Amazing Facts: Angel Falls
Angel Falls is a waterfall in Venezuela.
The first European to reach the base of Angel Falls was Aleksandrs Laime, a Latvian explorer who arrived at the base in 1946. He was the first to clear a path from Churun River to the base of Angel Falls.
Located in the Canaima National Park, the biggest national park in Venezuela, it is the third biggest of the world and is known for its breathtaking beauty.
Disney made a movie in 2009 called UP. It was an animated movie that called the falls Paradise Falls instead of Angel Falls. The falls have also been featured in the 2015 movie Point Break and 1990s film Arachnophobia.
Angel Falls are approximately 15 times taller than Niagara Falls.
The waterfall drops over the edge of the Auyantepui mountain (Table mountain) in the Canaima National Park , a UNESCO World Heritage site in the Gran Sabana region of Bolivar State.
It is the world’s highest uninterrupted waterfall, with a height of 979 meters (3,212 ft) and a plunge of 807 meters (2,648 ft).
At the base of Angel Falls the waterfall is approximately 150 meters wide.
Some people choose to skydive off Angel Falls. Other adventure seekers hike up the mountain, sleep in hammocks, or stand at the bottom under the falls.
Angel Falls is three times as tall as Paris landmark, the Eiffel Tower.
During warmer and drier seasons, the water of Angel Falls evaporates even before it touches the ground, forming a mist.
During the rainy season they may divide into two separate waterfalls. When the water level is high it is possible to feel the spray up to a 1,5 kilometer(1 mile) away.
The waterfall has been known as the “Angel Falls” since the Mid-20th century; they are named after Jimmie Angel, a US aviator, who was the first person to fly over the falls.
Visiting Angel Falls is not easy. To get there a tourist must take a plane to Puerto Ordaz or Cuidad Bolivar and then get to the Canaima Camp where they can take a jungle river tour with an indigenous host. This tour will take you to the Angel Falls foothills. It is also possible to take a helicopter tour.
Some people believe that the first European to see Angel Falls was a Spanish explorer named Fernando de Berrio. He may have viewed the falls in the 1500s or 1600s, but there is no real proof.
During the rainy and wet seasons the waterfall sometimes splits into two waterfalls.
Returning on 9 October 1937, Angel tried to land his Flamingo monoplane El Río Caroní atop Auyan-tepui, but the plane was damaged when the wheels sank into the marshy ground. Angel and his three companions, including his wife Marie, were forced to descend the tepui on foot. It took them 11 days to make their way back to civilization by the gradually sloping back side, but news of their adventure spread and the waterfall was named Angel Falls in his honor. The name of the waterfall—”Salto Angel“—was first published on a Venezuelan government map in December 1939.
Angel’s ashes were scattered over the falls on 2 July 1960.
According to accounts of Venezuelan explorer Ernesto Sánchez La Cruz, he spotted the falls in 1912, but he did not publicize his discovery.
Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez was promoting to change the name of the Falls to their original name given by the Pemon Indians many centuries ago, Kerepakupai Vena meaning “the deepest place waterfalls”. However, the decision has never been made official so the Falls are still known by the name of the American aviator Jimmie Angel.
Sir Walter Raleigh described what was possibly a tepuy (table top mountain), and he is said to have been the first European to view Angel Falls, although these claims are considered far-fetched.
Angel Falls are also known by local names such as ‘Big River’ and ‘Tulume Bena’.
Jimmy Angel’s plane was eventually recovered from the crash site and it can now be seen at Maracay’s Aviation Museum.
Tourists have only been permitted to visit Angel Falls since 1990.
Angel Falls is one the major tourist attractions in Venezuela, despite its location and difficulty to reach.
When the weather is very warm and dry, the waterfall sometimes evaporates into a mist before it reaches the bottom.
Angel Falls is one of Venezuela’s top tourist destination.
Angel Falls are best seen between the months of May and November. Between December and April, rainfall is much more infrequent and the falls all but evaporate, diminishing to a dribble.
You can hike up to the falls on foot, take a tour on boat or have a look at everything in a helicopter.
The four most beautiful waterfalls in the world are Angel Falls (South America), Niagara Falls (North America), Victoria Falls (Africa), and Iguazu Falls (South America).
Angel Falls inspired the setting of the Disney animated film Up (2009) although, in the film, the location was called Paradise Falls instead of Angel Falls. It also makes a small appearance in the Disney film Dinosaur.
At certain times when the water flowing over the falls in plentiful, it is possible to feel small water drops in the air as far as one kilometer away.
When Hugo Chavez was the leader of Venezuela he tried to have the name changed to Kerepakupai Vena but his efforts were not successful and the name is still Angel Falls.