the capital city of the
Venezuelanstate of Delta Amacuro.
Delta Amacuro consists almost entirely of the swampy
Orinoco Riverdelta. The hot and humid Tucupita lies well into the delta on the Caño Manamoriver (one of the two major branches of the Orinoco river delta). It is approached by a road which runs along the top of a gigantic barrier constructed in the 1960's to create dry land. The project is considered by many to be a failure since little dry land was created and massive ecological disruption was caused by salt water penetration of the delta.
The delta is covered mostly by
mangroveswamp but there is a huge range of other flora and fauna making it one of the world's more ecologically diverse places. Significant amounts of oil have been discovered in the western parts of the delta and there is apprehension that exploitation of this oil will cause substantial ecological damage.
The main income of the town comes from
eco-tourism. The attractions are the vast and varied bird life, mammal, and reptiles of the delta. Also to be seen and visited are the villages of the local Indians, the Warao. Fast motorised canoes can take tourists into the remotest parts of the delta where a range of lodges have been constructed, ranging from simple rustic huts to more luxurious accommodations. Tourists can also stay in the stilted houses of the Warao for a few days and see how they live and learn some of their skills in herbalism, food foraging, fishing, boatbuilding, firemaking etc. In the delta itself only travel by boat is possible.
There is a range of basic accommodation in the town and several quite reasonable cafés and bars, although there is little else for the tourist to see and do within Tucupita itself. There are good bus connections to Bolivar City and other towns in the north of Venezuela.
Any visitor to Tucupita may expect the constant attentions of touts for the numerous ecotour operators in town. (From the very moment they set foot on the ground!) Tours are usually excellent value and recommended for their extremely interesting content. However it's always wise to speak to a previous customer, if possible, before parting with cash. Also be aware the mosquitos in the delta are possibly the most voracious to be found anywhere.
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