Serra do Aracá
This waterfall is located on the rim of Serra do Aracá – southernmost plateau of Guyana Highlands, the only tepui entirely in the area of Brazil. This sandstone plateau rises more than one kilometer above the Amazonian plains and is isolated from the outside world by vertical walls. Summit of this plateau has numerous rare and unique species of plants and animals, many smaller waterfalls and caves including world’s deepest cave in quartzites – the 671 m deep Abismo Guy Collet.
The fascinating legend about El Dorado – the ancient golden city of South American – often is referred to this location. Some consider that near the base of Serra do Aracá some centuries ago was Lake Parime with the golden Manoa City near it. According to legends, this lake dried out some centuries ago and now the lake bed and the golden city are covered with forest.
This remote tepui was one of the least explored areas of South America until the late 1980ies.
Over the rims of this large plateau (approximately 25 by 17 kilometers) are falling many spectacular waterfalls – Desabamento Falls, Anta Falls, Surpresa Falls and others. The largest and tallest though are Eldorado Falls.
Description of the waterfall
Eldorado Falls have formed on Preto stream – fairly large river, which falls over the rim of the plateau at Monte Tantalita. As the stream reaches the rim of the cliff, it becomes more shallow and wider (around 15 – 30 meters) and then falls down in the abyss. Water is falling through the air, gradually turning into mist. Closer to the base it hits some cliff ledges but otherwise its free fall in not interrupted. At the base is a small pool.
Falls are more impressive in April – September, during the rainy season.
Falls were measured in 2001 by an IBAMA (environmental authority in Brazil) expedition – then the resulting height of falls was 365 m. Now more often is given a slightly smaller figure – 357 m.
Currently falls are hard to access but nevertheless, rather many tourists manage to come here and there is even a muddy trail on the summit of the tepui, linking the best views on the falls.
Eldorado Falls on the map
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|Location, GPS coordinates:||0.8736 N 63.3397 W|
|Where is located?||South America, Brazil, northern part of Amazonas state, south-eastern rim of Serra do Aracá|
|Alternate names:||Aracá Falls (misleading as there are Aracá Rapids on Aracá river)|
|Name in Portuguese:||Cachoeira do El Dorado, Cachoeira do Eldorado|
|Height:||353 – 365 m|
|Tallest drop:||353 m|
|Width:||15 – 30 m|
|Stream:||Igarapé Preto (Preto stream)|
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