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17th April 2004
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 Holiday | Programmes | 50


Best time to go: The tourist season in Venezuela runs year-round so you can visit at any time

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Craig Doyle
The world's highest waterfall, Angel Falls, came number 47 out of 50 in your top places to see in a lifetime.

Angel Falls in the heart of Venezuela is the world�s highest waterfall, nearly one thousand metres high, surrounded by breathtaking flat top mountains. The water leaps from the heart shaped Auyantepui (Devil's Mountain) into the Canon del Diablo (Devil's Canyon).

This waterfall is known to Venezuelans as Salto Angel.

It is not named after heavenly beings, but after American bush pilot, Jimmie Angel who went in search of gold, but in fact discovered the waterfall.

Jimmie Angel believed that Auyantepui was the home of a lost river of gold, and took his four seater plane up to search for it in 1937. The plane got bogged down in the marsh and he couldn�t take off again. He was forced to trek through the rough terrain to the edge of the plateau along with his wife and two travel companions.

The village of Canaima, about 50km northwest of the falls, is the major gateway to the falls, but does not have any easily accessible overland link to the rest of the country. Most people fly to Canaima and then take a light plane or boat to the falls. There is no road access to the area.

Salto Angel, Auyantepui, Canaima and surrounding areas all fall within Venezuela�s second largest park, the Parque Nacional Canaima.


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Price: Flights to Caracas around £550 return

Approx flight time: London to Caracas is about 10 hours

  • in 1971, four people climbed the sheer rock face of the falls. The trip took 10 days
  • Angel Falls is a staggering 19 times higher than Niagara Falls
  • the Pemon Indians call the falls 'Kerepakupai-meru' which means 'falls from the deepest place'
What's your holiday money worth?
"Hi, I'm thinking of doing the Sydney to Cairns trip and back again sometime next year. But it's on a budget, so I'm really looking for a bus company that you pay before travelling and just jump on and jump off it when you want. Something like a travel pass. If anyone can help I'd appreciate it! Ta!"

Can you help Wenny T?
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Country Facts
Time difference
GMT = 4 hours behind

Visa (with UK passport)
Not required

Venezuela Embassy

Inoculations & health
Typhoid, Hepatitis A, Yellow Fever recommended, Dip, Tuberculosis Hep B and Rabies sometimes recommended

BBCi Health

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Spanish and American-Indian languages

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