Walk to Los Nevados
Take the cable car and get off at station Loma Redonda (4.080 m) and walk to the village of "Los Nevados" (2.700m). You can easily do it on your own, there is no need to hire a guide (7000 Bs. ~ € 2,80). The trail is wide (1 - 2 m) and easy to find. Just in case you get lost - you will meet the tour guides on the way to Los Nevados. At the station or on the way the guides are trying very hard to sell you a ride on the mules... Los Nevados to Merida is a 4 hrs trip by jeep (ask at tourist information or on the place in front of the church in Los Nevados or organize it in advance - 15.000 Bs. ~ € 6 / person).
Cable Car: Climb from 1600 m to 4800 m
The world highest cable car operates from Merida to almost top of Pico Bolivar (5007 m), the northeastern branch of the Greater Andes. Up and down is about € 11.
It operates from Wendsday to Sunday, the last cable car up leaves at noon, last return is at 2 p.m.
Teleferico to Pico Espejo.
Teh longest and highest cable ropeway in the world. It takes you up to 4'765 m.
Even on 4'000 you still meet a marvellous flora. The ride in the cabine is wonderfull experience and the view over Merida is beautiful.
It's on the way to Apartaderos. We ended there hopping on a pick up truck after a long hike and the driver went to Mucuchies. I felt the place has something magical and I still don't know why. People were so nice, the air so fresh and the streets so quiet. If you can't calm down here I would not know of any other place where you could.
Thermal baths La Musuy
Take the bus into direction Apartaderos and ask the driver to let you off at La Musuy. That is one kiosk at the side of the road and about 5 houses behind it. Follow the road out of the "village" and walk up the mountains, cross a little farm (you must not be afraid of walking through a meadow full of cattle, toros and gay dogs), where you have a little chat with the lovely family and leave them some money to cross their grounds. After a 90 min. walk you will come to one of the most beautiful natural pools around. The water is about 35 degrees C and the view out of the pool cannot be described with any of our languages. Beware of the weather, the way back it suddenly got so foggy we could hardly see the ground. Nevertheless - I would do it again and again and again. Take a lover if you have with you, you may be alone out there...
Hiking at Mucuy Alta
Take one of the cars waiting at the plaza at Tabay and ride with the locals (who will hop off at one of the houses or streets on the way) up to Mucuy Alta. Then you can walk upwards through dense rain forest and enjoy the birds songs, tropical vegetation, great views, your wet T-shirts, wet pants, wet socks, wet everything. The way is pretty steep, pretty narry at times and pretty, well, wet. You cross a river and are often walking in the clouds. Heaven feels close... :-) If you have a couple of days you can continue the way to some spectacular lagunas. We were lacking time but it is one of my definitely-will-do's coming back to Venezuela....
Nearby village Tabay is quite small but has a nice plaza where school kids run around and grandma and grandpa enjoy the village scenes from a bench. Actually every inahbitant of the village seems to path by when you spent half an hour there. Furthermore you will need about 5 mintutes to see the tranquil village. Tabay is a starting point for excursion to thermal baths and mountain hikes. You may also just walk down the street from the plaza and spent a few hours laying at the river like we did.
Gondola station Loma Redonda
At the teleferico station Loma Redonda you can get out and do the Los Nevados hike or if you don't have enough time or breath just walk around the station a bit and enjoy the views. About 100 m way up you get to a spectacular view point and a mystic andean forest - great stuff!
World highest Gondola trip
This is a thing every visitor to Merida can, will and should do: Take the gondola up to Pico Espejo, it will take you up to 4.765 m if you like. You can also get out 3 times before if you don't like it that extreme or have forgotten your jacket in Merida. Your adrenaline will be punched from the height, the air and the in every way breathtaking view on the surrounding mountains, valleys and Merida city.
Hiking to mountain village Los Nevados
Definitely one of the best things to do when in Merida. Take the worlds longest gondola ride up the mountain. Get out at 4100 m and walk the beautiful hike down to Los Nevados. With a few breaks to take breath and breath in the beauty and silence of the nature it will take you about 6 hrs. Rest a night in Los Nevados, love the silence and cleanest air from the hammock terrace, sip a cool beer, which by now you definitely deserve. Next day you can walk back to the gondola or ask the locals to take you back in a car.
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