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All reviews day trek santa elena base camp lost world hike venezuela boa vista magical place san francisco english speaking guide camping gear gran sabana several days bad weather makes a huge difference every morning sleeping bag brazilian border
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Reviewed March 27, 2014

Trekking Roraima has been, without a doubt, the hardest, most difficult experience of my life. Mentally, physically and psychologically exhausting and challenging, but I would do it all over again a 1000 times.

How to describe the experience? I have little words.. I don't know how to express it, I will just say it was amazing and epic. One of those things you have to do before you die. The place is simply magical and mystical, and the energy of the mountains is breathtaking.

We went there with Backpacker Tours. Everything with this guys was superb. The organisation of the trip was perfect and our Pemon guides were super nice and extremely helpful. We loved it all. We did the 6 days/5 nights tour, and now I wished we would have done the 7 days one.. and stayed in the top of the mountain a little but longer.

And pleaseeeee, make sure you dive in the jacuzzies for a little bit. It was freezing cold when we went and not getting in those pools is one of my biggest regrets.

Date of experience: April 2013
2  Thank Vale P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 12, 2014

We did the 7 day Roraima Trek with BackpackerTours. Firstly be warned, the treks do not run every day. You cannot just rock up and book onto a trip the next day as we had hoped!!! Luckily Eric from Backpackertours is awesome..... he helped us get accommodation, change money, book our buses and organise our Angel Falls trip as well as the Roraima trek to fit into our timeframes. We looked at a few options around town, but they were similar price to Eric and to be quite frank, his English was a lot better since he is German (our Spanish was quite rusty at this point). Perhaps reserve via email and agree Venezuelan price and pay in town in local currency.

The actual hike was amazing, our group of 12 became good friends throughout the duration of the trip. We had a hilarious guide called Rikki, who was quite a character and an excellent guide. We ended up with an extra day on the top since our trip was 7 days and we got to go to triple point. It just happened to be the only trip that fit in with our itinerary, but an extra day on the top gives you some contingency for the crap weather that plagues Roraima's summit! 6 days is enough if you get ok weather.... make the most of every view you can!

Roraima is a magical place and really out of this world, and even more special because you have to earn the right to be there!!! The hike down was the hardest for me as it was a long day and tough on the knees as well as Paso Lagrima in full force (you have to walk through a waterfall!). Bring waterproofs.

I definitely recommend going with a tour company and also one with porters for one simple reason: you need to take all human excrament with you. I for one do not want to spend 6 or 7 days carrying that on my back especially if anyone gets sick! I'd definitely pay for someone to carry that for me.

So many excellent memories and new friends, it is a brilliant trip. Beware - avoid the termite sauce... !!

Date of experience: November 2013
5  Thank emmarshy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 8, 2014

This was one of the most beautiful places I have ever seen! I am still looking for the words to describe everything I saw.
The unique landscape, the views, the water... if you are in Venezuela and do not do this - you are doing Venezuela and yourself an injustice.

Import information:
The standard package is 6 days - this is not enough! Roraima, because it is so much taller than everything around, makes its own weather, this usually includes bad weather: if you stay for too short a period you risk missing good days. 7 days is better, 8 days is best.
The total distance is about 95 kilometers
This hike is a must from December to May. Even during this dry season there is rain and plenty of fog, so going outside of this range could mean you get rain every day and see nothing at all - def. a dry season hike. Though December and January are best as there should still be residual water for the dozens of 300-600 meter waterfalls!!!

If you are fit (and I meant fit!) here are some ways to get more time up top:
be sure you arrange with your guide and porters to get an early morning start on the first day, and hike all the way to base camp (usually takes two days - though can be done in one 8 hour day), then summit to your "hotel" (a cave!) on the second day.
Again, if you are fit, you can hike back from your :hotel" at the summit, all the way to the village in one day (though this will be a very long day - plenty of people do it however).
The 2 days up, 1 day down is a very tough arrangement, that is why I recommend 8 days, in case you cannot hike that fast and that far - especially if you decide to carry most of your stuff (don't).
All of this MUST be arranged with your guide before hand.

