San José de Galipán Travel Guide

  • Cordillera de la Costa, Venezuela
    Cordillera de la Costa, Venezuela
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  • La cobija = the blanket... Never enough!!!
    La cobija = the blanket... Never...
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    Celebrating Ignacio's birthday.
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San José de Galipán Restaurants

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    CASA PAKEA, card and Dec 11th, 2004 menu

    by carolinaEspada Updated Dec 12, 2004

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    It a 100% basque food. Prepared by the world famous chef Juan Manuel Berecuartúa: "Pakea" ("Peace") and his family.

    But... BUT!!! In order to go there you need to have a 2 months previous reservation, which is ridiculous in a country in which you have no clue of what is going to happen tomorrow...

    Dont worry, call. I was there on Dec, 11th, 2004. Now they have more room, they are building more restaurant areas and have more tables.

    The new restrooms are awesome and the cuttest thing: they even have ceramic flowers on the floor! Way too cute!

    Favorite Dish: All of the fish platters, because they are so exquisite, so delicate, that you feel like Afrodita eating and driking ambrosia at the Mount Olympus, but in Venezuela at the mountain El Avila. Same thing.

    They change the menu every single day. It is the same menu for everybody, but they change it every single day.

    On Dec, 11th, 2004 we had:

    Tons of home made bread and txistorras (red spicy greasy saussages). I dont eat neither bread, neither txistorras.

    "Mero" (fish) terrine or paté...
    A variety of fried little things: shrimps, meat balls, fish balls, etc...
    Green pepper filled with lamb (I skiped this one, I always have to skip one in order to get to the very end: the dessert).
    "Mero" grilled with lots of garlic and red peppers and clams
    "San Jacobos": fat-less pork, two thin slices, filled in with cheese and covered with a thick sweet sauce
    Natilla with peaches... like a creamy vanilla liquid. I had two.

    Everybody else had wine and pepsicola.
    I had water.
    I love water.

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    Painting by Rafael Monasterios.

    by carolinaEspada Updated Aug 18, 2003

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    It´s not a formal restaurant. It´s just a place where they sell the very best roasted ham sandwiches in Venezuela.

    It has been there for ever and ever. And it seems to be open all the time. Everybody goes, everybody asks for this place, everybody eats and comes back very happy to Caracas.

    Favorite Dish: The only thing they have: roasted ham sandwiches.

    Related to:
    • Family Travel
    • National/State Park
    • Hiking and Walking

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  • San José de Galipán Hotels

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San José de Galipán Transportation

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    INPARQUES fee: 300 bol��vares

    by carolinaEspada Written Dec 12, 2004

    Now, when you enter the National Park, you must pay a 300 bolívares fee. How much is 300 bolívares? Nothing. Imagine:
    one U.S. dollar = 1950 bolívares (official exchange) and in "the black market" (where ever that is, because I have no clue) one single dollar can be sold for 3000 bolívares).

    So now you must pay 300 bs and the will give you a ticket just like the one that is in the picture. Is wrincked because you are supposed to stick it in your pockett, just in case a guard asks you for it. I was there on Dec. 11th, nobody asked me for the ticket... But the guards where checking closely everybody: you are not supposed to bring liquor into the National Park.

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    Painting by Jos�� Campos Biscardi

    by carolinaEspada Updated Feb 22, 2003

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    1. you can go from Caracas, up to top of the mountain, where the Humboldt Hotel is, in a "funicular" (cable car, very very pretty, like a string of pearls, 8 persons per cabin). Once you are there, you can walk down to Galipan. Or pay to one of the local "galipaneros" for a local tour, on his jeep, of the area.

    2. you can go by car, but it must be a "double traction" one. A jeep. If you dont have a car, if you dont want to rent one, there are huge jeeps (3 people in the front seat and 10 or more in the back), that work as "buses" taking locals and visitors up to Galipán. You can ask at the national guard station at the entrance of "El Avila" National Park. You can also ask at the nearby "El Avila" Hotel.

