The World’s Highest Waterfall Is Angel Falls in Venezuela
La cascada del Salto del Ángel (Angel Falls) in Venezuela is the highest waterfall on Earth. Its height is 3,212 ft (979 m)—almost a kilometer tall!
The Latin American region hosts some other interesting waterfalls such as:
- Three Sisters Waterfalls – Cataratas las tres hermanas in Perú, at 2,998 ft (914 m)
- Yumbiya Waterfall – Catarata Yumbiya in Perú, at 2,939 ft (896 m)
- La Chorrera waterfall – Cascada La Chorrera in Colombia, at 1,935 ft (590 m)
Latin America is full of amazing things, and when you think about Venezuela you might think about the astonishing Lake Maracaibo, their delicious arepas, Pabellón Criollo, or the spectacular Museo de los niños. Venezuela is also home to great baseball players, such as Miguel Cabrera (Detroit Tigers), José Altuve (Houston Astros), and Carlos Carrasco (New York Mets).
Venezuela has it all, great food, museums, amazing and warm people, and astonishing natural wonders to visit. If you are ready to explore Angel Falls in Venezuela, start scrolling down.
FUN FACT: The indigenous name of Angel falls is Kerepakupai Vená, which means “jump of the deepest place” in Pemón—an indigenous Caribbean language that more than 30,000 people speak in Southeast Venezuela.
Where Is Angel Falls Located?
Venezuela has 23 Federal States—which are divided into 335 municipalities—and a capital district—where Caracas is located.
If you want to get to Angel falls you need to go to the State of Bolivar in Southeastern Venezuela, in the Gran Sabana municipality—more specifically, to El parque nacional Canaima (Canaima National Park). This park is actually the 15th biggest National Park in the world and Venezuela’s 3rd biggest (3,000,000 ha).
FUN FACT: Gran Sabana only covers 1,000,000 ha. of the 3,000,000 ha. of the National Park. Additionally, the Canaima National Park has a similar size to Belgium.
How To Get to Angel Falls?
Angel Falls is 433 mi (698 km) away from Caracas. In order to get there from Venezuela’s capital, you have to take a 4-hour plane ride since there are no highways to get to Canaima. That airplane trip could cost around 45 USD.
Another way is by taking a 4×4 vehicle and driving around 14 hours from Caracas, to Gran Bolívar, the capital of the Bolivar State. From there, you take La Troncal 10 to La Piedra de la Virgen (the Virgin Mary’s Stone), a small town that indicates the beginning of the municipality of Gran Sabana. From there you will need to rent a vehicle to get all the way to the roads that can take you to Angel Falls.
Once you get to the Canaima National Park, you have to go to a small town also called Canaima. From there you have to hire a tour guide and then you are going to start navigating the Carrao river for three hours and visit different places in the three-day Angel Falls tour you can take.
PRO TIP: Keep in mind that the 45 USD price tag is just a reference. The inflation in Venezuela is highly irregular and prices can vary abruptly from day to day.
When Is the Best Time to Visit Angel Falls?
Be sure to go to Venezuela and visit Angel Falls anywhere between June and November. This is the rainy season in Venezuela,so the Carrao river should be navigable and the stream from the waterfall is much bigger than it is in dry conditions.
What Is the Weather Like in Angel Falls?
The Angel Falls weather is a tropical rainy one. They receive between 47 inches (1,200 mm) and 62 inches (1,600 mm) of precipitation and the temperature varies between 59°F (15°C) and 75°F (24°C) all year round.
Discovery of Angel Falls
There are two hypotheses on who first discovered Angel Falls. One of them is more well-known than the other one.
The least known version is the one that says Ernesto Sánchez, an explorer, notified his finding to El Ministerio de Minas e Hidrocarburos (the Ministry of Mines and Hydrocarbons) in Caracas.
The other version is one that involves two Catalans and one American Pilot. Félix Cardona Puig, a Spanish explorer born in Barcelona, alongside Juan María Mundó Freixas, his compatriot and colleague, saw Angel Falls for the first time ever in 1927, when they were exploring the zone. After writing and drawing maps about what they had found in Southeastern Venezuela, the American pilot, James C. Angel contacted Cardona Puig to visit Angel falls in 1937.
On May 21st, 1937 Cardona Puig accompanied Angel on the flight. In September, Angel desperately wanted to land the plane on top of Auyán Tepui—the cliff of which Angel Falls originates. He did so by crashing the plane on the ground and miraculously injuring nobody! Thanks to the name of this American pilot, the waterfall changed its name from Kerepakupai Merú to El salto del Ángel (Angel Falls.)
FUN FACT: Auyán Tepui, also spelled Auyantepui, means “Devil’s Mountain” in Pemón.
Visiting Angel Falls
After taking a flight to the landing strip on the Western part of Canaima national park from Puerto Ordaz or Ciudad Bolívar you are going to have two options:
- Taking a boat – Ir en una embarcación
- Taking a plane – Ir en avión
If you choose to take a boat, you are going to start your trip off La Laguna de Canaiama (Canaima lagoon)—a 52-ha. lagoon inside the park. Afterward, you are going to navigate through El río Carrao (Carrao River)—part of the famous Orinoco River and connected to the Churún River, the river that feeds Angel Falls. Once you get to el mirador (the lookout) you can take a dip in the little pool that forms under the thousands of liters that have been falling 2,647 ft (807 m) with nothing to stop them.
