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.
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.
One of the greatest tourist attraction in Merida and Venezuela, this is the longest (12.5 kilometres) and highest (reaching 4765 meters above sea level) cable car in the world. This extraordinary achievement of engineering was constructed between 1957 and 1960. Its 90-minute trip starts at the Barinitas Station (at 1625 meters of altitude)finally arriving at the Pico Espejo Station, 4765 meters above sea level. Every station along the way has a restaurant and observatory. Each car has a capacity for 36 people.
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.
This park is located at the northern end of Mérida, where a deep valley abruptly cuts into the city. Here you will find two monuments: to the right is La Columna a Bolívar, or rather a column with the Liberator's bust on top; this was constructed in 1842 and was the first monument ever dedicated to the independence hero. On the left-hand side of the park, there are five flags that represent the five Bolivarian Republics, which are: Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and Bolivia. In 1963, samples of soil from all the aforementioned countries were placed here.
This is one of the most exquisite and functional boulevards of Mérida. Here you will be surrounded by the fresh verdure of stately trees and well-maintained gardens; by the architectonic jewels of the historical zone; by cafes with varied menus and tables on the sidewalk; or, if you prefer, you may sit on one of the benches to chat a while, to rest or to browse through the national and international press, which can be purchased at the junction of the Boulevard with Avenue 4.However, try not to come here during the city rush hours, when the number of pedestrians walking in all directions will make it very unlikely that you can enjoy any of the previously mentioned activities.
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.
The main objective of this zoological park is to help to conserve the regional fauna and flora. A perfect place for learning and relaxing, it was established in 1958 under the name "Parque Público Los Chorros de Milla," and is managed by the local tourist office, the Corporación Merideña de Turismo (CORMETUR). It occupies ten hectares of misty forest, through which the Río Milla runs, to then cascade into a lagoon. Besides the zoo, there are also handicraft shops, hotels and restaurants.