ApproachTo reach the trailhead, you must make your way to San Francisco de Yurani. San Francisco (SF de Y) can be reached by bus. Most people ride the bus all the way there from Caracas, Ciudad Boliviar, or Ciudad Guyana. Others fly to Santa Elena which is only a few hours south of SF de Y, and take the bus up from there. There are some rather grubby hotels in SF de Y, and a few restraunts. We were allowed to camp in the futbol (thats soccer for gringos!) field. There is a small selection of food in some stores, but I would recommend bringing most items from a larger city.
The actual trailhead is in Paratepui, which is 22kms (14 miles) east of SF de Yurani. Most hire a vehicle in SF de Y, but it can be walked in a day for those who wish to save a few bucks (not recommended). A vehicle cost $100 in 1996 and can hold 6 people with gear.
Other routes are very seldom attempted. Rock climbers could probably find several "first" all over the sides of this peak.
Route DescriptionFrom Paratepui, follow the old un-used road east. There are several shortcut trails that bypass some long detours of the old road. You will see the peak ahead for most of the route. The peak on the left is Kukenan, Roraima is the peak to the right. There are several river crossings, which you must do on foot (no bridges). The Rio Tex and Rio Kukenan crossings can be problematic after rains.
The trek out to the base of the peak can be hot, sunny, and shadeless accross the Gran Sabana. It usually takes 1 to 1 1/2 days to reach the base of the peak. The trail to the top is easy to find, but is extremly steep and exciting. It's not a technical climb, but it is challenging and spectacular. You must walk under a waterfall, so expect to get wet. Once on top you will need a guide if you intend to wander around. It is very misty, foggy, and rainy almost all of the time, and there is a maze of rock formations on top.
It is recommended that you camp on top a few nights and spend at least one full day on top. There is much to see. Have a guide take you to the Laberintos, Valley of Crystals, and many other interesting fetures. The trek to the top and back usually takes four days, plus any days you may spend on top.