AUYÁN TEPUI AND ANGEL FALLS ADVENTURE
Auyán Tepui is one of the largest and most spectacular of all of the tepui mountains, known as South America’s “lost worlds”. This gigantic tableland is encircled on all sides by vertical cliffs up to 1,000 m tall. Angel Falls, the tallest waterfall on Earth flows over it’s cliffsides, and the summit of Auyán Tepui is home to a unique world of endemic wildlife, including plants and animals found no where else on Earth.
This expedition offers you the opportunity to trek up Auyán Tepui to explore the mountain’s summit. The trek does not require any technical skills. It is a great adventure walk up the slopes of the mountain to a crack in the plateau’s immense cliffsides. Stepping onto the summit is like landing on another planet. You’ll discover a weird, unearthly landscape of black stone (very different to Mount Roraima), carnivorous plants, orchids, bromeliads, amazing ferns, golden tanin-infused rivers, as well as amphibians, insects and birds.
Auyán Tepui is heaven for carnivorous plant enthusists. We will see trees clothed with the carnivorous bromeliad Catopsis berteroniana as well as literally countless Brocchinia reducta. You’ll see the beautiful pitcher plant Heliamphora minor var minor, and the Redfern Team will take you to little known locations on Auyán Tepui to see the recently described Heliamphora minor var pilosa (differentiated by its amazing, hairy leaves). We’ll seem many species of sundews including Drosera roraimae, D. communis, D. felix and others. Lastly, we’ll see more than a dozen species of bladderworts (Utricularia) and corkscrew plants (Genlisea). The mountain is also home to a really wide range of orchids and airplants (Tillandsia).
The scenery of Auyán Tepui is breath-taking. The mountain is much larger than Mount Roraima and overs vast, open, dramatic, rocky plains and vistas. Auyán Tepui has far fewer rock formations and crystals that Mount Roraima but much higher cliffs, more dramatic canyons and epic views. It is a photographer’s paradise.
We will spend several days exploring the summit of Auyán Tepui then have the option of trekking across the summit to view Angel Falls from the top of the plateau (close to where it flows over the mountain’s cliffsides).
COST: £3,450 (British Pounds). Personal porters can be hired at extra costs (contact us for details).
START POINT: Boa Vista, Brazil
END POINT: Boa Vista, Brazil
DATES: Redfern Adventures will run four trips this year: Trip 1 in April, Trip 2 in June/July/August, Trip 3 in September/October and Trip 4 in November/December. Please email us for the exact dates. We will finalise the group of participants, then finalise the exact dates for each trip to best fit everyone’s schedules.
GROUP SIZE: 6–10 (on double/twin room basis – single room supplement available).
BESPOKE TOUR: If you do not wish to join a group tour, we can customise a private trip to suit your dates and interests. Please email us for details.
one of the largest and most spectacular of all of the tepui mountains
Getting there: Although this expedition takes place in Venezuela, we will start and end this trip in Boa Vista, Brazil (which is easier and safer Caracas).
Participants can fly to Manaus (which is a major hub for international flights) and catch domestic flights to Boa Vista, e.g. Azul ( www.voeazul.com.br ) and search LATAM.
Participants have the advantage that they can spend a day or two before the expedition exploring Manaus’ fascinating colonial heritage in the heart of the Amazon. There are also countless locally operated tourist trips to explore the Amazon River and the Rio Negro, including trips to see pink river dolphins, wildlife excursions and visits to indigenous communities nearby.
As an optional extra, we can also organise charter flights in light aircraft for aerial photographic flyover trips above Angel Falls, or we run adventurous canoe trips to the very base of the gigantic cascade.
Day 1:Meet in Boa Vista at 7.00 am. Transfer in private charter vehicles to the Venezuelan border (approx 4 hours driving time). We cross the border, and arrive in Santa Elena, Venezuela. Lunch and snacks en-route. Dinner in restaurant in Santa Elena. Overnight in local hotel. We recommend that you arrive in Boa Vista at least the night before.
Day 2:After breakfast, we catch a charter flight in a cessna aircraft to the Pemón Amerindian village of Kavak in the Gran Sabana close to Auyán Tepui. The views from Kavak are absolutely spectacular. We meet our guides and trek to Guyaraca Camp (trees festooned with Catopsis berteroniana plants are all around the camp site). Camp-side dinner and overnight in tents.
Day 3:We trek up the slopes of Auyán Tepui, through wetlands home to Drosera, Utricularia, Genlisea and Brocchinia. We can see the iridescent blue fern Elaphoglossum wurdackii. The trek is uphill, and takes approximately 6–8 hours. Lunch en-route. Camp at El Penon camp.
Today, we trek through misty, lush cloudforest, to a gigantic crack in the cliffsides which forms our staircase to the summit. We climb through layers of mossy vegetation, through Bonnetia forest and groves of giant bromeliads and treeferns. The views across the surrounding lowlands are spectacular. Below the ledge, we see flowering Utricularia and Genlisea (including usually U. humboldtii). The climb up the ledge takes 4–5 hours. We then reach the summit and step into a bleak, barren landscape of blackened stone. Immediately, we see Hthe pitcher plant Heliamphora minor var. minor. The trek today is steep and uphill pretty-much the whole way. No technical skills needed – but it is steep. A good level of fitness and high stamina is needed.
Day 5, 6, 7 & 8:
We explore the summit of Auyán Tepui. Note: we can decide the itinerary of our time on the summit as a group, depending upon everyone’s interests, the weather, and how much trekking we (as a group) would like to undertake. Recommended highlights include visiting “El Oso” (a rock that looks like a bear), gigantic Brocchinia fields, several beautiful view points, valleys rich with stunted Bonnetia trees, pitcher plants and orchids.
The Redfern team will guide the group to a little known site with large numbers of the rare Heliamphora minor var. pilosa, and a spot where on a previous trip, we found pink flowered Drosera roraimae (a totally unique population!)
During our stay, we look out for the elusive South American coati (Nasua nasua). Campside dinner and overnight in tents inside caves.
NoteWe can spent more days on the summit to trek to the top of Angel Falls, or return on Day 9 and do an optional add on to do a fly over Angel Falls or canoe trip to the base of the immense cascade. We will discuss this as a group and adjust the itinerary accordingly.
After breakfast, we descend down the ledge of Mount Auyan Tepui and return to Guyaraca Camp.
We trek from Guyaraca Campback to Kavak and overnight at this beautiful Amerindian village.
A cessna picks us up. Note: we can (1) return to Santa Elena and travel back to Boa Vista tomorrow (standard itinerary). (2) add an optional extra charter flight over Angel Falls (cost of flight time to be confirmed) then return to Santa Elena and travel back to Boa Vista tomorrow. (3) add 3 days to the itinerary and fly to Canaima for a canoe trip up the Devil’s Canyon to the base of Auyan Tepui. The standard itinerary (included here) is we fly back to Santa Elena. Dinner in restaurant in Santa Elena. Overnight in local hotel.