As a basis for explorations of the southeast of La Gran Sabana, it is a good idea to use Santa Elena de Uairén as base. This attains restaurants, shops (and it is a duty free port), banks, telecommunications, machine shops, a hospital, taxis, petrol, plus a 40 lodges, camps and hotels. Also, its location is the starting point of the routes for the Paují-Icabarú or Brazil.
The small town - Despite the small size of the hotel through the streets Arrow-and many without identification, is very confusing. It is recommend stopping at the first tourism module at the first intersection in the village to buy a detailed map of the Gran Sabana published by Roberto Marrero. The reverse includes drawings of Santa Elena, San Francisco Kavanayén Yuruaní and also the route to Boa Vista (Brazil).
For the main restaurants, turn left on Avenue Perimeter at the first intersection. Two are on the left two blocks: Alfredo's and Venezuela 1. In front of these, turn right onto Backpacker Tours Urdaneta to where I've always eaten very well in his restaurant Goldrausch. Try the filet mignon with mushroom sauce, chips and a green salad. Other options include Caesar salad with chicken and bacon :)
Very interesting, Dew Street, is the home of the Crystals (7:30 a.-9: 00 p. Daily). Apart from an exhibition and sale of glass, in the back garden is "The Circle of Power" with 13 poles, each with a huge crystal formation above where the owner gives a talk about the power of crystals.
LODGING Very quiet, and with friendly owners, Mary and Alberto Hernández-are Kiamanti Booths. At the northern edge of Santa Elena, watch Customs. Cross on the next street to the right (red earth granzón and in good condition) climbing to the summit, where this deal is fenced. There are 15 simple but comfortable cabins (10 triples with bath / hot water, fan, 5 in a larger version, with 2/4 to 5) and an octagonal module with eight double bedrooms in a "V" with bath / cold water .
They also have a large hut with games room, restaurant, satellite TV and indoor garden. There is a bar on a separate hut (only for guests, where you can buy drinks or keep theirs in a refrigerator but usage only here and not in the restaurant, where normal service bar) with music. They also have a swimming pool with adjoining hut, tennis and foosball selling point for my guide.
Upon entering the city, at the first intersection crossing right to Akurimá urbanization. At close range, a warning indicates Cabins Roraima. Three cabins offer simple but well maintained for 7 or 8 with room-kitchen-dining room, 2 rooms and 25 standard rooms with air pleasant, all with bath / hot water, mini-fridge, cable TV. There is an adjacent pool and barbecue hut. Waterfront Cabins notice to Roraima, turn left on the dirt road to reach the new inn Los Pinos.
Fenced and internal parking, has 10 attractive rooms (with bath / hot water, ceiling fan, mini fridge, safe) in the service of the 18 that will have. The style of decoration is very creative, vibrant tones, undulating stripes dividing the colors on the walls and animal prints, tepuis. Pool / jacuzzi plus a large hut restaurant and bar.
Fairmont Villa Olga Colmenares and Jose Fernandez, is also in Akurimá. It is a walled complex with indoor parking, restaurant-tavern large (and open to the public again), eight attractive and spacious triple rooms with mini fridge and a cabin (no kitchen), all with bath / hot water, air and cable TV. It also has a pool / jacuzzi, mini gym and massage room adjacent.
New on the street is L'Auberge Posada Urdaneta. Claude Saarland features eight entertaining rooms (including one with 2 levels down bed, 2 singles in an attic) with bath / hot water, air, cable TV, minibar. There are filtered water, parking and a cot available, optional tours.
Upon entering the city, crossing to the left at the first intersection and turn left again at the first major street (Avenida Principal of urbanization Blue Sky).
Friedenau Cabin is walking distance within a large lot with extensive landscaping. There are five simple cottages with kitchen (no utensils), a house for five and eight mini-suite triple with bath / hot water, cable TV, mini fridge, air, large covered area which, besides serving as parking, has tables and chairs that make it a pleasant place to relax protected.
The restaurant is only for guests with service only during peak season. They also have to Boccia courts and volleyball, and swimming.
Blue Sky In the complex via Sampay there are several options. The first is Venezuela Explorer Eco-Lodge on 25 acres with 10 pleasant rooms and a rustic chalet for six in the forest (the favorite of bird watchers), all with bath / hot water. There is a nice module-bar-dining room and offers horses, tours, meals (vegetarian only) apart.
Later will come to a "Y". Follow the dirt road to the right to Camp Ya-Koo of Xiomara and Manfred friendly couple Frischeisen. In a quiet forest on a hill, pleasant cottages contain 17 large rooms with bath / hot water, balcony oche. A large module, open the front to take the view, functions as dining-bar social area with satellite TV, videos and many books about the area. There is a natural pool in the river that runs next to the property, a traditional pool in the garden and an adjoining area for massages.
In the same way is Camp Road Wild. The owners, Paul and Vicky Artal, live here. They have an art gallery (open to public) with great pictures of Paul in an annex to his house. It offers six cabins (for 2-4) with bath / hot water, three with base resting on land and the other built as stilts in slope with a beautiful view. The latter are united a walkway that extends from the flat side of the hill, and UNCHE passing across the front of the units and projects in space. The mud walls of the cottages have views of palm leaves. The dining room projecting from the hillside is a gem. There is also a swimming pool and barbecue. Dinner only at the Hotel-Restaurant Wakü Leg with six simple double rooms with bath / hot water in duplex cabins spacious grounds. The large restaurant has a service only to guests or to rent for events.
VIA BRASIL The Heroic Venezuela detour via Park is Banana Hosting The friendly owners, Luis and Elita Guadarismo, live here and have 28 single rooms but comfortable and three cabins for six. All have bath / hot water, cable TV and air.
There are two broad caneyes online, plus another again a little higher up on the ground (with a nice view, barbecue and bar that can be used to expand the dining room or rent it aside for events).
The two major options are on the main road to Brazil. Hotel Anaconda is 57 of 171 attractions and hotel rooms now operating with 58 Grand Sabanacuenta. Both have baths / hot water, air, cable TV, mini-fridge in the rooms, plus pool and fountain soda.
OTHER ACTIVITIES Ivan Artal, offers the thrill of paragliding very close to Santa Elena and also the Yuruaní river rafting is situated here.
The Annual Frontier Challenge Terrain Bike Show. Takes place in July (in the tenth, there were more than 600 participants from Venezuela, Brazil and Colombia) with a distance of about 70 km - please contact: Alberto Hernandez Kiamanti for details.
The Gran Sabana also houses the office of Raul Helicopters > (www.salto-angel.com) for flights over the Tepuis.