Hey, my name is Selena Ryan and welcome to my travel guide on Canaima National Park! I’m Israeli – and a solo world traveler – who has been to 47 countries and six continents so far, including Antarctica. My passion for traveling has been ingrained in me since I was very young!
Spending most of my childhood in my grandma’s village, I grew fond of nature and animals. Then at my parents home I used to watch history and adventure TV channels with stories about ancient Egypt (which I became obsessed with), and other mystical lands. When I grew up and had the opportunity, I headed on a journey to discover the world with my own eyes – learning about history, archeological sites and foreign cultures first-hand.
Venezuela was one such journey that I absolutely loved, especially the 4-5 days that I spent in Canaima National Park. I booked my tour with Ben and his wonderful company, Osprey Expeditions. They provided excellent service and supported me the entire way, making the experience of visiting the highest waterfall in the world – Angel Falls – a rewarding one.
These days, Venezuela is a safe place to visit. I can say that out of all the countries I have been to, I met the kindest and most welcoming people here. To understand the country better, I came with some fears and just wanted to stay for a few days but I ended up staying for a good few weeks!
Why Canaima National Park is So Incredible
Canaima National Park is largely untouched by humans, offering a raw adventure with clean air and a relaxed environment. The nature of Canaima is nothing short of breathtaking as it features many waterfalls (each one more beautiful than the next), the tepui landscape with table mountains, neverending forests and of course the highlight of Angel Falls.
Canaima National Park (like all of Venezuela for that matter) should be at the top of everyone’s travel list because it has amazing cultures and tribes, wild nature, warm people and no crowds of tourists altering the experience.
My Experience at the Majestic Angel Falls
Angel Falls really takes your breath away when you see it for the first time. I remember being on the boat heading down the river when the guide said: “Take out your camera now, quick and film”! I didn’t know what I was supposed to be filming but after a few seconds, as we passed the vegetation by the river, the waterfall revealed itself. It was so magical!
Then, when you’re next to Angel Falls, it’s even more fascinating. I went to Venezuela right before the rainy season, so there wasn’t much water volume. However, the water was literally floating in the air and flowing in slow motion. It was a unique thing to see and a moment I’ll never forget.
5 Best Things To Do at Canaima National Park
1. Enjoy the Boat Ride to Angel Falls on the River
The 4-hour boat ride on the Carrao River, enroute to Angel Falls, is one of the highlights of Canaima National Park. As you navigate the pristine waters surrounded by lush tropical rainforests, the journey itself becomes a captivating experience. The park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, boasts diverse flora and fauna – creating a picturesque backdrop for the ride.
You can marvel at the landscapes all around you – characterized by towering tepuis and vibrant vegetation – while your boat cruises towards the iconic Angel Falls, the world’s highest uninterrupted waterfall. The anticipation builds with every moment, culminating in the breathtaking sight of the falls cascading down from a height of 979 meters.
2. Stand Before Angel Falls and Marvel at its Beauty
Standing before Angel Falls is a once-in-a-lifetime encounter with nature. The sheer force and majestic descent of water from a staggering 3,212 feet engages all the senses. The mist generated by the cascading water creates a mystical atmosphere, enveloping visitors in a refreshing coolness.
The roar of the falls echoes through the canyon, resonating with the profound beauty of the landscape. The lush surroundings then enhance the overall sensory immersion. Witnessing Angel Falls isn’t just a visual spectacle, it’s an immersive experience with the raw power and untamed beauty of one of Earth’s natural wonders. Seeing the falls, which are named after American aviator Jimmie Angel, is a life changing experience!
3. Visit Sapo Falls and the Other Waterfalls Close By
A visit to Sapo Falls is an absolute must-do in Canaima National Park. Sapo Falls stands at just 20 meters in height, but it’s much wider than Angel Falls and takes the full force of the river over its edge. Exploring the neighboring waterfalls further enhances the adventure, each with its unique charm and scenic allure. These natural marvels exemplify the raw beauty of Venezuela!
4. Go Camping and Immerse in Canaima’s Nature
Camping allows you to embrace the essence of Canaima by immersing in its nature. You can unwind in a hammock beneath the stars, letting the serenity of the surroundings envelop you. Indulging in the primal joy of open-fire cooking, while savoring the rich flavors of Venezuelan cuisine, is another feature of the experience. Camping offers a genuine connection to the wilderness, creating lasting memories in Canaima.
5. Meet the Friendly Indigenous People of Canaima
The native communities of Canaima seamlessly blend with the landscape, their presence evident throughout the park. During a memorable evening, they graciously treated us to a display of traditional dances – offering insights into their cultural heritage. Engaging with the indigenous people provides an opportunity to gain an understanding of their customs and traditions, fostering an appreciation for their harmonious existence.
What the Accommodation is Like in Canaima
I stayed at Campamento Wey Tupu for my 4-5 day trip in Canaima National Park. It’s a very basic accommodation, nothing fancy at all, but to be honest I didn’t need anything more. I’ve got such wonderful memories from being there – talking to the locals, taking in the culture and exploring the village.
One thing to note is that the Internet is a luxury here, and you have to buy it per hour and can only access it in front of a shop. So, there were lots of locals sitting there using the Internet! I only experienced something like that when I was in Cuba but it’s definitely part of the charm of the place.
Tips for Your Visit to Canaima National Park
The best way to reach Canaima National Park is by airplane. Since there’s a lack of fuel in Venezuela, and the distance from Caracas is long, I’m not sure that renting a car and driving yourself is a great option. As for when to go, the tourist season in Venezuela runs from March to November – but during this time it will be more crowded and at some point rainy as well.
I went in February and it was perfect! There were no tourists and the weather was ideal, not too hot or rainy. I prefer visiting places outside the tourist season. So depending on what you like, you can choose accordingly.
Packing summer clothes is a must for Canaima and Venezuela in general. Also, bring one set of warm clothes as you’ll likely need them. The most important item to pack, however, is strong mosquito repellent. The mosquitos in Canaima National park seem to be very hungry for tourists!
And that’s all the advice I have. Thanks for reading and I hope you have a great time in Canaima National Park. For those who would like to follow me on my adventures you can find me on Instagram (@selenaryan) which is my main travel page, and on my website (www.selena-ryan.com) where I offer various services related to travel and photography. Bye for now!