Some sights in this world are just must-sees due to their incredible natural beauty and travelers, the world over love to see the grace and beauty of waterfalls. Sometimes they are small and one can comfortably shower in them. At other times they are tremendous falling sheets of water, like Niagra Falls or Victoria Falls located in Africa (the largest falling sheet of water). When it comes to the highest uninterrupted waterfall, that honor goes to Angel Falls of Venezuela. It is part of the Canaima National Park and a UNESCO World Heritage site. In 2009, then Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez declared that the falls should be known by their indigenous name, Kerepakupai Merú.
About Angel Falls
- Total Height Of The Falls: 979 Meters or 3,212 Feet
- Height Of The Uninterrupted Plunge: 807 Meters or 2,648 Feet
- Name of Mountain: Auyan-tepui Mountain
The fall as measured to 979 meters or 3,212 feet is made up of the main free-falling plunge and then around 400 meters or 1,300 feet of sloped cascade and rapids below the drop. Then there is another 30-meter or 98-foot plunge a little downstream of the talus rapids.
Discovery of The Falls
The "discovery" or the first sighting of these incredible falls by outsiders wasn't until the 1930s and they were consequently named after James Angel - an American adventurer who in 1937 crash-landed his plane on a mesa not far from the falls.
The Angel Falls was one of the last of the world's wonders to be opened up the to world. They largely remained an unknown quantity until the mid-1950s. And they didn't open up to tourists until 1990 when tourists were first permitted to visit the falls. Even the local indigenous tribe called the Kamarakotos Pómon tribe who lived in the nearby valley state away from the falls. They believed that the falls' remote location was the domain of malign spirits and best avoided.
The waterfall is so dramatic that it was short-listed in the 28 final choices for the Seven Natural Wonders of the World (it didn't make it).
How To Visit The Falls
The falls are in the dense rainforest and jungle, this makes it difficult to move about and also obscures the falls in the Canaima National Park. Due to this, they are best seen from the air so consider taking a scenic flight of the falls. See here for a list of things hidden deep in the Amazon rainforest we barely know about.
Today the Angel Falls is one of Venusela's most visited and sought-after natural tourist attractions. However, visiting the falls is very complicated at the best of times. The economic and political upheaval mentioned above has only added to it (in a big way). The falls are set deep in the jungle and the forests are dense (there's a reason why they weren't discovered until the 1930s). To reach the Canaima camp next to the falls, one needs to take a small plane either from the capital, Caracas, or from Ciudad Bolivar. Travelers to the falls are normally escorted by a Pemon guide. From Camp Canaima, it is possible to take a river trip up to the base of the falls.
The Pemon are an indigenous tribe or people inhabiting the remote parts of this area of Venezuela - as well as parts of adjacent Guyana and Brazil. They are also known as Taurepang, Kamarakoto, Arecuna, and Aricuna Jaricuna.
- Season For River Trips: River Trips To The Falls Are Normally From June to December
- Gateway To The Falls: Canaima Camp
- Access To Canaima Camp: Via Small Airplanes
Note On Venezuela
Hopefully, soon it will be safe to visit Venezuela but for now, it is not safe and travelers should exercise extreme caution. Millions of people have left the country and there are acute shortages of gasoline so that buses are reported not to be running. Crime has been reported to have greatly risen. The Angel Falls is beautiful, but now is not a good time to see them.
- Visa Policy Of Venezuela: Visa-Free For All Western Countries Except Canada and the United States - Visa-Free Travel Was Revoked
The size of the Angel Falls varies by season with more water falling in the rainy season when they can create a mist for a one-kilometer (half-mile) wide radius around the falls.
If it becomes safe again soon to visit Venezuela then, the Angel Falls should be high on anyone's bucket list! They are not only a chance to see one of the most beautiful falls in the world but also a chance to get deep into the jungle far far away from civilization and immerse oneself in impenetrable nature.