MÉRIDA: ALL ROADS LEAD TO HEAVEN

When you are Venezuelan your heart swells when you think of its natural riches. We always say with pride We have everything and that is why it is not only poetry when we sing I am desert, jungle, snow and volcano. Our snow is not just anything, as it crowns the mountains that are part of the Andean Cordillera, the longest on the planet. Here we give you an appetizer on these mountain routes.

FROM BELOW

In the middle of 2021 if you want to get to this place by land it has two land accesses, the flights are suspended so you will not find another way to get there. Through Valera entering the Mucuchíes moor or from the Barinas plains to the Mucubají moor. Whichever route you choose, it will be a sight to see the vegetation and the weather change as you get closer.

No matter where you look, the landscape of the mountains, the warm air and the silence that is broken by the sound of the wind, makes us imagine our aboriginal ancestors walking through these moors. They only visited it for sacred purposes or to stock up on products of animal and plant origin. Even today, the moors, and in particular their lagoons, are still considered by the inhabitants of the area as sacred and mysterious spaces.

MUCUBAJÍ

In this area you have two options. The first is to visit the park with the largest and highest glacial lagoon in the country where you can experience how sunny days suddenly turn misty and cold. Going to the shore of the lagoon is one of the common attractions because you can easily get there by public transport from the city. At the entrance you will have to pay a fee. One of the services available is horse rental.

The second option is to get a guide to take you to the waterfall that will also give you the possibility of contemplating the area from above.

PICO BOLÍVAR AND HUMBOLDT

This is a destination that is definitely the ideal destination for mountaineers and climbing enthusiasts. It is a mountain 4900 meters high above sea level. Its steep slopes and rocky trails require you to hire a certified guide. Do not take this advice lightly, as your life can be at risk if you put yourself in inexperienced hands.

In the Humboldt peak, the physical demand and it is estimated that it can be reached in a three-day excursion, which begins in the La Mucuy park in Tabay. It can also be climbed comfortably thanks to the Mérida Cable Car.

This is a camping trip only. Keep in mind that you will be at more than 3,500 meters above sea level, because you will need equipment suitable for high mountains and clothing for temperatures below 0C. No person, no matter how crazy, recommends hikers littleo

prepared and inexperienced to do these tours. It is imperative to carry a compass and detailed cartography of the places where you plan to go hiking.

ANOTHER CRAZYÁS

In the Apartaderos area, on the road to the city of Mérida, you will find at the foot of the road the sculpture dedicated to the Loca Luz Caraballo, made by the Spanish sculptor Manuel de la Fuente. If you visit the place, you will find someone who will be in charge of telling the story in verse of this woman who became an icon of the city. The poem by Andrés Eloy Blanco, which immortalizes this figure, is recited by any local in exchange for a tip.

THE LOVING CHAPEL

In San Rafael de Mucuchíes, you will find the Chapel of the Virgin of Coromoto, just a couple of hours from the city of Mérida. This simple four-walled stone structure was built by Juan Félix Sánchez, with the help of some local people, using only rocks, their hands, and rudimentary tools.

At first glance it may seem too simple, but when you find out that Juan Félix was 80 years old when he decided to build this place as a tribute to his dead wife, everything changes. In just four years, this plastic artist finished building and decorating it based on rocks, shells, corals and cement.

Many remember meeting him because every afternoon he would sit at the door of the chapel to watch people go by.

A curious fact is that in his birthplace it is still preserved and in it is the Museum of Los Andes, founded following his last wishes. Currently the house houses a good part of his work.

CYLINDER HEAD

When you go from one end of the state to another you can travel through the Páramo de La Culata, on whose road there are several places to taste typical food and enjoy the cold mountain climate, see and photograph the landscape and also do some outdoor activities .

GEOGRAPHICAL CURIOSITIES

The state of Mérida is crossed by two mountain ranges La Culata and Nevada that form a high and narrow mountain range, both declared a national park. The highest is Sierra Nevada that dominates the landscape with the well-known peaks Bolívar, Bonpland, Humboldt, La Concha, El Toro and El León. While in the smaller Sierra de La Culata, it has the peaks of Pan de Azúcar and El Águila. Both mountain ranges are unified in the Páramo de Mucuchíes.

These mountains form rocky peaks surrounded by a sea of jungles and adorned with glacial lagoons, rocky slopes, peat bogs and swamps. In this mixture of ecosystems, a unique biological wealth appears with a variety of endemic plants and animals, that is, unique throughout the world. Among them some varieties of the frailejón, a woody plant typical of the moors, the butterflyRound empetrusas well as some frogs and lizards.

The páramos are key ecosystems for the natural balance of the planet due particularly to the fact that:

  • They are water regulators.
  • They help control global warming.
  • It is home to a biological wealth with a large percentage (60%) unique in the world (endemic).
  • It serves as an ecological corridor or natural bridge for animals that come there with the intention of feeding or traveling.