    3. you can walk. Yes, you can hike. I wouldent do it. It would take me a millenium to get up there. I wouldent make it. But professional hikers assure that you can reach Galipán in just two or three hours. I dont believe them, because I cant imagine myself walking up that mountain... and then, back down. Forget it. But I guess that is the best and more fun way to go to Galipan. I will never be able to tell you for sure.

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San José de Galipán Shopping

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    Galipan, mountain, vegetation, flowers that is it

    by carolinaEspada Updated Feb 22, 2003

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    You will not find a single shop in Galipan. Nothing. Just the gardens and flower plantations of the local people.

    Most of the flower shops in Caracas, the city near by, are brought from these hills on the mountain top.

    What to buy: Fresh, really fresh, cutted in front of your eyes, flowers.

    People from Caracas, often buy flowery plants as well and, once in the city, at home, plant them in their gardens or in flower pots in their balconies.

    What to pay: Not much. They will charge the same amount they charge flowers shops in Caracas. In those shops in the city is where they raise the price of the flowers.

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San José de Galipán Warnings and Dangers

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    La cobija = the blanket... Never enough!!!

    by carolinaEspada Updated Jan 8, 2005

    Caracas is called "the city of the eternal spring" and your year's temperature always go from 70's to 80's degrees Farenheit.

    But up in the mountain, on the top of "El Avila", it is always way bellow 70... and in December, January and February, the temperature can go down to 60s, 50s... and I cant tell you how low can it goes (locals asure even 40s). That is way too cold for me and, in Venezuela, we dont have heating devices. We dont. We are a "tropical" sunny country...

    I wish I had a chimeny...

    If you are planing to spend the night in Galipán, in a posada (inn), at a friends place, somewhere, you will need extra extra extra blanquets.

    Did I mention the fog?

    Taking a shower? Forget it! They have running hot water... but first you have to get undressed and, after, there is not a huge warm towel than can help you in this ordeal.

    I would never stay over night in Galipán. Ever. But there are people who love to freeze to death. Oh well... have fun!

    The picture is from:

    Related to:
    • Mountain Climbing
    • Backpacking
    • Camping

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    Sorry: no alcohol in the National Park

    by carolinaEspada Updated Dec 12, 2004

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    SorryYou, as a visitor, are not allowed to bring alcoholic beverages into "El Avila" National Park. It doent matter if you are a foreigner or a venezuelan. It is forbidden.

    The national guards, right at the entrance of the park (on the foothill) will check your back pack or your car in order to see if you are bringing in any bottle of wine, whisky, gin, etc. If they find one of those, they will take it away inmediately.

    Although, once you reach Galipy´n, you will be able to find alcoholic beverages in the restaurants or inns. Local "galipaniers" are allowed to buy everything for them, their families, their restaurants, etc...

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    Painting by Francisco Narvaez

    by carolinaEspada Written Feb 22, 2003

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    If you are planning to do heavy walking and hiking in Galipan and its surroundings, and at El Avila National Park, always stay in the road. Too often people get lost very easily. Stay on the road and everything will be ok.

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San José de Galipán What to Pack

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    Galipan and behind it: the sky and the sea

    by carolinaEspada Written Feb 25, 2003

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    Luggage and bags: Travel light. Always travel light.

    Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: So here you are, in Venezuela, in a tropical country. But you are in the top of a mountain and, although you are overviewing the Caribbean sea, in Galipán is chilly and, at night, it gets really cold.

    Caracas, the city 20 minutes away, has an all year long temperature of 70-80 degrees (F). In Galipán it could be 60´s and 50´s. Locals swear to God that the temperature can drop down to the 40´s (at night during December, January and February). Sooo... bring a sweater. Dont expect sea breeze, palms trees and coconuts up there...

    Toiletries and Medical Supplies: Nothing... you are too close to civilization.

    Related to:
    • Hiking and Walking

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