Angel Falls is the most impressive waterfall we’ve ever seen.
- it is the tallest waterfall in the world
- it’s in the middle of the jungle
- if you’re lucky you can hear monkeys screaming
- you can swim right underneath
- it’s not easily accessible, so there are no crowds of tourists
- no gift shops or restaurants around
Sounds too good to be true but that’s how it really is.
But you know what else? It’s not just about the falls. It is a full multi-day jungle experience we’ll never forget. Keep reading, and you’ll find out what exactly it’s about.
This blog post tells our personal experience visiting Angel Falls and, most importantly, how you can visit Angel Falls, too! With our friend currently guiding in Venezuela, we share the most up-to-date information here.
*In the spirit of full disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, which means that if you purchase through them, we receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. See more details here. We appreciate your support!
Watch our video from Backpacking Venezuela, including visiting Angel Falls and Orinoco River Delta:
Visiting Angel Falls, Venezuela, the tallest waterfall in the world – our personal experience
Visiting Angel Falls was our first experience in Venezuela. As we flew from Ciudad Bolívar to Canaima National Park, only three tourists and two pilots on board, I could already see why this place is exceptional.
The dense forest of Gran Sabana, as far as I could see disturbed by the copper-colour River Caroni with the strangest mountains spread around.
They are called table-top mountains or Tepui, which are rare and unusual. Auyantepui Tepui is the source of Angel Falls. And we were excited to see them, touch them, swim in them and absorb their beauty.
We touched the ground on a small concrete strip in the jungle village of Canaima. A few locals were selling souvenirs under the straw roof, and our guide waved at us.
We arrived at our camp after a short walk on the orange dirt road. It’s a simple concrete building with several rooms with beds and fans. We packed a few essentials for a night in the jungle and headed out.
Day 1 of Angel Falls Tour – Deeper in the Venezuelan jungle
A small jeep-style bus drove us to the river, where our canoe awaited us. Ten people in a wooden canoe were going against Churún River’s current with 3 hours ahead of us. The rapids were strong and high, and the river level was low. There were a few occasions where even the captain wished the engine or our strong paddler was more powerful.
We had to lighten the canoe and walk one part along the river while they took the canoe against the rapids. When we got back into the canoe, we smashed the bottom on the rocks after a few minutes and a big wave splashed across us.
That was the best part of the ride. We didn’t mind soaking wet; the sun was so intense that our clothes dried within an hour.
When the river calmed, we were handed our lunch – sandwiches and drinks. Continuing through Devil’s Canyon, we knew we were getting closer as we saw Angel Falls from afar.
Hiking to Angel Falls
After around 3 hours in a canoe, we were glad a little uphill hike was involved to stretch our legs.
Being very careful is essential in the jungle. While it was inviting to hike barefoot, you never know where scorpions and other pain-causing creatures are hiding. And after seeing a finger-long scorpion making its way alongside me, I laughed at the idea of ever taking my shoes off.
About half an hour later, the famous Angel Falls sprayed on our faces.
979-meter waterfall! Can you believe it?
Almost a kilometre tall waterfall in the middle of the jungle.
I couldn’t believe my dream had come true.
December is considered a dry season, so we could swim right underneath the waterfall.
Imagine it for a moment – you’re floating on your back in a natural pool in the middle of the Venezuelan jungle while staring almost 1 kilometre above at the world’s tallest waterfall.
It was one of the best days of our lives!
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Day 2 of Angel Falls Tour – More waterfalls in Canaima village
As the jungle woke up in the morning, so did we. After breakfast, we hopped in the canoe and waved the Angel Falls goodbye.
Going with the river’s current, reaching Canaima village only took 2 hours.
In the afternoon, we chased even more waterfalls. There is a huge lagoon in Canaima surrounded by waterfalls. El Sapo was the biggest one; it made us think about how much bigger it could get in the rainy season.
Our canoe was jumping wildly on the big waves made by the waterfall. But our guide led us as close as possible to get sprayed by them. The hot day was getting more bearable when we got off the canoe and walked behind the waterfalls. We had so much fun that I forgot to count all the waterfalls – I think there were 5.
Another awesome day ended watching local families enjoying the beach of the lagoon. We joined them for a sunset swim, and the kids enjoyed climbing on Michal, who threw them into the lagoon.
On our 3rd day, when waiting for our flight out of Canaima national park, we went for a stroll along the lagoon. What we found was another great surprise of the trip – colourful macaw parrots and a friendly toucan.
Day 3 of Angel Falls Tour – Leaving Canaima (& parrot attack)
On our 3rd day, while waiting for our flight out of Canaima National Park, we went for a stroll along the lagoon. We found another great surprise on the trip – colourful macaw parrots and a friendly toucan.
A big red macaw was walking on the tree, and when Michal leaned closer to see him, the macaw just climbed onto him. After their little chat, Michal handed me his new friend.
