Angel Falls

Angel Falls

Location: Auyantepui plateau, Bolivar state Map


Description of the Angel Falls

Angel Falls is located on Auyantepui plateau in Bolivar state of Venezuela. Angel Falls is the highest waterfall in the World that drops from the height of 3212 feet (989 m) down. This majestic creation of nature was discovered by Westerners only in 1933 after American pilot Jimmy Angel accidentally crashed his plane in the jungle. Apparently while the plane was falling down pilot had enough composure to take a look around and notice a beautiful waterfall that was falling from the plateau. Fortunately for Jimmy he lived to tell his finding that only locals knew calling the waterfall Kerepakupai Meru.
Today Angel waterfall is part of the Canaima National Park that covers over 11,700 sq miles of jungles, waterfalls and wide variety of animals and plants. You can view the waterfall from below or from a rented airplane. Advantage of taking plane is that you get to see more since water turns into a thick mist than it reaches the ground obstructing the view from below. The closeness of circles to the actual Angel waterfall the airplanes takes usually depend on the tips you promise to the pilot. Some daredevils choose a more drastic view by paragliding or base jumping of the actual cliff. Although it is doubtful how much of an actual view you will be able to see on the way down.



The waterfall was discovered at the beginning of the 20th century by explorer Ernesto Sanchez La Cruz, but was not widely known until the flight of James Angel. In 1933, this American pilot flew in search of ore deposits. According to local guides, he was looking for diamonds. This is fully justified by the fact that the natives in the time of James Angel constantly talked about stones that, according to their descriptions, could be mistaken for diamonds. In fact, the plateau from which Angel Falls falls is replete with quartz. On November 16, 1933, during the flight, Angel noticed a tepui mountain called Auyan-Tepui, which attracted his attention. On October 9, 1937, he returned and tried to land the plane on Auyan Tepui, but the plane was damaged during landing, one of the landing gear burst.

As a result, Angel and his three companions (including his wife Marie) had to walk down the mountain. Their return to civilization took 11 days. News of their adventure spread very quickly, and the waterfall was named after him - "Angel Falls" (Spanish: Salto Ángel). In Spanish, the surname Angel (Spanish Angel) is read as Angel, so the name is exactly that. Thus, the waterfall has nothing to do with angels - it's just a person's last name.

Angel's Flamingo plane remained at the landing site for 33 years until it was transported by helicopter. The aircraft was restored in the Maracay Aviation Museum, and now stands directly in front of the Ciudad Bolivar airport.

In 1949, an expedition of the National Geographic Society of the United States took place to the waterfall, following the results of the trip, the height was determined and a book was published.

In 1994, UNESCO listed the Canaima National Park, which includes the falls, as a World Heritage Site.

In April-May 2005, an international expedition of seven alpinists and climbers - four English (John Arran, Anne Arran, Miles Gibson, Ben Heason), two Venezuelan (Ivan Calderon, Alfredo Rangel) and one Russian (Alexander Klenov) - made the first ascent waterfall walls by free climbing.

On December 20, 2009, in the 346th episode of the Aló Presidente TV show, the President of Venezuela Hugo Chavez, on the wave of anti-imperialism, called Angel Falls "Kerepakupai Meru" (Spanish: Kerepakupai Meru), in accordance with one of its local names. Initially, the name Churun-Meru (Spanish: Churún-merú) was proposed, but the president's daughter noticed that one of the smallest waterfalls in the area had such a name, after which Chavez suggested a different name. The president explained this opinion by saying that the waterfall was the property of Venezuela and part of its national wealth long before James Angel appeared, and the waterfall should not bear his name. Reacting to statements by some of the world's media about the actual renaming of the waterfall, three days later, Chavez said that he had not issued a corresponding decree.



The jump was known by the indigenous people of the region, who gave it the name Kerepakupai vein. Lieutenant of the Venezuelan Navy; a native of Jajo, Trujillo state, Ernesto Sánchez la Cruz; On an explorer mission in 1910, he was the first to report and document the discovery. Sánchez La Cruz was amazed by the imposing jump "that seemed to come out of the sky" and he made a sketch and described the area and the route, documentation that he delivered to the Casa Blohm from Ciudad Bolívar. The Blohm house was the commercial house that carried out the business of importing and exporting gold and diamonds in Guyana, in addition to paying for the expeditions. The Blohm House in turn delivered that information to the Inspector General of the Eastern and Southern Borders of the Bolívar State where it was recorded, however, some attribute it to the Spanish explorers Félix Cardona Puig and Juan María Mundó Freixas, who were the first Europeans to spot the jump in 1927. Cardona's articles and maps attracted the curiosity and spirit of adventure of the American aviator James C. Angel, who contacted Cardona to make several visits to the jump in 1937. On May 21, 1937 , Cardona accompanied James Angel on his flight over the jump. In September of that same year, Angel insisted on landing on the top of Auyantepuy, a goal that he achieved by force, embedding the plane in the ground, so Cardona had to rescue the crew.

