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The Andes & Merida

Andean Adventure

The Andes, the longest continental mountain range on the planet, extends for more than 4,300 miles from Chile to Venezuela. Its northern terminus is the Venezuela's Coastal Cordillera.

In Venezuela's mountainous east, five peaks (the Cinco Aguilas) reach 15,500 feet above sea level. Pico Bolivar, the highest, stands at 16,324 FASL. These snowcapped giants rake the clouds, feeding Lago Maracaibo and Venezuela's Amazon Region.

The historic mountain town of Merida, located within easy reach of Sierra Nevada National Park, is the natural base for exploring the Venezuelan Andes. Pico Bolivar and neighboring Pico Humboldt (16,214 FASL) are a mere seven miles to the southeast. Multi-day treks, usually four to five days, will lead you through the paramo highlands to glaciers, mountain lakes and spectacular summits.

Adventure seekers can also choose from a variety of active day trips. Options include rappelling, zip-line canyon tours, horseback riding, mountain biking, bird watching, bungee jumping and whitewater rafting. One of the most popular activities is paragliding; tandem flights and multi-day courses are available. If you'd prefer to stay grounded, visit the scenic village of Los Nevados or the areas hot springs.

Merida itself is charming and easy to navigate. Around the central Plaza Bolivar you'll find a lovely cathedral, a museum of sacred art, a handicraft workshop and the archeology museum operated by University of the Andes. Farther from the city center are waterfalls and a botanical garden.  Merida's most famous attraction is its aerial tram or teleferico—the world's highest. On a clear day, you can see Los Llanos from the summit of Pico Espejo.

The closest operating airport to Merida is in El Vigia, 80 minutes to the west. Flight times from Caracas average one hour.

Mosaico Travel Services arranges personalized travel across Venezuela and throughout South America. We organize luxury accommodation, private transportation, and tours with expert guides. Speak with a Mosaico travel planner today at 801.582.2100. We’ll take care of the details.

"We should come home from adventures, and perils, and discoveries every day with new experience and character."

Henry David Thoreau