We (2 couples + 1 single, from Austria and Belgium) travelled together through northern Brazil during April 2011. There we decided to hop to Santa Elena and book a tour to the Chirikayen Tepui (3 days).
Our impressions of the tour operator are somewhat mixed: Timeliness and organisation of the tour on short notice were a plus. But after the tour we were confronted with additional financial demands. The tour guide, though qualified, seemed exhausted due to high season (Easter), tried to keep the trek as short and easy for her as possible, and therefore did not give us the options proposed at the moment of our booking. Finally, our complaint was treated in a quite arrogant way by the owner of the business, a German expat.
We recommend to clarify the details of your trek in writing in advance, esp. the number of porters to accompany you, if they will carry „doble carga“ and therefore will cost double, and the range of options during the trek.
I booked a room at Posada Backpacker Tours already from home when I booked the Roraima trek to be sure to have a room when I arrived. The first two nights I stayed in a single room and coming back from Roraima I got a very big room with three beds. The rooms are colourful. There is a fan and a bathroom. When I paid via Internet the rate of the room was 10 Euro. If I had paid in Santa Elena I think the price for the first room had been 30 000 Bs (June 2007). That is less than 10 dollars if you change on the black market (but about 10 Euro if you use the official rates).
A good breakfast is included in the price. You will get scrambled eggs (or a pancake or yoghurt) and lots of bred, a juice and coffee or tea. A nice thing about this posada is the restaurant area, with tables outside, which is a good meeting point where you will meet other people going or coming back from Roraima. There are several computers you can use (I don’t remember the price) and you can store luggage here while doing the Roraima trek.
The only thing I didn’t like is that Eric (the owner ) told some people I had ran off without paying for the last night. When I arrived to Santa Elena from Ciudad Bolívar I told the man working that I had been in contact with Backpacker tours office via mail and that I had already booked and paid for the room for three nights (two before and one after the Roraima trek). When I left Santa Elena I did it very early in the morning, before anyone else was up. Waiting for the Canaima/Angel Fall tour in Ciudad Bolivar a person who had been in Santa Elena said to me that they had been told by Eric that I left without paying. I felt very bad, because I don’t want anyone to think that of me. After the Canaima/Angel Fall tour I mailed Backpacker Tours about it and Eric was told that I had paid. The damage would not have been done if there had been better communication between the office and the posada about this.
- Homely atmosphere, nothing touristy about it... Run by elderly Antonio who is a very sweet, friendly little old man who lives there
- Large courtyard, allows you to camp on its ground (for a price) if you ask nicely
- Room is OK, quite large and clean
- Very strong fan available...
- Cold shower
Room: 25,000 Bs (2005)
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