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.
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 of 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 he, 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.
Angel Falls Facts
The Angel Falls is widely known around the world for being the highest waterfall in the world at 807 meters, but here you will discover some interesting facts about this amazing wonder that you may not have known.
Interesting Facts about Angel Falls:
- The water drops from the top of Auyantepui, from the height of 979 meters.
- The Angel Falls is 150 meter wide at its base.
- Under certain conditions, a visitor can feel small water drops at a distance of one kilometer
- It is also called Tuluma Bena or Kerepakupai meru by locals
- It is more than ten times taller than South America’s most famous waterfalls, the Iguazu Falls
- Angel Falls was discovered by mistake by aviator Jimmy Angels after his plane crashed thereb
- Jimmy Angel’s plane with which he crashed on the top of Angel Falls can be seen at the Aviation Museum in Maracay.
- In the drier months most of the water evaporates before reaching the ground.
- Unlike many other natural wonders of the world, Angel Falls was discovered only in the 20th century. In 1935 he first spotted the site and then in 1937 he landed on top of it with his wife
- After crashing on Auyantepui, Jimmy Angels and his wife had to walk out of the jungle. This task was completed in 12 days!
Visit Angel Falls
To see this giant stream of water falling is an emotional experience that can’t be equaled. Angel falls, tumbles freely for some 807 meters. The cataract continues through almost another 172 meters of less rugged fall until it meets the jungle floor of a valley. The river then flows on and eventually joins with other streams to meet the Orinoco.
Angel Falls the highest waterfall in the world is also the most isolated one, the nearest road ends110 miles to the north.
The jungle and mountain region is practically uninhabited. Indians shun the area of the falls, believing it to be a mystic land of the thereafter. Surely, it isn’t difficult to imagine the awe of the Indians. Frequently Auyantepui remains shrouded in clouds, and the falls seem to valley viewers to be tumbling from an obscure heaven.
Angel Falls is a unique and breathtaking natural wonder consider by many people as the eighth natural wonder of the world. From 1940 Angel falls is an UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Angel Falls – Getting there
The best way to get to the Angel Falls is to rent a plane to the village of Canaima from Caracas (the capital of Venezuela), Puerto Ordaz or Ciudat Bolivar. After you get to Canaima you will take a river trip to the Angel Falls trail.
When To Visit Angel Falls
It is best advised to visit the Angel Falls during the rainy between May and November, as the falls will have a more spectacular view. But if you can’t arrange a trip during this period the Angel Falls will still be worth to see.
Who Discovered Angel Falls?
Jimmy Angel, a bush pilot searching for gold and diamonds, officially discovered Angel Falls. During his trip Jimmy Angel suddenly came upon the falls in 1935.
The aviator Jimmy Angel was born in Springfield, MO. Angel became famous throughout Latin America as a barnstormer, almost a legendary figure who made claims of great wealth, and secret information of hidden gold and diamond mines. He spent his early childhood in Springfield, then moved to Birmingham, Alabama.
As a teenager Angel became an airplane mechanic. One day he took his first flight quite by accident. He recalled that he had been working in the cockpit of a plane when the craft suddenly began to roll down a ramp.
On the spur of the moment, young Angel felt the urge to fly. Seated at the controls, he simply started the motor and took off.
Although he had never flown, he managed to successfully maneuver and land the craft: The experience gave him confidence and he gradually learned all the skills of flying from pilots at the airfield. But he never, received formal flying instruction.
A combat pilot with the Royal Canadian Flying corps in World War I, Angel became a stunt flier with aerial circuses in the 1920’s. Physically a rugged individual, Angel in the truest sense was an adventurer. He was a man of unusual stamina and offered to undertake any aerial assignment. He developed an interest in Latin America and moved to Panama. From this base he flew for private individuals and government missions in many types of aircrafts.
A Search for Gold
In 1934, Jimmy Angel, met Robert Williamson in Panama. Williamson was an aging miner who long had followed trails to lost gold mines in Central and South America.
His success had been meager but now he told Angel, he had learned of a fabulous gold lode in the Gran Sabana in Southeastern Venezuela.
Only a small part of this region of thick rainforests and treacherous, rivers had been explored.
In the early 1800s, this area, south of the Orinoco, had been given the name, “The Lost World” by early explorers and the designation sticks to this day.
The territory has something of a primary environment. Even from the air you get the impression of a terrific remoteness from civilization, even though cities lie just 150 miles away.
Angel agreed to co-operate with Williamson in a search, for the isolated goldmine. From Ciudad Bolivar in Eastern Venezuela, he began a series of exploratory flights southward in his metal, single engine aircraft. On one of these flights he abruptly came upon the amazing Auyantepui that rises thousands of feet above the savanna.
A circular tabletop mountain, it is practically unscalable. Angel began to fly around the giant mesa when he found the falls. Because his fuel supply was low and because clouds made flying hazardous, he was forced to return promptly to his base. But the discovery of: the cataract left him dazzled. He returned to Caracas to tell of his find.
“But no one would believe me,” he wrote. “They thought it impossible that there could ‘ be a fall one kilometer in, length.
Angel’s colorful descriptions about a landscape, almost of another world, attracted attention. But when he talked of pure stone mountains rising: vertically from the plain and described strange flora and fauna, his listeners became incredulous.
A Jungle Trek
Nevertheless Angel returned to fly over the falls again, and he continued to tell his eager tales of the discovery. Eventually, he gained the attention of Venezuelan and American scientists. Then in 1937 with, his wife he embarked on yet another flight to the falls. Angel decided to risk a landing on Auyantepui near the falls. The plane touched earth in a swampy area and became mired. Attempts to level the craft, and to fly off the mountain failed. Angel had to walk out of the jungle, a hard task, but one he and his wife managed in 12 days. Today, his plane remains in the spot where it crash-landed.
Although Angel had discovered the world’s highest falls, he remained disappointed at not locating gold or diamonds in this area, now a part of Bolivar state. Throughout his life he continued to believe that the striking face of the mountain Auyantepui held great riches. Angel was 57 when he died in December 1956, in Balboa. He had suffered fatal injuries in a plane crash near David, Panama.
A flier to his last days, Angel never gave up his adventurous lifestyle. In his last years he reported, that he had discovered a rich uranium lode in Suriname. But he never revealed the precise location.
The falls that bear this Missourian’s name have only been rarely visited on foot. An expedition in 1949 traversed the humid, intense jungle area and gave the falls its first accurate measurement. But the great cataract, steaming majestically from stone cliff to green valley, remains still quite isolated and remote.