Day 1: We leave Sta-Elena at about 9:30 AM in a 4x4 vehicle. We have to ride about 90 km (55 miles), of which 26 (16) are in pretty bad condition, in order to reach the starting point of our hike, Paray-tepuy, an Indian settlement, at an altitude of 1400 m ( 4,600 ft.). On the way, you will have great views of the savanna and the tepuys. We will start walking after a light lunch in Paray-tepuy, heading to the River Kukenan 12 km (7.4 miles) away, about 4 hours walk across gentle hills and savanna, and the crossing of 4 small creeks where we will be able to refresh ourselves. We have to cross the River Tek, and a bit further the River Kukenan. As this is a bigger river, 40 m (130 ft.) wide, the crossing will depend on the level of water. We will establish the campsite at the river, at an altitude of 900 m (3,000 ft.), and have the opportunity to swim in the river before dinner, at about 8:30 PM.
Day 2: Our goal for today is to reach the base of the tepuy, 10 km (6 miles) away. Breakfast at 8:30 AM and ready at 9:30. As this is a bigger river, 40 m (130 ft.) wide, the crossing will depend on the level of water. Around noon, we will have reached the Military Camp (don't worry no military here, only the site of an original military logistics camp), where we will have lunch. And we will reach the Base Camp at 3 PM, at 1800 m (6000 ft.) where we will install the campsite. Temperatures are down to about 15 °C (60°F) at night, often with rain.
Day 3: Like yesterday, breakfast at 8:30 and off we go at 9:30. This is the most challenging day, an inspiring 4 to 5 hours walk through the tropical forest at the base of the tepuy followed by a steady climb up a ramp to the top of the tepuy. We will have lunch at a waterfall in the middle of the ramp, at around noon. The views of the savanna below are stunning. We will install the campsite on top of the tepuy, at about 2800 m (9,180 ft.), below a rock ledge to protect us from the strong winds and low temperatures, 5°C (41°F) at night. These natural caves are called "hotels" by the locals, but they are no Sheratons.
Day 4: The whole day to explore the surface of the tepuy. Here all the excursions will depend on the state of the weather. We will leave the campsite at 6:00 AM, before breakfast, trying to reach the "Kukenan window", 2 hours walk away, to catch a view of the Eastern wall of Mount Roraima, Matawi-tepuy and the jungleof Guyana below before the clouds set in. Breakfast at 8:30 AM. The triple point, where the frontiers of Brazil, Guyana and Venezuela meet is approximately 6 hours away. You will see the valley of the crystals (sorry, forbidden to bring them back as souvenirs), swim in the icy blue well, and observe the endemic plant and animal life: frogs that roll like a ball instead of jumping, carnivorous plants, etc. Dinner back at the "hotel".
Day 5: Time to go back. Leaving at 9:30 AM, we will go down the ramp first, carefulwith the loose rocks, have lunch at the Base Camp at noon, cross the Kukenan and Tek Rivers where we will set the campsite for our last night in the savanna. Dinner at 8:30 PM.
Day 6: Breakfast at 8:30 AM. Leaving the River Tek campsite at 9:30, we should reach Parai-tepuy 4 hours later where we will have our last lunch. Then boarding our 4x4 to return to Sta-Elena where we should arrive at about 15:00 PM.
- What to bring: pack sack,raincoat(downpours are frequent), comfortable walking shoes or boots, sandals, warm clothing, hat, flashlight, sunscreen, bathing suit, water bottle, plastic bags for documentation, sleeping bag, isolation mat, camera, nuts, chocolate and a good dose of humor.
- Packing: to enjoy the hike, pack up to a maximum of 12 kg (25 pounds). You can also rent the services of a porter to carry all or part of your personal effects; that way you will better concentrate on taking pictures, or enjoying the scenery. Although your pack sack says it is waterproof, pack everything in plastic bags inside the pack.
Also see tour packages in:
South America Venezuela Outdoor: Land Rambler Hiking & Trekking
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