The word “páramo” translates as “moor” in English and refers to the tropical sub-alpine ecosystems found in the highlands of Central and South America.
We will visit a biological research station where park officials manage an Andean Condor re-introduction programme. We will also journey to Los Frailes, a quaint colonial mission dating from the 17th century, and to Pico el Aguila (4,125m), the highest point in Venezuela accessible by car.
Note: This tour can be organized to be done exclusively by jeep.
Additionally, this excursion can be customized to be exclusively a birdwatching tour.
Day 1: Mérida-Páramo-Pico Aguila-Laguna Negra-Los Frailes This is one of our most requested tours. From Mérida, we follow a scenic route along dramatic mountain roads towards the Andean Páramo. Along the way we visit tranquil colonial Andean villages and enjoy the drinks and delicacies they have to offer. Next, we travel up the Pico el Aguila (4,125m) where we will be able to take in the panoramic views of the Andean peaks and sit down to a cooked Andean lunch. From there we will visit the Laguna Mucubaji Park (3,800m) of the Sierra Nevada National Park system. Hiking to Laguna Negra, about 4km, we will enter a microclimate that, due to its specific location, receives more rain and humidity than the surrounding Páramo area. This extra humidity gives life to an interesting diversity of plant species, adding colour and greenery to the windswept Páramo region. Laguna Negra is a beautiful site on a clear, calm day. The black water forms such a perfect mirror that it essentially disappears and is replaced by the reflection of the trees on the mountainside. After enjoying the tranquil scenery of the Laguna, we will continue to Los Frailes, a quaint colonial mission dating from the 17th century. From Los Frailes we work our way back through the scenic Venezuelan Andes to Mérida. We will drop you off at your hotel. A horseback ride to the Laguna Negra can be arranged for an additional cost. (4 hours by jeep, 2 hours hiking) (–, L,–)
Day 2: Los Frailes-Hot Springs-Musui This optional extension involves an overnight at Piñango, a remote village up in the Andes or at Los Frailes, a colonial restored monastery in the Andes. It includes a hike to the hot springs of the Musui National Park. Returning to Mérida we can visit the colourful artisan market. Optional tandem paragliding can be included at an additional cost. This option may extend the length of the tour to 3 days. (1 hour hiking, 4 hours by jeep, 1 hour biking) (B, L, –)