"MERIDA: HIGHEST CABLE-CAR RIDE IN THE WORLD" Venezuela Things to Do Tip by swesn

Venezuela Things to Do: 187 reviews and 278 photos

The cable-car ride has always been the selling point of Merida. But indeed, it is an experience to behold.

Firstly, Merida is located at 1,630m and generally, this region is more or less the start of the Andes mountain range in the northern end that stretches all the way to the southern end of South America. The city is surrounded by numerous wondrous and stunning peaks, the highest peak in Venezuela, naturally named Pico Bolivar (named after who else?) can also be seen from here. So, it is already a very attractive mountain town for a visit.

Secondly, where else can you ascend to 4,765m almost effortlessly? The cable-car ride is broken up into 4 stations.

After Merida, it is La Montaña at 2,436m, where you can stop for a breather and then, you arrive at La Aguada. At 3452m, nearly 1000m in difference between these 2 stations, the ascent (or descent) is exhilarating, to say the least. Ears go 'pop' indeed.

Then, it is onwards ho! to Lomo Redondo 4,045m. By now, you will be pretty much surrounded by clouds and perhaps, start to feel the effects of altitude sickness. This is where you get off if you want to hike to Los Nevados.

After that, the cable-car literally gets engulfed in 100% clouds and you ascend to Pico Espejo at 4,765m. Forget about admiring the view. Unless you are very lucky, there is hardly any. Just soak in the knowledge of where you are physically. The top spot is quite a small area, and there is a statue of the Nuestra Senora de las Nieves (Our Lady of Snow). While I felt giddy within 5 minutes, some people were making and throwing snow balls at one another. We were encouraged to descend within 15 minutes, to make room for ascending people, and also, usually, that's about the limit most people can take before they start feeling ill.

I didn't go up this way. I just went up from Lomo Redondo to Pico Espejo and down. The descent back to Merida took more than 2 hours.

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  • Written Oct 20, 2007
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