Visiting the world’s highest uninterrupted waterfall, Angel Falls, was one of my most memorable journeys thus far. Located in the Amazonian region of Venezuela, far from everything else, Angel Falls offers an adventure you’ll never forget.
Imagine standing under the highest waterfall on earth and listening to the Amazonian jungle sounds: birds singing, monkeys howling, and mosquitoes buzzing around you. Only you and the waterfall. When I think about standing under the falls, I still feel a shiver inside me.
However, I highly advise that you plan your trip ahead of time. Here are a few important things to know before you embark on a trip to Angel Falls.
Location, Location, Location
It isn’t possible to reach Angel Falls via automobile or bus. You have to take a plane from Puerto Ordaz or Ciudad Bolívar to the town of Canaima. From Canaima, it’s a one-day boat ride to the Falls. Your best bet is to book a tour with flights included.
That being said, it’s also advantageous to book a complete package of flights and tour dates ahead of time. It will be much more expensive if you buy a tour to Angel Falls directly in Canaima. If you decide to book a complete package with flights, plan to spend $300 to $700, depending on which lodge you book in Canaima.
The flight from Ciudad Bolívar to Canaima is, itself, an adventure. You’ll sit in a small plane and have the best views over the Amazonian jungle. As you rattle over the leafy trees, you can’t help but wonder if you would survive in the jungle below.
Don’t Forget Cash
Remember to take enough money with you. Canaima is a small village with no ATM and, therefore, no opportunities to get cash. There is a small shop where you can probably exchange some money, but don’t count on it. Take enough money with you — $200 or $300 should be sufficient.
Touring Angel Falls
Traveling from Canaima to the Salto Angelo (“Angel Falls” in Spanish) should take at least two days. In small boats (“curiaras”), you’ll travel up the Rio Carrao, and it will take at least four hours to reach the falls. You’ll get to sleep in hammocks with the best views of the Salto Angelo. Blown away by the beauty, you’ll forget the long, and sometimes difficult, journey to reach the Falls.
The next day, you will cross the river and start hiking directly to the Salto Angelo. When I think about that hike now, I’m still awestruck. I thought the highest waterfall on earth would be a very touristy place, but that wasn’t the case at all. You’ll hike over big roots and stones and hear mysterious sounds coming from the jungle. You’ll make your way through the forest until you reach a small plateau that boasts the best view of the Falls. You’ll never forget the feeling of standing under the world’s highest waterfall: Just enjoy the moment. Feel the magic of this place fully.
Don’t forget your swimming shorts! You can swim in the beautiful pool underneath the waterfall (the best time is during the summer months).
Angel Falls isn’t the only attraction this area has to offer. There are many equally incredible waterfalls around the small village of Canaima. My friend and I went to the Salto El Sapo, where you can walk behind the waterfall. Be careful, as it’s always slippery. Canaima has a nice sandy beach, as well, with some of the best views of all of the surrounding waterfalls: It’s a great location to relax if you’re tired from hiking to the other falls.
Visiting the world’s highest waterfall is one of the greatest experiences you can have in Venezuela. Traveling from the laid back town of Canaima to Angel Falls is not easy, but it makes the trip a special experience.