Caracas Victoria Society

Parque de la Exótica Flora Tropical
San Felipe, Yaracuy, Venezuela

Text by Dorothy Whittembury & Juli Carbonell
Photos by Juli Carbonell - Click to enlarge
Dorothy 11/18/03:
It occurred to me yesterday, when talking with Juli, that I know of a place in Venezuela that would be ideal for displaying Victoria, a place where it could really show off in all its glory, color and size. That is the Parque de la Exótica Flora Tropical, near San Felipe in Yaracuy State, in a warm tropical valley.

Courtesy of

 It is also known as Mission Park as the Mision Nuestra Señora del Carmen (Our Lady del Carmen Mission) is next to the park itself. There is a huge pond on the premises which receives sun all day long and the whole place is in an ideal temperature location. As a public garden with entrance fees, restaurants, etc., the park receives many visitors including European botanists. Stefan von Fedak, owner of the park, has really done an excellent job and he will surely be interested in having such an attraction as Victoria at his place. I should also mention his wife Gertrud's horse breeding farm is next to the park.

The trip to La Mision is already planned. We will leave Friday December 12 at noontime and will spend Saturday visiting the park.


The group was Dorothy Whittembury and her husband Guillermo, a scientist from IVIC (The Venezuelan Institute for Scientific Research) like Luis, and Sonia Angeli. As an added surprise, Pacho and Isadora Norden (Guillermo Angulo's´s friends from Bogota) and Flor Roche, the widow of our dear friend Marcel Roche, the founder with Luis of IVIC, joined us. Luis, my husband, and I were in charge of the logistics and the photography. Fernando's work prevented him and Lucia from going. Page of pictures of the travelers

Dorothy has been a friend of Stephan von Fedak and his dear wife Gertrud for many years, and it was a pleasure to visit this incredible place. Stephan is from Hungary and came to this country at the end of World War II. Gertrud, whose family roots are also in Mitteleuropa, was born in Bogota of all places. So you see the Colombian connection is strong. We did not meet Stephan on this trip since he was in the USA at the time.

We left Caracas Friday at noon and our first stop was La Encrucijada for coffee and soft drinks. After a two hour trip we arrived in Valencia and went directly to the Asociacion de Ganaderos where we had a large meal of Lomito a la Brasa (beef tenderloin cooked over hot coals) with their famous drink, the bull of beer. Dorothy did not partake in the drinking since she was driving their SUV, and Eduardo, our driver, doesn´t drink while working.

The Chapel at the Mission as we
arrived in the late afternoon

Late in the afternoon we arrived at La Mision. After settling in at the little house we rented at the Mission, La Casita de los Hungaros, we went for drinks and dinner in the most amazing dining room, the likes of which I have yet to see in Caracas. The drinks were delicious, the food Cordon Bleu, and the service, suffice to say that the mâitre d´h used to work at the Hilton!

This is the little house we rented at La Mision.
Some Hungarian people lived there before
so the name is The Little Hungarian House

So you see that in the quest for a home for Victoria we had a grand time, quite unexpected because we had no idea of the place. We really did not believe that we were in Venezuela.

Saturday, after a large Criollo breakfast (our national breakfast), with arepas, huevos perico, carne esmechada* and black beans, we decided to get serious and go to our business.

*Click here for Dorothy's delicious descriptions
of these dishes.


^ Early morning Saturday >

Chapel, Main Altar >


< La Mision grows
all types of gingers
and Heliconias and
sells the production
in Caracas 

An old calesa


< One of Gertrud's Beagles loves to hunt and fish -- even with the Nymphaeas

Nymphoides also flourishes
in the Park's lagoons >


Page 2 >
Dorothy's Delicious Descriptions | El Balcon del Yaracuy
Pictures of the Travelers
Parque de la Exótica Flora Tropical Web Site
Caracas Victoria Society

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