Canaima and the Angel Falls

Canaima National Park is a huge area in south eastern Venezuela and according to Wikipedia the sixth biggest national park in the world with the size of Belgium. Canaima Camp is the base to get to the Angel Falls or Salto Angel in Spanish. It was named after Jimmie Angel who discovered it at least for the people outside of Venezuela when he flew over it in 1933.

 

With 979 meter this is the highest waterfall in the world. The only way to get to Canaima Camp is to fly in a small plane. With a four seater Cessna owned by Peter from Posada La Casita in Ciudad Bolivar we make the trip. As the Angel Falls are located deep in the jungle the only way to get there is to take one of the wooden boats. They are operated by the Pemon people, indigenous people who own this land and run the tourist companies locally.

The trip to the Angel Falls is quite adventurous and depending on the type of year and the weather you will encounter a very different scenery once getting there. Going up the river to reach the water fall takes us about 6 hours. Because it is the dry season, the river does not have a lot of water. Means you - sorry, the men - have to get out of the boat to push it across the shallow spots with our ladies inside. Really good fun!

 

After the 6 hours boat trip it’s another 1 h hiking trip through the jungle before you are actually at the bottom of the water fall. Even though there is not too much water the hight of the fall is still spectacular. One of the advantages of the lower water level is that we can actually take a swim at the very bottom of the fall, something you can’t do during rainy season because there is too much water coming down.

 

Another hour or so we need to walk to the camp, located across the other side of the river. "Take your shoes off but leave your socks on."  is what we are advised. That’s the best way how you can cross the river without slipping. The night we spend in hammocks just under a metal roof. We can hear the sounds from the jungle all night long which is fantastic. Just don’t get seasick in the hammocks ... Next morning after a good breakfast we take the boat back to the Canaima Camp. This is quicker and takes us only like 4 hours or so.

We really would like to come back in the rainy season. Our guide said, the mountains are crying during that season. Meaning you have a lot of water falls all around which must be really impressive.

 

On the third day, we take the small Cessna again from Canaima Camp back to Ciudad Bolivar.

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