Angel Falls is the world’s tallest waterfall. It is located in the South American country of Venezuela. Water flowing over Angel Falls plunges 3,212 feet (979 m) to a valley below. Angel Falls is 16 times the height of Niagara Falls.
Angel Falls is located on the Churún River in the Guiana Highlands. The area is surrounded by dense jungle. There is no direct road to the falls.
Angel Falls is not only the tallest waterfall in the world, but it also has the greatest uninterrupted drop. During the main drop, water falls 2,648 feet (807 m). A drop so steep and immediate that water does not even touch the sandstone cliffs behind it. Water swirls into turbulent mists in the air as it freefalls.
After the initial drop, water continues to fall again and again in a series of sloping cascades and rapids. It falls another 564 feet to the river below.
Angel Falls is named after the American pilot who first saw it, Jimmie Angel. Angel spotted the falls from an airplane in 1933. More recently, the falls have been renamed Kerepakupai Merú, an indigenous name meaning “waterfall of the deepest place.”
The Guiana Highlands where the Churún River and Angel Falls are located extends across the northern part of South America–through southern Venezuela as well as parts of Guyana and northern Brazil. The Highlands are known for the many flat-topped mountains.
Angel Falls is located on the largest of the flat-topped mountains called Auyan Tepui. The Churún River is a tributary of the Orinoco River, one of the longest rivers in South America.