The savanna spreads into the regions of the Guiana Highlands and south-east into Bolívar State, extending further to the borders with Brazil and Guyana. The Gran Sabana has 10,820 km2 (4,180 sq mi) and is part of the second largest National Park in Venezuela, the Canaima National Park. Only Parima Tapirapecó National Park is larger than Canaima.
During the time of the Conquest and Colonization, the extent of the territories of Guiana and its natural resources gave rise to the legend of El Dorado, which caught the attention of adventurers, explorers and settlers. They eventually came to these shores in search of gold, gems and other valuable products. Thus began the exploration of a territory so vast and difficult to access, that to date the territory has several areas that very few people have seen.
Due to the richness and diversity, both biological and mineral and geographical of the Southeast Guayana, was necessary to protect the territory by the Government of Venezuela. For this reason, Canaima was declared a National Park. The park is the second largest in Venezuela.
Canaima National Park now covers an area of about 3,000,000 hectares (7,400,000 acres), which places it among the six largest national parks in the world. However, its original area was 1,000,000 hectares (2,500,000 acres), and did not include the territory of the Gran Sabana.
It was enlarged in 1975 to cover several points of high ecological importance. Among those sites are the Carrao River Basin, the headwaters of the Caroní River, the Sierra de Lema, the source of the Cuyuni River and the rolling plains, which form the Gran Sabana. Currently, the territory of the Gran Sabana is 1,082,000 hectares (2,670,000 acres), as shown in the image of the park entrance sign.
Currently, the Gran Sabana remains a place of high ecological value. UNESCO, proclaimed Canaima National Park a World Heritage Site in 1994. It is a place of high value to the Venezuela government, which promotes conservation and exploration, and to the people of Venezuela. Thousands of tourists visit the place every year. They can enjoy the variety of natural wonders in the park and delight both for the beauty of its places of interest including the landscapes of the tepuis, waterfalls and streams), and its diversity of fauna and flora. The latter attract many scholars and scientists from around the world. Only in the Gran Sabana is 40% of the species of Venezuela, and 23% in terms of reptiles and amphibians, with many endemic species.