Trekking Mount Roraima
6 days / 5 nights
The trek starts from Santa-Elena de Uairén, a small town 15 km from Brazil, 1,200 km (750 miles) by road from Caracas, your likely arrival point in Venezuela.
Please note that the times and distances indicated in the following description are approximate and depends as much on weather as to the group's physical condition. Please note that we can customize the itinerary to be faster on the summit, 2 days instead of 3 or adding one or two extra nights on top, in order to explore further the tepui, the Brazilian sector, the Lago Glady's, etc.
Although we recommend to be in good shape to perform this trek, we have had a few old-timers doing it successfully, an 82 years-old Canadian photographer, and a 70 years-old British lady. We also bring young folks !!
Article from Dana Kennedy, the New York Times' reporter we guided to Roraima.
We leave Santa-Elena at about 9:00 AM in a 4x4 vehicle. We have to ride about 90 km (55 miles), of which the last 26 (16) are dirt, to reach the starting point of our hike, Paraitepuy de Roraima, a Pemon Indian settlement, at an altitude of 1400 m (4,600 ft.). On the way, we will have great views of the savanna and the tepuis.
We will start walking after a light lunch in Paraitepuy, heading to the river called Tek 11 km (6.8 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 will establish the campsite close by the river, at an altitude of 900 m (3,000 ft.), and we will have the opportunity to swim in the river before dinner.
Our goal for today is to reach the base of the tepuy, 10 km (6 miles) away. Breakfast is at 8:30 AM and we are ready to go at 9:30. We have first to cross Tek River, and a bit further Kukenan River. As this is a bigger river, 40 m (130 ft.) wide, the crossing, easy or more adventurous, will depend on the water level.
Around noon, we will have reached the Military Camp (don't worry no militaries here, only the site of an original military logistics camp), where we will have lunch. 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.
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 don't get mistaken, they are no Sheraton...
The whole day to explore the surface of the tepuy. Here all the excursions will depend on the state of the weather. One alternative is to 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 jungle of Guyana below before the clouds set in. The triple point, where the borders 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), the icy blue wells called jacuzzi, and observe the endemic plant and animal life: frogs that roll like a ball instead of jumping, carnivorous plants, and rock formations result of millions of years of erosion... etc. Dinner back at the hotel.
Time to go back. Leaving at 9:30 AM, we will go down the ramp first, careful with 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.
Breakfast at 8:30 AM. Leaving the River Tek campsite at 9:30, we should reach Paraitepuy 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 3:30 PM.
Prices & departure dates
Contact us for prices and departure dates. We open dates starting with 2 people. We strongly recommend NOT to come during Easter week, the tepui being overcrowded.
Our price includes a knowledgeable, bilingual, and responsible guide, who is also a tremendous "bush-cook", all meals, a tent for 2 persons, porters for the food, tents and cooking gear, ground transportation to and from Santa-Elena. BTW we can arrange your internal travel in Venezuela to get to Sta.Elena (flights, hotels).
You may want to hire your personal porter,
he will carry your personal gear, it makes the trip more enjoyable, carrying only your bottle of water and your camera, he will carry a maximum of 12-15 kg
Speaking of prices, we are not the cheapest operator in Santa Elena, because we have a more expensive cost structure for a superior service, +10 years experience, small groups (2 to 6 persons), knowledgeable guides, food and equipment.