The first foreign explorer to reach the river that feeds the falls, in an area inhabited by the Pemones, was the Latvian Aleksandrs Laime, who climbed Auyantepui in 1955. He named the river Gauja, in homage to the homonymous Latvian watercourse, not knowing the name Kerepakupai as it was known to the indigenous tribes of the Pemon ethnic group surrounding Auyentepui.

Laime was the first documented person to walk the trail that leads from the Churun River to the base of the falls. On the way there is a geographical point that is often used to photograph the falls, and is called "Mirador Laime" in his "honor." This path is now taken by most tourists from the Isla Ratón camp.

The height of the falls was determined by a National Geographic Society investigation carried out by journalist Ruth Robertson in 1949.

Lucas Dickinson's book, Four Angels, recounted the success of the first ascent, made by them, up Auyantepui from the face to the top of the falls.



Angel Falls is one of the biggest tourist attractions in Venezuela, but even today, a trip to the falls is not a simple matter, because the area is isolated by thick jungle and the tepuis make air navigation dangerous. . You can go to the region by plane flight from Caracas or Ciudad Bolívar, to reach the Pemón Kamarakoto Indigenous Community in Canaima and stay in one of the various tourist camps of your choice. Canaima. Other tourists prefer to reach the falls by more natural means, crossing the jungle through waterways, mainly along the Carrao River, to the base of the waterfall.

In Santa Elena de Uairén, Ciudad Guayana and Ciudad Bolívar there are tour operators that carry out excursions by water and air (by small plane or helicopter) to observe Auyantepuy and its numerous waterfalls. The water and air excursions are carried out from the Pemón Kamarakoto Indigenous Community of Canaima and last about 13 hours.

Trips to Angel Falls take place all year round but in summer navigation is complicated by the low water level of the rivers, when the rivers are deep enough to support the wooden curiaras (canoes) used by the indigenous people of the Pemón ethnic group. Kamarakoto. During the dry season (December to March) there is less water flow than what can be seen in some photos. The elusive waterfall cannot be seen on cloudy days, so visitors have no guarantee of being able to see it in its entirety.


In popular culture

At the cinema
This jump was the inspiration for the fictitious jungle in the 2009 American animated film by Disney Pixar, which won two Oscars, called Up (in Latin America Up: A High Adventure), when it is mentioned that the house should be placed in this place. ; In the film it is called "Paradise Falls" (in Spanish "Paradise Falls") or ("Paradise Falls") in clear allusion or reference to "Angel Falls".

Likewise, a large part of the landscapes of the fictional moon Pandora, in the 2009 science fiction film Avatar by James Cameron (awarded with several Oscars), were inspired by Angel Falls, Auyantepuy and the landscapes of the Canaima National Park in general.

In turn, the 2000 Disney film Dinosaur used real images of Canaima National Park and Angel Falls for several scenes in the film.

In the same way, in the 1998 film What dreams may come, starring Robin Williams (also an Oscar winner), "Angel Falls" is explicitly mentioned and shown in it as a unique and spectacular place, almost fantasy, where its protagonist (Robin Williams), already dead and being in a beautiful and colorful "beyond" (which could very well be "heaven"), jumps from its summit without doing any harm. damage.

The site was used for the filming of the North American film production "Dragon Fly", in Spanish "El Misterio De La Bélula", starring Kevin Costner and Joe Morton, and directed by Tom Shadyac. The film shows the spiritual relationship of the place Angel Falls with the Yanomami natives.

It was also the filming site of one of the scenes of the new version (released in December 2015) of the movie Point Break, which starred Édgar Ramírez and Luke Bracey.

The novel "Ícaro", by Alberto Vázquez Figueroa, narrates the exploits of the aviator James Angel and the rest of the team in their discovery of the waterfall.


In art

Angel Falls is where part of the action in the feature film Point Break (2015) takes place - its characters climb a sheer cliff to the top of the waterfall, and then jump into it.
The waterfall is the inspiration for Paradise Falls in Pixar's animated feature film Up.
Vladislav Shchepin in 2011 made a documentary film “Adventurers. Alexander Laime: Diamonds of the Angel Falls.
The Spanish writer Alberto Vazquez Figueroa wrote the book "Icarus", describing in detail the events of the discovery of this waterfall.