Best Places to visit in La Gran Sabana Venezuela
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It is known as La Gran Sabana a plain of 75,000 square kilometers, a magical place that seems out of this planet. Located in the Eastern Sector of Canaima National Park, recently it declared as a world heritage.
In 1962, the Venezuelan government decreed this area National Park to guarantee their protection. Rich in vegetation, in La Gran Sabana are 20,000 of the 25,000 species of orchids, according to Dominic Hamilton, contributor to the magazine South American Explorer.
La Gran Sabana is located in the Massif Guayanes south of the Orinoco River, it is the oldest geological formation of the earth, whose age is estimated between 1,600 and 2,000 million years of unparalleled beauty. It covers the southeastern part of Bolívar State on the border with Guyana to the east and south Brazil.
This vast region is ideal for eco-tourism to be characterized by its large landscape values place, indigenous communities Pemon and the presence of more than 80 majestic Tepuis, the most striking natural feature that dominates the skyline of La Gran Sabana, representatives the fisiocronología Earth, allowing us to move to remote periods of millions of years.
The Tepuis or Tepuyes are tabular formations of vertical walls, consisting of polychrome sandstone, quartzite and agglomerates, carved by erosion thousands of years, completely flat on top. Resemble giant green islands on the mantle of the jungle, in fact they are "islands in time" because they are unique ecosystems. They are flat plateaus slightly sloping ceiling, whose altitude can exceed 2800 meters above sea level.
The highest and best known of the Tepuis is the Roraima, immortalized in the novel "The Lost World", published by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle in 1912. The huge Tepuy, whose plain is 2,700 meters and the highest peak at 2,810 meters above sea level, also called Blue Mountain or Crystal Mountain, is 15 kilometers long and 200 kilometers on its top surface. It contains known sites: the bow, gladis lake, north mazes, three-point stone monkey eating ice cream, pit, valley of crystals and tevasin.
Roraima, which in Pemon means "great, always fruitful streams mother" has a strange and dramatic appearance. Black Rocks, shrouded in fog and covered with lichens and moss, unique vegetation on the planet, insectivorous plants and many other species of great beauty and scientific importance, dominate the terrain, forming pools of colored rocks surrounded by small beaches and adorned with beautiful flowers. The fascinating landscape of Roraima and the relative ease to climb, make this mountain a popular destination for tourists. In 1931, the fixation of Mount Roraima point where the borders of Venezuela, Brazil and Guyana (disputed territory, Essequibo) as border milestone called "triple point" was agreed. The legends of the Pemon indigenous describe the Roraima as the Mother of all waters and is home to the spirit Ruin, grandmother of all men.
The Kukenan his twin, has some rocks that resemble Indian despiojándose each other, called adankai, his real name is Matawi-tepui, has a height of 2,680 meters above sea level was first climbed in the year 1963, by an expedition of Bangor University, England. It belongs to the Oriental Chain Tepuyes of the Gran Sabana, along with Yuruani-Tepuy. There is the Salto Kukenan, with a free fall height of 610 meters, is the second highest waterfall in Venezuela and fourth in the world. Both are at the confluence of the three countries. Their waters are tributary of the three largest rivers in the Americas; The Orinoco, the Amazon and the Essequibo.
For the national Indian mythology, the home of their gods are the tepuis with its colorful, steep and vertical slopes of pink sandstone and hundreds of waterfalls. There are more than 300 endemic species such as: Achnopogon, chimantaea, Quelchia, Tepuia, Mallophyton, Adenanthe; abundant species carnivorous (insectivorous) of genres: Bromelia, Drosera, and Utricularia Heliamphora. Adventurers and Scientists have discovered on the Surface, species of plants and animals, endemic, ie found only here. It is ideal for those seeking adventure and want to enter a natural world and mythical, equally for those who like mountaineering site. While scale is inevitable merge with an unknown and intact over time, ourselves raised at the beginning of the creation world. Geographically speaking, the region of La Gran Sabana covers only that part of the plateau that develops in the upper basin of the Orinoco river above 800 meters above sea level.
The main sub-basins are formed by the rivers: Yuruaní, Aponwao, Kukenán, Suruku, Icabarú, Caruay, Urimán and Antabare. The climate is humid with lush herbaceous vegetation and tropical forests, with an average temperature of 21 ° C. Its plains are immensely green for all the moisture that water rivers and swamps Morichales, jumps found inside gallery forests is a real pleasure to enjoy bathing in its reddish waters, color gives them Tannin acid which produces the vegetation of the area, variety of plant species makes them unique. Named after explorer and miner, Juan Maria Mundó Freixas, native of Catalonia, Spain, who in September 1929 published an article in the magazine Venezuelan Culture, where he named the Gran Sabana and claimed it was a version to the Castilian of the indigenous should which according Mundó was "Teipun". However, according to Monsignor Mariano Gutiérrez Salazar, Vicar Apostolic of Caroní, the Pemon call their land "Wek-ta" which means Place of Cerros.
