The grandiose Canaima National Park, covering an area of 3 million acres, is located in the most ancient part of the planet – the “Guayana Massif”, whose age is more than 2 mln years. This is the largest natural reserve in Venezuela with the lake of the same name, on the banks of which the city stands. The territory of the Canaima National Park resembles the lost world from the books of Arthur Conan Doyle. Particularly impressive are the giant plateaus about a kilometer high, steeply dropping down. These plateaus are the result of the erosion of several layers of the earth, which over time turned into uplands or the so-called. “tepui” (table mountains) and round canyons with vertical walls and a flat bottom (about 350 m deep), called “simas”. Each plateau has its own unique flora, different from the flora of neighboring tepui. Scientists report that half of the more than 2.
The town of Canaima is the heart of the National Park and the Angel Gate (about 50 km southeast of Canaima). Only 1,200 people live here and there is a tiny airfield serving tourists and locals. However, there are four picturesque waterfalls around Canaima – Salto Acha, Salto Ukaima, Salto Galondrina and Salto Guadima, plus the picturesque Laguna de Canaima with small sandy beaches.
The most popular among climbers is the Roraima Plateau. The word “roraima” itself translates as “big blue-green mountain.” Local Indians also call this place the “Navel of the Earth.” According to their legend, the progenitor of all people, the goddess Queen, lives here. The Roraima Plateau is the southern part of the Guiana Highlands, which includes vast areas occupied by a fantastic mix of tepui and simas. The plateau got its name from the highest mountain of the massif – Roraima (2772 m). However, there are many other famous mountains in the vicinity, such as Cerro Autana (the sacred mountain of the Piaroa Indians, who believe that this massif, indented with caves, about 1220 m high, is a tree trunk through which the juices of the Earth flow), Cerro Pintado, or “Painted Mountain”, (several dozens of petroglyphs were found on the surface of the rock, many of which have no analogues on the continent). Now the Roraima area is becoming more and more popular with outdoor enthusiasts, but it should be borne in mind that a trip to the mountainous areas, according to local laws, must be accompanied by a guide and a porter from among the employees of the Canaima National Park. However, these expenses will certainly pay off, since Roraima is indeed one of the few corners of the planet where both landscapes and nature itself seem to have descended from the pages of science fiction novels.
From another plateau Aoyantepui with incredible speed and power breaks down the world’s highest waterfall Angel (807 m). This wonder of nature is not named after a divine creation, as one might assume, but after the American pilot Jimmy Angel, who landed in the marshy area of Ayantepui in 1937 in a four-seater plane in search of gold. The plane got stuck in mud and couldn’t take off. Angel with his wife and two companions walked for 11 days through the wild jungle to the edge of a mountain plateau and then descended a sheer cliff about a kilometer high.
The waterfall is located in the middle of the impenetrable jungle, and the nearest settlement of Canaima is located 50 km to the northeast. This settlement cannot be reached by land transport, but there is an airfield on its territory. Small planes fly right over the rocks and abysses of Auyantepui, over the “simas” canyons, over unique forests, which in itself is already fascinating – on an area of almost 700 square meters. km, the surface of the table mountain is usually shrouded in fog, broken only by eerie rock formations resembling Stonehenge. By land, the waterfall can only be reached by a seventy-kilometer boat trip from Canaima, and then on foot through the jungle (2-3 km, which under normal conditions is equal to 10-15 km of walking through the Central Russian forests). The difficulty also lies in
Charter flights to Canaima Park depart from all major cities of the country: from Caracas – about 1.5 hours in flight, from Porlamar (Margarita Island) – in flight about 2 hours.
Due to its proximity to the equator, Caracas enjoys a pleasant climate throughout the year; the rainy season lasts from May to September, the dry season lasts from October to April.