If you choose to take the plane be sure to do it between February and June when it does not rain often in Venezuela. From the skies, you are going to get to see the majestic aerial view from Angel Falls, a marvelous option, but a bit less immersive than the boat.
Keep in mind that there are not many hotels near Angel Falls, but you can rent a room in Santa Elena Uairén. If not, you can always camp in the national park, which UNESCO declared world heritage in 1994.
Activities Near Angel Falls
3,000,000 ha is a huge amount of territory. Thankfully, there are things you can do in the Eastern and Western parts of the park that are a fun and immersive way to have an amazing time while adventuring in Venezuela.
Visit Los Pemones
The tribe that was originally named Angel Falls is still around, and some of them receive tourists and show them their culture and traditions. There are around 36,000 of them living in Venezuela in different parts of the park. You can see their circular or rectangular houses and maybe some of their crops as well. Pemones eat a lot of yucca, but they also harvest ñames (yams), batatas (sweet potatoes), maíz (corn), arroz (rice) and plátanos (plantains.)
See the Local Fauna and Flora
In the Canaima National Park you can find a lot of interesting and different animals:
|dusky parrot||la cotorra morada|
|giant anteater||el oso hormiguero gigante|
|giant armadillo||el armadillo gigante|
|giant otter||el perro de agua gigante|
|harpy eagle||el águila arpía|
|Lesser Antillean iguana||la iguana caribeña|
|Linnaeus’s two-toed sloth||la pereza de dos dedos|
|red-shouldered macaw||la guacamaya enana|
|Roraima mouse||el roedor endémico de roraima|
|Southern American bushmaster||la serpiente cuaima-piña|
|Tyler’s mouse opossum||el marsupial endémico del tupuy|
|white-faced saki||el mono viuda|
|yellow-banded poison dart frog||el sapito minero|
As for the flora, you can find more than 300 endemic species only in the municipality of Gran Sabana.
See Venezuela’s Second Most Important River
Inside the park you are going to find el Río Caroní (Caroní River)—Venezuela’s second most important river only after El río Orinoco (the Orinoco River). The Caroní River is a 591-mi (952-km) long river, this is almost as long as the Ouachita River (605 mi or 974 km) that crosses Arkansas and Louisiana. However, its average flow is around 4850 cubic meters per second, which is half of the Columbia’s river average flow, which averages 8470 cubic meters per second.
See more Saltos
If you want to see more saltos, you can find more in the Eastern part of the park:
|Chinak Merú jump||el salto Chinak Merú|
|Chivatón jump||el salto Chivatón|
|Cuquenán jump||el salto Cuquenán|
|El Danto jump||El salto del Danto|
|Karuay jump||el salto Karuay|
|Kama merú jump||el salto Kama Merú|
|Toron merú jump||el salto Toron Merú|
and the Western part of the park:
- El Encanto jump – Salto el Encanto
- Del Yuri jump – Salto del Yuri
Climb Mt. Roraima
El monte Roraima (Mount Roraima) is a tepuy (tepui)—the highest table-top mountain in the Pacaraima mountain range in the Eastern part of the park.
Mount Roraima is 9,219 feet above sea level (2,810 meters above sea level) and it has 3,100 ha. on top of it. One of the coolest facts about Mt. Roraima is that you can visit three countries on top of it, since 5% of the area belongs to Brazil, 15% to Guyana, and 80% to Venezuela. Additionally, it has around 1,312 feet (400 m) of cliffs.
You can hire a guide in the indigenous communities of:
- Santa Elena de Uairén
- San Francisco de Yuruaní
From there it could take you around 2 days to climb, a day to spend on top of the mountain, and 2 days to go back down.
FUN FACT: Tepui means “house of the gods” in Pemón.
Explore the Kavac Caves
Las cuevas de Kavac (the Kavac caves) were formed almost 2 billion years ago and they host rocky walls with redish, greenish and yellowish colors with a total length of 770 ft (235 m), and you can find crystal-clear water inside the amazing cave.
Angel Falls and the Movies
Angel Falls has become famous in many ways. One of these is the movies.
In the 1998 movie, Más allá de los sueños (What dreams may come), Robin Williams jumps off the top. The 2000 movie Dinosaurio (dinosaur) used images of Angel Falls to put on the movie. Cataratas Paraíso (Paradise Falls), a location in the 2009 movie, Up: Una Aventura de Altura (Up) is based on Angel Falls. The Landscapes in Pandora, a moon in the 2009 movie Avatar, are inspired by Angel Falls.
Dive Into Spanish Before Your Visit to Angel Falls
Angel Falls is a highly amazing place! Getting there is a complete adventure and seeing everything around it has to be breathtaking! Before visiting Venezuela, sign up for a free Spanish class today, and prepare yourself by learning Spanish!
Speaking Spanish will open the door to other amazing countries such as the Dominican Republic, Chile or Colombia, and other 19 countries that officially speak Spanish! But did you know that you don’t have to get out of the U.S. to speak Spanish? More than 53,000,000 people speak Spanish in the U.S so you can practice there before your adventure! If you’re worried about paying for your trip, speaking Spanish can land you a better paycheck at the end of the month.
Learn Spanish with Homeschool Spanish Academy and access one-on-one lessons, flexible schedules, earned high school credit, and different payment options! Start learning Spanish today!
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