The Gran Sabana is reached by air; through a small airport in the city of Santa Elena where some airlines offer commercial flights or charter.
By land; taking the Caracas route - Ciudad Bolívar - Ciudad Guayana (Puerto Ordaz - San Felix), then Upata road taken - El Dorado, passing through the towns of Guasipati, El Callao and Tumeremo, to get to Las Claritas also known as the Km . 88, from this site international or Pan American highway "Core 10" is taken via Brazil to Santa Elena de Uairen.
A 10 Kms of La Claritas is The Stone of the Virgin; is the first stop is at the entrance of Canaima National Park, declared National Monument, this huge rock of the Precambrian survived the explosions of dynamite that the builders of the road made in order to avoid dangerous curve that currently has the way . From there, the origin of its name "virgin".
Although for many the name of the stone it is due to a white silhouette virgin as can be seen on its surface. The section between the Stone of the Virgin and the Pioneer Soldier Monument known as La Escalera, with a steep slope, surrounded by lush jungle beauty, a rain forest that takes us from 300 meters above sea level up to 1400 meters high, in this stretch is the Salto El Danto. There the Park and the ascent to the Sierra de Lema begins.
At the beginning of the road is a place of IMPARQUES where you can get information. Following this route crosses the River Aponwao; born in the Sierra de Lema and empties into the Caroni River, it is 250 kilometers long. Navigation in canoe excursion is a unique and spectacular, its route in the area of Salto Chinak Meru better known as Aponwao; It is so sinuous, that in some places the sun go left and others right.
The Aponwao is an impressive jump with a free fall of 105 meters. The tour to jump is made by river or across the river and then walking Aponwao. The road is flat so far follows the jump. To get there, turn right at the junction to the village of Kavanayen a small indigenous village located in the middle of La Gran Sabana, surrounded by tepuis within which is the "Mountain of the Sun" or Wei Tepui, there find the missions of the Franciscan friars, which offer accommodation. The crossing is 4 km. Fort Luepa, also known as The Citadel. Headquarters of the army brigade, charged with the surveillance of the park, where a fuel pump, which supply the public.
The road passes in front of the runway Luepa. Following this road 41 kilometers, you reach the turnoff to the Salto Toron-Meru, which have access only four-wheel drive vehicles. Stunning waterfall-shaped staircase, one of the greatest attractions of the route Gran Sabana, has a height of 75 meters. Before reaching the jump, you pass through a small stream called Toroncito. Continuing along the road to Kavanayén, Parupa crosses the river and the turning Iboriwo, small hamlet where the dugouts are hired to get the jump is achieved. Then it goes through the tourist haven Chivaton. Following the main road backbone called 10 reach the town of Santa Elena de Uairen, capital of the municipality Gran Sabana of Bolivar State, founded in 1922 as a Capuchin mission of intense activity Mining and Tourism, is located 5 km from the Brazilian border, where the customs between the two countries, it is possible to cross the border to the town of the line in the neighboring country, located just across the border and go to Boa Vista. Santa Elena Elena de Uairen grew during the 30s by the development of the diamond mines in the area. Has good hotels, restaurants and a variety of travel agencies that offer a range of tour packages from 1 to 7 days, all included to a guide.
The airport has daily connections to Ciudad Bolivar, there is also a bus terminal departing daily to Ciudad Bolivar, Ciudad Guayana, Porlamar and crossing the border to Boa Vista. Along the road to Santa Elena Elena de Uairen, there are many camps located within 100 meters.
Of the road, with beautiful waterfalls and campsites, some with inns and camping area, restaurants and bathrooms. Among them are: Salto Kama or Kama Meru; This mighty and spectacular diving, crystal clear water from the river Aponwao, has a height of over 50 meters, in the fall a rainbow is formed. It is located at kilometer 201, next to the main road, is one of the favorite places for camping because it has public facilities, areas for camping, churuatas for the night, inn offers en suite rooms, a restaurant staffed by indigenous sites , information center and public toilets. In the lagoon that forms at the bottom of the jump, in dry season offer canoe rides that pass behind the jump. You can also buy typical crafts. It is a must for every tourist or nature lover. It is located outside the main road so no need four-wheel drive vehicle to reach it, any vehicle can access this beautiful place.
