Salto Ángel (Angel Falls)

Waterfall in Canaima

Image by FabioFilzi Getty Images

Thundering Angel Falls is the world's highest waterfall and Venezuela's number-one tourist attraction. Its total height is 979m (3211ft), of which the uninterrupted drop is 807m (2646ft), about 16 times the height of Niagara Falls. The cascade spills off the heart-shaped Auyantepui, one of the largest of the tepuis (sandstone-capped mesa), into Devil's Canyon.

Angel Falls is not named after a divine creature, but after an American bush pilot, Jimmy Angel, who crash landed his four-seater airplane atop Auyantepui in 1937.

The waterfall is situated in a distant, lush wilderness with no road access. Most visitors who visit by boat opt to stay overnight in hammocks at one of the camps near the base of the falls. The canoe trip upriver, the surrounding area and the experience of staying at the camp are nearly as memorable as the waterfall itself.


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