The tepui Cerro Autana was declared natural monument in 1978. It is one of the table mountains of southern Venezuela and about 4,000 feet high. Inside the mountain, there is cave formed entirely of quartz, which measures 1,300 feet in length and 130 feet in height. On our 3-day boat trip on the Orinoco, Sipapo and Autana rivers we will visit different Indian communities. Upon arriving at our destination we will take a two-hours hike to the Cerro Guahari, from which we will have a beautiful view of the Autana and the Cara del Indio tepuis, the sacred mountains of the Piaroa Indians.
In the Orinoquia Lodge you will stay in a comfortable churuata (a small hut built in Indian style with a palm roof), while on our tour we sleep in hammocks with mosquito nets. This tour is particularly suited for people who want to experience the Venezuelan jungle, since it passes through regions which are virtually untouched. This tour can be made any time of the year.
Transfer to Orinoquia Lodge. Excursion to a natural water slide.
Pick you at airport and transfer to the Orinoquia Lodge, which lies right on the banks of the Orinoco River.
After lunch, drive to the natural water slide "Tobogán de la Selva", where you can take a short hike and enjoy the refreshing water. (-/L/D)
Drive to Samariapo and onwards by boat to the Laguna de Mapuei.
After breakfast, we leave the Orinoquia Lodge and reach Puerto Samariapo after about an hour. There, our bongos will already be waiting for us, wooden dugouts with a thatched roof that are typical of the region. After loading the equipment and food for three days on the boats, we set out for our trip on the river. We venture into the Orinoco upstream for 40 minutes, reaching Isla de Ratón, where our documents will be checked.
As we continue, we leave the Orinoco and enter the Río Sipapo. You will notice the difference between the brown waters of the Orinoco and the black water of the Sipapo. We will navigate on the Sipapo for about two hours and pass by some communities of Piaroa Indians, who settle in this area. Luckily, you can spot animals such as the Orinoco cayman. Every now and then, we make a short stop and take a refreshing bath in the beautiful waters of the Sipapo. Around noon, we start looking for a nice place to have our lunch break.
As we continue our boat trip, we reach the tributary Río Autana, the third river we pass on our journey. From here, we can see the Cerro Pelota, a mountain that is sacred to the Piaroa Indians, and where they bury their dead. After about five hours since our departure, we arrive at the Laguna de Mapuei where we spend the night. Before dinner, you will still have time to learn about the customs and agricultural techniques of the indigenous population. Maybe you will even see a tarantula, since it is quite widespread in this region. After dinner, we will spend the evening at a romantic bonfire. Those who still look for activities can go fishing at night. (B/L/D)
Excursion to an Indian community. Hike on Cerro Guahari with a beautiful view of the Cerro Autana.
After breakfast, we continue for a short while to reach the Raudal de Seguera, where some Indians will be waiting for us. We will switch to smaller boats in order to get to the starting point for our hike. For about two hours, we will walk through the rainforest towards the Cerro Cuahari. On our way, you will have the opportunity to explore the flora and fauna of the jungle. As we proceed towards the peak, the vegetation changes and the trail becomes steeper.
Finally, an extraordinary sight will open up in front of us to admire both the Autana and the Cara del Indio (face of the Indian) tepuis. Below, we can spot the tiny Río Autana as well as the rainforest. After enjoying the view for a while, we return to the camp where we will have time to relax, take a bath or go fishing. Again, overnight in hammocks strung up in a Churuata, an open Indian hut. As the day before, we will let the day fade out at a bonfire. (B/L/D)
Return to Samariapo and visit of an Indian community. Transfer to Orinoquia Lodge.
Return to Puerto Samariapo in bongo. On our way, we stop at one of the various indigenous communities and visit a shaman. You will have the opportunity to try Yopo, a drug made from plants by the Indians, or to smoke tobacco with the shaman. We can make stops to take a bath in the river, and we'll take a break for lunch. In the afternoon, arrival at Puerto Samariapo, where we will be picked up and brought back to the Orinoquia camp. (B/L/D)
Fifth day: Transfer to airport. After breakfast, we will take you to the airport. (B/-/-)
(B = Breakfast/ L = Lunch/ D = Dinner) Subject to change!
- Accommodation as indicated
- All transportation as indicated
- Boat trip
- All excursions as described
- Meals as indicated
- English-speaking guide
Things to bring
Light clothes (preferably cotton), a pair of solid shoes, a pair of light spare shoes, T-shirts, rain gear, a small daypack, sunglasses, a hat, sun protection and sun blocking lotion for sensitive skin, insect repellent.
Prices per Person
- Room (in Orinoquia): $560
- Airfare Caracas - Puerto Ayacucho - Caracas: included (From other places: Please ask).
- VAT included. Please add 1% Tourism Tax
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