South America: Natural objects / PLATEAU RORAIMA

PHOTO: 512'36.14" 6046'24.26"

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Roraima is an interesting mountain located in the Guiana Highlands. The peak actually shares the border with Venezuela, Brazil, and Guyana, but the mountain is almost always approached from the Venezuela side. The Brazil and Guyana sides are much more difficult. The mountain's highest point is Maverick Rock which is at and on the Venezuela side (thought some other sources may differ on this).


The Guiana Highlands is a very unusual mountain range covering parts of Venezuela, Brazil, Guyana, Suriname and French Guiana. The highlands are made of ancient sedimentary rock that is over two billion years old and are some of the oldest sedimentary rocks on the planet.


There are some wonderful places on Earth that offer such breathtaking views that they might just stick with you forever and ever down in some rusty memory box. And there are others worth discovering that we do not even know about. This site is about unconventional traveling ideas, a place where people can find unworldly landscapes and a new way of seeing things. And this definitely one of them.


Long before the European conquistadors took over these lands, Mount Roraima was considered a symbol of these regions, an “axis mundi”, an enormous tree within which all the vegetables and fruits of the world grow. This mountain, surrounded by 400 meter (1,300 ft) tall cliffs was a place of mystery, myths and legends for the indigenous people that used to live here centuries ago.


Mount Roraima is part of the Guiana Shield, the highest point of the Guyana's Highland Range and a part of Canaima National Park. These are a series of table top mountains that date back to the Precambrian Age about 2 billion years ago.


Today this unusual looking mountain can be visited by anyone having the will to discover it. The ascend starts in the Pemón village of Paraitepui which can be reached via the town of Santa Elena. Getting to Mount Roraima is possible by taking a plane to Santa Elena de Uairén airport. This is a town in Brazil, very close to the border. From here on, you will see there are buses or shuttles that can get you close to the ascending point- the village of Paraitepui.


The grandeur and majesty of the summit of the mountain, coupled with an unbroken silence and the enormous scale upon which the whole is executed, are appalling. One feels oppressed, dwarfed, almost as it one were a trespasser...


...the central part of Roraima appears a vast, barren plain. The haze drifting over the scene, the desolation and utter lack of comparative objects, cause one to lose all sense of proportion and distance. Except on the north, the almost featureless plain seems to reach away to infinity...



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