Mérida: a snow mountains paradise in Venezuela
January 1, 1970
by Katherine González Turitto
Far away from the Venezuelan capital, Merida is the perfect place for those who love the cold. Venezuela, despite being a tropical country of South America, is characterized by the diversity of its landscapes. At one extreme has a hot desert, the other an Amazon jungle and the other a mountain with very cold lakes where even snow falls.
The most beautiful of Merida are its landscapes. When you are arriving, if you go by car, you can see that more and more the streets are becoming a little narrow. On the left side, you have the walls of the mountains, while on the right side you have the abyss of everything you go up to reach El Páramo. It is usually a bit scary, but do not worry, you will see that when you arrive everything is worth it.
When you finish ascending they enjoy the pines, the rocks, and many more mountains. Most likely, when you are arriving at La Culata, to be able to go to El Paramo, meetings with people riding a horse in the area. Already later, see the beautiful Mucubají Lagoon, the forests and all the landscape that comprises.
How to get to Mérida
There are three ways to get to Merida: by car, bus or plane. The advantage of traveling by car is that you can stop wherever you want along the way and enjoy the food, people, and other incredible places of the Venezuelan plain that are before arriving in Merida.
However, bus travel is also an option; But it is not the most comfortable of all, you must travel at least 20 hours from the capital to get there. The bus ride can be entertaining if you stick to the window watching the long way but can be an enemy if you suffer from dizziness.
On the other hand, traveling by plane is fast, safe and largely avoids nausea that causes you the road. In addition, you can enjoy this mountaineering landscape from the skies, and if you go between the less of June and July you will see snow on the peaks.
In Merida what is least has is shyness. Nevertheless, the inhabitants of this state are characterized by their cordiality and sympathy. You will always be treated as Lady, Lord, Miss, Miss, you and you will never lack respect.
The merideños are accustomed to visitors, so they enjoy sharing the legends and stories of their town.
The Mucubají Lagoon is one of the first places we can see when arriving in Merida. It is just at the entrance to the State when the first carriage-up is completed. There is a space to park the carts, and although in that area does not feel in the cold, you can feel like a cold breeze raises the hairs on the skin; And there are even times when you can feel little bits of ice when you run your hands through your hair.
The lagoon itself is very extensive, decorated with stones around it and has a small pier to which you can approach to read the history of this lake. On the other hand, many people walk through the small woods that surround it and enjoy an outdoor adventure.
With a temperature that is always below 18 degrees, you can feel the cold reaching your bones as you reach the top of the mountain.
The road is much narrower, the peaks are high, the view is breathtaking and the hot chocolate is delicious. There are always tourists in those areas taking pictures from the top of the rocks, or going towards the ends and pretending that they can fall; Especially when you arrive at Pico El Águila, where you must find your scarf, hat, and gloves to withstand the cold.
In addition to chocolate, traditional alcoholic beverages are also very popular for fighting the cold. Normally, the city drinks aguardiente, miche, anis or canelita. They are very sweet drinks, but at the same time they are strong and have a high degree of alcohol, so you don’t have to drink so much.
The heat in the city
The city of Merida, which would become the capital, is totally different from what we find in El Páramo, or in the Mucubají Lagoon. It is an area with buildings, hotels, nightclub, shopping centers, restaurants, etc. The capital represents the modernity of this state, beyond the naturalness of its landscapes. Another curious fact of this place is that unlike El Páramo and its peaks, in the city it is hot, not too exaggerated, but if you can feel the difference.
The Venezuela de Antier
The Venezuela de Antier are small memories of the past that comprise the history of each of the states that make up Venezuela. The tour begins on a train that takes you from station to station so visitors can enjoy the typical places of each state without having to visit them.
Traditions, dances, history, music and typical foods are reflected in every space of this trip. And you can not only observe but also be part of the experience. With games, dances, and challenges, the re-creators will be able to live the most ancient Venezuelan traditions so that you learn in a more fun way the history of each site.
As in any part of Venezuela, in Mérida, they also eat arepas. The only detail of this Venezuelan delicacy is that in Merida they eat andean arepas.
The andean arepas are made from wheat flour and are eaten roasted with any type of filling. On the other hand, there is the typical andean pisca, a soup that has onions, egg, potato, coriander, and milk. There are many people who accompany the pisca, use andean arepas to soak in this soup.
So if you are looking at Venezuela, and you are not a fan of the heat, Merida is the perfect destination to enjoy the cold, the snow and the beautiful mountains.