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Chiribiquete 2013 first descent of Rio San Jorge

Participants: Maciej Tarasin - expedition leader rivers, Jaime Gomez -
expedition leader rain forest
Distance covered: over 450 km from San Jose de Caquetania on Rio Tunia to Raudal El Tubo on Rio Cunare


During the mid-eighteenth century a group of Franciscan missionaries recorded the first encounters with members of the indigenous tribe of Karijona Apaporis near the river. Then, in 1782, Francisco Requena, Spanish military engineer explored Rio Cunare , Rio Mesai , Rio Yari , and confirmed the presence of Karijonas in that area. During the expeditions of 1990 - 1992, researchers found more than half a million paintings of 1000, 4000 and even 20,000 years old, within 36 rock shelters that protected one of the most important cultural monuments of the prehistoric past of the Amazon . The research concluded that the tepuis of Chiribiquete were sacred places that they could be accessed only by people with high spiritual powers, shamans.
One of my goals was to reach the ancient rock paintings but the most important goal was to descent Rio San Jorge, which runs through the heart of Chiribiquete and close to the majestic tepuis. I succeeded after paddling over 300 km on Rio Tunia and Rio Apaporis and crossing 60km of rain forest in order to reach a passable part of Rio San Jorge.
Patricio von Hildebrandt - one of very few explorers of that area states that in Chiribiquete "you can go six months without seeing anyone, it's like a jungle broccoli .... This is a forest of rocky hills, caves, waterfalls, rapids, supremely extraordinary."


In Raudal El Tubo, we rounded out the expedition by joining a Dutch expedition as planned in order to share a motorboat ride upriver to return to Araracuara. Even after all the close calls Jaime and I had paddling down the Rio San Jorge, it was right before we finally were finished with our inflatable canoe that we had the most dangerous adventure of our expedition. Jaime wished to go over the last drop of the Rio El Tubo, the backwash of which stopped the canoe with so much power that Jaime was thrown overboard into the tumbling water.

English version (Canoe & Kayak) Polish version (Gazeta Wyborcza)

© Maciej Tarasin.
Created by: sakowww.com
Omo river expedition 2008
Image: Erik Rupert