Angel Falls: When is the best time to visit?

Angel Falls about to be shrouded in clouds
When is the best time to visit Angel Falls?

The answer to this question is tricky. There are a plethora of contradicting factors that both enhance and arguably "hurt" your viewing experience at the falls. A lot of this is due to the very fickle tropical equatorial climate, the height of the falls (increasing the chances of clouds obscuring it), and the odd rainforest and cloud forest ecosystem in and around the tepuys of Canaima National Park.

I've managed to dig up some information breaking down the climate and conditions in and around Angel Falls. It seems to corroborate somewhat with our field observations (though admittedly it's hard to extrapolate from our sample size of 1) so there might be some merit to the research. In any case, hopefully this bit of information may facilitate your decision as to the timing of your visit.

The "wet" season is said to be typically from June to November (though rain tends to be most frequent from June to September and more intermittent from September through December). Under these conditions, obviously Angel Falls would most likely have the heaviest flow. However, it would also be the time when rain-bearing clouds shroud the Auyantepuy (and consequently Angel Falls) often obscuring your view of the waterfall.

Under such low visibility conditions, it would also be the time when overflights (sobrevuelos) of Angel Falls are more likely to be grounded or connecting flights betwen Canaima and Ciudad Bolivar or Puerto Ordaz miss the overflight altogether during their transit.

On the flip side, the higher water levels in the river from the increased rainfall would certainly make the river transit much smoother as there would be fewer exposed rocks so there wouldn't be a need to portage.

Being in the equatorial tropics, temperatures are said to be highest and most humid this time of year. This also means mosquitoes and jejenes (little gnats with itchy bites possibly like sandflies) would be more abundant.

The "dry" season is typically said to be from January through May. During this time, rain is generally less frequent so Angel Falls would have lighter flow. As a result, river travel would become slower (or even impossible), but overflights would have an increased likelihood of happening. As for the state of the falls this time of year, there is a chance that the flow of the falls can degenerate into a wispy plume that disappears in the air before reappearing as lower cascades at the base. Whether you feel that's a wimpy state for the falls to be in or not is totally subjective.

When it comes to temperature and humidity, this may be the more comfortable time of year to visit (though it's still humid year round). Moreover, I'd imagine that mosquitoes and jejenes wouldn't be as abundant as they are in the wet season.

Angel Falls hardly visible amongst the clouds We've been to Angel Falls in the last week of November in 2007. In our experience, the falls were flowing rather average on the day we arrived at the lookout to the falls (Mirador Laime or Mirador Salto Angel). However, the following day (after 8 consecutive hours of night time heavy rain), the falls were booming. The entire time we were at the falls, clouds always swirled around obscuring the attraction but then momentarily opening up to reveal the falls in its entirety. This attests to the fickle nature of tropical weather (especially around the equator).

So in the end, admittedly it's a roll of the dice what your viewing experience will be. However, you can't predict the future and a visit to the falls is special no matter how you experience it. Worrying about it before your trip isn't going to change anything (though admittedly it didn't stop us from thinking about it; human nature, I guess).




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