Explore Venezuela’s highest tepui and the world’s tallest waterfall
Trek into an extraordinary landscape of sheer-sided tepuis (tabletop mountains) towering 6,000-feet above pristine rainforests—rock formations carved by wind and water hiding valleys scattered with precious crystals. Plus visit the world's highest waterfall, Angel Falls, which plummets 2,648 feet to the jungle below. We'll combine hiking with village tours—and even regional culinary specialties (ants and termites!)—to fully experience the stark, pure beauty of this wild and unspoiled region.
- Experience the impressive tepui country of Venzuela, including famed Roraima
- Feel the mist of Angel Falls as it plunges nearly 3,000 feet from the tepui edge
- Visit local villages and learn about the culture and cuisine
Duration: 12 days Start Location: Caracas End Location: CaracasDownload Detailed Itinerary
Day 1 : Arrive in Caracas
Arrive in Caracas, Venezuela. A Mountain Travel Sobek representative will meet you at the airport and transfer you to your hotel. Your leader Sergio Fitch will welcome you at the hotel. Evening briefing.
Day 2 : Flight to Puerto Ordaz & 4WD sightseeing
Early in the morning, we return to the airport to take a commercial flight to Puerto Ordaz and board a charter flight for Luepa in the Gran Sabana, close to the Sierra de Lema mountain range, which marks the northern limit of Canaima National Park. Our local guide will be waiting for us with 4WD vehicles and we'll spend the day leisurely sightseeing in the area. This also gives us the opportunity to adjust to weather. We will see Indian settlements, have the opportunity to swim in some nice waterfalls, and visit Chinak Meru, a 108-foot-high waterfall. We will end our day in Kamoiran.
Day 3 : Hike from Paray-tepui
Today we will start our trek to the tepuy, we prepare our bags, one for the trek and one which will go directly to our hotel at the end of the trek.Breakfast is at 7:30 AM and we'll boardA 4WD vehicle whichtakes us to the small Pemon Indian community of Paray- tepui (4,592 feet), where we will have a quick lunch before hitting the trail. After an easy three-hour walk across rolling savanna we'll cross the rivers Tek and Kukenan at an altitude of 2900 ft. Our crossing of the Kukenan—at 130 feet wide the larger of the two rivers—will depend on the water level. We'll stop here for the night.
Day 4 : Hike to base of Roraima
This morning we will enjoy our first sunrise view of Tepui Roraima, contemplating its Indian name—"Great, Ever Fruitful, Mother of Streams"—which seems appropriate because its waters feed into three vital river systems: the Amazon, Orinoco and Essequibo. After breakfast, we will head for the Roraima base camp at the foot of the tepui. First,if we didn't cross them yesterday, we will ford the River Tek and further along the River Kukenan. This is a bigger river, 130 feet wide, and the level of water affects the crossing. Following the long incline that leads to the base of Roraima’s vertical 2000-foot cliffs, the terrain is a series of long ridges radiating out from the tepui. Grassland dominates the terrain, except in the deep ravines where rainforest patches have escaped the Indian’s fires.
About halfway to our "base camp" we enter a broad sloping area of black, lichen covered boulders where we might spot trodipurus lizards and Chestnut-collared Sparrows. Early in the afternoon, we will arrive to the Military Camp (no worries, it is deserted), which is a great spot to enjoy our lunch. A few hours later, we reach our campsite not far from the base of Roraima. The camp sits at 5900 feet and temperatures drop to about 15 degrees Celsius in the evening. After a hearty dinner, we can relax to the mingling of mists and sunlight above the mountain’s zenith until the sun fades away. (6 hours hiking)
Day 5 : Trek to summit of Roraima
This will be our most difficult day. After a hot breakfast, we will trek through a splendid cloud forest, presenting dense vegetation that prevents us from seeing the cliffs ahead or the savannah dropping away behind. This will allow you to focus on the lush diversity of plants around us, such as bromeliads, bladderworts, sundews, tree ferns, mosses and helicons. A few hours later we reach the base of Roraima marked by a talus slope of huge boulders. We ascend a 50- to 100-ft wide ramp that runs from right to left along the cliff face allowing the only easy access to Roraima’s summit. The British explorer, Everard Im Thurn discovered this route in 1884.
Cloud forest rings the vertical wall and is inhabited by an abundance of lovely orchids, lush ferns, palms, woody shrubs and delicate flowers. Around noon, we will be treated with the surprise of a thin, ribbon like waterfall, which falls from the crest. Here, we will sit down to a relaxing lunch.
