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Cascada del Vino

La Cascada del Vino (Wine Falls): This impressive fall is located at 1.680 meters over sea level, in Dinira National Park, their cold waters fall pulverized on a lagoon that invite you to swim…

We departed from Caracas towards Barquisimeto, progressing slowly through Highway "Regional del Centro”, with the ever growing traffic that overflows this old road.  After almost 4 hours, we took the detour to Quibor and from there to Tocuyo, where the highway got much better because there were few cars and the beautiful green scenery. In Tocuyo, we got fuel and continue our way towards Humocaro Bajo. A few kilometers away we found the Dos Cerritos Dam, where we got to enjoy some adventurers kayaking and fishing.

We began to ascend towards our destination passing through curves and impressive mountains, the temperature started to go down and we were sure that this will be a great trip.  After going through Humocaro Bajo and taking pictures, we continue into Dinira National Park.  At this point, the highway changes from asphalt to gravel and the views are even more spectacular.  The altitude, the green surrounding us and the excitement of exploring a new place increased our expectation to see what came ahead.

We arrived to “La Cascada del Vino” at dusk, and went to the house of the volunteers of Imparques (Rangers), who kindly gave us our camping and parking permits (2 Bsf. per car and 3 Bsf. per tent). After parking, a path marked with big stones took us to the base of the falls.  All the ground is covered with well maintained grass, divided in the middle by a small creek, ideal for use as camping site creating a perfect space to spent the night and have a great time.  The sound of the fall can be heard from far away because everything else is silent and when you get near and look at the color of its waters you can understand why they have their name .  After a while at the falls, we returned to start putting up the tents.  That evening we had a nice time, as always, but the temperature made us wrap us warm, because the minimum went down to  59ºF.

Early the next morning many cars full of tourists came to visit the falls, most of them modest people from small surrounding towns, who lack education, so shouting voices woke me up at 6:45am, when a group decided to park next to my tent even though there was a lot of space in the area.   This shows the lack of control and education of the authorities responsible of the national parks

After breakfast, we went into the cold waters of the fall (65ºF)  and got ready to start our way towards Peonia Cavern. After approximately 1.5 kilometers we parked on the side of the road and start hiking upwards on a steep path toward the cavern.  We explore it slightly since we did not have a guide and our time available was short, but we agreed on visiting it again next time.  Afterwards, we went to the town called Barbacoas, where we replenish ice and got to know the plaza and 4 modest but excellent lodgings.

When we came back to the camping, the people were starting to leave and we finally had the park almost to ourselves.  Very few people camp there, actually there was only one other camping near the falls.  The picnic gazebos were excellent, because even though it was raining that night, we could enjoy a traditional barbecue until late at night.

On Sunday, after washing the plates from the night before and a refreshing bath we started the way back, this time using the highway going from Barbacoas to San Pedro and finally to Troncal 1 to get back to Barquisimeto.  While we were going down the Larenses valleys we had a beautiful view that made us want to come back and get to know more of the area.

I have to give some recommendations for those who want to enjoy the Falls.  Even though the cold temperatures of the weather and waters that will not let you feel the hot sun, use sunblock! We learn this the hard way, and we were only an hour under the sun.   For those who enjoy the solitude is better to visit the Falls on weekdays, since on weekends there is too much people, although there are some isolated lagoons where not everybody can reach.   Another thing to have in mind is that there are other installations that are not used.  There are bathrooms but closed and a café that is abandoned.  Remember to take garbage bags, even though the Imparques people gather some of the waste left by uneducated and irresponsible people, they do not have vehicles to get rid of the garbage, so please take the garbage back with you. Enjoy and conserve Nature…

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