Exploring Venezuela’s lost world

We told you about Roraima, the remote and rugged region along the border of Venezuela, Guyana, and Brazil last year. Known for its flattop mountains, called tepuis, Roraima was made all the more famous when it was featured prominently in last year’s Pixar movie Up. Now, U.K. newspaper the Guardian has discovered the allure of the place, posting a story of their own.

Known as the Lost World, Roraima is said to have inspired Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s book of the same name. Grainne Mooney, the travel writer for the Guardian, was similarly inspired when visiting the place, starting with the wildlife. The lowland areas are teeming with animals, including crocodiles, giant anteaters, monkeys, and capybara, the largest species of rodents in the world.

Eventually, the writer’s attention turned to the mountain itself, which towers more than 9200 feet above the jungle below. The entire trek would take six days to complete, including two nights spent on the flat summit. Beginning in arid grasslands, the hike eventually moves up into humid rainforests, before climbing above the tree line altogether. On top, the mountain seems like another world, and the rocky surface is often described like being on the moon.

Not only is this story a good overview of what it is like to visit Roraima, it offers plenty of insights into current conditions traveling through Venezuela as well. The writer notes that the capital city of Caracas is the most dangerous in the world after Baghdad and with inflation running wild, it is recommended that you exchange your dollars for bolivars on the black market, where the exchange rate is much better.

Seems like visiting Roraima isn’t the only adventure to be had in Venezuela.