Thursday, January 31, 2008

Angel Falls

Angel Falls Venezuela

Angel Falls Angel Falls

Sourced from heaven

If the height and ferocity of a waterfall is taken as its greatness, undoubtedly Angel Falls of Venezuela is the greatest waterfall in the world. For a viewer who looks from the front; the falls may seem as it is poured directly from the heaven! Massive quantity of water plunging from a height of 979 meters (3212) feet is not a common sight that we can see elsewhere in the world! This great fall gives birth to the Mirader Laime Lagoon which is the source the River Churun that flows through the Canaima National Park, Gran Sabana Region Venezuela.


Angel Falls Angel Falls Map

Venezuela is located at the Southern tip of Latin America between Brazil, Guyana and the North Atlantic Ocean. Barring few hitches (the political gimmicks played by the present regime, corruption and crime in the public life) Venezuela is a wonderful place on earth with numerous locations of interest for a tourist.

Isla de Margarita (a duty free port island visited by Venezuelans to buy cheap goods and tourists for its sun and white sand beaches)

Avile National Park (a 210,000 acre forested hill just beside the bustling city of Caracas the Capital of Venezuela)

Los Roques Archipelago (un inhabited groups of islands visited by tourists who seek tropical beaches, bright sun and blue waters)

Mount Roraima (the tallest tepuy in Canaima National Park nearby Auyan-tepui), Canaima National Park etc are all places of interest. The Canaima National Park that encloses gigantic tepuys and the Angel Falls is perhaps the best location of this nation.

Fall of the deepest

In the local language (Pemon) this falls are called Parekupa meru meaning waterfall of the deepest place. The height of this fall is so tremendous that the falling water turns in to mist and showers the lagoon below with a spray of powdery mist! Just calling the tallest water fall does not really convey the message to understand its majesty a comparison seems a must ‘it is 20 times taller than Niagara.

The outside world came to know about a wonderful waterfall only very lately, the first man who said to have sighted it was Ernesto Sanchez La Cruz; a Venezuelan explorer, but that man kept it as a secret for reasons only known to him.

How to see it

Angel Falls

Angel Falls

Two methods can be adopted one is the easiest but a little expensive, hire a small aero-plane and see it detail sitting on your seat! The other the real one is opted by most of the tourists, start the ride via boat from upstream River Carrao it may take about four hours in total, there are places for getting food on way.

From the Carrao the navigation can be continued via River Churun (during summer time Churun may not be navigable in that case you have to trek some more kms). If lucky enough you can reach the Mirador Laime Lagoon in to which the Angel falls; right from the bottom.

The four people army, and a mission that stuck!

When James Crawford Angel (Jimmy) had to fly over the falls while on a mission to explore metal ore deposits; this wonderful thing made him awestruck. He later returned to the site on 16th November 1930 with his wife and two other ‘adventurers’ to the Auyan-tepui and tried to land their Flamingo Monoplane (El Rio Caroni) on the Auyan-tepui, the plane got struck in the marshes.

Angel Falls

Angel Falls

The adventurers had to tread full 11 days to return back to civilization. Altogether the mission was a success as their names got a place in the history. The word ‘Angel’ of the falls is from Jimmy. World still remembers James Crawford Angel by the name of the highest waterfall – The Angel Falls. Ruth Robertson an American photo-journalist had measured it for National Geographic in 1949.

Canaima National park

The Canaima National Park Venezuela is 30,000 sq km in area and known for the ‘Tepuys’ (flat topped mountains known as table top mountains), is located in the state of Bolivar, in area it is almost as big as Belgium.

Mount Roraima is the tallest Tepuy of this park; Mount Auyan-tepui is also a very tall one; from its summit water plunges directly down to a depth of 3212 feet thus giving birth to the world’s highest water fall, The Angel Falls! It is this water that forms River Churun. The ecological diversity of this national park has made it a UNESCO World Heritage Site.


The mountain from which the Angel Falls water plunges is the Auyan-tepui which means ‘Devil’s House’ in the local language. These Tepuis (pronounced as tey POO ees) are sand stone masses commonly found in these areas; they are original materials that formed the ancient super continent Gondwanaland; which later got split in to smaller continents. These tepuis are believed to be 30 million years old and are noted for their flat and generally barren tops.

River Churun

Angel Falls Angel Falls from Isla Raton

River Churun (word churun in local language means thunder) is the tributary of River Carrao in the Canaima National Park. It is an outflow from a natural ‘Mirador Laime’ lagoon formed from the water of the Angel Falls and flows in to the River Carrao there are some tiny islands on the way like the Mouse Island that enables the visitor to catch a full view of the Angel Falls and the other one is Isla Relon. River Churun is navigable only during the rainy seasons.

Un- tapped Angel!

It is a pity that the oil-rich Venezuela is doing anything for the development of this large National Park surrounding the Angel Falls. The airport is nothing but a road of asphalt and its offices mere thatched huts! Roads ill maintained and neglected all these have a telling effect in keeping this Canaima National Park remaining as a potential that is not properly tapped. In short the regime has been successful in keeping the area as remote as in the time when Angel landed there in 1930!

Related Reading

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

i need more information you can find what you have at any old site:-(