Angel Falls is a waterfall in Venezuela. It is the world’s highest uninterrupted waterfall, with a height of 979 meters and a plunge of 807 meters.One of the greatest natural wonders of the world, magnificent Angel Falls, remains virtually masked to mankind in the rugged jungle and mountain of Venezuela. Today, Angel Falls is the greatest tourist draw in Venezuela.
Address: Parque Nacional Canaima, Bolívar, Venezuela
Number of drops: 2
Longest drop: 2,648′
World height ranking: 1
History of Angel Falls
Angel Falls waterfall in the Guiana Highlands in Bolívar state, southeastern Venezuela, on the Churún River, a tributary of the Caroní, 160 miles (260 km) southeast of Ciudad Bolívar. The falls, first sighted by outsiders in the 1930s, were named for James Angel, an American adventurer who crash-landed his plane on a nearby mesa in 1937.
The highest waterfall in the world, the cataract drops 3,212 feet (979 meters) and is 500 feet (150 meters) wide at the base. It leaps from a flat-topped plateau, Auyán-Tepuí (“Devils Mountain”), barely making contact with the sheer face.
The waterfall drops over the edge of the Auyantepui mountain in the Canaima National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage site in the Gran Sabana region of Bolívar State. According to accounts of Venezuelan explorer Ernesto Sánchez La Cruz, he spotted the falls in 1912, but he did not publicize his discovery.
Cruz possibly saw the Montoya Falls in the Sierra Pacaraima region, which are more than 500m tall. In 1933, air-borne American gold prospector James Crawford (‘Jimmie’) Angel discovered Angel Falls accidentally, flying over the mountain in his Flamingo monoplane while in search of a valuable ore bed.
The first recorded person of European descent to reach the base of the falls was Latvian explorer Aleksandrs Laime, also known as Alejandro Laime to the native Pemon tribe. He reached the falls alone in 1946.
He was the first to reach the upper side of falls in the late 1950s, by climbing on the back side where the slope is not vertical. He also reached Angel’s plane 18 years after the crash landing.
On 18 November 1955, Latvian Independence Day, he announced to Venezuelan newspaper El Nacional that this stream without any known local name should be called after a Latvian river, Gauja.
The same year, this name was registered in the National Cartographic Institution of Venezuela. There are no convincing proofs that indigenous Pemon people had named the local streams, as Auyán-tepui was considered to be a dangerous place and was not visited by the indigenous people.
Angel Falls is one of Venezuela’s top tourist attractions, though a trip to the falls is a complicated affair. The falls are located in an isolated jungle. A flight from Puerto Ordaz or Ciudad Bolívar is required to reach Canaima camp, the starting point for river trips to the base of the falls.
River trips generally take place from June to December, when the rivers are deep enough for the wooden curiaras used by the Pemon guides. A popular way to get to Angel Falls is by boat, though visitors can also fly from Canaima airstrip to Canaima lagoon.
Motorized canoes travel upstream between May and January. Journey times vary, though, on average, it takes about five hours to reach the falls from camp. Winding waterways, edged with dense forest, teem with exotic wildlife; canoes zoom over boulders through rapidly flowing sections of river and those on-board are liable to get wet. From the lagoon, visitors then trek through lush, Venezuelan jungle, to various viewing points.
Flora and Fauna
Angel Falls is situated in the Gran Sabana region of Venezuela. The periphery of this area is filled with grasslands, whereas deeper into the Gran Sabana one finds dense jungle. This part of the world is remarkable for its numerous tepuis, flat-topped mountains with vertical walls. Angel Falls is located on the side of an extremely large and high tepui known as Auyan Tepui.
Tourists sometimes refer to the stretch of the Churún River where the falls are located on the Auyan Tepui River, but the river that culminates in the drop is the Kerepakupai-merú. In the indigenous Pemón language Kerepakupai-merú means “waterfall of the deepest place.”
There is an incredible variety of tropical wildlife in the area, including monkeys, poison arrow frogs, and hundreds of species of orchids. Aside from the monkeys, mammals in the area are generally difficult to spot but include giant anteaters, armadillos, porcupines, three-toed sloths, otters, jaguars, pumas, tapirs, and capybaras.
The waterfall has been known as the “Angel Falls” since the Mid-20th century; they are named after Jimmie Angel, a US aviator, who was the first person to fly over the falls. Angel’s ashes were scattered over the falls on 2 July 1960.
