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Caracas-based tour companies offer a host of tour options, from guided city tours and adventure activities to longer excursions to destinations such as Los Roques and Angel Falls . Some of the more popular day-tour options from Caracas include mountain-bike or jeep tours through Parque Nacional El Avila. Prices for day tours range from BsF95 to BsF250 per person. A half-day guided tour to El Hatillo usually runs around BsF75 per person.

Akanan Travel & Adventure (tel. 0212/715-5433 or 0414/116-0107; www.akanan.com) and Cacao Expeditions (tel. 0212/977-1234; www.cacaotravel.com) are both reputable local operators offering a wide range of single and multiday options.

El Hatillo -- This neocolonial town, located 15km (9 miles) southeast of downtown, is a great place to spend a few leisurely hours and grab a meal. You'll want to spend most of your time strolling around, but be prepared -- it's hilly here. Moreover, the narrow streets have even narrower sidewalks, so beware of car traffic. Window-shop the many crafts and artisan jewelry stores and be sure to sample some homemade sweets at one of the many local pastry and candy shops. You'll find a good selection of restaurants, cafes, and bars here. Stop in for a coffee or a light bite at Croquer, Calle BolĂ­var 17 (tel. 0212/961-4269). After admiring the memorabilia, try to grab one of the third-floor tables under canvas umbrellas on the terrace. A taxi to El Hatillo should cost around BsF40.

Los Roques -- Perhaps the most popular excursions from Caracas are to Los Roques, a gorgeous archipelago of small islands around a calm saltwater lagoon in crystal-clear Caribbean waters. Aerotuy (tel. 0212/212-3110; www.tuy.com) is by far the most established operator offering trips to Los Roques. The cost for a full-day trip is around BsF860 per person. Children's rates are roughly half price, and rates are slightly lower during the low season and midweek.

Canaima & Angel Falls -- You may actually see advertisements for or be offered a day tour to Canaima and Angel Falls. However, given the distance, travel time, and outstanding natural beauty of the area, I highly recommend a longer trip.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.