The crazy parrot started poking my hand so vigorously that I had to throw him off and get a band-aid to stop the bleeding. As we learnt for the lodge, Oli the macaw doesn’t like women. Who knew? We did not become friends.
I was shocked, shaking and crying. Have I just been attacked by a parrot? Of all the animals that could bite me or sting me in the jungle, this friendly-looking macaw made holes in my hand that hurt for weeks.
But I didn’t leave Canaima National Park feeling hurt by a parrot. Just as we were walking back to catch the plane, a toucan appeared in front of us. I was reluctant to get closer to him. A lady from a nearby hotel assured me that Tuki the toucan likes everyone.
He climbed onto my hand; let me pet him while moving his head strangely to the side to look at me with his big brown eye.
When Tuki walked on the ground, he bounced with his feet towards Michal. It turned out that Tuki doesn’t like the sound of flip-flops when you walk. He started to pick on Michal very softly, which made us laugh so hard that I still remember it as if it was yesterday. Did you know that even jungle animals have pet peeves? I didn’t, either.
We boarded the plane and left Canaima National Park, full of beautiful memories. We have a lot to cherish throughout our lives.
WHERE DID WE GO NEXT?
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Angel Falls Tour is one of the best things to do in Venezuela
Let me guess! Now you want to see Angel Falls yourself and have an incredible jungle experience, right?
Good news! The most up-to-date info on the internet about how to visit Angel Falls is right here. Here is all you need to know about visiting Angel Falls:
Where exactly is Angel Falls – the tallest waterfall in the world?
Angel Falls is 979 meters high, with the highest drop of 807 meters, 16 times higher than Niagara Falls!
Angel Falls (indigenous name ‘Kerepakupai Merú’ or Salto Ángel in Spanish) is in Canaima National Park, in the southeast part of Venezuela, in the state of Bolívar.
The region is known as Gran Sabana and borders with Guyana and Brazil. It is the best adventure place in Venezuela and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The trek to the famous Roraima Tepui also starts in this region.
It looks like nothing you’ve seen before – more than 100 table-top mountains with endless waterfalls glamorizing the rugged jungle.
How to get to Angel Falls in 2023
The only way you can get to Angel Falls is by plane. No roads lead to the Canaima village, from which you’ll depart by boat to Angel Falls.
The easiest way to get to Angel Falls in 2023 is through an agency when you fly into Caracas, Venezuela, then take a domestic flight to Canaima National Park, and then a boat to Angel Falls.
When we booked the Angel Falls Tour years ago, we had to fly to Caracas, then Puerto Ordaz, take a bus to Ciudad Bolívar, and then fly to Canaima. Now with a direct flight from Caracas to Canaima, it’s much quicker and easier!
However, not as easy as just booking the flight through Skyscanner. The culprit lies in paying for the flight. Depending on where you’re from, you might or (most usually) not be able to pay with your credit card for the flight and will need to book it through an agency.
The direct flights from Caracas to Canaima operating by Conviasa depart Thursdays and Sundays and cost about 250 USD roundtrip. While our trip that included bus transport was cheaper, the bus ride alone takes about 12 hours, and the road is now in much worse condition. And given the changing topic around safety, flight is undoubtedly the safest option.
If the timing of the flights to Canaima (Thursdays & Sundays only) doesn’t fit your vacation schedule, you can still visit Angel Falls; you need to add one more flight: Caracas -> Ciudad Bolívar -> Canaima.
Where to buy Angel Falls Tour?
If you’re a backpacker arriving in Cuidad Bolívar, there are plenty of tourist agencies at the airports. Shop around and ask several of them what price they can offer you. Bargaining is common and will get you a better price. Angel Falls Tour is usually sold as a 3-day tour which is what we got.
You can buy flights to Canaima and the tour separately, but the more you buy from one agency, the cheaper it gets. It makes more sense to buy the tour as a package with flights.
You cannot visit Angel Falls on your own. From Canaima, only a guide can take you on a boat because it’s part of a protected reserve.
The agency we used to book Angel Falls Tour no longer exists. However, our guide friend recommends (and also uses for his clients) the travel agency Hike Venezuela. They offer the same package we bought with the same accommodations.
If you’d like a luxury option, you can look into Waku Lodge or Ara Meru Lodge in Canaima, which organizes package tours.
How much does it cost to visit Angel Falls?
For a 3-day tour, we paid 200 USD per person, including flights from Cuidad Bolívar, accommodation, three meals per day, transport and a guide. Since this was several years ago, prices have gone up.
In 2023, this is how much it costs to visit Angel Falls and the available options:
- Hike Venezuela – 320 USD/person/3 day tour departing from Santa Elena or Ciudad Bolívar (you need to book flights from Caracas to Ciudad Bolívar yourself; then flights to Canaima are included)
- Osprey Expeditions – from 675 USD/person/4 day tour departing from Caracas (including direct flights from Caracas to Canaima)
- Waku Lodge or Ara Meru Lodge – from 1200 USD/person
More Angel Falls information
When to visit Angel Falls?
