On this regional tour visitors will have the opportunity to take in the mysterious tepuis (table-top mountains) that inspired Sir Arthur Conan Doyle to write “The Lost World”. These formations are some of the oldest on the planet and they are found in the tropical surroundings of Canaima National Park (home to Angel Falls). This area is virtually untouched and its continued protection ensures its sustainability for future generations.
DAY 1 Arrival in Caracas
We will meet you on arrival at Simon Bolivar International Airport, in Maiquetia, and transfer you to a hotel close to the airport where you will spend the night. We will also give you all the necessary documents, including air tickets and vouchers. Meals (---)
DAY 2 Caracas
This morning we will transfer you from your hotel to the domestic airport for your flight to Puerto Ordaz. On arrival you will be taken in a 4x4 vehicle to the small village of Paraitepui where you can enjoy the impressive views of the savannah and waterfalls and spend the night camping. (7-8 hrs travel by road) (L,D)
DAY 3 Paraitepui–Military Camp
We set off on our hike accompanied by our Taurepan porters who use woven baskets to carry the luggage. The main indigenous Pemon tribes here are the Arekuna and the Kamarakoto, who each have their own dialect. We set up camp close to the Tek River (11km) after around 4 hours hiking across the savannah. Directly in front of us you will be able to see the vast, symmetrical bulk of Roraima whose peak, at 2,723m above sea level, rises up over the Llanos. To the north of the plateau is the 2,650m high neighbouring tepui of El Kukenan and in the distance three more tepuis dominate the skyline. We also cross the Tek River and then El Kukenan which is much larger and around 40m wide. Our guides must judge the height of the river when we cross it.
Halfway to our base camp we come to a wide and sloping area of black rocks covered with lichen where you can make out various types of lizards and Rufouscollared sparrows. Our camp is in a deserted military post and its position at around 1,000m means you can have a refreshing dip in the river. We will camp throughout our journey across the tepui. (6-7 hrs hiking) (B,L,D)
DAY 4 Military camp-Roraima summit
At daybreak we will enjoy our first view of Roraima tepui and the significance of its many local names, such as Magnificent, Ever Fruitful, Mother of Streams, will become apparent; her waters feed three river systems - the Amazon, the Orinoco and the Esequibo. We will pass through a beautiful cloud forest covered in thick vegetation where we can see close up the huge diversity of plants surrounding us, such as bromelias, tree ferns, mosses, heliconias and much more. We climb a narrow slope which runs from right to left across the cliff face, providing easy access to the summit. The British explorer, Everard Imthurn, discovered the route in 1887. When we reach the summit we will have an astounding view of the savannah stretching out below us.
We climb up to our camp on the top of the tepui (2,723m), tucked under a rocky ledge which will protect us from the strong winds, the constant showers and the cold temperature, which can get as low as 5C at night. This type of cave is called a hotel by the guides. We will spend some time exploring the black rocky scenery surrounding the camp. (5hr excursion) (B,L,D)
DAY 5 Roraima summit
We will spend all day exploring the fantasy world on the tepui and the tripoint where Venezuela, Brazil and the disputed area of Guyana Esequibo meet. We will explore the valley of crystals, and the fascinating life on the summit of Roraima. Your attention will be drawn by the unique animals and plants, like the toads that roll into a ball to get away from danger. The countryside is as intriguing: the rain and the wind constantly work away to form enormous rock sculptures; stones the size of a house balance precariously on slender columns; arches and pillars form natural bridges that cross deep chasms.
Everywhere you look you will see black lichen encrusting the surface of the rocks. After eating enjoy the night sky where the Southern Cross will be our companion, just like the stars and constellations of the northern hemisphere. (7-8 hrs hiking) (B,L,D)
DAY 6 The summit – Tek River
After a restful night, you will walk back down to the savannah and lunch at the base of Roraima surrounded by huge rocks which form a steep slope. We then cross the Tek and Kukenan rivers and continue to base camp. (6 hrs walking) (B,L,D)
DAY 7 Tek River camp– Paraitepui–Santa Elena
After our last meal on the trek we set off towards Paraitepui, 4 hours away, where we are met by the 4x4 vehicles which will take us to Santa Elena arriving at around 1600hrs. We will spend the night in the delightful eco-camp where we will enjoy a welcome meal. (4 hrs walking; 3 hrs by 4x4) (B,L)
DAY 8 Santa Elena–Canaima
Transfer to Santa Elena airport for the 1100hrs flight to Canaima where we will be taken to an eco-camp. We take a trip to Canaima's lovely lagoon and the dramatic Sapo waterfall where we can pass through an impressive curtain of water. Overnight in the camp. (L,D)
DAY 9 Excursion to Angel Falls
Today we have an early breakfast and leave at 0500hrs for an excursion to the base of the mighty Angel Falls. After a 15-minute walk we arrive at Puerto Ucaimo, situated above the Canaima waterfalls, where we board a boat to take us along the Carrao River. From the boat we will see the lush vegetation of Canaima. When we reach Sabanas de Mayupa we will disembark to walk across the savannah and to avoid the rapids.
Once we have passed the rapids we will get back on the boat and continue upriver to the little native village of Arautaima. Here we will experience the lush and varied vegetation of the primary rainforest. Be prepared for your first view of stunning Angel Falls when we reach Ratoncito Island. It is another hour's walk to get close to the falls from a clearing where we can appreciate the power of the tumbling water. We will spend an hour here enjoying the waterfall and relaxing on the large rocks, warmed by the sun.
We go back down to base camp on Ratoncito Island for a welcome lunch and a chance to relax before tackling the return journey along the rapids to our main camp. (B,L,D)
DAY 10 - Flight over Angel Falls–Canaima-Caracas
After breakfast we board a Cessna 206 for a thrilling flight through Devil's Canyon for a bird's eye view of Angel Falls. We then return to camp to collect our things and board our chartered flight to Puerto Ordaz airport to connect with a domestic flight to Caracas. On arrival we are taken to a hotel near the airport. (B)
2013 price per person in US$: $3595 with 2 people, $2753 with 4, $2705 with 6, $2695 with 8. Single supplement = $267
Includes all transfers, flights, accommodations, meals mentioned.
POSSIBLE EXTENSIONS; Los Roques, Orinoco, Paria Peninsula, ranch on the Llanos, Choroni