The Lost World & Angel Falls
This is a challenging 15 day adventure holiday to the south west of Venezuela, a land dominated by huge sandstone table mountains (known as tepuys), surrounded by dense jungle and grasslands. The bare cliffs of the tepuys were the inspiration for Conan Doyle’s Lost World adventure novel, towering 3000m above the land and home to a fascinating eco-system housing lots of rare plants. This trip includes a climb up the highest tepuy, Mt Roraima which takes six days and will also visit Auyan Tepuy, the largest, and gets you up close to Angel Falls, the world’s highest waterfall.
The group size will be between 6 – 14 people plus guides and local staff and the minimum age is 16. The trip includes 6 days light backpacking (extra porters can be hired locally if required) and the altitude is maximum 2810m, average 1500m. Travel includes internal flight and private minibus. The accommodation includes 2 nights in basic hotels, 5 in guesthouses, 5 camping and 1 in a hammock!
There are parts of the ascent and descent of Roraima where there are exposed sections in which your hands are needed to help you up: confident footwork is essential. This trek can be operated any time during the year but it is much more difficult during the wet season. It can be hot, humid and wet in this area of Venezuela, and although the climb is not technically difficult, these conditions can make the going quite challenging in places. This is a remote part of Venezuela and except for Ciudad Bolivar, most towns have limited facilities.
The trip starts with arrival into Caracas and overnight then you fly to Puerto Ordaz after a short city tour. Arriving, it’s about an eight hour drive to the Grand Savannah. The first waterfall to be visited is the Aponguao Falls then you visit San Francisco de Yuruani, home to a small Indian village. The start point for the Roraima trek is the Pemon Indian village of Parai Tepui and the first day’s hiking is a 5 hour walk across gentle hills and grassland where you camp near the Rio Tek. Rising the next day to base camp at 1800m you cover about 10km and cross a few rivers. From base camp is the mosts challenging part of the trek to the plateau on top of Roraima at 2800m. Lunch at the summit then camp in a cave or on a rock ledge, depending on the weather for two nights.
A full day is spend exploring the flat volcanic top of the tepuy, one viewpoint is the Kukenan Window which offers spectacular views over the jungles of Guyana. There are strange rock formations, sinkholes lined with quartz and valleys streching across the mountains. Then you return on a long day to the Tek River, camp overnight and next day walk around 4 hours to Parai Tepuy where 4×4 vehicles collect you and drive to Santa Elena de Uairen. Visit a beautiful waterfall where orange and red colours flicker from the jasper rock in the stream bed. Stay in a lodge in the town for the night.
A light aircraft flight takes you to Canaima where you walk to Salto Sapo and visit the waterfalls there including a path behind some of the water drops. A day trip to the Angel Falls, starts by boat along the Carrao and Churun rivers and pass Auyan Tepuy. Hike nearly an hour through tropical rainforest to the lookout point opposite Angel Falls, which at almost 1000m is the highest in the world. Take a swim in the pool at the base then walk back to camp for dinner and spend the nights in hammocks near Isla Raton. Note that there may be seasonal variations to the itinerary.
Return to Canaima and explore and relax around Canaima Lagoon, where you can also swim. You can buy some of the traditional Indian handicrafts here and subject to weather, you could take a flight over the Angel Falls. Then return by air to Ciudad Bolivar and explore the colonial city centre. Finally there is a drive to Puerto Ordaz and flight to Caracas where you return to the UK or extend your time elsewhere in Latin America or the Caribbean. This trip visits areas bordering Guyana so you can easilly combine time here too.