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Venezuela Packages

Gran Sabana # 4
12 Days / 11 Nights
Auyantepui, Kavak, Guayaraca

Daily itinerary
Bolivar State, in southern Venezuela, is home to the Guayana Shield, an archaic and pleasantly bizarre landform from which gigantic sandstone mesas, known as the Table Mountains or "Tepuis", rise. Being almost inaccessible, Auyantepui is the largest and most impressive of them all. The expedition through the humid jungle and hot dry savannah, is a forceful and breathtaking natural experience. Previous knowledge of mountain climbing is not required. However, the traveler should be in excellent physical condition.
Note: Auyantepui entrance subject to local weather conditions and government restrictions. Exact expedition itinerary subject to change.

Day 1 -
US / Caracas
Welcome to Venezuela! Upon arrival at Caracas' Simon Bolivar International Airport, you will claim your luggage and clear immigrations and customs. You will be then be met and assisted by our local representatives and transferred to your hotel. Currency exchange is available in the airport lobby.
Venezuela ("Little Venice" in Spanish) was inhabited mostly by Carib and Arawak Indians before the Spaniards landed here in 1498 on Columbus' third voyage. The first permanent settlement was established at Cumana in 1520. The country was relatively poor and predominantly agrarian until 1914 when oil was discovered near Maracaibo. Caracas (elevation 3,105 ft) was founded in 1567 and has become the fastest growing capital in Latin America since World War II.
Overnight accommodations at hotel Caracas Hilton includes continental breakfast served in the Tower Lounge. The Hilton is located at the city's center and is within minutes from the city's cultural and commercial districts. The Hilton offers tennis courts, a swimming pool, and a health club with gym, sauna, and massage. Dining options include three restaurants, a lobby lounge, sushi bar and a gourmet bar.

Day 2 -
Caracas / Ciudad Bolivar / Kavak
Hotel pick up and transfer today to Caracas' national airport. Pay domestic airport tax (around $1 US) and check in for your flight.
From Ciudad Bolivar you'll set off on a charter flight to the Pemon Indian settlement of Kavak. Weather and pilot discretion permitting, you'll have a bird's-eye view of Angel Falls, the world's highest waterfall. On arrival in Kavak, meet the Pemon Indians who will be your hosts and porters throughout the expedition. Then it's off to explore the dark, narrow canyon and hidden waterfall of Kavak. Enjoy the surroundings by bathing in a stone-bordered natural pool and swimming through a gap the width of a human body, whose walls reach up to 90 feet in height and are covered with moss and lianas. The goal of this swim is to reach a cave that has a waterfall plunging into it from the top of the entrance --it is a fairytale backdrop, and truly a dream of an experience. In the afternoon return to Kavak. Dinner and overnight in hammocks at the Kavak camp. (B,L,D)

Day 3 -
Kavak / Guayaraca
An early departure will be required to undertake the first monumental stage of this expedition with the Indians. You will walk on narrow paths until midday along the base of the table mountain, sometimes in the treeless savannah and other times through tropical rain forests. You'll cross the Rio Yuruan and, during the rainy season, up to five other small streams on this leg of the journey. Extreme pressure will be placed on all footwear, as absorption of water occurs not only in streams and rivers but also in the morass. After hiking about six hours the group arrives at the base of the first pedestal of the Auyantepui, where you will remain at the riverside Guayaraca camp. Refresh yourselves in the cool, clean water of the river and enjoy the fading day in this . (B,L,D)

Day 4 -
Guayaraca / El Peñon
Early in the morning, with the mist still hanging in the trees, you will leave Guayaraca on an Indian trail leading out of the Tepui forest and across the savannah. Grass as tall as a man, orchids and other rare flowers in fantastic sorts and sizes border the way. To reach the second pedestal of the mesa, you will have to cut your way through green thickets with a machete. With a 1,200-foot wall looming in sight, you cross the pedestal and overnight underneath a huge overhanging cliff at the base of the third level. The Indians call this point El Peñon. (B,L,D)

Day 5 -
El Peñon / High Plateau of the Auyantepui
The last stage of the climb lies before you. Approaching the wall, you may not believe that a previous knowledge of mountain climbing is not required. However, the Indians will lead you to a point where erosion has partially disturbed the mountain. Between huge stone entrances, rocks and gravel have created a stairway of sorts, which you will climb. You'll make use of ropes to carry bags and to help keep your balance.
Around midday arrive at the high plateau. The moment when you lift your head over the edge of the plateau and look out on the panoramic view of the mesa is truly unforgettable. The scene, which almost appears unreal, evokes the moon with clusters of flowers. Memories of the of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle are brought to mind. After locating a safe camping spot, disperse into smaller groups for excursions. (B,L,D)

Day 6 -
Exploring the Plateau
You will spend the whole day exploring the Auyantepui plateau. Here, bromeliads and carnivorous plants grow between grotesquely shaped stone sculptures. The latter have existed from the beginning of time and continue to do so only in this isolated region of the world. Under clear skies, Auyantepui is a strange, natural playground waiting to be discovered. But when fog sets in, the summit's mood transforms to that of an eery inhospitable planet. For reference see: National Geographic, May 1989. "Tepuis-Venezuela's Islands in Time." (B,L,D)

Day 7 -
Descent to El Peñon
Bidding farewell to this unique scenery is difficult, but the descent awaits. In the afternoon you'll again arrive at El Peñon. Caution. The trail here can be very slippery and ropes must be used in several spots. (B,L,D)

Day 8 - El Peñon / Guayaraca

A long, sometimes slippery, descent to Guayaraca. (B,L,D)

Day 9 - Guayaraca / Yuruan

Today continue down to the Yuruan Camp. Close to this delightful spot are numerous caves and waterfalls, and you'll enjoy your last day in the just relaxing and resting up after your long adventure. (B,L,D)

Day 10 -
Yuruan / Kavak
You'll spend all the morning here. You can choose between visiting the canyon or simply swimming and relaxing. In the afternoon hike back to Kavak. (B,L,D)

Day 11 -
Kavak / Ciudad Bolivar / Caracas
After breakfast you'll set off on a charter flight back to Ciudad Bolivar to take your scheduled flight to Caracas. Upon arrival to Caracas, airport reception, assistance and transfer to your hotel. Overnight accommodations at Hotel Caracas Hilton. (B)

Day 12 -
Caracas / US
Hotel pick up and transfer to the International Airport. Pay Venezuela's departure tax (approximately $33 US); check in at airline ticket counter to depart. (B)

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