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Mount Roraima (“Monte Roraim”), the giant flat-topped mountain or mesa, is the highest of the Pakaraima chain of Tepui plateau in South America. The mountain includes the triple border point of Venezuela, Brazil and Guyana.
The tabletop mountains of the Pakaraima chain are considered some of the oldest geological formations on Earth, dating back to some two billion years: it is estimated that they were Precambrian era.
Mount Roraima is about 9 miles (14 km) long and 9,094 feet (2,772 meters) high. Its tabletop is 12 square miles (31 km2) and has 1,312-feet-tall (400 meters) cliffs on all sides. It is the source of many rivers of Guyana, the Amazon and Orinoco. “Triple point”, where the three borders meet, is at 2739 meters.
It rains every day on top of the mountain, washing away most of the nutrients for plants to grow and creating a unique landscape on the bare sandstone surface. This creates some of the highest waterfalls in the world over the sides of Mount Roraima.
Mount Roraima is the highest mountain in Guyana, but Venezuela and Brazil have higher mountains. The triple border point on the summit is at 5°12'08N, 60°44'07W.
There is only one ‘easy’ way up, on a natural staircase-like ramp on the Venezuelan side – to get up any other way takes an experienced rock climber. Today, Mount Roraima is a destination for trekking trips.
This majestic mountain was first described by the English explorer Sir Walter Raleigh in 1596.