to Auyantepuy - 8 days/ 7 nights
6 to 8 hours of walk daily 2 days of bouldering,
The trip starts from Ciudad Bolívar,
Capital City of Bolívar State. We can also start the
trip from Puerto Ordaz or Sta-Elena, ask us.
Trek to Auyantepuy
Day 1 (3-4 hours walk)
We leave Ciudad Bolívar
around 7:30am on small planes (Cessna, Piper). We fly almost
due south. The “Cerro Bolívar”, one of the
largest iron ore deposits in the world lies below us like a
red wound in the surrounding green. Soon after appear the outskirts
of the 8th biggest man made lake in the world the Guri Lake.
Passing a few small tepuis we enter
the Canaima National Park. There in front of us rises the imposing
northern wall of our goal: Auyantepui.
Weather permitting we continue alongside the eastern wall of
the tepui until “Devil’s canyon” beckons on
our right. The great canyon swallows us as we follow the meanderings
of the Churun river to Angel Falls, with 979 meters (3,212 ft.),
the highest free falling waterfall on earth. Coming out of the
canyon we turn south again until finally we reach the south-east
corner of the tepui and turn west.
Soon Kamarata is discernible to the left. We leave Kavak on
our right and soon descend to Uruyen, our destination and Auyantepuy's
The famous bush pilot Jimmy Angel
made this Indian village his base. Hunched over a radio set
an Indian received messages of the pilot looking for a place
to land on the summit of Auyantepui. Jimmy, his wife and a friend
were searching for the source of the gold of the Kukurital river.
The last message was: “We crashed. Trying to find our
way down. Try to meet us”. Where nowadays ropes facilitate
our ascent the Indian fought his way up unaided. He met the
bedraggled survivors just below the summit 11 days after. It
was and still is the only access to this gigantic sandstone
fortress. For a complete story of Jimmy Angel, click here.
We land well before lunchtime so
there is time to take a swim before a light lunch. In the meantime
luggage and food for 7 days is distributed between the Indian
porters. We start the trek heading to Guayaraca, the camp on
the first terrace of the mountain. Along our way from the “Low
Sabana” to the summit we encounter various distinctive
changes in plant life. Eta in camp “Guayaraca”:
Day 2 (6-7 hours)
After breakfast across a typical
“High Sabana” (already changes in the flora are
noticeable). Before the sun gets too hot we reach the shady
and silent sanctuary of the “Middle Rain forest”.
We stay in the shade until the second terrace where the vegetation
changes quite dramatically. For a short while we are exposed
to the sun before entering yet another type of flora: The mysterious
“Cloud Forest”. The wall gets closer. Here the first
members of the endemic tepui flora meet us. What also meets
us are tangled, slippery roots making life a bit difficult.
Eta at “El Peñon” camp (rock overhang): 1500-1600
Day 3 (6-7 hours)
Morning in “El Peñon”:
From a height of 1600 meters (5240 ft.) we look down into a
sea of clouds. With the heat they will rise slowly to their
proper station more or less where we will enter the summit of
Auyantepui: “El Libertador”. After one and a half
hour walk we reach the Paloma wall where the wall disappears
into the clouds, we have a little rest. Then begins the ascent
proper, technically speaking: bouldering. On five occasions,
we will need to use knotted ropes to help us climb some of the
larger boulders which do not offer any hold for the hands.
There is just no way to describe
the lush vegetation along this one hour trip through the ancestry
of our planet. On top a different landscape awaits us. Right
near the abyss at Pico Libertador, weather permitting, we have
lunch. From there approximately 3 more hours and 2 ropes to
reach “El Oso” our friendly rock overhang, home
for three nights. There is time for a bath at a beautiful cascade.
Eta “El Oso” 1700 hours.
Day 4 (3 hours)
This morning we relax. We are able
to wash our clothes and hopefully dry them. The cascade to take
a bath is about 15 minutes from El Oso.
On this little sortie everybody can hone his skill to discern
the little stone cairns marking the path.
After lunch and a little siesta it’s orchid time. We don’t
have to walk far. There is also time to explain tepui flora
Dinner and “Tepui Brew”. No Eta.
Day 5 (6-7 hours)
After an early breakfast we are
on our way to “Campo Lecho” behind the big bend
in the “Churun River”. Walking through this desolate
landscape where the rocks are black, small island of plant life
reveal an astounding variety of mostly endemic plants. There
is no visible end to this elevated country. Up here all the
rivers are called “Churun” the reason why, our guide
tells you in the Indian stories.
We turn away from the bleak plain
to enter a green haven of rain forest signaling the vicinity
of the river. Soon we walk along it and arrive at the bend of
“Churun” in time for lunch. This place is charmed.
We swim and jump from rocks into the red, clear water.
Path permitting we continue to
a place where the river disappears into the rocks for about
300 meters (900 ft.) it appears again boiling out of the rock
fissures. It is time to start on the trek back. We arrive at
“El Oso” around 1600 hours.
Day 6 (7-8 hours)
We break camp as early as possible
because on the way down we stop at El Peñon only for
lunch. it is a long leg but at least it is all downhill.
We negotiate the descent with care especially where the ropes
help us through the difficult spots.
Reaching the long stretch through rain forest we are nearly
Guyayaraca welcomes us like an old friend. Eta:1700-1800 hours.
Day 7 (6 hours)
A leisurely breakfast prepares
us for the last leg before civilization beckons. In Kavac, which
we know only from the air cold drinks are available. We sit
at tables after 7 days a nice experience and have the special
Kavac chicken barbecue.
In the typical round huts hammocks await us for a good nights
Eta. Kavac: 1500 hours.
Day 8 (2 hours)
the planes make their way from Ciudad Bolívar we use
the wait to visit the famous Canyon of Kavac.
The cameras safely packed in plastic bags we swim part of the
way to a very impressive waterfall in a cave like opening in
this narrow canyon.
When we get back the planes might be waiting already and it
is farewell to a unique “Island in time”
Trek to Auyantepuy
8 days - 7 nights,
from Ciudad Bolívar to Ciudad Bolívar,
of a knowledgeable, bilingual, and responsible guide;
a tent for 2 persons
Airfare to and from Cd. Bolívar
of the expedition:.per/person.
From Ángel Falls and Canaima
nº 33 Bus Station of Ciudad Bolívar..
Tel from Venezuela 0285 651 9546
Tel from out of Venezuela 0058285 651 9546
Celular from Venezuela 0414 8931318 - 0426 299 96 54
.Tel from out of Venezuela 0058 414
8931318 - 0058426 299 96 54
Celular from Venezuela 0414 8931318
Tel from out of Venezuela 0058 414