On the edge of the massif, the Rio Carrao, up to that point characterized by calm waters, suddenly breaks, making a jump of almost a kilometer and crashing at the bottom of the canyon.
The Salto di Angel, named after the American pilot Jimmy Angel who discovered it in the thirties of the last century, is the highest waterfall in the world, with a vertical drop of 980 meters.
For day or week excursions, special tourist flights are organized.
At least 200 km from any city there is the hotel complex of Canaima, starting from there and proceeding to the foot of a jump about fifteen meters high, it is possible to admire a panorama of particular beauty, consisting of three successive floors, or from the lagoon at the foot of the jump, from the cataract and from the gigantic isolated hills in sandstone visible on the horizon.
For the excursion to Salto Angel, which includes the ascent of the Carrao river, a tributary of the Rio Caroni, five days of motorized canoe are required, to which must be added the actual ascent, for this it is preferable to use a plane or helicopter, to literally launch yourself into the gorge until you touch the rock walls and the bubbling jet of the waterfall, a truly unforgettable breathtaking experience.
The high Carrao collects the waters of the Auyantepui plateau at 2950 meters, an oblong sandstone bastion that reaches 35 km along its major axis.
The sedimentary group is subdivided locally into two series, the basic one, called miembro Canaima, comprising seven varieties of lutites and sandstones, and the upper series, or miembro Guaiquinima, made up of three groups composed mainly of sandstone.
My Canaima grows up to the jump of the same name, then upstream begins the upper series, which determines three larger shelves along the edges of the buttresses.
At the level of Salto Angel, the lower and upper benches merge, forming a compact mass of almost 1000 meters thick, this justifies the great height of the waterfall of the upper Carrao, which previously flowed along a slightly steep syncline axis.
The waterfall is followed by a canyon inserted between vertical perforated walls of caves, from which springs spring up.
The cracking of sandstones, which allows the penetration of surface waters, develops in a landscape frequently similar to that of the karst limestone plateaus.Recommended readings
- Venezuela: useful information
- Isla Margarita (Venezuela): what to see
- Salto Angel: the highest waterfall in the world is in Venezuela
- Los Roques (Venezuela): what to do in the national park
- Caracas: what to see in the capital of Venezuela
At the bottom of the canyons, thanks to the high temperature, forest-like vegetation grows, where orchids abound.
Over 2000 meters instead, where the temperature drops considerably with the possibility of frost, there is a savannah characterized by grasses.
The same slopes lend themselves to being locally invaded by vegetation consisting mainly of very resistant shrubs.
The extensive tropical forest hides numerous carbets, that is, forest shelters built by free Amerindians or by seekers of precious stones along the banks of the river.