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Angel Falls, Tallest in the World

Updated on May 22, 2020
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I personally saw the falls years ago and was stunned at the beauty of this magnificent site.

Beauty of Angel Falls, Venezuela

Angel Falls, Venezuela
Angel Falls, Venezuela
Angel Falls
Angel Falls
Map of Venezula
Map of Venezula

The Tallest Falls in the World, Venezuela

Undisputed as the tallest falls in the world, Angel Falls measures 3212 feet and 500 feet at the base. They are 2.5 times as tall as the Empire State Building and 15 times taller than Niagra Falls. Almost inaccessible because of the terrain, isolation, and lack of roads.

The Auyan-tepui is believed to be a remnant of the mountains of ancient Gondwana before the continents broke away becoming continents. Some of the tepuis are believed to be over two billion years old.

The indigenous people, the Pemons revere the tepuis as protectors of their homeland.

Not until 1933 when Jimmie Angel flew over the falls searching for mining sites. In 1937, Angel returned to the site in his Flamingo airplane, El Rio Caroni, attempting to land on top of the tepui (flat part on top of a mountain). Unfortunately, the wheels of the plane sunk in the marshy soil.

Onboard with Angel was his wife, Marie, Gustavo Henry, and Miguel Delgado. They realized the only way down was to hike on foot. This arduous trek took eleven days. It would then be thirty-three days before the plane would be rescued off the plateau.

Today, the plane, restored by Aviation Museum, sits in front of the Cuidad Bolivar Airport.

Indeginous Pemont Natives

Young Pemon Native
Young Pemon Native
Pemon Native
Pemon Native

Jimmy Angel Discovered Angel Falls

Jimmie Angel was born in Cedar Valley, Missouri, in 1899. Early on, it is said he taught himself to fly by the age of 15. He became a test pilot, movie stunt pilot, flight instructor, and wanted nothing to do but fly and explore. He especially loved Central and South America.

He explored the Gran Sabana from 1933-1942, and because of Angel, the area was explored, mapped, and opened to scientific exploration.

One day in a bar in Panama, he met an American geologist, McCracken. The story goes that McCracken offered Angel $5,000. to fly him over southeast Venezuela. Angel agreed, and the two set off, landing on a tepui in Gran Sabana. Here, they removed many pounds of gold from the river on top of the plateau. McCracken later died in the U.S.

For the rest of his life, Angel was obsessed with Auyantopui, a 348 sq. mile tepui that he believed was where the river of gold was located. It is not known if he ever located the river of gold again.

Jimmie died in 1956, Panama. On 2 July 1960, his ashes were scattered over Angel Falls as he wished.

1939 Expedition to Angel Falls

1939 Expedition to Angel Falls
1939 Expedition to Angel Falls | Source

Angel's plane, El Rio Caroni

Angel's Plane
Angel's Plane

Wildlife Near Angel Falls, Venezuela

Some of the wildlife is listed as endangered, even though the area is so isolated. Among the wildlife are:

Howler monkeys

Jaguar, Panthera Onca

Giant Anteater, Mymecophaga Tridactyia

Giant Armadillo, Priodontes Maximus

There are over 500 species of orchids, hundreds of birds, and flowers.

Birds and Flora of Angel Falls

Colorful Bird of Angel Falls
Colorful Bird of Angel Falls
Parrots of Angel Falls
Parrots of Angel Falls
Flowers of Angel Falls
Flowers of Angel Falls

Canaima National Park, Venezuela

Canaima National Park, Venezuela
Canaima National Park, Venezuela

Visiting Canaima National Forest and Angel Falls

It is a trip of a lifetime to see the forest and Angel Falls. It is suggested to sign up for a tour at the Cuidad Bolivar Airport. They can arrange all the necessary details for a two-night, three-day tour. It will save you money to book the tour at the airport. If you do not have proof of a required yellow fever vaccination, it can be gotten at the airport for free.

A plaque honoring Jimmie Angel is found here in the park.

Ruth Robertson, Photojournalist

Ruth Robertson
Ruth Robertson

Ruth Robertson

Born in 1905 in Illinois, Ruth was a correspondent during WW II. Looking for more diversification, Ruth led an expedition in 1949 to Angel Falls. It would be the first successful overland expedition to reach Angel Falls. Four other expeditions failed in their quest, all by men.

She published her photos and notes in Jungle Journey to the World's Highest Waterfall published in the National Geographic, November 1949.

Ruth died in 1998 in Texas.

She then published her book, Churun Meru-The Tallest Angel, published in 1975.

Plaque for Jimmie Angel


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    Post Comment
    • powers41 profile imageAUTHOR

      fran rooks 

      4 months ago from Toledo, Ohio

      Thanks for your comment and reading

    • Suchismita pradhan profile image

      Suchismita Pradhan 

      4 months ago from India

      The fall is amazing, interesting article,beautiful pics.

    • powers41 profile imageAUTHOR

      fran rooks 

      4 months ago from Toledo, Ohio

      Yes, she was a pioneer in her field. Thanks for reading.

    • surovi99 profile image

      Rosina S Khan 

      4 months ago

      It was good to know Angel Falls was finally conquered by a woman who published photos and notes in the National Geographic and later also wrote a book on it. Thanks for sharing, Fran.

    • powers41 profile imageAUTHOR

      fran rooks 

      4 months ago from Toledo, Ohio

      Thanks for reading! Glad you enjoyed it.

    • Eurofile profile image

      Liz Westwood 

      4 months ago from UK

      This is an extremely well-illustrated and interesting article. Those falls are amazing.


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