Legendary Angel Falls
The highest waterfall in the world plunges from the summit of Auyantepui (8,068’) and is truly one of the most sublime settings on earth. We camp below the falls.
Photo by Annie Hawkins
Trip Details at-a-Glance
|Cost From:||$5995 see pricing|
|Lodging:||6 nights camping, 3 nights huts with hammocks or beds, 4 nights lodges, 2 nights hotels|
|Meals:||All meals included|
|Activity:||Hiking / Trekking, Wildlife & Natural History|
7-day trek on steep trails, 4-7 hours a day, altitudes between 5,000-9,200 feet, river travel by dugout canoe
- Roraima, a lost world of vast caves and canyons, rock sculptures, dwarf forests, and endemic botanical wonders
- River expedition to remote Angel Falls, the highest waterfall on earth
- Pemon Indian villages, rainforests of Canaima National Park
Choosing the Right Trip
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Deep in the jungles of southern Venezuela, dramatic sandstone mesas called tepuis tower into the sky, rising like isolated islands above the lush, misty landscape. These tabletop mountains are among the most ancient rock formations in the world and their summit plateaus are unexplored wonderlands of flora and fauna found nowhere else on the planet. Our adventurous trek brings us to the top of the highest of these tepuis, Roraima (9,219'), an eerie realm of twisted rock sculptures, multi-colored crystals, vast caves and canyons, and unique flora including endemic orchids and carnivorous bromeliads. After our climb, we travel by dugout canoe to the base of legendary Angel Falls, the world’s highest waterfall, for an exploration of this remote and spectacular World Heritage Site.
Itinerary at a Glance
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Caracas / Puerto Ordaz / Santa Elena de Uairén
From Caracas, we fly to Puerto Ordaz, then continue by small aircraft over the vast expanses of Canaima National Park in southeastern Venezuela. Our aerial journey is an exhilarating one with spectacular views of the dramatic sheer-walled mesas, snaking rivers, and innumerable waterfalls that we will explore in the days ahead. Overnight at an ecolodge in Santa Elena de Uairén.
From Paraitepui, a native Pemon village at 4,500 feet, we trek across the rolling, open Gran Sabana grasslands with the majestic silhouette of Roraima rising before us—a vast and breathtaking landscape that was the inspiration for Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s The Lost World. A steep ascent brings us to our base camp close to the vertical 1,500-foot wall of the tepui, then on through cloud forest beneath tumbling waterfalls. Once on Roraima’s summit plateau, we have two full days to explore this extraordinary environment of exquisite rock gardens, swirling mists, strange sandstone sculptures, caverns, rock formations that look like miniature castles surrounded by small lakes, and intriguing endemic botanical wonders. One of our options is a round-trip hike to Punto Triple, the intersection of the Venezuela, Guyana, and Brazil borders. A steep descent brings us to the Rio Tek on Day 8, and on Day 9, we hike to the village of Paraitepui and return to Santa Elena.
River Expedition to Angel Falls
Another fantastic flight brings us to Uruyen, a Pemon settlement in the heart of Canaima National Park. Boarding curiaras (motorized dugouts), we navigate the Akanan and Carrao rivers, contouring around majestic Auyantepui (8,068') with hundreds of waterfalls tracing its pink sandstone walls. Following the Churún River upstream, we reach the ethereal setting of Angel Falls, cascading a sheer 2,607 feet from the summit of Auyantepui—its mists can be felt a mile away! A walk through lush jungle brings us to a natural pool at the base of the falls.
Canaima / Caracas
We head downriver to the port of Ucaima, enjoy an excursion to beautiful Canaima Lagoon, overnight in Caracas, and depart on Day 16.
For a more complete description, Download Full Detailed Itinerary
What the Trip is Like
This trip is rated Level 4+. This 7-day trek across the savanna to the top of Mt. Roraima is challenging, with rugged terrain and altitudes of 5,000 of 9,200 feet. Along the way, the trail can be very muddy and there are three rivers to cross on foot. On the day we hike to the summit plateau of Roraima, the trail is very steep, wet, and covered with roots and rocks. The porters will carry the group’s sleeping bags and camping equipment, with trip members carrying just a daypack, but please note that this is a very strenuous trek. When we are on top of Roraima for two days, although the terrain is “flat,” the hiking is not easy because we encounter streams, rocks, deep cracks, and mud. The descent from Roraima is very steep with an altitude loss of around 5,400 feet in one day. Our camps are very simple, without the usual amenities we would have on a Himalayan or Andean trek (although tables and stools are provided). Everyone should be prepared for seven days of hardy outdoor living, and be in excellent health and physical condition for the trip; previous hiking experience and a sense of adventure is a plus.
On the Roraima trek, it can be hot and sunny or rainy and cool. There is a damp and cool cloud forest around the base of Roraima, and the summit is often rainy and in more exposed areas—windy and cold (from 32ºF to 40ºF at night) on the summit.
On our river expedition to Angel Falls, we travel on open, blackwater rivers in a motorized dugout canoe. The weather can be hot or rainy. Be prepared with a sun hat, sunscreen, and lightweight long-sleeve shirt and pants. Rain (sometimes heavy downpours) is not uncommon so have your rain gear ready. On several occasions, we may have to step out of the canoe and allow the boatmen to maneuver through a difficult rapid. This is a very photogenic trip but keep in mind that you have to protect your camera from the water. Make sure you bring a waterproof camera or an adequate camera case.
We’ve chosen the best time of the year to run this special expedition. The rainy season should be ending, but it’s not the dry season yet, and the local weather is notoriously unpredictable. We could have exceptionally heavy rain or it could be dryer than usual.
Prices are for 2013
$5995 (6-9 members)
$6495 (4-5 members)
Single supplement: $645
Forced single supplement: $520
Internal airfare: $975 (subject to change)
more on pricing
Trip Cost Includes:
- Leadership of a Wilderness Travel Trip Leader and local guides
- Accommodations as noted
- Group camping equipment (trip members must bring sleeping bags)
- All meals included
- Airport transfers as noted
- National park fees
- Land transportation as noted
Trip Cost Does Not Include:International airfare, internal airfare, transfers for independent arrival or departure, airport departure taxes, sleeping bag, any meals not specified after each itinerary day, optional activities, optional tipping or gratuities to leaders or staff, hotels en route to/from Caracas, an any additional hotel nights that may be necessitated by international airline schedule changes or other factors, pre-trip expenses of medical immunizations, visa fees, travel insurance, and other expenses of a personal nature (alcoholic beverages, laundry, etc.).
Trip Payment Schedule
At time of reservation: $500
120 days prior to departure: 20%
60 days prior to departure: Balance
Alejandro González’s deep passion for nature, combined with years of participation in scientific expeditions with the Sociedad de Ciencias Naturales La Salle, led him to discover his vocation. For the last 10 years he has focused on adventure tourism in Venezuela, particularly in one of the most unique natural environments on earth—the “lost world of the tepuis.” An accomplished mountain biker and trekker, Alejandro is also a pioneer in rappelling Angel Falls, the longest waterfall in the world, which descends from one of the tepuis. When not guiding, Alejandro’s interests include photography, international cuisine, and supporting a foundation that raises awareness for the fight against poverty through the implementation of programs for indigenous entrepreneurs in the tourism sector.