ORINOCO DELTA

The Delta of the Orinoco River is located in the east of Venezuela and comprises a great triangular region (40.000 ). Its base is formed by more than 70 large branches and channels which pour 18.000 /sec. into the Atlantic Ocean. At the apex the river splits into two arms: Rio Grande and Caņo Macareo. From there to the mouths they divide into a lot of small channels and canals which communicate with each other and form an intricate aquatic labyrinth.
The islands that emerge in the "high Delta" are covered with tropical rainforest while in the "low Delta" the mangrove and moriche-palm woods predominate. Here the 15.000 WARAO Indians (canoe people) live on the riverbanks in their primitive pile dwellings called "palafitos".


The Orinoco River


Tiger-catfish
pseudoplatistoma tigriinum

The moriche palm is the life-giving tree of the Warao Indians. Their trunks are used for building the pile dwellings and the walkways which connect the houses. The roofs are thatched with fronds. The flour for making bread is extracted from the fruit and also a sweet sap liquid for wine. Fat grubs are extracted from the decomposed trunks and are eaten raw, boiled or fried. The top of the palm sprout is beaten, split, twisted into strands and woven into marvelous baskets and hammocks.
In this idyllic setting you can spend a few days living like the Warao Indians in palafito lodges and canoes.


Moriche Palm
mauritia flexuosa


Warao woman waving baskets

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ORINOCO DELTA