Friday, August 26, 2011

Top 50 Places I Want To Visit #48: Angel Falls, Venezuela

Perhaps the most well-recognized waterfall in the world, the 3,212 foot Angel Falls is nothing short of majestic. It's unparalleled height -- 90 times that of Niagara falls -- is almost supernatural. During the dry season, most of the water dissipates and becomes mist during the over half-mile plunge. Yeah. It's that tall.

The falls were known to the indigenous people of Venezuela as "Kerepakupai Vená," which means waterfall of the deepest place in... whatever language they spoke. Today Angel Falls gets its name from Jimmie Angel, a US aviator looking for gold atop the Auyan-tepui, the giant table-top mountain from which Angel Falls descends. Jimmie returned to the falls after flying over and landed atop the mountain. His plane, however, became stuck and after an 11-day descent to civilization, the falls were named in his honor.
Jimmie Angel's Plane:

The falls are the number one tourist attraction in Venezuela, but it isn't exactly easy to get to. It's located in the heart of Canaima National Park, an isolated jungle that can only be reached by flight. Once inside the park, indigenous guides take tourists by canoe to see the falls. Also, the only time that the falls can be reached is during the wet season - from June to December - because that is the only time of the year when the rivers are deep enough for the canoes.

And for extreme outdoorsmen, there are things to do other than stare with a dumb look on your face and a camera around your neck while smacking on gum and wiping the fog off your glasses with an ugly Hawaiian shirt (kinda got carried away with that image...)

How 'bout BASE jumping?

Now THAT looks like fun.

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