MÉRIDA: THE CITY WALLED BY MOUNTAINS

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PLAZA BOLIVAR

Plaza Bolívar is the geographical and historical center of a city that is more than 400 years old. The oldest buildings in the area are located near the square.

The cathedral built in 1803 was elevated to the Minor Basilica of the Immaculate Conception in 1991 and stands out for its architecture that is difficult to define. In it, the colonial style converges with the modernist architecture of the late nineteenth century. Inside, its ceilings and walls are adorned with 52 stained glass windows and works by artists Iván Belsky, Mario Pietroniro, Manuel de La Fuente and Mario Gandini.

Near the square there is also the Archbishop's Palace and the Archdiocesan Museum, which exhibits religious pieces and works of art, but is visited for its Ave Maria bell, the second oldest bell in the world (approximately 1,100 years old).

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BOTANICAL GARDEN

The botanical garden is a center founded in 1991 by the Universidad de los Andes but which was only inaugurated in the year 2000. Although it is an hour from the city center and the entrance fee is $ 3 quite accessible. One of its main attractions is the aerial trail or also known as "walk on trees" (canopy walking), on wooden platforms at the top of trees over 15 meters high. Here you can also go rafting and slide on the ropes between one tree and another.

The more relaxed travelers can enjoy a pleasant walk in a small forest, and even enjoy the bio-contact with animals in the area. There are spaces to picnic or rest.

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PLAZA LAS HEROÍNAS

This esplanade was created in honor of the memory of the brave women who helped in the fight for independence. Its bronze statues decorate the square, along with a set of fountains that light up at night. In the surroundings you can try some delicacies of the typical gastronomy of Mérida such as the Andean arepa.

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MAIN MARKET

An obligatory stop is to know the different stalls of the Main Market. It is not just about buying souvenirs, but there you will have sweets and typical dishes of the area at your disposal, such as the Andean pinch, or the wheat arepas. Its good quality and excellent price make people from Merida go there to eat. You can also find fresh vegetables and fruits. Among the handicrafts, knitted gloves and coats stand out.

Also here you can try the Andean Levante, a sweet and creamy energy drink, prepared with chicken eggs, quail and catfish, ox eyes, fruits, cereals and sometimes, a touch of liquor.

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COROMOTO ICE CREAM

Better known as the ice cream parlor of 500 flavors, this place has become an iconic place in the city. It is moving to see how it has resisted the country's crisis even though it no longer has an immense variety of flavors that made it win the Guinness record. Even so, you can still try some of the best ice cream in the area but above all experiment with peculiar and unusual flavors.