Days 335-338: Angel Falls

Day: 335-338 - 25-28JUL14
Ciudad Bolivar to Angel Falls and back - About 200 (via airplane/boat) Miles


Angel Falls, the tallest water falls in the world! They descend 980meters from the top of  huge plateau.. that’s nearly 1 kilometer long!

Getting to the falls isn’t exactly easy or quick. From Ciudad Bolivar, it requires a 1 hour flight, a short 15 minute boat ride followed by another 4-5 hour boat ride in a dug out canoe and then a 1 hour hike through the jungle. We booked an ‘all-inclusive’ 3-day tour through an office in the airport called Sapito Tours. They represent a family run business that provides the actual tours and accomations inside the park. Our 3 day tour cost $230USD per person and included everything (3 meals/day, 2x guided tours, and round trip flights). I highly recommend them.

First up is the flight from the municipal airport in Ciudad Bolivar. The 3 off us crammed into a small single prop plane and flew South for about an hour to the small village of Canaima.
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Inside the National Park of Canaima is a small village also called Canaima. About 1000 people live here, mostly local indigenous indians.VZ_25Jul14_005

Boat ride #1. This one crossed across the river to our posada for the night. Early tomorrow morning we would make the big trek up the river into the park towards the falls.
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Lots of waterfalls here in Venezuela.VZ_25Jul14_008 VZ_25Jul14_009

After getting settled at our posada and eating lunch, we had our first tour. This tour was around the local area to a few of the smaller waterfalls.VZ_25Jul14_010 VZ_25Jul14_011

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Really beautiful scenery here in Canaima:
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These nearby waterfalls were really cool. We were able to walk INSIDE the falls, between the falling water and the plateau. On one side is a rock wall and just a few feet away is a wall of water crashing down. Super cool.
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Early the next morning, we loaded up into an outboard powered dug-out canoe for the 4-5 hour ride up there river. These small canoe style boats are the only things that can make it up the river since there are areas of shallow rapids that we had to cross over. A bigger boat would get stuck.

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Lunch break along the river:

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After a few hours of cruising up the river, we could see the falls in the distance. We disembarked and proceeded to make the final hour+ hike through the jungle to the base of the falls.

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Angel Falls! These photos don’t do it justice.. they are much more impressive in person.

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After hanging out at the falls for about an hour, we hiked back down and crossed over the river to our base camp for the night. Since the falls are so remote and take nearly all day to get to, you need to spend the night in the jungle at a small base camp. It’s basic but that only adds to the adventurous feeling of the place.

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Hammocks for sleeping accomdation

Dinner was really good; spit roasted chicken with rice and salad.

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The view of the falls from our base camp:VZ_26Jul14_014

The next morning, we loaded back into the boat and down the river. We got absolutely soaked with rain and it was freezing cold. Be sure to bring a poncho or rain jacket since it rains here a lot. No photos of the journey back down the river.. it was super cold!

Back in Canaima, we decided to stay for an extra day and just hang out. I got some photo management done and worked on the blog, so that was good. No WiFi or other disturbances, so it was productive. In the afternoon, we hiked around more of the local area and checked out a few other waterfalls.

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The next morning, we headed back to the airstrip and caught a flight to Ciudad Bolivar. We hung out there back at the posada for the rest of the day and would leave tomorrow morning to ride towards Caracas.
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The tour to Canaima and Angel Falls is absolutely amazing and I highly recommend it. It’s definitely a highlight of my South America trip. If you’re coming to Venezuela, it’s a must do trek.. after all, how many people can say they’ve been to the worlds tallest waterfall? Not many!

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