Rio Caura 1 - car ride to Las Trincheras

Las Trincheras Travel Blog

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The hut

So today is the big day - we're starting our tour to Rio Caura!

Pre-booked at Gekko Tours, our driver comes to pick us up at Posada La Casita in the morning. The plan is to fetch our guide as well as all the stuff and food needed for the trip some place in town. Our guide appears to be very nice - Carlito, english speaking, very friendly, around 20 years of age. We load everything needed and then continue our first part of the journey by car. The destination is Las Trincheras, a small spot some kilometres down the Caura River, where we will change to a canoe.

The first part of the road is easy, it takes us parallel to the Orinoco river through savannah-like nature. The signs on the road say 60 km/h, but who cares if we go 120... as long as there are no holes in the road.

Curiara repairs
Some kilometres before the town of Maripa we're going off road. There's no more asphalt here but it's what they call a dirt road. The next hour or so we get shaken and stirred trying to avoid to catch too many holes and bumps, all whilst vegetation is changing from savannah to rain forest. All in all it's a quite long (around 4 hours) but exciting trip in a nice airconditioned car. Let's nok talk about the music though :-)

Around 1 pm then we arrive in Las Trincheras, the last kind of "point of civilisation". Actually the government was just installing electricity there, they were not quite done yet. It's a sleepy town, don't plan on bying something here. If you can have a bottle of water here, that's pretty much it. Well we were not supposed to stay but loaded all our stuff into a typical "curiara", a motorised canoe, and off we went to our first camp for the night...

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Piraña

Only 45 minutes later by boat we already arrive in our camp for the night. Check your tour operator, if you don't like pure nature, that will definitely not be the thing for you. It's very basic - a hut with hammocks and a table, and some toilet huts a couple of metres away. 

Luckily for the whole trip, since we started on a friday, our group only consisted of my husband and me, which showed to be a great advantage throughout the whole trip. Do that if you can - and if you don't want to go with the masses. The day after we heard our tour operator had a group of 30 and one of 7 starting the trip. I really can't imagine how all those people could sleep in that tiny camp.

Since we already landed in the camp early afternoon, there was time to explore the river some more. There was another couple in the camp yet having done the trip and on their way back to Ciudad Bolivar, and those and their guide we joined for a little excursion to an indian community further up the river.

Arriving and reloading

As far as I remember that community was quite untypical since different tribes were living togethere there - the Sanema (some Yanomami related group), the Pémon (most of them live in the Gran Sabana) and the Yekwana (the "original" indians living at the Caura River). We saw their different styles of building houses as well as their Yuca/Maniok/Casava production methods and plants - they also had some kind of touristy (?) workshop-exhibition-thing of different stages of the building-process of their canoes. Carlito explained very carefully how they build the curiara and we could see the tree, the first steps of how they excavate it, how they burn it inside to make it wider and so on. It was quite interesting to see! Also we saw a group of men working on restauring one canoe.

After leaving the community the guides took us for a swim in the river - together with wild freshwater dolphins! Imagine, to hop into the river, and just some metres away you can see the dolphins turn up.

Hut in Las Trincheras
It was extrordinary. Even more exciting was the fact that the other couple began to fish pirañas only 5 metres away... and cought some!

But sunset was close and it was time to say goodbye to the pirañas and go back to our camp. The guides served a nice dinner for us, and when someone suddenly showed up with a bottle of rom, the evening was perfect - sitting on the warm stones on the beachside, watching the calm river flow, enjoying a Cuba Libre in nice company underneath millions of glittering stars. 

The hut
The hut
Curiara repairs
Curiara repairs
Piraña
Piraña
Arriving and reloading
Arriving and reloading
Hut in Las Trincheras
Hut in Las Trincheras
Swimming with dolphins
Swimming with dolphins
Dinner preparation
Dinner preparation
Toilet in the camp
Toilet in the camp
Evening light at Rio Caura
Evening light at Rio Caura
Rio Caura
Rio Caura
Rio Caura at Las Trincheras
Rio Caura at Las Trincheras
Las Trincheras General Tips & Advice review
If you're planning on doing a trip to Rio Caura, you've probably already packed what your tour operator advices you to bring. Anyhow, here's some more… read entire review
Las Trincheras
photo by: Marejka