Angel Falls. Venezuela
Angel Falls is the world’s tallest free falling waterfall. It is also known as Salto Angel. Its total height amounts 978 meters, the height of the continuous fall – 807 meters. Angel Falls is so high that the water haven’t reached the ground turns into “dust”, into fog, which can be felt even a few kilometers from the waterfall. Salto Angel is located in the tropical forests of Venezuela, in the Canaima National Park, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Water seeks down from the top of Auyantepui Mountain, one of the most visited and the largest of the Venezuelan tepuis – massive mountains with flat tops and completely vertical slopes. They are also known as “mesas”. The name “Auyantepui” can be translated into English as “the devil’s mountain”. Then, water flow falls into the Kerep River or Kerepakupai.
Angel Falls originally was discovered in 1910 by a Spanish explorer Ernesto Sanchez La Cruz. However, officially it was opened the American pilot and gold prospector James Crawford “Jimmie” Angel. For the first time, he flew over the waterfall in 1933, and in 1937 he came back and tried to land on top of it. But the plane got stuck in the mud and was damaged. Angel and his companions were forced to go home on foot for 11 days. Only 33 years later, Angel’s plane was recovered from the top of the waterfall using a helicopter. So, thanks to this man the waterfall got its name.
But indigenous people, the Pemon Indians, knew about this waterfall since immemorial time. They called the waterfall Kerepakupai Vená, which means “waterfall of the deepest place”. In Spanish, the name sounds like Kerepakupai Meru. It is on these grounds, 20 December 2009 President of Venezuela Hugo Chavez has officially renamed the waterfall.
Such a powerful stream and breathtaking surrounding scenery leave no one indifferent! However, it is very difficult to see it with your own eyes. The waterfall is located in a dense rainforest, without special trodden roads. You can get here only by air or river. Special travel tours include a flight from Caracas or Ciudad Bolivar to Canaima, the subsequent trip by water, food and other things necessary for the visit of the Angel Falls.
On the cloudy days, the waterfall can’t be seen. Therefore it is better to come to the Venezuela’s main attraction from December to March.
The plane of James Crawford “Jimmie” Angel