More than a trekking adventure, a cultural experience...
9 days / 8 nights
Akopan is part of the Chimanta massif, which is located in the middle of the Canaima National Park. The whole massif covers approximately 1470 km2, and is comprised of many tepuys: Churi, Akopan, Amuri, Agparamán, Toronó, Chimanta, Abakapá, Apakará, Eruoda y Tirepón-tepuy. Heights vary between 1700 m for Abakapa-tepuy up to 2700 m for Eruoda-tepuy.
Akopan is located at the extreme Southeastern corner of the massif, with an height of about 2000 m. Although this is 700 meters lower than Roraima, it is a much more difficult trek because it doesnt have an easy ramp to access it, and due to its remote location and the few people that have actually climbed it, we have to rely on our native Indian guides to open the way before us. Akopan is definitely off the beaten tracks as far as tourists or hikers are concerned.
The Chimanta massif was only recently explored and endemic flora was discovered in the fifties, like the Chimantaea, comprised of 9 species. These tepuys have an irregular surface, canyons, valleys, which makes their exploration more challenging.
Our starting point is an Indian community located in an enchanted site with a nearby river to swim and relax and spectacular view of the surrounding tepuys: Akopan, Upuigma, Angasima, Apauray, Churi, Tirepon, etc... additionnaly a warm contact with the local population and interesting cultural exchange.
We will start our expedition from Sta-Elena de Uairén, flying to an isolated Indian village in the hearth of the Gran Sabana. There we will discuss our project with the leaders of the community, and make the final arrangements with the Indian guides and porters who will accompany us. We will start our trek that same day, approximately three hours of walk, two in the savanna then entering the forest and walking for another hour. We will set-up camp on the shore of a river where we can have a nice bath with the walls of the tepuy overlooking us.
We continue our trek in the forest early the following morning, we have about 6 hours of walk in front of us. It is a slow walk, and tiring, because it is mostly ascending and the vegetation is dense, our guides will often have to clear the way ahead of us with their machetes. We will install the campsite again along the river, but in a somewhat different landscape, we are at an altitude of approximately 1700m, the landscape is of rocks and some typical tepui vegetation.
If the level of water is low in the river, we will follow its rocky bed up to the top of the tepuy. We will have to climb a few waterfalls, and have the opportunity to refresh in the cold water. If the water level of the river is too high and doesn't allow us to follow its course, we will take a small trail running alongside among a different type of vegetation, typical tepuy forest, roots, trees and rocks, tough walk. Finally we will reach the top of the tepuy and organize the campsite.
We will spend the whole day exploring the surface of the tepuy. Although there is only about 15 km from the campsite to the opposite wall, it is not easy to walk across its surface, covered by crevices and deep canyons. Walking is difficulted also by the nature of the soil in this area, mostly swamps covered by stegolepis, brocchinias and chimantaeas, an endemic specie of that particular tepuy. We will also see areas of rocks formations. petrified dinosaurs, camels and rinocerontes. For the adventurous ones we could attempt to reach to the Southern wall.
After breakfast, an hour in a dense tepuy bush to reach the river where the water is surpisingly warm and inviting. We then continue the course of the river, again passing spectacular waterfalls down to the campsite where we spent the night on the second night.
The following day we again have to enter the forest, much easier this time as we are going down. However we have to be careful not to loose from view our Indian guides in front of us, because the trail is so faint at times that it is easy to loose oneself. Campsite will again be established at the same location as the first night Refreshing bath.
Last day of descent, emerging of the forest after an hour and entering the savanna. The women from the village will probably come to meet their men on the way and greet them with cachiri, the typical drink, made from manioc. In the afternoon, the Pemons will probably challenge us for a game of football. We won the last one 2-0, and at night we will have a typical dinner with songs, gifts interchange, etc.
After breakfast the 4x4 of the community will pick us up at our campsite to drive us to Maikiaden, site of a Catholic mission, from where we will fly out to Sta-Elena.
The following prices have been calculated for a departure from Sta-Elena de Uairén, min 4 pax.
These prices include
everything: the guide, porters for the food and camping equipment, all meals, ground, water and air transportation, tent for two persons, ground mattress.
These prices do not include
insurance of any kind, gratuities, airport taxes, souvenirs and items of a personal nature.
If you want to rent your personal porter,
budget $30 per day, he will carry a maximum of 15 kg