RIF: J - 31065668-1 • RTN: 10891

William Rivera +58 424.649.9685 | E: reservas@ayapainatours.com


Catatumbo Lightning

The Catatumbo lightning is a unique meteorological phenomenon that occurs in the basin of Lake Maracaibo in Venezuela but mainly in the south of the lake area and the lower basin of the Catatumbo river, whence its name.

This phenomenon is characterized by appearance of a series of lightning showers almost continuously and virtually silent. Due to the long distances required to observe the phenomenon, which occurs in large vertical clouds developing electrical discharges between 2 and 10 kilometers high (sometimes more) , as the trade winds penetrate the surface of the lake in the afternoon (when evaporation is greater) and are forced to climb the Perija mountain range (3,750 m) and the Cordillera de Merida, The Venezuelan Andes (up to 5,000 meters, approximately).

The origin of this phenomenon is in the orographic effect of these mountain ranges that enclose and hold back the winds from the northeast; and clouds of great vertical development, mainly concentrated in the Catatumbo river basin occur. This phenomenon can be seen from hundreds of kilometers away, but nothing like getting a closer view.

On January 28, 2014 the Catatumbo Lightning was officially entered into the Guinness book of world records for having the highest average global lightning per square kilometer per year. Lightning Catatumbo now has a lead of 92 lightning flashes per square kilometer.

This natural wonder is capable of producing one million 176 thousand lightning strikes per year (equivalent to 250 lightning flashes per square kilometer), quantity for which he traveled to the region Kifuka in the Democratic Republic of the congo. Each of these strikes and flashes, creates enough power to power one hundred million light bulbs, meaning that 15 minutes of activity is sufficient to power all the light bulbs of SouthAmerica.


Zulia State, Venezuela


3 days 2 nights


  • Private transportation round trip from El Vigia to Puerto Concha.
  • River transport roundtrip from Puerto Concha to the Sector The Chamita (place for the night).
  • Transport to and from La Azulita.
  • Accommodation (on stilts) - Lodging in the Azulita.
  • Hammocks
  • Guide (s) with experience
  • Day and night boat rides.
  • Todas las comidas y bebidas.
  • All meals and drinks.
  • First aid kit


  • Tips.
  • Insurance of any kind.
  • Alcohol.
  • Personal items.
  • Air tickets.


First Day

Departure from El Vigia to Puerto Concha (duration: 2 hours. Approx), then 30 minutes to navigate the La Chamita. Lunch. In the afternoon departure by boat to the coast of the National Park Marshes Juan Manuel de Aguas Claras Sewage and to observe some birds, mammals and unique flora of the area. At night dine and night safari, wildlife watching where snakes and alligators can be seen in the surrounding mangroves in the area where the stilts. Observing the phenomenon of Catatumbo Lightning, overnight.

Second Day

Breakfast and then sail back to Puerto Concha. We moved to the village of La Azulita, where we have lunch at the inn, and a walk to one of the waterfalls in the area, along the way you can appreciate the fauna and at night you can see the lightning again.

Third Day

Breakfast. Observation of wild bird species in the area.

Return to the city of Vigia.

End of our service.

What should I bring?

Identity card or passport

Cash for purchases

Insect repellent


Hat / Cap




Personal medication (if needed)



Shirts, pants and underwear

If you want to take with rechargeable batteries and / or chargers for your cell phone / camera, it has electric plant for certain periods of time during dusk / dawn. It is suggested that toiletries are biodegradable: soap, shampoo, etc.


  • The Catatumbo Lightning usually has an average of 28 electric shocks per minute, 7 hours a day, 140 days (minimum recurrence) and produces 1,646,400 electrical discharges per year.

  • At the initiative of environmentalist Erik Quiroga, after the Catatumbo Lightning held since 1995, every September 16, the International Day of the Ozone Layer adopted by the National Assembly of the United Nations (UN).

  • This phenomenon normally occurs with a frequency greater than 150 nights and usually lasts up to 10 hours each occurrence, causing electric shock up to 280 per hour.

  • It was declared Natural Patrimony of Zulia on September 27, 2005.

  • Currently it seeks to catalog the Catatumbo Lightning as a World Heritage Site under the protection of UNESCO.