Angel Falls

Angel Falls, the highest waterfall in the world, is hidden in the jungle of Venezuela, surrounded by winding rushing rivers and high cliffs. Getting to it is a challenge even for the seasoned traveler. For those who dare to do so, an unforgettable journey awaits.

History of the origin and discovery of the waterfall

Angel is the highest waterfall.

When the continents began to recede millions of years ago due to tectonic plate activity, a “stepping stone” – the flat mountain Auyantepui – emerged on the path of the Churun River. The rushing river that flows from the slopes of the Guiana Plateau overcame the obstacle. This is how the highest waterfall in the world came about.

The impressive natural landmark was discovered by Ernesto Sanchez La Cruz in the early 20th century. But it was the American James Angel, who flew over it several times in 1937, who made Angel famous all over the world.

The pilot tried to land the Flamingo plane on top of Auyantepui, but it got bogged down in the mud. James Angel had to travel several dozen kilometers through the jungle to get down to the villages. When he returned, he told the world about an extremely high waterfall that was later named after him (Angel sounds like Angel in Spanish).

Description of Angel Falls

The locals knew of the existence of the waterfall centuries ago. But the whole world became aware of this amazing place in the 20th century. Since then, tourists tend to see Angel with their own eyes. Few people are able to do this: it is difficult to get close to the waterfall, even from the foot of Auyantepui, and package tours with escort and flights are expensive.

The waterfall is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is protected as a unique natural landmark.


The rushing waters of the Angel, under the force of Earth’s gravity, fall from the rock of Auyantepui and feed the Kerp River. The top of the mountain is almost always shrouded in fog that disperses for miles around. The sun’s rays are refracted in the flow of water, creating a vivid multicolored background of the jungle. Before it reaches the ground, the water scatters into many tiny drops.

Waterfall view
The waterfall is breathtaking in its majestic splendor.

Width and height

The height of the waterfall is 979 m, but some researchers believe that it is even higher and reaches 1,054 m. The discrepancy is due to the fact that the plateau is washed out by rushing streams of water, so the fall begins below the cliff at about 100 m. After 807 m, the water collides with a natural obstacle and continues the free fall with another small stream at 172 m.

The width of the waterfall in meters – 107. It used to be thought that at its widest point, the stream did not exceed 50 m. The Angel is filled by the rains, so its width is variable and depends on weather conditions. In prolonged drought, the flow may split into 2-3 streams. In the wet season, the water falls from the height of a powerful and rapid stream.

Angel's width and height
The waterfall is 979 meters high.


Angel Falls, the highest waterfall in the world, is located in Venezuela, on the territory of the Canaima Reserve in the state of Bolivar. The area of the park is 30 thousand square kilometers (by comparison, the same area is occupied by Belgium). The protected area extends to the border with Brazil and Guyana.

Angel Falls is located within the Canaima Nature Reserve in Venezuela.

Climate features

Canaima National Park is dominated by a tropical climate. It is characterized by small seasonal temperature variations (+30 … +35°C in summer and +20 … +25°C in winter). It is possible to distinguish between dry and wet seasons, but precipitation is distributed fairly evenly.

Location of Angel Falls on the map of Venezuela

The waterfall is located in the state of Bolivar, in the southeastern part of Venezuela. Not far from here, the country borders Brazil and Guyana.

On the map
Waterfall on a map of Venezuela.

What is the best season to visit

The weather in the area where Angel is located is unpredictable. Because of the fog, hikers cannot see the rushing streams of water plunging off the cliff. Limited visibility can persist for weeks on end, and sometimes fog changes to clear weather in a matter of hours.

The best views of Angel are during the wet season.

From May to November the waterfall is the most full-flowing, but you should choose cloudless weather for the tour. When it rains around the mountain, the dense fog does not dissipate, it is difficult to see anything in such conditions.

During the rainy season, you can’t enjoy the beauty of the falls from a helicopter. The period from early winter to mid-spring is more suitable for flying through the Canaima Preserve. During the dry season, there is very little water flowing off the cliff, but almost no fog.

The best time to visit Angel
May through November is the waterfall’s highest water level.

How to get to Angel Falls

Angel is one of the most difficult sights to reach. There is no tourist infrastructure around the falls, and the nearest large town, Ciudad, is 600 km away.

The small village of Camarata is 50 km from the site and can be reached by a regular flight from the Venezuelan capital of Caracas or Ciudad.

Some tourists come to Canaima in traditional Indian boats from the Orinoco Delta.

From Kanaima to the foot of Mount Auyantepui you can fly by air or swim in the river. It’s almost impossible to get close on foot. Fans of extreme sports can try roopdzhamping or conquer the heights with climbing equipment.

By helicopter

Light planes and helicopters fly from Canaima Airport to Angel. An airplane tour is a little cheaper, but it doesn’t allow you to get close to the natural landmark or land directly on top of the cliff. The helicopter flies along the water surface of the Rio Carrao, approaching close to the rocks, climbing to the source of the waterfall, where it can land.

In a canoe

Most tourists get to Angel by river and then hike through the jungle. The journey is long, so all groups leave at dawn, starting from the rapids of the Rio Carrao.

On either side, travelers can see the cliffs rising above the rainforest. After a few kilometers, the river begins to narrow, and when the tourists stop greeting each mountain with rapturous shouts, Angel appears.

