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Cuao and Autana Tours (7 Days, 6 Nights) Level II

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Key Information:
Tour Duration: 7 day(s)
Group Size: 2 - 20 people
Destination(s): Venezuela  
Specialty Categories: Hiking & Trekking  
Season: January - December
Airfare Included: No
Tour Customizable: No
Minimum Per Person Price: 1000 US Dollar (USD)
Maximum Per Person Price: 1000 US Dollar (USD)

Tour Itinerary:

Day 1: Arrival at Puerto Ayacucho, the capital of Amazonas State. Transfer to the hotel after lunch, we will drive to the natural water slide “Tobogán de la Selva”, where we can take a short hike and enjoy the refreshing water or we can to visit to the city and the excellent Ethnological Museum. The Camping also is departure point for the expeditions to the south, like for example: Tepuy Autana, region of the Cuao-Sipapo, Ventuari River, Alto Orinoco, Route of Humboldt, Brazo Casiquiare, Piedra del Cocuy, Rio Negro and Brazil (Amazon River and Manaus). Dinner and overnight at the camp.

Day 2: After breakfast we will travel by road to the Port of Samariapo. After loading the equipment and food for five days on the boats, we will start our trip on the river. We will be navigating on four different rivers - the Orinoco, the Sipapo, the Cuao and Autana. Our first stop will be at the Isla Raton on the Orinoco. As we continue, we leave the Rio Orinoco and enter the Rio Sipapo. We will notice the difference between the brown waters of the Orinoco and the black water of the Rio Sipapo and then stop at a beautiful spot for lunch and a swim in the river.

We will then continue up the Cuao River for some two hours until we reach the Camp called the Raudal de Danto or the Danto's Rapids where we will visit a community of the Piaroa. From here it is possible to go out on the river in a much smaller dug-out or "Curiara" or we can fish, swim, watch birds or simply contemplate the enormity of the Amazonian forest.

Day 3: After breakfast we will hike to the upper part of Danto Falls and then travel by boat for about 40 minutes before commencing a two and a half hour hike through the forest. We will be accompanied by native guides who will help carry all the equipment. Our goal is the refuge at the foot of the Cuao mountain range where we will have lunch followed by a walk to the outlook of the mountain and a most refreshing bath in the natural Tobogán or slide of Caño Paraíso (Paradise stream) as well as the many natural swimming holes. Dinner and overnight in hammocks with mosquito nets.

Day 4: After breakfast we will walk back to Danto Falls to have lunch. Then we will go back down the river to the Sipapo River and then Autana River, stopping at an indigenous community to observe the preparation of maniac or manoco and visit the community. Every now and then we can stop our journey and take a refreshing bath in the beautiful water of the Sipapo. Around noon we will start looking for a nice place to have our lunch break. As we continue our boat ride, we will reach the confluent Rio Autana, From here we can see the Cerro Pelota, a mountain which is sacred to the Piaroa Indians and where they bury their dead. After we will arrive at the Boca de Autana (Piaroa community) where we will spend the night.

Day 5: After breakfast we continue for a short while to reach the Raudal de Ceguera at Autana River, where some Piaroas Indians will be waiting for us. We will move to smaller boats in order to get to the departure point for our hike. For about two hours we will walk through the rainforest towards the Cerro Wahari. On our way we have the opportunity to explore the flora and fauna of the forest. As we proceed towards the peak, the vegetation changes and the trail becomes steeper. Finally, an extraordinary view will open up in front of our eyes, and we can admire both the Tepui Autana and the Cara del Indio (face of the Indian). Way below we can spot the tiny Rio Autana and the rainforest. After enjoying the view for a while, we return to our camp where we will have time to relax, take a bath or go fishing.

Again, we spend the night in hammocks that are strung up in a Churuata, an open Indian hut. As the day before, we will let the day fade out at a bonfire. The Tepui Cerro Autana was declared a natural monument in 1978. It is one of the Table Mountains of southern Venezuela and about 1.300 m high. Inside the mountain, there is cave measuring 395 m in length and 40 m in height which consists entirely of quartz. On our 5-day boat trip on the Río Orinoco, Río Cuao, Río Sipapo, and Río Autana we will visit different Indian communities. At our destination we will take two hours hike to the Cerro Wahari, from which we will have a beautiful view of the Tepui Autana and of the Cara del Indio, the sacred mountain of the Piaroa Indians.

Day 6: We will return to Puerto Samariapo in our Bongo. One our way, we can stop at one of the various indigenous communities and visit a shaman. As on our way upstream, we can make stops to take a bath in the river, and we will take a break for lunch. In the afternoon we reach Puerto Samariapo, where we will be picked up and brought back to the Hotel. Dinner and overnight.

Day 7: After breakfast we will take you to the airport at Puerto Ayacucho to catch the plane for Caracas.

Equipment to bring:
- Light clothes (preferably cotton)
- A pair of solid shoes
- A pair of light spare shoes
- T-shirts
- Small daypack
- Sunglasses
- Hat
- Sun protection and sun blocker for sensitive skin
- Insect repellent.

Airfare is not included in the tour price.

Price Includes:
- Accommodation as indicated
- All transportation as indicated
- Boat trip
- All excursions as described
- Meals as indicated
- English-speaking guide
- Indian guide.