Santa Elena de Uairén is a small frontier town in La Gran Sabana in Venezuela.
It's home to several indigenous groups, and children are educated not only in Spanish but also Pemon, an indigenous language. It's proximity to the border with Brazil makes it busy trade town... mostly importing products from Brazil, and exporting oil from Venezuela.
Hotel Michelle, Calle Urdaneta, ☎ 0289-416 12 57. Probably the cheapest option in town and the bedrooms are still nice. Also doubles as a travel agency. Single from BsF 45.
Posada Backpackers, (next door to Hotel Michelle). Slightly more expensive but rooms slightly nicer than at Hotel Michelle.
- Angel Falls – the highest single-drop water fall in the world (807m)
- Canaima National Park – a UNESCO World Heritage Site, famous for it's tepuis, or "table-top" mountains. It's the second largest park in Venezuela.
- Brazil – the border is about 12 km away, and this is the last place that you can obtain a Brazilian visa, which usually takes 1-3 days.
- Cantarana is a small hamlet about 100 km west of Santa Elena. There are several 4WD collective taxi-jeeps going there every day on an unpaved track (BsF 60, 3 h). You can stay at: Campamento Cantarana, ([email protected]), . Very nice camp owned by a German-Venezuelan family, with a big park close to a waterfall and natural pool. Meals are made with fresh food and mostly home production. Nice hikes around in Gran Sabana. Possibility to work there as well. ~BsF 200 for full board accomodation.