Venezuela's Angel Falls, by Ted Cookson

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by Ted Cookson
Published in February 2009
Angel Falls spilling from a tepui into the clouds, 12-second video clip
Our single prop Cessna Grand Caravan landing at airstrip at Canaima, Venezuela near Angel Falls, 52-second video clip
Motorboat ride to "A" waterfalls near Canaima, Venezuela, 35-second video clip
Motorboat ride through jungle between the two waterfalls near Canaima, Venezuela, 63-second video clip
Waterfalls and tourist lodges at Canaima, Venezuela from motorboat, 59-second video clip
Other waterfalls farther away from Canaima, Venezuela from motorboat, 15-second video clip
Our two-prop 10-passenger aircraft landing at airport in Puerto Ordaz, Venezuela on return from Canaima, 42-second video clip

Early one Friday in September 2008 my fiance Barbara and I flew American Airlines from Miami via San Juan, Puerto Rico to Caracas, Venezuela.  We had arranged to rendezvous at Caracas Airport with two friends who had been traveling in South America earlier in the week.  On Friday and Saturday nights all four of us stayed at a comfortable hotel in downtown Caracas. 

Early on Saturday morning we all flew an Aserca Airlines DC-9 from Caracas to Puerto Ordaz, a major industrial port situated on the Orinoco River in eastern Venezuela.  From there we connected south immediately on a 12-passenger single prop Cessna Grand Caravan aircraft to make two passes by 3,212-foot-high (979-meter-high) Angel Falls, the world's highest waterfall. 

As you might imagine, the bottom of Angel Falls, which is a staggering 15 times higher than Niagara Falls, was obscured by clouds.  However, we could clearly see and photograph the top of the falls, with the water falling off the magnificent tepui (plateau) into the clouds below! 

After flying by Angel Falls, we landed on the paved air strip at the nearby hamlet of Canaima.  There we were given a ride on a motorized canoe to visit some other, much smaller but very picturesque waterfalls.  After a wonderful lunch at a tourist lodge, we returned to the Canaima Airport to fly in a 10-passenger twin prop aircraft to Puerto Ordaz.  After a three-hour layover there we returned on the same Aserca Airlines DC-9 aircraft back to Caracas. 

Finally, on Sunday morning Barbara and I flew American Airlines nonstop from Caracas to Miami.  It was a wonderful long weekend adventure, and Angel Falls was truly a wonderful spectacle to behold!


Angel Falls is 450 miles (725 km) southeast of Caracas.  The best time to visit is during the wet season, between May and November.  During these months the water volume is greatest.  However, frustratingly, that is also when visibility can be the worst!

For general information on Angels Falls, visit

For the story of how American pilot Jimmy Angel discovered Angel Falls in 1935, visit

For information on the world's second-largest power station at Puerto Ordaz, visit


ABOUT TED COOKSON:  Egypt's most widely-traveled travel agent, Ted has been to every country in the world!  He has also visited 307 of the 319 destinations on the list of the Travelers' Century Club (visit and refer to World Travel Club).  A travel agent in Cairo since 1986, Ted manages EGYPT PANORAMA TOURS, a full-service travel agency, at 4 Road 79 (between Roads 9 and 10, near the "El Maadi" metro station) in Maadi.  Contact Egypt Panorama Tours (open 7 days a week 9 AM-5 PM) at:  Tels. 2359-0200, 2358-5880, 2359-1301.  Fax 2359-1199.  E-mail:  Web site:

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