If you’ve seen any movie from the ‘Jurassic World’ series then you might’ve also asked yourself where you can find an amazing place like the ones where dinosaurs live in this cinematographic world. Venezuela is hiding a place where this would’ve been possible, where the extent jungle and panoramic view can take everyone’s breath away.
That place can be found in the Gran Sabana region. On the south-east side of the South American country.
It’s known as the Angel Falls (Salto Angel), the largest waterfall on Earth and the place that inspired Conan Doyle’s 1912 novel ‘The Lost World’ which brought attention to tourists and opened the doors for the unknown. The Canaima National Park is holding this big environmental getaway surrounded by the country’s flora and big tepuís.
The name to this high waterfalls remote from Jimmie Angel, a US aviator who is said to be the first one to fly over the top table mountain. When he returned in October 1939 but on an attempt to land his monoplane Rio Caroni atop Auyan-tepuí, the wheels sank into the ground. Since he lasted 11 days coming down from the top on his feet, the world decided to name the waterfalls after him.
Although the mystery remains on who found the waterfalls first since explorers of the XX century were interested in how rich Venezuelan ground was, they had expeditions around the country to find gold and discover new species starting with the city El Dorado. Historians state that the first one to visit the waterfall was Fernando de Berrio, other sources said it was Félix Cardona back in 1927 and the list also includes the Venezuelan explorer, Ernesto Sánchez La Cruz who had hidden the beautiful scenery after he saw it and didn’t make any publications about it.
How to get there
Flying to Ciudad Bolivar is the first step to get close to Angels Falls but flying doesn’t stop there, the adventure begins as soon as you take the second flight to Canaima where a small village of Pemonan Indians live, as you get closer you can start having a great view of the tepuís being clothed by dense clouds, taller than anything you’ve ever seen. (Three times taller than the Eiffel Tower)
You will have a view from the plane on the Sapo Falls (Salto Sapo) who is part of the seven waterfalls of Canaima Lake (Laguna Canaima). Boat trips and hikes are open to those who love adventures and want to have a more enjoyable time; for an extreme juncture, put your swimsuit on and dive into the air sucking waterfalls in a path behind the torrent cut by Tomás Bernal.
The boats going upriver to the falls are driven by local Pemonan Indians who are experts on the waters that come from the Carao. The tepuís grow bigger which to the Pemon language it translates to “House of the Gods”, they rise abruptly from the great jungle.
Many stories will be unfolded on the way to the falls where the legends of the zone are interesting to hear. The Pemonan Indians believe that bad spirits called maráwiton inhabit at the top of them with their god Tramán-chita, that’s where the name “Hell Mountain” given to the tepuís comes from.
A natural scenery amazes everyone’s sight as you can see the Angel Falls from the river, for a more intimate and exclusive view of the waterfall, you can take a short hike to get up close to the phenomenon.
Stretch, take a deep breath and jump into the experience to see how the water comes down the big rocks and vanish into small water drops at the core of the waterfall.
If you’re afraid about going on your own the unknown ground, you can always contact tourist agencies that organize trips from Caracas to Canaima and arrange different activities to enjoy on the fresh airs of this heaven-on-earth place.
Airlines from Canaima and Ciudad Bolivar such as Rutaca and LTA provide flights over the Angel Falls while others like National Airline Supervivensa offer a full tour with their Campamento Canaima lodge. Many others reside in Canaima and Ciudad Bolivar with different prices for you to pick.
A nicer and more intimate experience can be lived by spending days to get to the waterfalls, tourist guides will help you along the way to ensure you receive an educational trip, taking you to interesting and attracting places per days till you finally arrive at the waterfalls. Going from the Canaima Lagoon with its beautiful red as wine water to Kavanayén, a small village of the Pemonan Indians surrounded by a large green land that you’d fall in love with on their afternoons.
The eccentric place that gave life to “UP” one of the famous Pixar movies where they changed the name to “Paradise Falls” is waiting for all the adventurers to explore and live a unique experience around this environment. Maybe you can be one of these adventurers!
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