Arriving at the summit, we are rewarded with a stunning vista of the savannah floor rolling out gracefully below us. We will set up camp on the tepui’s top at 9,184 feet, below a rock ledge that prevents the strong winds and cold temperatures (5 degrees Celsius) from reaching us during the evening. The locals call these natural caves hotels. We will spend a few hours exploring the foreign landscape of black rock near the campsite. After dinner, we can enjoy the nighttime sky—the stars are brilliant with the absence of human produced lighting. The Southern Cross, as well as the familiar stars and constellations of the Northern Hemisphere, will be our companions for the evening. (5 hours hiking)
Day 6 : Matawi Tepui & Valley of the Crystals
We have the full day to explore the fantasyland atop Roraima. Excursions depend on current weather conditions. After a very early breakfast, we will trek to the Kukenan Window, so we may view the eastern wall of Roraima, Matawi Tepui, and the jungle of Guyana before the clouds come in. We will visit Triple Point, where the frontiers of Brazil, Venezuela and Guyana intersect and are marked by a monument, and will also explore the Valley of the Crystals (it is prohibited to take the crystals as souvenirs). And if you desire, an invigorating swim in an icy blue well is possible.
Life atop of Roraima is fascinating! Here you'll find the pebble toad, that rolls like a ball to escape danger instead of jumping, carnivorous plants, and many other endemic species of plant and animal life. The landscape is equally extraordinary. Constant wind and rain have eroded the surface to form huge, stone sculptures: house-sized slabs balanced precariously on slender spires; the arches and pillars of a forgotten, imaginary dynasty and natural bridges that span narrow chasms. The dominant colour is black, created by rock-encrusting lichen that covers every exposed surface. (8 hours hiking)
Day 7 : Tek River
After a good night rest, it is time to head back down to the savannah. We will take lunch at the base of Roraima in the company of huge boulders that form a talus slope. We will cross the Kukenan and Tek Rivers and then set up base camp. A refreshing swim in the Tek River will be a supreme reward after the day's long trek. (6 hours hiking)
Day 8 : Parai-Tepuy to Santa Elena
After our last breakfast on the trail, we will head for Parai-tepuy, about four hours away. While waiting for our driver, we will take a leisurely lunch. The we'll drive on to Santa Elena, arriving around 4:00 p.m. (4 hours hiking; 3 hours driving)
Day 9 : Fly to Canaima and boat to campsite, passing by and through waterfalls
Today we'll board an 11:00 a.m. flight from Santa Elena to Canaima. At the Canaima Airport you will be met at the airport by our representative and then transferred to Canaima Camp, situated alongside the Canaima Lagoon, which enjoys spectacular views.
We'll begin this part of our adventure by passing along the Canaima Lagoon, navigating our way through the waterfalls of Hacha, Golondrinas, Ucaima, and Guadaima before arriving at the opposite end of the lagoon. Once we reach Ucaima Port, we'll disembark and walk to the entrance of Sapo Falls, where we have the opportunity to pass behind the their curtain of water curtain for a beautiful and unusual view. We will then continue on to Sapito Falls, where we will have the opportunity to enjoy the wonders of the natural landscape. Afterward, we wiil return via curiara (indigenous dug-out boats) to our campsite in Canaima.
Day 10 : Angel Falls river tour
We are going to start the day at 4:30 a.m. and meet in the dining area for a small snack (coffee, milk, pastries) before departure. Shortly thereafter, we'll travel via curiara (indigenous dug-out boat), then hike for about 30 minutes until we reach banks of the Carrao, where we will board another boat. After reaching the "Well of Happiness" and the "Orquidea Island" we will stop to rest and eat breakfast, and then continue on our journey, at which point the participants will have time to notice the beautiful and pristine landscape that borders Auyantepui, adjacent to the torrent waters of the Churun River.
Upon arriving at Mouse Island, we will enjoy the incredible sights and sounds of Angel Falls (the worlds tallest waterfall). There is also an optional hike for those who want to visit the Laime viewpoint, however it should be noted that it is a difficult walk (one hour walking up the viewpoint and one hour to return). The Laime viewpoint provides great access and a wonderful view of Angel falls. We will then return to the refuge of the falls where we will have time to rest and eat a delicious meal prepared by our guides, after which we return to the campsite in Canaima.
Day 11 : Fly to Caracas via Puerto Ordaz
Affer picking up your luggage at the camp and transferring to the airport, you will have time to stroll the streets of Canaima and visit the local shops that sell handicrafts before our 10:00 a.m. flight to Caracas, with connection in Puerto Ordaz. Upon arrival in Caracas you'll be greeted by our representative, who will transfer you to the hotel.
Day 12 : Fly home
Private transfer to the airport to meet your homeward-bound flight.
DATES: Best time to go: April, July, October Departures: No group departures scheduled. Private departures are available on the dates of your choice, pending availablity. Call us for details.
$4,995 (11 - 12 members)
Rates quoted are per person, based on sharing double accommodations.
Date: July (specific dates TBA)
Hotel Eurobuilding Express
A comfortable European style hotel with ideal location near the airport. The generous, clean rooms in a newly-constructed building provides a fine welcome to arriving travelers.
Properties shown are representative of the accommodations we use on this trip, may not be inclusive of all accommodations we use, and are subject to change.
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