Angel Falls are spectacular any time of the year. The rainy season is between June and November when the waterfall’s flow is the strongest.
We visited in mid-December during the dry season, allowing us to swim under the waterfalls. The level of the Churún River, which leads to the waterfalls, was low, and we walked a section along the river not to damage the canoe. Too far into the dry season won’t allow the canoe to navigate the river.
You can still visit Angel Falls between January and April but can’t reach the base of the waterfalls. You can purchase a flight over the Angel Falls in Canaima or when booking the tour. I wish we’d known about this and brought enough money to buy a flight over.
The best time to visit Angel Falls is December. While the waterfall might not be the strongest, swimming right underneath is an experience like no other.
Packing list for Angel Falls
You can bring limited luggage because you’ll fly on a tiny plane, usually for four passengers. We flew from Ciudad Bolívar, and it took around 2 hours. Then another 3 hours on a canoe and half an hour hike to reach Angel Falls.
The maximum luggage allowed on the plane is 10kg per person. We left most of our stuff in the hostel in Ciudad Bolívar and packed only some clothes, toiletries and a swimming suit.
You want fast-drying clothes for visiting Angel Falls and Canaima National Park. If the sun doesn’t dry them, the jungle’s humidity won’t help.
Our essentials for Angel Falls Tour:
- Long sleeve top for women – this is my favourite shirt that helped me numerous times in high humidity environments and protected me from the sun, mosquitoes and dried very quickly.
- Long sleeve shirt for men – same shirt for men
- Shorts (for sitting and jungle hiking) – look for quick-drying fabric and lose fit
- Sun Hat
- Running / trekking shoes – we used our trail running shoes since the trail to Angel Falls and trails in Canaima village are well-trodden
- Sandals – for walking behind the waterfalls
- Microfiber travel towel – a regular cotton towel is unlikely to dry in the humidity
- Mineral Sunscreen – to protect the environment as mineral sunscreens don’t leave residues in the water
- Bug spray – is an absolute necessity for any jungle
- Water bottle with filter – so you can drink straight from Angel Falls
- Waterproof camera
- Travel insurance – We use and recommend World Nomads. From our extensive research regarding travel insurance, they provide the best value. You can check their plans here.
Money situation & fluctuation in Venezuela
It would be best if you took some local currency – bolivars. (Side note: you’ll get used to the fact that most places in Venezuela are named after their liberator Simon Bolivar.) You can buy souvenirs along the lagoon or at the airport in Canaima. We purchased a few beers and snacks in town as well.
There is no ATM in Canaima, and you shouldn’t use ATMs in Venezuela. The ATM would exchange your money at an official and very low rate. You’ll need to bring enough American dollars or Euros in small bills to Venezuela for everything you want to buy and exchange them on the black market. (Some stores and restaurants accept credit cards, but not in Canaima)
Everywhere we went, people exchanged their money on the street or ask in your hostel. One time we asked where to exchange some local currency in a bakery, locals were very kind and helpful. The more you exchange, the better rate you get.
When we visited, the exchange rate for 1 USD was 2000 bolivars; the following year, it was 16000 bolivars. The fluctuation of Venezuela’s currency is the highest in the world and changes daily. Sometimes it’s cheaper to buy tours in bolivars and sometimes in dollars. You can see the current exchange rate updated daily here.
Bottom line: bring enough cash; small US dollar bills are best.
Crazy things about Angel Falls
Spectacular Angel Falls attracts people from every corner of the world, and you can find some original ideas on how to enjoy them:
- Rappelling down the Angel Falls – our friend and tour guide from Slovakia was the first to rappel down the falls and lead the expedition. It’s a long journey to hike to the top and then rappel down and looks absolutely amazing. Watch the whole movie here.
- Slacklining above Angel Falls – Swiss slack-liners did the same as above, but they also put a rope above the falls and slack-lined across, almost 1 km above the ground! You can watch it here.
Is it safe to visit Angle Falls now?
That’s not easy to answer. I wouldn‘t go to Caracas or any major city because of all the protests against the Venezuelan government. But it’s a huge country, and you’ll visit tourist places. Don’t just read the news and think only bad things are happening all over the country.
It’s not as bad as it looks in the news. There are still tourists coming in, and when common sense is your friend, and you take some safety precautions, you should be fine. If you’re an experienced traveller, you know what I’m talking about.
The best place to ask about the current situation is the travel agency you book Angel Falls Tour with. They have the most up-to-date information. Our friend just returned from Angel Falls with his clients (May 2023) and said Venezuela is complicated as usual, but some things are improving.
We’ve met only lovely and friendly people during our time in Venezuela. I was more cautious in Guatemala, which was the only place where we got robbed.
If you want to visit Venezuela, Canaima National Park is the safest place.
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Have you got questions about the stunning Angel Falls? Let us know in the comments.
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