Explore the Eastern Tepuis
- Cost: £3,500 per person for 15 days / 14 nights (all inclusive from start point to end point).
- Start Point: Boa Vista, Brazil.
- End Point: Boa Vista, Brazil.
- Dates: To be agreed as a group - please email to discuss and to find a mutually convenient time.
- Group Size: 10 plus staff.
- Bespoke Tour: If you do not wish to join a group tour, we can customise a private trip to fit your dates and interests. Please email us for details and a quote.
The Tepuis (Tepuys) of Venezuela are among the most spectacular mountains on Earth. They are mysterious and gigantic sandstone plateaus that are encircled on all sides by vertical cliffs that soar hundreds of metres high. The summits of many of the Tepuis have been isolated for millions of years and remain little explored. They are home to unearthly landscapes of sculpted rock, and a plethora of unique plant and animal wildlife.
This expedition offers the rare opportunity to photograph a wide range of spectacular landscapes and wildlife. The Eastern Tepuis are stoney and dramatic, but exceptionally beautiful. A diverse range of amphibians, reptiles, birds and insects call the Eastern Tepuis home, as well as hundreds of species of orchids and ferns, and many carnivorous plants, including Brocchinia, Drosera, Genlisea, Heliamphora and Utricularia.
Most of the Eastern Tepuis are accessible only by helicopter. This expedition will comprise a group of twelve people; two expedition leaders and ten participants. We will undertake four helicopter flights (each flight transporting 4 people) to transfer the group to each location on the itinerary. Due to the helicopter’s passenger limits and the complicated logistics of this trip, ONLY TEN PLACES are available for this expedition.
NOTE: as with all helicopter expeditions, the itinerary of this trip is highly weather dependent. The helicopter can only land on the Tepuis when conditions are free of cloud. We have several buffer days built into this itinerary to shuffle around the order of the itinerary, if required.
Day 1: Pick up in Boa Vista at 9.00 am. Transfer in private charter vehicle to the Venezuelan border (a drive of about 4 hours). We cross the border, and stay and dine in a charming local posada this evening.
Day 2: We transfer to the heliport and fly to the Ilu-Tramen Valley. Ilu and Tramen are two spectacular plateaus that share a common base. We land in a little explored location between the plateaus to observe and photograph Heliamphora ionasi and H. elongata x ionasi, as well as a wide range of wildlife. Both pitcher plants have only been seen in the wild by a handful of people previously. Tonight (and all evenings until Day 14) we sleep in tents and dine on food cooked in camp.
Day 3: We explore the Ilu-Tramen Valley.
Day 4: The helicopter returns and transfers us to the summit of Ilu Tepui. The little-visited summit of Ilu Tepui is rocky, barren, exposed but extremely beautiful and home to spectacular populations of Heliamphora elongata which has only ever been photographed on a few occasions.
Days 5 and 6: We explore the dramatic summit of Ilu Tepui. Sunrise and sunset over the summit of the mountain are particularly spectacular, and views of Tramen Tepui and the other Eastern Tepuis are breath-taking.
Day 7: This morning, the helicopter returns and transfers us to Yuruani Tepui. On this mountain there is a possible new species of Heliamphora called H. sp. ‘Yuruani’. We will observe it and establish precisely what it represents. Yuruani Tepui is also home to some of the most spectacular landscapes found on all of the tepuis, and beautiful views of nearby Kukenan Tepui. Orchids and unique amphibians are also a frequent sight on the mountain’s summit.
Day 8: We explore the summit of Yuruani Tepui.
Day 9: Today we tranfer to the north of Mount Roraima, near to the prow. We meet a team of porters who have climbed the mountain with supplies meeting at a pre-arranged point. We observe the spectacular (and little photographed) pitcher plant Heliamphora glabra as well as H. nutans and the natural hybrid H. glabra x nutans. [NOTE - if the expedition group prefers (if several expedition members have already visited Mount Roraima previously), we could substitute Roraima for Kukenan Tepui or Wei Tepui or Maringma Tepui - we will discuss as a group and make a joint decision].
Days 10, 11 and 12: We trek across the surface of Mount Roraima, from the North to the South. Along the way, we see a wide range of wildlife, and visit all of the key highlights on the plateau: the valley of the crystals, Lake Gladys, Tripple Point, the Labyrinth, Rock Arch, the Pit, the Window, the Maverick, the Jacuzzis, the Oilbird Ravine, the Cave of Crystal Eyes. During these nights, we sleep in different “hotels” on the surface (cave-like caverns where there is soft sand and sheltered, dry conditions).
Days 13 and 14: We descend from Mount Roraima, reaching Santa Elena during the afternoon of Day 14. We overnight and dine in a local posada. [NOTE if anyone specifically prefers to walk up Mount Roraima rather than walk down, we can reverse the order of mountains in the itinerary (it makes no difference from an organisational point of view)].
Day 15: We transfer in private charter vehicles back to the border with Brazil and down to Boa Vista, arriving at 4 pm.
Although this expedition takes place in Venezuela, we recommend that this trip starts and finishes in Boa Vista, Brazil. Boa Vista is easy to reach by connecting flights or luxurious long distance buses from Manaus (which is is a major hub for international flights).
Arriving in Manaus and travelling to Boa Vista offers many advantages. Manaus and Boa Vista are safer than Caracas, and also closer and easier to use as a base to travel to Roraima and Angel Falls. Starting this expedition from Manaus and Boa Vista also offers participants the advantage that they can spend a day or two before the expedition exploring Manaus’ fascinating colonial heritage in the heart of the Amazon, relaxing and recovering from long flights to South America, before the trip begins.
While we typically meet participants in Boa Vista and return participants to that city, if you prefer, we can start or end this trip in Manaus, Santa Elena, Puerto Ordaz or Caracas.
Adventure Rating: Moderate
We can organise charter flights in light aircraft for aerial photographic flyover trips above Mount Roraima and Angel Falls. We run trekking expeditions and helicopter expeditions to Mount Roraima and Auyan Tepui. We also run a 4*4 trip through the Gran Sabana to see the Jasper Creek (a waterfall that flows over bright red jasper gemstone), several other spectacular waterfalls, visits to Indian villages, and view points to sight the Eastern Tepuis). We can also organise add on trips from Manaus to explore the Amazon rainforest (see Amazon Adventure Expedition for possibilities). Please contact us for details. To get a quote for any extensions, simply mention which extension(s) you are interested in when you apply to Join this Adventure!