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The Angel Falls, also known as Salto Angel, is located in the Canaima National Park in Venezuela. Ironically, the name of the mountain from which it flows, is Auyan Tepui, meaning Devil’s Mountain. The mouth of the water fall is also referred to as the Devil’s Mouth.

This type of waterfall is known as a plunge waterfall. This means that as the water falls off the cliff it loses contact with the rock and falls freely for a length of time. This water fall is 3,212 feet tall, and creates a truly magnificent site as it plummets over the side of the cliff. About 2,648 feet of this water fall is an uninterrupted drop. Since this waterfall is so high, on a cloudy day, it can be impossible to see the top of the waterfall, appearing like the water just falls from the heavens.

The name of the falls was not for this reason though; it was actually named for its finder, James Crawford Angel, who officially discovered the fountain in 1937.

Apparently Angel first saw the falls in 1933 during a gold hunting expedition. He later went back to search for the waterfall and prove it existed in 1937. He landed the plan on the ‘tepui’ the ground near the waterfall that was wet and marshy, causing the plane to sink and stick so it could not take back off.

Angel, his wife, and his Venezuelan guide named Gustavo Heny were with him. Heny was familiar with the land and was able to lead the group off the mountain and to the Mission of Kamarata in only 11 days. When they reached the mission, Angel was thrilled with finding the tallest waterfall. In 1970, Angel’s plane was actually found at the top of the waterfall, and they pulled up the plane, restored it, and it now sits in the Aviation Museum in Maracay. They also created a replica of the plane to sit at the top of the falls, as a tourist feature.

To visit the falls, you must begin at a small village surrounding the falls, like Kamarta, Kavak, or Canaima. The trek will still be a few days long.

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