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Find out more about the ascent of these two amazing mountains


Wonken is a missionary village in the heart of Canaima National Park. It is not accessible by road, and is therefore a sleepy place where nothing much happens. Its surrounding tepuis, however, make any trip there worthwhile.

The only ways to get to Wonken are by plane, foot or boat. By foot, you can trek from the south or the west. It takes three days, although from the south there are the fantastic falls of Pampata to admire along the way, and break the journey. By boat, you come from the north on the Karuay which you can reach via Kavanayen. This is a hard trip and few people have attempted it. Taking planes in the Sabana is a bit like hailing a taxi. Find a radio and ask when the next one is coming your way. Try to fill it (five people) to keep it cheap. Wonken to El Pauji, for example, shouldn't cost more than $15.

Wonken is a fascinating place, surrounded by awe-inspiring tepuis such as Upuigma (top background) and Apauray (above). You can ask to stay in an old doctors' quarters, or camp by the nearest river. The mission isn't particularly welcoming to visitors. There are great walks to the north up the Karuay valley to Old Wonken, and to the west towards Upuigma Tepuy. Introduce yourself to the capitan of the village when you arrive. A friendly woman called Gloria will help you out if you need it. The mission sells provisions.

Santiago Ramos -- View of Upuigma Tepuy from Wonken

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