Angel Falls is one of Venezuela’s top tourist attractions, though a trip to the falls is a complicated affair. The falls are located in an isolated jungle. A flight from Puerto Ordaz or Ciudad Bolívar is required to reach Canaima camp, the starting point for river trips to the base of the falls. River trips generally take place from June to December, when the rivers are deep enough for use by the Pemon guides. During the dry season December to March there is less water seen than in the other months.
Formation of the Angel Falls
Angel Falls is part of the plateau that underlies the lands located in Venezuela. The plateau’s age is estimated at two billion years. Important geological transformations can be seen at the park, from its beginnings in the Precambrian period dating back to the time of the formation of the supercontinent Pangaea.
The continent began to separate due to the formation of a fracture in the Earth’s crust resulting in the formation of the Atlantic Ocean, and the creation of different portions of lands called shields. The geographic region in Venezuela, known as the Guyanese Shield, existed from the start as a great plain at an elevation about 2000 to 3000metres. After approximately 400 to 200 million years ago, a series of climate-related phenomena caused important changes in the geography of the Guyanese Shield.
The transformation of the landscape was due to drastic variations from arid climate to strong, constant and lingering precipitations, discharges of high and low temperatures and the tectonic movements of the earth. Erosion occurred due to atmospheric agents removing material deposited in the great plain millions of years. In places where rocks were less resistant, the erosion was greater, resulting in the transformation of the Falls.
Angel Falls is situated in the Gran Sabana region of Venezuela. The periphery of this area is filled with grasslands, whereas deeper into the Gran Sabana, one will find a dense tropical rainforest. This part of the world is remarkable for its numerous tepuis, flat-topped mountains with vertical walls. Angel Falls is located on the side of an extremely large and high tepui known as Auyan Tepui.
There is an incredible variety of tropical wildlife in the area, including monkeys, poison arrow frogs, and hundreds of species of orchids. Mammals in the area are generally difficult to spot but they include giant anteaters, armadillos, porcupines, three-toed sloths, otters, jaguars, pumas, tapirs, and capybaras.
Angel Falls – Canaima National Park
Nestled deep in the recesses of Canaima National Park in the Venezuelan state of Bolivar, the towering waterfall drops from a height of 979 meters off the top of Auyantepui.
Known in Venezuela as “El Salto Angel,” the waterfall is 19 times the height of Niagara Falls. Local Indian inhabitants named Angel Falls – Kerekupai-Meru, meaning “falls off the water to the deepest site”, in Pemon language.
The mighty cascade is named after Jimmy Angel, an American pilot who landed on top of Auyantepui in 1937 while searching for gold.
Angel’s four-seater plane got stuck on top of the mountain and him, his wife and two companions had to trek for 11 days before finding another human being. The story of the discovery of this amazing cataract makes an unusual tale of adventure and disappointment, as Jimmy Angel was, in fact, searching for gold.
Formed more than 130 million years ago, the tepuis are massive and shrouded in clouds, with sheer drops that make navigation seem impossible. And the dense surrounding jungle makes you feel as if you’ve tumbled back in time to a prehistoric age. In fact, the soaring tepuis were the inspiration for Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s 1912 novel “The Lost World.” Nearly a century later, millions of tourists visit the area annually.
Facts About Angel Falls
- Angel Falls is the highest uninterrupted waterfall in the world with the longest drop of 807 meters. Its height is 979 meters.
- The waterfall is about a hundred and fifty meters wide at the base, which feeds into a river known as the Keep.
- Angel Falls is located in the Canaima National Park, the largest national park in Venezuela and the third largest park in the world.
- It’said that under certain conditions, you can feel tiny water drop splashes from the waterfall when you are a kilometer away from Angel Falls.
- Angel Falls was actually discovered accidentally when an aviator named Jimmy Angel crashed his plane at the top of the waterfall. Jimmy was flying with his wife and they both had to walk out of the jungle, a task which took twelve days to complete. The waterfall is named after him.
- During warmer and drier seasons, the water of Angel Falls evaporates even before it touches the ground, forming a mist.
- During the rainy season, Angel Falls splits into two waterfalls.
- The waterfall is about 3230 meters above the Venezuelan jungle.
- Angel Falls is also referred to as Salto Angel or by its local names Tulume Bena.
- The Paradise Falls in the Disney movie Up are inspired by Angel Falls.
- Some people believe that Sir Walter Raleigh was the first European to see Angel Falls, but most historians think this is very unlikely.
- Angel Falls is Venezuela’s key tourist attractions.
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