Central Idea: Angel Falls is one of the most mesmerizing places you can visit on the earth.
There are many fascinating places in the world. But there are places that can’t be described in words because of the extraordinary emotions one goes through when visiting such places. These are the kind of places that makes the visitor wonder how it could not be included in one of the Seven Wonders of the World and Angel Falls is one of them.
Angel Falls in Southern Venezuela is the world’s highest water fall. Known as Salto Churun Meru in Spanish and as Kerepakupai-meru by the indigenous people, Angel Falls was discovered by the American aviator Jimmy Angel in 1937 (Cheng). It is located in the Guiana Highlands in Bolivar state on the Churun River. The water falls from a height of 979 meters (3,212 feet) and is 150 meters (500 feet) wide at the base. The falls’ height makes it about 20 times higher than the Niagara Falls (Encyclopaedia Britannica).
The source of the fall is neither conventional drainage sources such as melting snow, glacier or lakes nor a major river system. Instead the source is the rainfall from equatorial tropical clouds condensing onto the cloud forest above the plateau of Auyantepui (Cheng). The falls will make a memorable visit for anyone who has been awestruck by Niagara Falls; the only difference is that Angel Falls is about twenty times taller and located in a more natural setting.
The falls is not accessible by road because it is located in quite a remote area which may explain its relatively late discovery and that too by an aviator. There are two main ways to visit the falls. One is air travel which offers better views of the falls and is also convenient for those short on time. The other option to reach falls is a combination of sailing and walking and is suitable for those who enjoy the journey as much as the destination (Venezuelatuya).
When planning a trip to Angel Falls, it is best to reserve 2-3 days to have an optimum experience which may include visiting the falls, staying overnight in one of the camping huts, as well as observing the local indigenous people who have known about Angel Falls since long before Jimmy Angel discovered it. There are many tour companies most of whom include travel package, accommodation, and meals though alcohol is extra in most cases. The tour companies recommend that at the minimum you bring hat, long trouser, long sleeve shirt, shorts, insect repellant, camera, swimming suit, flashlight, and long boots if you plan a jungle walk (Angel-Falls.com).
Most tourists stay in traditional palm-thatched huts called churuatas which are equipped with hammocks, beds, and toilets/showers. For travelers with upscale taste, there are more comfortable lodging options many of which cost over $150 per night. But the most famous accommodation near the falls is Campamento Ucaima, which was founded by a Dutch hotelier and adventurer Rudy Truffino in the 1950s. It’s also known by the name of Jungle Rudy and has 14 rooms. It is said to have hosted famous people such as Prince Charles and Neil Armstrong (Romero, 2007). The best time to visit the falls is from June to December when the falls are voluminous while January to May is a dry season and the fall is nothing more than a thin stream (Hamre).
It’s hard to imagine for any nature lover to be disappointed by Angel Falls. Not only it is the tallest waterfall in the world but has also been called one of the most beautiful. Angel falls is surrounded by several tepuis or table-top mountains which are believed to be the remnants of the mountains of the ancient supercontinent known as Gondwana. The tepuis are magnificent even if there was no Angel Falls and are believed to be the inspiration behind Sir Conan Arthur Doyle’s The Lost World. A trip to Angel Falls is once in a lifetime for trekkers who could easily spend another week climbing one of the tepuis of which Roraima tepui is one of the most famous.