Looming south of Maracaibo Lake is Venezuela´s share of South America´s giant: the Andes, the mighty mountain range that runs the length of the continent, 7,000 Kms. (4,500 miles) long. Perpetually snow-covered stately peaks, tower over silent and glassy lakes and trout-swollen streams. "Los páramos¨, or high mountain plateaus, lies carpeted with bright yellow ¨ frailejones ¨, Venezuela´s edelweiss ¨. A cable car rides from the city of Mérida to Pico Espejo allowing a closer view of Pico Bolívar, Venezuela´s highest summit, rising majestically to 5,007 meters (16,411 ft.).
The Andes and their outer slopes comprise an extension of 34,400 sq. Kms. of exceptional landscapes, which are overlapped in the State of Táchira, Mérida and Trujillo. In this Andean environment, the natives, who inhabited these regions for many centuries, used the variety of microclimates and soils in a profitable way. They left us innumerable vegetation resources, the majority of which has reached our days. The distribution of diverse landscapes and pleasant microclimates in the different thermic floors of these Venezuelan Andes makes possible the perception of every changing landscapes, which are a valuable tourist resource in reduced spaces defined in short distances.
Location: In the west of Venezuela, in the south side of the Maracaibo Lake.
States: Mérida, Táchira y Trujillo.
Mérida State: Area: 11.300 sq. Kms.
Capital: Mérida (Official government census 1.990: 170.902 ih.).
Population: 570.215 ih. (Official government census 1.990).
Relief: Mountainous. The Sierra Nevada of Mérida is accessible. The Pico
Bolívar is the Venezuela ´s highest summit 5,007 meters.
Hydrography: The Chama River divided the Sierra Nevada of the Serranía
de la Culata, to flow into Maracaibo Lake.
Climate: Climatic variability. The temperature average in Mérida City at
1.470 meters is 18.7º C.
Vegetation: Páramo vegetation and Andean bush, in the low zone higrófila
mesotérmica jungle vegetation.
Táchira State: Area: 11.100 sq. Kms.
Capital: San Cristóbal (Official government census 1.990: 220.675 ih.).
Population: 807.712 ih. (Official government census 1.990).
Relief: Variability: plains at the north, the Andes Range across the state
of southwest at northwest. The Páramo La Negra is the highest summit.
Hydrography: The Uribante River is watershed of the Orinoco River,
Táchira and la Grita rivers watershed of the Maracaibo Lake.
Climate: Temperature variability between tropical and sub-tropical.
Vegetation: Variable. Prevail the tropical jungle.
Trujillo State: Area: 7.400 sq. Kms.
Capital: Trujillo (Official government census 1.990: - 50.000 ih.).
More Important City: Valera (Official government census 1.990: 97.012 ih.).
Population: 493.912 ih. (Official government census 1.990).
Relief: Mountainous. Various mountain branches of the Andes Range.
Hydrography: The Motatán River is watershed of the Maracaibo Lake,
Other rivers: Escuque y Boconó.
Climate: The temperature average at 800 meters is 21 º C, decrease withthe height. In the border of Maracaibo Lake the average is 27º C.
Vegetation: Variable. Diverses thermic floors; mangrove toward the lacus-trine coast, grazing toward the plains and rain forest toward the height.
Ecotourism & Adventure
Sierra Nevada National Park (Mérida State).
Páramo La Culata National Park (Mérida State).
El Tama National Park (Táchira State).
Guaramacal National Park (Trujillo State).
The highest aerial cable car in the world: Mérida.
Ecotourism & Adventure
Natural History Tours. Birdwatching. Nature Photography Workshops. Photo Safaris. Biking Tours. Trekking. Hiking. Horseback Riding. Overland Tours. Scientific Expeditions & Tours.
Trout Fishing. Hangliding & Paragliding. Mountaineering. Cultural Tours.