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Angel Falls

Angel Falls, the world’s highest waterfalls at 979 meters (3,212 ft), are so high that during dry season the water can evaporate into mist before reaching the bottom. Set in the rainforest of the Guiana Highlands off the Río Churún, the waterfalls were not discovered by the outside world until U.S. pilot James C. Angel spotted them from above in 1935.

Although they are one of the most popular tourist destinations in Venezuela, they are still quite removed from civilization and can only be reached by plane or by an arduous journey that involves a vehicle with 4-wheel-drive to the river, then an upstream canoe ride to another vehicle, a trip through rapids and finally an hour hike through the hilly jungle to the base of the falls. Flights run regularly. You can visit the falls in one day if you take a flight early in the morning, view Angel Falls from the air, stop in Canaima for lunch and then return to Caracas. Preferably, you will be able to spend two or three days in Canaima and view the falls via land tour.

Often clouds cover the falls and visibility is poor from the air. Rainy season is from June-November when the falls are at their strongest. This is also when visibility is the worst, however.

Canaima also features its own waterfalls and is a good launching point to visit other Amerindian villages. There is no road access to Canaima but there is a small airport. Other indigenous villages are now open to tourism if you want to spend a few days in the Amazon.

21 Oct 2011

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