Doing this will also mean that you do not have to go from place to place when on top of the mountain in a hurry - because though the individual sights are incredible, the hike itself from place to place is stunning!

Guides: I went with Frank (his son Terry and Phorphorito as porters) - he was a good guide, so you can ask for him ahead of time if you can (but, again, be sure to arrange everything ahead of time in terms of days and amount of hiking).

Porters: use them. if you are carrying more than a light backpack, you are wasting time and energy. Also, be sure your guide understands that he must use porters that will always be ahead of you so that you do not have to wait for lunch to be prepared, and do not have to wait for breakfast either - this will ensure more time walking around and enjoying this mind blowing landscape. I have seen groups lose hours every single day because their porters were always behind. Be clear about this up front.

If you go to San Francisco or Paraitepuy you can get a guide without having to go through an agency. Though you risk getting a bad guide and bad porters (of which there are plenty). But if you are money conscious, and are willing to bear a bigger load of your stuff, you will be fine.

When on top be sure to see:
The highest point in Venezuela - especially during sunset
TRiple point - where Venezuela, Guyana and Brazil meet.
Sleep in Brazil and go to the look out over the Brazilian Jungle basin
Go to the lake in Guyana
Go through Crystal Valley
Go to the Jacuzzis (during the day, especially when hot)
Go to the lookout (windows) beyond the Jacuzzis (where you should see the nose, and then a few minutes to the west, Kukenan)) - this will be one of the most spectacular views of your life!

It's important to get to places when it is clear - but also important to remember that unless the weather is actively bad, the fog comes and goes, so waiting 2-30 minutes will often mean the view will open up. Be patient, enjoy!

Food will be provided by the guide/porters, and is usually very good. If you have any restrictions, or prefer certain foods for breakfast (for example) talk it over with the guide ahead of time. Our guides brought cantaloupe for god's sake!

If you get a guide at Paraitepuy it is possible you can get one for about 7000 - which will include food and he will carry your stuff! Setting stuff up ahead will cost more money (around 11-14,000 Bolivares per person) but will ensure more customization.

Date of experience: February 2014
13  Thank SteelhorseNYC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 8, 2014

3 of us made the trip with hike-venezuela, which operated by Tino, an German. As always, you can trust "Germany Made". :)
He response quicker on our question, especially on the beginning, with very reasonable price and very detail plan. :)
And, except the first day, we didn't get greeting by anyone on CCS airport as he promised, all the rest are very good. Our schedule are tight and no any waste of the time. The guide are experienced and always wait for us whenever needed to make sure we're ok on the trail. And food are delicious and plenty. Only thing not perfect is that our toilet got broken on the last 2 days, but that is ok to us as we can use our group's, or just do in wild.
The trail is not so hard and full of fun. The view on the road and top are amazing and worth all of your hard work. Everyone you met on the trail are very nice and friendly. You will feel the time there is not too long, but too short.
Tino also arranged the Angel Falls trip for us and the lodging he used, are very nice one!
I would like to recommend Tino and his Hike-Venezuela to everyone who plan to make this trip to the lost world of Venezuela. It's a wonderful trip!

Date of experience: January 2014
2  Thank lx1987
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 4, 2014

My partner and I completed a 6 day trek with Trek Expeditions at the beginning of December and we had a wonderful time. We found the agency to be more budget minded than many of the others in Santa Elena but this didn't mean anything was sacrificed. We had a small group of just 4 people which worked really well. Our guide Fernando was the youngest of the Roraima guides at 18 but we can't praise him highly enough - excellent English, great cooking skill, bags of energy and good sense of humour. The food was plentiful and very varied each day - we even worried that we may be putting on weight despite all of the trekking. The scenery is incredible and this trip was one of the highlights of our year travelling through South America. Don't miss it!

Date of experience: December 2013
2  Thank Katestevensonuk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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