Delta del Orinoco

Delta del Orinoco




Location: Delta Amacuro Map


Description of Delta del Orinoco or Delta of the river Orinoco

Delta del Orinoco or Delta of the river Orinoco is a unique wetland biosphere situated in Delta Amacuro State in Venezuela. Orinoco river is one of the largest on the continent. It measures a total length of 2,140 km (1,330 mi) with a basin area of 880,000 sq km (339,770 sq mi). First described by Christopher Columbus on his third voyage to the New World today it is famous for eco tourism. Its enormous area is home to hundreds of species of birds, mammals, insects and other animals and plants. The best way to explore the area of the Orinoco delta is by renting boats with local people who can show most interesting places in the area.


It is located in the Delta Amacuro state, east of Venezuela. Inspired by the thought of Herodotus, delta Domingo Ordaz says that the delta is a "present of the Orinoco", referring to the set of islands and pipes located in the area near the mouth. Considering the delta as a present from the Orinoco not only serves metaphorically, but it is reflected in reality as most of the islands that make it up, are the product of the constant accumulation of materials that the Orinoco has dragged through its millenarian existence, with the contribution of its tributaries and to the extent that the sea was withdrawing from the foothills of the Sierra de Imataca, as far as it had penetrated, forming an immense gulf with a mouth of approximately 350 km. Not all of its islands are the product of sediment accumulation, but were also formed by the accumulation of mud from eruptions of mud volcanoes, as is the case of the Cedral hill located in Capure and on the island Cotorra and de Plata, located at north of Pedernales. The formation of the delta goes back in time to the Tertiary Era, thousands of years before it constituted a geographical space covered by the sea, but due to the action of the marine currents the withdrawal of the waters of the sea took place producing the delta.

The climate is characterized by an average temperature of 26.7 ° C, the maximum average is 32.3 ° C and the average minimum is 23 ° C. The rainfall reaches from 900 to 2500 mm, between minimum and maximum respectively. The trade winds of the northeast and southeast, when in contact with delta lands, produce the east-west wind that advances through the Orinoco channel. During the flood the presence of the so-called Barinese wind is observed, which moves along the same direction as the Orinoco. In the time of lower rainfall, the winds called "nortes" act in the area. Due to the influence of the tides that occur in the Atlantic, the water flow of the Orinoco river and the delta pipes rises and falls. The action by which the tide enters and changes the direction of the river and its network of pipes is called flow, and the exit or descent of the water allowing the current of the river and pipes to take its normal direction is called reflux. When the flow reaches its maximum level it makes it possible for the salt water to move into the delta through its pipes, which overflow and flood the adjacent lands facilitating the formation of large mangroves, located in the areas near the Atlantic coast.

The tides were a valuable resource for navigation through the Orinoco and its pipes, at the time that there were no engines. They are also used to catch fish in river arteries of short length and low flow, for this they cover their mouths and at low tide fishing is facilitated. It exerts an important function of cleaning, during its reflux, where the houses are built on wooden piles, in the aboriginal rancherías and populated centers that are located in the margins of the pipes.