I had it on my list of places to go and when I finally decided the date, I began to investigate the details of how to get there. At the same time I told several friends to join this adventure, we were going to be a group of seven people.

Photo: Morros of San Juan or Arístides Rojas Natural Monument

Los Morros (which means rounded peaks), located in the town of San Juan, the capital of the Guárico state, Venezuela, less than two hours from Caracas, are limestone rock formations that stand out in the landscape of this region. 80 million years ago they were part of a coral reef, incredible!

Although everyone knows this place as Los Morros, in 1949 it was decreed as Natural Monument Arístides Rojas and became a protected area.

On the Sunday of the excursion we had agreed with my friends that we were going to meet at the San Juan bus terminal, between 8:30 and 9:00 in the morning. I went with my sister and we arrived at the place first.

Photo: Los Morros are seen from many parts of the city of San Juan, as seen from the Bus Terminal

10 minutes, half an hour passed and little by little the friends who had said they would go, for one reason or another in the end did not appear ... you know, if you have ever organized group outings this happens frequently. Anyway, without wasting any more time my sister and I took a taxi to the entrance of Los Morros, which we reached in less than 15 minutes.

There was no one at the Ranger Station. We wanted to register and ask where was the path that led to the wall of El Morro where you can ascend.

Well, we looked around and we went into a path that I thought was the correct one since the Morros were seen in the background. After spending a quarter of an hour there, my sister, who from the beginning did not trust that direction, was right.

Photo: My sister taking the lead

We turned back and went to the other side. Later we met a lady and her husband who were walking towards us and we took the opportunity to ask them where the path to El Morro was, since there was no signposting. They told us that when we advanced straight on that main dirt road for half an hour, we would see a detour that went up towards the mountain, it was there. They warned us to be careful, that the place was lonely and that in the area there was a colony of prisoners or something, we continue with our route.

The sun was strong, to help us in the ascent we took some sticks that we got on the ground to use as poles. When we reached the detour that had been mentioned to us, we started to climb. That trail is quite steep, with low vegetation, so the sun kept tanning us.

We had about an hour going up, without knowing if it was missing a lot or a little, although we were getting closer to the Morro, to start ascending it we had to find the first staircase and we still didn't see anything, not even far.

That climb made us sweat a lot. When we almost touched the wall of the Morro we entered a part with vegetation that gave us shade and a few steps away, there was the iron staircase! We screamed with excitement hehehe ...

This Natural Monument has three peaks: Paurario (largest), Tucunuma (medium) and Papelón (small), but the only one that is accessible without climbing equipment is the Paurario or Morro Mayor (Largest Peak), whose height is 1060 meters. These geological formations also have caverns.

In 1929 the government of the time inaugurated a lighthouse there that served as a reference to the pilots who flew the first planes in the Venezuelan skies. During its construction, a series of metal stairs fixed to the rock were installed in this Morro, 21 in total, which are still the ones used to climb to the top. Some are short and others long, in all you have to climb carefully, preferably one person at a time.

Photo: Detail of how the stair was fixed to the rock

I touched the first stair and tried to move it to make sure it didn't wobble. It seemed firm although it was not totally fixed. We went up.

Since the ascent up the different stairs begins, the vegetation is dense and the climate cool, very different from the heat we experience on the way to the wall of Morro Mayor.

In several parts we saw crosses and dedications as a reminder of people who died there when they fell off a cliff or something, that made us go more carefully.

When we were going about halfway, after twelve o'clock in the afternoon, we met a group of people who were coming down, they greeted us, a part of them were Russians, they were the only people we met at El Morro.

Photo: A Russian boy greets us before going down

Almost reaching the top, we realized the spectacular views that this place offered us. We reached the summit with great joy and dedicated ourselves to observing the landscape. From there you can see a panoramic view of the city of San Juan de Los Morros and other neighboring towns.

Photo: The last stair, the one that takes you to the top of the Morro Mayor or Paurario

We approach the lighthouse, a metal structure that no longer works but still has the staircase to reach the top. I thought about doing it but I noticed that it wobbled a lot, so for security I decided not to go up.

Photo:The lighthouse in Morro Mayor

Photo: The stairway to the top of the lighthouse

Finally we sit for a while on some big stones to eat something and rest. There was a cool breeze that relieved the heat.

Photo: A little friend

We could also see from there the other Morros that accompany the highest and that are the target of many climbers who visit this incredible Venezuelan Natural Monument.

Photo: Me and my sister

We started the way back and although I do not suffer from vertigo, going down the stairs that were long gave me a little fear, it must be because in one of those I looked down and saw the height that separated me from the ground. Don't look down! Hehehe look ahead!

When we finished going down the stairs, we continued down the mountain to the dirt road that would take us back to where we started the excursion.

We were attentive in case a car passed by to ask him/her to take us to the exit, but no, we had to walk with the sun and when we arrived we took a taxi that left us at the bus terminal to return home.

The following days several of the friends who were supposed to come to this excursion and in the end they did not appear, saw the photos of this adventure and told us: "wow, I should have gone!... don't be like them, go! hehehe . Adventures in nature are the best and not every day someone invites you!


All photos are mine, made with a Sony Cyber Shot 7.2 mp digital camera