Unassuming from afar, yet quite strikingly incredible close-up, Mount Roraima on the Venezuela-Brazil-Guyana border is a destination that deserves it’s own travel itinerary. The tepuy, or tabletop mountain, is nearly 9,000 feet high and sits inside Canaima National Park (a UNESCO World Heritage Site).
Surprisingly, Roraima isn’t the only mountain of it’s kind in the park. In fact, about 65% of the roughly seven million acre park is covered by the plateaued peaks. Roughly translated into English (from Pemon language), Roraima actually means “Mother of all Waters,” possibly because of the countless waterfalls from it’s edges or the frequent tropical downpours.
Interestingly enough, some scientists regard tepuys like Roraima as ‘islands in time’ because species have developed in isolation on top of them over millions of years.
It’s not uncommon that you’ll find the mountain enveloped in a patch of clouds because of the humid air rising up off of the surrounding rainforest. The hike isn’t the hardest in the park, though you might want to hire a guide, and it was first traversed back in 1884. The best time to go is from December to April, during the dry season, though Venezuela’s tourism site says that the plateau can remain damp year-round.