Canaima National Park World Heritage Site
Parc national de Canaima, Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of
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Canaima National Park (Spanish: Parque Nacional Canaima) is a 30,000 km² park in south-eastern Venezuela that borders Brazil and Guyana. It is located in the state of Bolívar, and roughly occupies the same area as the Gran Sabana region.
The park was established on the 12 June 1962. It is the second largest park in the country, after Parima-Tapirapecó and is the size of Belgium or Maryland.
It became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1994 because of the tepuis (table-top mountains) that are characteristic of this area.
The most famous tepuis in the park are Mount Roraima, the tallest and easiest to climb, and Auyantepui, from which fall the Angel Falls, the highest waterfall in the world. The tepuis are sandstone and date back to a time when South America and Africa were part of a super-continent.
The park is home to indigenous Pemon Indians, part of the Carib linguistic group. The Pemon have an intimate relationship with the Tepuis, and believe they are the home of the 'Mawari' spirits. The park is relatively remote, with only a few roads connecting towns. Most transport within the park is done by light plane from the airstrips built by various Capuchin missions, or by foot and canoe. Pemons have developed some basic and luxurious camps, which are mainly visited by tourists from across the world.
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