Because Canaima is such a popular destination, it can get quite busy during the high season, particularly from July to August and from November to January. During peak periods, prices can get inflated, and the river, lagoon, and waterfall tours can seem downright crowded.
Although flyovers are conducted year-round, trips to Angel Falls itself are only possible during the rainy season, when the water level is high enough in the rivers to reach its base. The unofficial season for tours to the foot of Angel Falls runs from June through November. October and November are regarded as the best months to visit, since the rains are winding down but the water level remains high. Depending on the river level, trips can sometimes be made as late as December and even January. August and September are definitely the rainiest months to visit, and although the falls are thick and impressive, visibility may be limited. Although there are no organized trips to Angel Falls in the dry season (Jan-May), this is also a good time to take advantage of low-season bargains and the relative desolation of Canaima. The dry season is a good time to visit the region as a beach destination, as the many pink- and white-sand beaches that line the rivers' edges throughout the dry season all but disappear during the rainy season.
By Car -- There are no year-round serviceable roads into Canaima, and even in the dry season the road here is so long and arduous as to be an unviable option for travelers.
By Plane -- Most visitors to Canaima come on package tours that include air transport. If you decide to book your travel by yourself, be forewarned that flight schedules to and from Canaima change frequently and seasonally. Given the isolation and distance, flights here often sell out well in advance. It's recommended that you book your flights with a confirmed departure out of Canaima, so as to not find yourself waiting standby for several days.
There are no direct flights to Canaima from Caracas. To get there you must first fly to Ciudad Bolívar or Puerto Ordaz. Aeropostal (tel. 0800/284-6637; www.aeropostal.com), Aserca (tel. 0800/648-8356; www.asercaairlines.com), and Rutaca (tel. 0800/788-2221; www.rutaca.com.ve) all have regular flights to both gateways from Caracas. Fares from Caracas to either city run BsF200 to BsF350 each way. Serami (tel. 0286/952-0424; www.serami.com) flies to Canaima daily from Puerto Ordaz. Flights between Canaima and Puerto Ordaz or Ciudad Bolívar cost between BsF350 and BsF670 each way.
If you get to Ciudad Bolívar or Puerto Ordaz on your own, either by air or bus, you can usually find a tour or charter company with a trip heading to Canaima, although the scheduling and costs can vary immensely depending on demand. If you need to overnight in Ciudad Bolívar, be sure to check in to the Posada Casa Grande (tel. 0212/993-2939), a gorgeous little hotel in the colonial center of the city.
Aerotuy (tel. 0212/212-3110; www.tuy.com) runs daily day tours (BsF1,716 per person) to Canaima from Isla de Margarita, including a flyover of Angel Falls and a visit to Salto El Sapo. It also uses this flight to bring people to and from its own remote riverside hotel, Arekuna Lodge. The flight leaves Margarita at 8:30am and departs Canaima around 3pm. The hours are subject to change, as it often juggles its itinerary to Canaima and Arekuna. Space is limited and during the high season, these flights often sell out far, far in advance.
All visitors to Canaima must pay the BsF8 park entrance fee. The fee is collected at the airport upon arrival and is good for the duration of your stay.
Besides the few dirt tracks that ring the eastern edge of the lagoon and define the tiny village of Canaima, this region has virtually no roads. Transportation is conducted primarily by boat in traditional dugout canoes called curiaras. From Canaima, numerous tours are arranged to a half-dozen waterfalls, including Angel Falls, and neighboring indigenous communities. Aside from strolling around the small village of Canaima and walking along the edge of the lagoon or to the lookout over Ucaima Falls, you will be dependent upon your lodge or tour operator for getting around.
Visitor Information & Tours
Almost all visitors to Canaima come as part of a prearranged package that includes meals, accommodations, and tours. These packages can be arranged with either the local lodges listed below or any number of agencies and operators in Caracas or abroad. Given the remote location, lack of roads, and limited accommodations, you should make reservations prior to your arrival. If you decide to visit on your own, there are usually several local tour agencies waiting for incoming flights at informal information desks at the small airport. Independent travelers can quickly shop around and try to arrange the best price and timing for a trip to Angel Falls, as well as local accommodations, which can range from a hammock under a simple roof to one of the nicer lodges mentioned below.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.