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Crossing the Venezuelan Andes

offered by supplier M21390 (read about supplier)

Key Information:
Tour Duration: 10 day(s)
Group Size: 2 - 8 people
Destination(s): Venezuela  
Specialty Categories: Hiking & Trekking   Ecotourism  
Season: January - December
Airfare Included: No
Tour Customizable: Yes
Minimum Per Person Price: 500 US Dollar (USD)
Maximum Per Person Price: 795 US Dollar (USD)

On this trip, discover the main environments of the Merida range from the sub-mountain jungles intervened by humans, passing through pristine and spectacular cloud forests of the Andean páramos, a unique world ecosystem. The main land uses and the traditional peasant agricultural ecosystems, such as those of shade coffee in forests and the papyrus in the páramo can be seen along the way.

For 10 days, from the warm and cloudy jungle floors (360 meters) you ascend to the cold and imposing páramo environments to more than 4.000 meters altitude. Each travel day is a unique experience in the Andean tropical mountains, where nature, climate, culture, history and people surprise you at each stage.

- 90 km journey
- 10 days of Andes excursion
- 2 Nationals Parks visited
- 5 Singular ecosystem of tropics explored.
- 7 Communities benefited by the visit
- 4.000 maximum Altitude.
- 360 minimum Altitude.


Day 1: Barinas – Santa María de Canagua.

Barinas arrival. Land transfer in a rustic vehicle to the Santa María de Canaguá community to stay in the Mucuposada Los Samanes. A walk to the Curbatí River and enjoy a refreshing bath in crystal turquoise waters in the middle of luxuriant forests is recommended. A thatch roof hut with hammocks invites you to relax.

Day 2: Santa María de Canagua – San José.

Ascent through Coffee forest (600 m to 1.400 m). At dawn, an impressive concert by multiple birds. You may photograph and observe them very close. Ascend from Santa María de Canaguá, to the foot of the Merida mountain range, in the midst of crops, grass, and jungles to San José (1400 m), passing by traditional shade coffee, through Andean cloud forests and isolated homes. Lodgings in the Mucuposada San José. You may prepare your own sugar cane juice using an ingenious and primitive family sugar mill with the help of a donkey.

Day 3: San José - El Carrizal.

Travel in pristine jungles (1.400 m to 1.500 m). Begin your journey again in the midst of beautiful jungle mountains. You pass through a long and impressive hanging bridge above a turbulent river. Arrive at the El Carrizal de Misiquias village, a small island in time. We are in a land of legends of ancient indigenous inhabitants, the Misiquias tribes of War of Independence fame and of the famous geographer, Agustín Codazzi. Lodgings in the Mucuposada El Carrizal, where Don Mario, its owner, will delight you with his incredible anecdotes. Very close by you may photograph the emblematic Gallito de las Sierras (Rupicola Peruviana).

Day 4: El Carrizal - Los Morritos.

From pristine jungles to brilliant páramos (1.500 m to 3.300 m). In the morning, continue the ascent through the Sierra Nevada National Park where exuberante cloud forests populated with bush fern and bamboo, passing through exciting hanging bridges over foamy creeks to the Los Colorado páramo. Upon crossing the 2.700 meters above sea level, we are surprised by the first frailejones. In March, in this place, nature explodes in flowers of happy purple and pink. Camping at the Los Morritos in the middle of pre-páramo bushes, surrounded by the song of the ciotes.

Day 5: Los Morritos - Gavidia.

Travel through the páramos and the fog. Pass through the Gavidia páramo, in the midst of bushes, coloraditos (Polylepis Sericea) and strange frailejones (Espeletia spp.), plants with thick rosettes of leaves arranged in spirals that often surpass two meters in height. Before arriving at Gavidia, you reach the highest point of this journey, The Alto de Micarache (3.640 m) where we contemplate the beautiful landscape of Llano del Trigo. Lodgings in the Mucuposada Michicabá.

Day 6: Gavidia – Llano El Hato.

Awake in the midst of the small agricultural community, Gavidia, dedicated to potato and carrots cultivation and trout-raising. Unique Andean highland landscapes. Land transfer to the Llano El Hato community, at altitudes of 3.400 m.a.s.l. in full páramo. Characteristic rural Andean landscapes, molded by human intervention and the wheat culture with cultivated small holdings, stone walls and mud homes. In the afternoon, the possibility of visiting the National Astronomy Observatory in Llano del Hato (optional) exists. Lodgings in the Mucuposada Santa Barbara.

Day 7: Llano El Hato - Mitibibó.

Travel through páramo agricultural landscapes (3.400 m to 3.300 m). Early journey, from the Llano El Hato agricultural watershed to the Valley of Mitibibo. During the excursion, we observe a typical agricultural potato watershed and cross the limit of the cultivated strip to bury ourselves in the highlands. Lodgings in the Mucuposada El Trigal.

Day 8: Mitibibó – Los Romeros.

From the cultivated areas to the radiant páramos. You travel the Valle Mitibibó and El Banco, in rural areas up to 3.700 m (cultivation and fields of potatoes and cash crops). The páramo shows itself in its entire splendor with valleys of glacial origin covered with marsh and grass, as well as hillsides populated with frailejones, decorated with beautiful yellow flowers, especially during the month of October. At more than 4.100 meters high the páramo is spotted with of giant frailejones. Climb to Alto de Piedras Blancas (4.350 m.a.s.l.) to later come down to the mysterious “coloradito” forests (Polylepis serisea), a tree, seen at the highest elevations in the Andes and the marsh lands at the mouth of the Chama River. Camping at Los Romeros.

Day 9: Los Romeros - Mucumpis.

A succession of down hill and up hill climbs to the Los Bordones Farm A trip from Los Romeros in the middle of grazing and pasture fields to enter into the cloud forest that opens up to all its beauty and mystery till arriving at the Mucuposada Los Bordones, near the typical Andean village of Mucumpis at 1.600 meters, surrounded by crops (especially Venezuelan celery root). Lodgings in the Mucuposada.

Day 10: Mucumpis – El Vigia.

Enjoy surrounding areas and participate in daily farm activities together with the Molina family. At mid afternoon, we return by vehicle to the El Vigia Airport.

Price Includes:
- Transfers: Barinas – Santa María de Canagua and Mucumpis - El Vigia.
- 1 night of lodging in the Mucuposadas: Los Samanes, San José, El Carrizal, Michicaba, Santa Barbara, El Trigal and Los Bordones.
- 1 night of camping in Los Morritos and 1 night of camping in Los Romeros (includes tent).
- Includes all meals from lunch of the first day through the lunch of the last day.
- One (1) allowance of 20 Kg. Of luggage per person to be carried by pack horses during travels.
- 1 Riding horse during the journey.
- Local guides.

Important: the excursionist should bring insulation and sleeping bag for the night of camping.

Airfare is not included in the tour price.

About This Supplier
Location: Venezuela
Joined InfoHub: Feb 2013

M21390 is a travel and tourist agency created in 2004 by the Programa Andes Tropicales (PAT), a non profit organization that designs and carries out community based tourism development projects in the Andean countries. M21390 stems from the need to support the promotion and commercialization of the tourist products...

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