Catatumbo sheet lightning at the Maracaibo lake

Why go to Merida?

Merida was founded in 1558 by the Spanish captain Juan Rodriquez Suarez. The former population of 25,000 inhabitants has grown to more than 215,000 over the years. It is one of Venezuela´s linchpins in the west, with its ancient cathedral from the year 1803 and an ice cream parlour, “Heladeria Coromoto” which is entered in the “Guinness Book of Records” with more than 800 different types of ice cream, as well as all the other unique sights, it promises rich variety for everyone. Moreover you can find the second oldest university of Venezuela here which has its origins in a priest seminar of 1785.
Merida and its nature
This city is located on a tableland at an altitude of 1630m between the rivers Rio Albarregas and Rio Chama. It is surrounded by two mountain chains, Sierra Nevada in the Southeast and Sierra La Culata in the Northwest. This makes Merida something very special. The highest mountain of Venezuela, Pico Bolivar which has a height of 4985m is very close to Merida. From there you could start tours to the Llanos or interesting and challenging mountain climbs to the bordering mountain ranges. If you like it a little bit more exciting, you could take the chance and do some paragliding, canoying or rafting to make your stay something very special.

Our Catatumbo tour

1 day Merida/ Catatumbo
On your first day you will check out Merida heading to the south of the Maracaibo lake. On your way you will pass typical Andean communities that still live off sugar cultivation, fisheries or the growth of coffee. After these impressions there will be a lunch break in La Azulita. A tasty Venezuelan dish will be served until we head off to Puerto Concha in the afternoon. During your travel, your picture of the Andes with its enormous mountains which run to the Maracaibo lake, will be completely changed. At the shore of Rio Concha lies Puerto Concha where fishing is the main source of income and therefore serves as the basis of life . There starts our boat tour along the Rio Concha until we reach the Maracaibo lake. Along the shore of the river there are numerous birds and apes to observe. At the Rio Concha river mouth we will find the first typical houses erected on wooden pillars. At the same time you will pass the entrance of the Maracaibo national park. We will put up our bivouac not far away from there in the middle of wounderful nature. With one of the biggest wonders of nature “the sheet lightning of Maracaibo“, the day will be completed. Fascinated by these impressions you will fall onto your hammocks incredibly tired.
2 day sheet lightning
A very special and definitely not ordinary opportunity to have a look at the Andes is to paraglide. The tour takes 4 hours and starts in Merida. From there it goes straight to La Tierra Negra where the microlight takes off. For this tour you don´t need any knowledge about flying, you will be accompanied by a professional pilot. Now there is no turning back, the only thing you have to do is run a little to get the speed for the takeoff. Then you are in the air and can enjoy the fantastic view into the mountain dominated landscape. You could enjoy the freedom for 20 to 30 minutes and then you are gliding from a high of 1000m above the ground back to earth. It will depend on the climate how long the flight will take. Back on solid ground it goes back to Merida.

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