The Rapids Kaimorán; imposing rapids that are located next to the road, there are inn rooms with or without private bathroom, restaurant, gas sation and bathhouses. Siguienos the road, on the left side of the road through Santa Elena, you are the Quebrada Arapan-Meru or Quebrada Pacheco; Attractive consisting of four jumps, a small jump with perches and one medium, a big jump shaped staircase and a natural water slide, with camping area and public toilets, where you can buy Indian handicrafts. Pacheco is passing the Yuruaní River; beautiful rapids next to the road, 70 km. north of Santa Elena de Uairen. Has about 8 meters high and 60 meters wide, is extremely impressive for the vast quantity of water it carries. tour operators performing practices rafting in its waters, but requires a lot of experience, it is also possible to pass behind this impressive waterfall, with the experience of a qualified guide.
There tepuy born of the same name, which can easily glimpsed in the tour of the savannah, and from the jump itself. We also find on the road to San Franciso de Yuruaní; indigenous population, where we can find accommodation, food and bathrooms. The spa Suruape; is located at kilometer 244. Its main attraction are small waterfalls, ponds and natural water slides. There is a module of tourist information restaurant, grills, bathrooms, selling crafts and churuatas for rent.
At km 273 a few meters from the main road, is the Quebrada Arapan-Meru, better known as Quebrada Jaspe; It has 20 to 30 meters wide, and is one of the wonders and perhaps the most popular place in the Gran Sabana. It is characterized by red flagstone in the background, semiprecious materials consisting of a mixture of crystalline quartz and amorphous silica called Jaspe. It is a creek without sand, and no loose stones, only a slab of red and yellow jasper 300 meters length over which current flows of Kaku-Paru, with about five centimeters water level is, is surrounded by trees over 20 meters high, is an ideal place to rest. It was decreed by the government as a natural monument, to ensure their conservation. It is important that visitors avoid taking fragments of jasper place.
At kilometer 278 of the road close to Santa Elena, they are the Waterfall Agua Fria and Gate to Heaven: To access these tourist places of breathtaking beauty, you have to penetrate a little into the bushes, down a steep slope . Both sites are close by and just walk a few meters is required to reach the door to Heaven. It is advisable to wear appropriate footwear that allows you to walk on stone slabs polished by the passage of water. On the way a large number of rivers and waterfalls, many of them difficult to penetrate only possible with four-wheel drive vehicles, with places where you can camp is located, carrying everything you need. Use tents with double roof to protect it from moisture and rain.
Carrying bags to collect waste and contribute to the maintenance of the area. Use blue soap, biodegradable, to prevent contamination of rivers. Using the pest repellents. Wear appropriate clothing, the nights are cold and wet, so it is advisable to take shelter and sleeping bags.
South of Santa Elena about 100 kilometers, taking a dirt road, via the airport you reach the town of El Paují, a small town where different cultures and beliefs, there live people coming from diferrentes parts of Venezuela and world, lovers of life outdoors or believers of different spiritual trends, using the site as a retreat.
Accompanied by indigenous and Brazilian, surrounded by beautiful scenery, with countless colorful waterfalls like El Salto Cathedral; located about 10 kilometers before reaching the Paují on the road is the Cafe Cathedral, where they sell homemade cakes and jams, good place to rest and relax, is located on the banks of the river, which then form the jump, you can bathing as there is a spectacular well. Shortly before coffee will find a dirt road to the right that will take you to jump, you must leave your car and walk down a steep slope, it is worth the effort as it is a very beautiful and magical jump.
El Salto La Vaca; It is located a few kilometers before reaching the Paují, it is difficult to access, but can be seen from the road. The Esmeralda Salto, located 1 km past the town via the drawer, its name comes from the color of its waters and stones, with the sun reflecting acquire an emerald green color. There is a pea gravel airstrip for small planes or helicopters.
Passing this track is the rise in the Abyss, where after about 90 minutes of climbing we reach an impressive top of Tepuy plateau about 8 km. Long, regardless of the Amazon rainforest. From there the imposing jungle that is lost sight of, with their different shades of green can be seen. At the top are some caves, where it is a type of very strange albino bat (white) and vegetation of the tepuis. In Paují are lodges, camping sites, restaurants and the friendliness of the locals that make us feel at home. There you can buy handicrafts and honey, awarded internationally. Continuing along a dirt road, which generally is in very bad shape, erosion from rain and going through some camps breathtaking beauty located at a site called El Altar, is reached Icabarú, last populated center located at the end south of our country, on the border with Brazil.