One of the main Venezuelan attractions, Angel Falls, is the world's highest uninterrupted waterfall. It is also one of the hardest waterfalls to reach, where you won't see tourist crowds or souvenir stalls. With a height of 3,212 ft (979 m) and a plunge of 2,648 ft (807 m), the waterfall cascades beautifully from the edge of Auyán-Tepui Mountain located in the Canaima National Park, part of the Guiana Highlands of south-eastern Venezuela.
Angel Falls, also called Salto Ángel in Spanish or Kerepakupai-merú in Pemón language, is located in an isolated jungle. The local Pemón people used to fear those places, as they believed that evil spirits lived in tepuis, unusual rock formations from sandstone and quartzite. Auyán-Tepui is the largest of these rocks: it occupies an area of 164,819 acres (667 sq km). Auyán-Tepui means "Devil Mountain" in Pemón language. Moreover, the canyon of Churun that surrounds the falls is called Cañón del Diablo.
Best time to visit Angel Falls
The rainy season from June through early December is the best time to see Angel Falls in its full might. July and August tend to be the most popular months to visit Angel Falls as these months receive lots of precipitation. Keep in mind, however, that the rainy season brings also clouds that obscure the view. During the dry season from December through March, there is less volume in the waterfall, however, it never goes completely dry. The transitional period in April and May brings more rains to the area, so you might consider this time of the year. The wet season in Canaima National Park has its perks. Canaima Lagoon and camp that serves as a starting point to explore the waterfall is best accessed by boat. The boats run on the river mostly during the wet season, as in the dry season it can become too shallow.
How to get to Angel Falls
The nearest town to Angel Falls is Canaima. You can get there by a small plane from the airports in Maiquetia, Puerto Ordaz, or Ciudad Bolívar. When you fly to Canaima, you can enjoy your first encounter with Angel Falls, which looks simply stunning from the air. You can book a tour to Angel Falls in Canaima, however, it's usually cheaper to get it together with the flight. A one-day boat trip on Rio Carrao will get you to the base camp, from where you can start your hike to Angel Falls. The 1.5-hour hike to the outlook platform is quite steep, but the view is definitely worth it. Since your trip will likely take place on the river during the wet season, make sure to pack water-repellent clothes, a mosquito spray, waterproof photo gear, and comfortable waterproof shoes. You will get to spend a lot of time in the jungle, so prepare accordingly.
Things to do at Angel Falls
The trip to Angel Falls is a wonderful adventure itself. Floating in a boat through the jungle accompanied by Pemon guides is incredible! Especially as you get closer to the famous site and enjoy the first glimpse of the gorgeous Angel Falls. Make sure to take a swimming suit as you can get a refreshing dip in the pristine Canaima Lagoon. The best time for swimming is summer when the lagoon water is the warmest. There are a few smaller waterfalls tumbling the lagoon, such as Hacha Falls and Salto El Sapo. The beach by the Canaima Lagoon is where you can relax, take some pictures and enjoy more views of the jungle. It's also possible to go canoeing to the base of the falls during the wet period from May through November. Another option is a panoramic flight over Angel Falls on a private plane. The tour to Angel Falls usually lasts three days, but it's possible to stay for a longer time.
Where to stay at Angel Falls
You can stay at one of the few lodges located by Canaima Lagoon. Waku Lodge and Tapuy Lodge offer comfortable rooms with electricity, running water, and other amenities. There are also more basic options that include camping or sleeping in a hammock with a mosquito net.
Sleeping under the stars is perhaps the best way to fully immerse in the magical atmosphere of the Canaima National Park, surrounded by mystical tupuis and waterfalls. There are many indigenous legends about these places as well as more recent tales of massive gold and diamond finds that were made here in the early 20th century.
How long is the Angel Falls hike?
The hike to Angel Falls is about 1.5 hours
How can I see Angel Falls?
You can see Angel Falls from air on a plane, from a boat on the river and from the scenic outlook.
When should I visit Angel Falls?
Rainy season from June through early December is the best time to see Angel Falls.