Angel Falls

Looking for a thrill? How about a visit to the world’s highest freefalling freshwater waterfall? Angel Falls located in Canaima National Park in Bolivar State Venezuela is 3,212 total feet and features an uninterrupted drop of 2,648 feet. The height is so great that winds turn it to mist before it even comes close to reaching the base of the falls.

The indigenous people of the region speak the Pemon language and named the falls Parekupa-meru, which means waterfall of the deepest place. Pemon Indians have given he mesa where the falls resides the ominous nickname of Devil’s Mountain, or Aiyan-tepui. The name Angel Falls comes from an American aviator, James “Jimmie” Crawford Angel who noticed this natural wonder while searching the area for an ore bed. Although the area was well known by Venezuela natives, the Western world first learned of this impressive drop after Angel’s visit. He returned to the falls and landed at the top of the falls in 1936 and, with his three traveling partners, made his way down the mountain and back to civilization in 11 day. His trip may have lasted only 11 days but his plane’s trip was considerably longer, the abandoned vehicle remained at the top of the falls for 33 years, until it was removed by helicopter. If you happen to spy something that looks like a plane atop the falls you’re not hallucinating, it’s a replica of Angel’s plane. The falls are one of Venezuela’s top tourist attractions but visiting them isn’t an easy task. The trip is sold as a package, which includes a flight to a nearby jungle camp and a boat trip comes into play at some point in the trek. Some packages also include aerial fly bys so you can get a better view of the park, but on cloudy days the falls can hardly be seen at all. If you’re a real thrill seeker then a traditional site seeing tour might not be enough to satisfy your needs. How about a BASE jump? BASE jumping is a parachute jump made from a fixed location such as a Building, Antenna, Span, or the Earth. Angel Falls is considered an Earth jump and BASE jumping trips are legally sanctioned assuming all participants are qualified and jumping with a government sanctioned group. Whatever level of thrill you are seeking, a visit to Angel Falls is bound to fit the bill somehow. It’s one of the world’s ancient natural wonders and, when visible, it’s a stunning testament to mother nature.

(photo credit flickr cc)
(photo credit flickr cc)

Creative Commons License photo credit: Danila Medvedev

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