The Sierra Nevada is the largest among the four regional national parks, comprising nearly 276446 hectares (683,113 acres) of exquisite natural protected environment. The total area of the park is divided between the states of Merida and Barinas. Holding great ecological significance, the park houses the Cordilleran massif of Venezuelan Andes. The highest peak of Venezuela, the snowcapped Pico Bolivar soars at an elevation of 4,978 meters (16,332.02 feet) and characterizes the natural features of the park. Teeming with rivers and undulating streams, the park houses an enviable number of aquamarine lagoons such as the Mucubaji, Verde and Coromoto. Several species have found their homes among the diverse flora of the park. Feral cattle, Andean leopards, Puma, White Tailed Quetzals and Magpies are among the many mammal and bird species that can be spotted here. The Merida Cable Car, the highest and second longest in the world, is the best way to access the park and experience aerial views of the Sierra Nevada's lush beauty.
The design of this beautiful cathedral was inspired by the Toledo Cathedral in Spain. The building was begun in 1805 but then underwent mishap after mishap, such as the earthquakes of 1812 and 1894, the War of Independence, and successive internal political struggles. In the end, the devout people of Merida had to wait until 1958 before work were completed. In 1960 it was consecrated to the Immaculate Conception, and in 1991 declared a Minor Basilica. In addition to the impressive architecture, the murals, Canon's choir, and the image of the Virgin of the Apple carved in stone are all well worth your attention.
This is a touring gallery, although it does have its own installations offering permanent exhibitions. Being an institution that depends on the Dirección de Cultura de la Universidad de Los Andes (Cultural Department of the University of the Andes), the exhibitions have a strong promotional and didactic quality.The gallery's main objective is to promote young talents who do not have easy access to commercial art galleries: however, another aim is to take these works and those by other recognised artists, into communities where people do not normally attend/experience such events. Admission is free.
Vastly different from the surrounding colonial constructions, this four-story building, constructed using a modern design, was inaugurated in 1983 as part of the Bicentennial Celebrations of 'The Liberator's' birthday. You will find a valuable historical record of Simon Bolr, including documents relating to his march across the Andes in 1813. The premises also functions as a museum and exhibition space, and houses the Instituto Municipal de la Cultura (Municipal Cultural Centre); the Sociedad Bolivariana (Bolr Society); and the National Cinema Festival as well. Admission varies by exhibit - no credit cards accepted.
This large, beautiful square is loved by both parents and children alike as a place to enjoy safe and sound outdoor games. You will also find it is a favorite spot for musicians, artists and poets, thanks to its beautiful gardens and pleasant walkways. Within the great inner circle there is a fountain and monument. These are dedicated to the five women who courageously took part in Bolivar's "Remarkable Campaign", which took him and his adherents up and across the Andes in 1813. Admission is free.
This modern building, covering 16,000 square metres, was designed by the architect Ivan Castellano and opened in 1994. The construction is based on exposed concrete, with a large central space rising up within, and walkways that wind up around the sides, linking the different levels and exhibition areas. There are various auditoriums that are used for theatrical, musical and cinema presentations, as well as other cultural events such as seminars, talks and conferences. There is also a library dedicated to the arts worth visiting, and a catering service for events is also available. Credit card acceptance varies by event. Call for information on upcoming events.
Museo de Arte Moderno Juan Astorga Anta is located in the Tulio Febres Cordero Cultural Centre. Founded in 1969, this museum the first of its kind in a Venezuelan city outside the capital, Caracas. It houses nearly 350 drawings, sculptures, photographs, paintings and unconventional art objects, all signed by some of the country's most important visual artists. The exhibitions include works by César Rengifo, Oswaldo Vigas and Manuel de la Fuente. You will also find the José Nucete Sardi Art Library on premises. Admission is free.
The Friends of the Western Buddhist Order (FWBO) started their activities in the city of Barquisimeto in 1992; in 1994, their first South American headquarters were moved to the city of Merida. Numerous activities including meditation, workshops, retreats and similar activities characterize this community. No personal commitment to Buddhism is required to take part in one of their meditation groups. Admittance to these sessions is free.
This House of Studies gave birth to the Universidad de Los Andes, and the present complex includes several offices and departments. Near to the corner of Plaza Bolívar are the offices of the President of the University and its principal authorities. You will also find the hall that contains the portraits of all the previous presidents, from the beginning to the present. The Archaeological Museum occupies one side of the building, the Faculty of Dentistry is found in the annex to the left, and the César Rengifo Theatre is at the back of the complex.
Toward the end of the Ruta del Paramo (Moorlands Route), 52 kilometres north-east of Mérida, you will find San Rafael de Mucuchies, the highest inhabited point in Venezuela at 3140 metres above sea level. But this is not the only distinction of this town founded in 1872. Along with neighbouring settlements, it includes some of the most stunning architecture in the country, including stone churches, large colonial houses, wheat mills and monuments everywhere. At the northern end of town lies the chapel of stone dedicated to the Virgen de Coromoto, the work of Juan Felix Sqnchez. This starting point will eventually lead you to one of Sanchez's most monumental works in El Tisure.
At an elevation of 4,978 meters (16,332 feet), the highest point of Venezuelan Andes is rightfully named after the country's most prestigious national leader Simon Bolivar. Located in the Parque Nacional Sierra Nevada, the peak is perpetually covered in snow. The mountain was earlier known as La Columna, given the height of its peak. The Merida Cable Car reaches Pico Espejo at 4,880 meters (16,010 feet) and Pico Bolivar can be reached thereafter. Mountaineers and trekkers have often chosen the summit to conquer the snowcapped peak.