Monday, September 29, 2014

Okay, though I did dive off of Angel Falls, the world's tallest waterfall at over 3,200 feet high, I didn't actually put on those body wings, pack a base jumping chute or rig up a super long bungee line at the top.

No, I was actually in a small prop plane with my kids and the pilot was doing zero gravity dives down the falls to allow us to both experience what it is like to float in space as well as to get some close up shots of the waterfall.

When your blog is titled 'Passport Obsession' it means just that.  So one moment I'm sipping fruity rum drinks by the poolside in Aruba and the next I'm taking my kids by myself into a country that speaks almost no English (and I spoke no Spanish) and heading to a pretty remote area.

It takes some comfort at travel to have two kids in the 10 to 12 age by yourself with three short flights to get to Angel Falls.  We almost lost our luggage in an office at one of the airports because we didn't know we should be towing it with us at all points.  We also missed a flight and had to have a driver get us from one place to the next since there were no more flights.  That was special; he gave us a tour on the way and we didn't understand anything he said and likewise.  Still, we got to enjoy some sites...we just had no idea what they were.

There are essentially two ways to see Angel Falls.  The first is to take a boat tour up to the base of the waterfall.  It's an interesting trip in of itself although its a true hike/scramble to get right up close to the waterfall base.  The other way to see it is via a small chartered plane that will take you over the top and all around.

Flying out to the top of Angel Falls
The plane ride is a must if you want to truly see some of the amazing features of this park.  If this place were in the USA, nobody would be talking much about Yellowstone; they'd be talking about this place.  It's truly amazing and some of it is so remote and difficult to get around that a plane tour is about the only way to appreciate it's magnitude.

Auyantepui mountain in the Canaima National Park
Of course, the plane ride comes at the cost of your fear factor.  Get motion sickness?  Then this ride isn't for you!  Scared of flying or turbulence?  Then this ride might not be for you.  My pilot flew through clouds with a hand altimeter sitting on the dash!  We bumped around like the thing was going to crash or run into some hidden jungle tree any moment.  Then, we just flew out of the weather and right up to where the water drops.  He would then dive straight down, swooping right to left so we could take different angles of pictures.  It was amazing if you're into a thrill.

It's a looong way down...
There's very little tourism at this park and I liked that.  It's way off the beaten path.  In addition to Angel Falls, there is another falls called Sopa Falls that you can actually hike to from where we stayed.  It's was spectacular.  You hike behind the waterfall.  It's a really wide falls which can have an intense amount of water coming down depending on what time of year you go.

Sapo Falls can have an incredible volume of water over it depending on the time of year
Starting from one side of the falls at first there is a trickle and then a stream of water and as you reach the middle it becomes a thundering force of water I've never experienced.  And to think you're right behind that curtain.  Amazing.

Not advisable to jump out into the "curtain" of water... can get pretty wet hiking behind the falls
The trail continues to the other side where you can soak in between the rocks with warm water while you watch the thundering water come down.

Can you say....Agua?
Looking down from the top of Sapo Falls
Later, after the boat trip I learned that the water can be infested with Anaconda snakes at times.  I'm pretty certain that given my luck with things had I gone swimming, I'd probably have some ridiculous snake tale to tell you.  Fortunately I didn't go swimming in it.

On the hike up to the falls...


  1. Will you adopt me? I'm a good kid. I love to travel. No motion sickness.

  2. I Am Woody - Ha!, sorry, we ran out of available bedrooms in our tiny apartment and the move to Spain is coming up soon for us. I'd have to start all that paperwork over with a dependent and there is NO WAY I'm going through that again.

  3. reforming geek - I'm sure California is already secretly building a pipeline to it so they can divert all that water to their desert cities so the rich can still water their grass...

  4. is possible to plunge down the waterfall?