From the river, the waterfall looks more majestic than from a helicopter. To get unforgettable shots, you can take a drone with you and take it up into the sky at the foot of Auyantepui.

When the weather is clear, you can capture a fantastic panorama: winding waterways, on which the wooden boats are floating, endless rainforests, the mountain with a raging waterfall.

After disembarking on the shore tourists have to overcome about 3 km through the jungle. The trail is tricky: the steep trail winds through roots and rocks peeking out from under the ground, surrounded by a damp forest with lots of insects.

When you go to Angel, you should definitely take repellents and allergy medication with you. On the feet is better to wear slippers for windsurfing or walking on the corals, crocs (in flip-flops to go uncomfortable, and sneakers will quickly get wet).

In a canoe
View of the waterfall from the river.


There are no hiking routes to Angel (without rafting on the river). The waterfall is surrounded by winding rivers and impenetrable rainforest. The only hiking route by land and water is along the Rio Carrao and Rio Caroni rivers, a relatively equipped (with a well-trodden trail) section of the jungle.

Is it possible to bathe in a waterfall

At the foot of the mountain formed a natural pool, in which it is allowed to swim in the dry season, when the flow is not too strong. The water temperature is comfortable (+19…+20°C). There are a large number of rocks at the bottom, but all of them are well honed by the rushing waters.

The water in the waterfall is an acceptable temperature for swimming.

A visit to Canaima Park

The Roraima Plateau in Canaima Park is the prototype of the “lost world” from the novel of the same name by A. Conan Doyle. Conan Doyle’s novel of the same name. There is no better place to go to conquer the rocky plateaus in search of traces of long-extinct animals with Professor George Challenger.

A large part of the park is occupied by the Tepui Mountains, which are of interest to scientists because. are the oldest geological formations in the world. The Tepuis appeared when Africa and America were one continent, Gondwana.

The rushing Caroni River and the beautiful Orinoco River meet within the park. There are also many large and small spectacular waterfalls: Ukaima, Acha, Golondrina, Sapo, Kukenan.

Canaima Park
There is a lot to see in Canaima Park.

Flora and fauna

The nature reserve is home to endemic species that are found nowhere else on the mainland. In the dense rainforests of Canaima you can find giant otter, armadillo, anteater, orinococcus capuchin, sloth, puma, jaguar, iguana, toucans.

The world of birds, which live in great numbers on this earth, is characterized by a variety of species.

The flora of Canaima is no less rich. The national park is home to carnivorous insect-eating plants, rare species of orchids and bromeliads, various astrophytes, sarracenifera, and dewclaws. There are more than 300 endemic plants in Gran Sabana alone. Many of them have names only in Latin (there are no analogues in Russian).

The park is rich in flora and fauna.

Current prices for Angel Falls tours and excursions

Travel companies offer package tours from Caracas. A tour to Angel by traditional Indian boat (1 day) costs up to $200 per person, by plane (45 minutes) $800-$1,000, and by helicopter (45 minutes) $1,500. There are individual tours and hikes, designed for several days.

Rest and lodging places

The nearest settlement, the traditional Indian village of Camarata, is 50 km away. There are several lodging options, a cafe where you can order national food, and a small airstrip.


There are no luxury chain hotels in the jungle of Venezuela. Overnight accommodation options include campsites and bungalows with facilities.

Top 3 hotels near Canaima National Park:

  1. Campamento Canaima. The hotel has suites and economy rooms (all with split systems, amenities). Breakfasts are included in the price. A bonus is the spectacular views of waterfalls and mountains right from the restaurant.
  2. Waku Lodge. The rooms are simple but clean and neat. On the territory a lot of sun beds, hammocks, outdoor chairs for relaxation. Free breakfast is provided to guests.
  3. Tapuy Lodge. The hotel with suites (there are economy rooms) is located on the shore of a picturesque lagoon. Breakfast is included in the price.
Hotel Campamento Canaima
One of the best hotels is Campamento Canaima.


In Camarat, you can stay at Jungle Rudy’s Ucaima Camp ranch, Ara Meru Lodge, Campamento Morichal or Campamento Parakaupa apartments.

They are all located next to each other. Tourists who plan to stay in Kamarat for a few days can look at the rooms and choose the most suitable accommodation for themselves.

Interesting facts and legends about Angel

In the vicinity of the waterfall, as many centuries ago, live the Pemon Indians. One of the ancient legends of this tribe tells of Angel as a crystal rod, the staff of a giant who left it by a rock, went somewhere and is in no hurry to return.

Some interesting facts about a waterfall in the jungle of Venezuela:

  1. The angel who originates from the devil is sometimes called Angel. The rock, from which streams of water rush down, is called “Devil’s Mountain” in Native American language, and the last name of the pilot who discovered it is “the angel.”
  2. In just one second, 300 cubic meters of water falls from Auyantepui.
  3. In 2010, the president of Venezuela proposed renaming the landmark. Hugo Chavez said it would be better to return the name of Kerepacupaí-Meru, which is how the Pemons have called the place for centuries.
  4. The plane of the American pilot who discovered the waterfall to the world had been at the crash site for more than 30 years. The Flamingo is now on display in front of the airport in Ciudad Bolivar (the wreckage was transported by helicopter and restored).
  5. After James Angel’s death, his ashes were scattered over a waterfall.

Angel was the prototype of the Paradise Falls from the Pixar cartoon “Up” and the natural setting for the movie “On the Crest of a Wave”.

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