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Angel Falls: Venezuela's little known natural wonder

Following in the footsteps of the lovable hero from Up, the double Oscar-winning computer-animated film, we travel to the land of the tepuis – Venezuela's Canaima National Park, a spectacular Eden-like haven that surrounds the world's tallest waterfall.

The jaw-dropping Angel Falls are nestled deep in an expanse of Venezuelan natural beauty, the Canaima National Park.

Soaring at a height of nearly 1000 metres, Angel Falls are the world's highest uninterrupted waterfalls and tower 19 times higher than the better known Niagara Falls. 

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CLICK ON PHOTO FOR FULL GALLERY 

The thundering torrent tumbles from the vast Auyan Tepui, one of the hundreds of tepuis – raised plateaus which dominate the landscape – and was named a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1994.

Over 1000 miles south east of the country's capital Caracas, Angel Falls is only accessible by limited forms or transport. By plane or helicopter, it's a truly breath-taking adventure. Expert pilots will get your pulse racing as they glide in to land.

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A more relaxing option is to arrive by canoe, the traditional mode of transport of the indigenous people who live in the region.

Angel Falls were 'officially' discovered and named after American pilot Jimmie Angel who stumbled upon them after an emergency landing whilst searching for gold in 1937. Exotic birds are now the sought-after treasure in this remote corner of Venezuela, with opportunities for bird spotting at every turn.

The sheer immensity of this corner of south east Venezuela, known as the Great Savannah, promises yet more adventures. Check out other waterfalls such as Hacha, Sapo and Ucaima via speedboat and set your adrenaline racing as you dip behind the curtain of water.

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Or for a more sedate experience, explore the extensive hiking network through lush forests passing by swirls of white water, red sand beaches, villages inhabited by indigenous Pemon people and the lagoon stemming from the Carrao River. The lagoon's shores are dotted with palm-thatched huts where you can rest easy in a hammock surrounded by luscious wilderness.

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A PRACTICAL GUIDE

When to go
To see the falls in full flow visit during the rainy season (May to November).

Where to stay
In Canaima there aren't any conventional hotels but there is a good selection of camps around the lagoon. Waku Lodge, Ucaima or Tapuy Lodge are the best and offer accommodation as well as food.

Don't miss
Visit the archipelago Los Roques, a beach paradise daytrip in Canaima. Check out the Orinoco Delta, one of the largest in the world, where the Warao people still travel in curiara canoes just as they have done for centuries.

More info
www.think-venezuela.net

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