Fly via a change of plane in Puerto Ordaz to Canaima National Park in the savannah grasslands of the Gran Sabana, which are punctuated with monstrous tableland plateaux. Upon arrival you’ll leave most of your belongings in a lodge at the village before embarking on your canoe expedition.
The boatmen manoeuvre the canoe past rocks, boulders, rapids, submerged logs and sandbanks. The terrain and scenery changes gradually as you head up the Churún river which is fed directly by waterfalls. The tepuys (tablelands) are no longer monoliths on the open grasslands and near horizon. The jungle foliage closes in; the rock walls rise higher, and the canoe seems to go faster still, round tighter river bends. And finally, Angel Falls.
Discovered by American pilot Jimmie Angel in 1921, the falls tumble almost 1km from the Gran Sabana region's largest tepui, Auyan-tepui. It's a challenging uphill trek through the forest to a rocky ledge, Laime's Lookout, with a magnificent view of the falls 500m away. It takes another hour to retrace your steps back to the river and jungle camp.
There's an overnight stay in a hammock camp, a long low open-thatched barn about 50m from the shore. There are toilets, running water, showers, mosquito nets and electricity.