One of the most beautiful and extensive mountain ranges in the world is the Andes mountains. It crosses several countries in South America and travels a total of 8500 kilometers of pure beauty ...
A part of this mountain range crosses Venezuela, it is the so-called Northern Andes: a fantastic range of mountains that also pass through Colombia and Ecuador. But today we will only focus on the Andes Mountains of Venezuela.
The Andes Mountains
This it is the longest continental mountain range in the world and can be divided into three sectors, the Northern andes, Central Andess and the Southern Andes.
The northern Andes, the ones that summon us today, are less than 150 kilometers wide and an average height of 2500 meters. The Andes in the center are the widest and highest.
The northern Andes, also called the northern Andes, They range from the Barquisimet - Carora depression, in Venezuela, to the Bombón plateau, in Peru. Venezuelan cities such as Mérida, Trujillo or Barquisimeto, are on these important mountains.
Where these mountains pass, the landscape of Venezuela acquires more personal characteristics. There are flat lands at sea level but there are also high peaks, that's why there are so many colors and landforms that it is wonderful.
The Andes Mountains in Venezuela have three main features: the Sierra de La Koulata, Sierra Nevada and Sierra de Santo Domingo. They reach heights of up to 5 meters. For example, the highest peak in the country is here, with its 5.007 meters, the Bolivar Peak. Although there are also quite respectable others like the Humbold with 4-940 meters, the Bompland with 4880 meters or the Lion with its 4.743 meters.
The climate oscillates between a polar climate, very high, and the hottest climate at the foot of the mountains. It rains, as in the whole country, from April to November. Rivers cross between the mountains, which of course are not navigable because they are short and with torrential waters. This flow ends in two hydrographic pots: on the one hand, the one in the Caribbean, through Lake Maracaibo, and on the other, the Orinoco, through the Apure River.
The vegetation of the area is also subject to the climate, and the climate, we already know, has a lot to do with the altitude. There is typical vegetation of hot and very dry climates in the first 400 meters of altitude, then appear Big trees, higher than 3 thousand meters the bushes, higher still there is Paramera vegetation and above 4 thousand meters we already have mosses and lichens.
The Andes of Venezuela thus make up the only region in the country with this range of plant species. In the area with large trees, between 500 and 2 meters, the landscape looks like a rainforest so there are cedars, laurels, bucares, mahogany ... It is beautiful, because This plant variety is also reflected in the fauna.
In the Venezuelan Andean fauna there are bears, the famous condor of the Andes (which, although it does not live here, is always passing through), the stone-topped helmeted, limpets, deer, shrews, rabbits, wild cats, black eagles, goats, owls, swallows, royal parrots, woodpeckers, ducks, iguanas, snakes, lizards and dorados and guabinas, among the species of fish.
The extension of the Andes of Venezuela makes geopolitically speaking they cross several states of the countrys: Barinas, Apure, Portuguesa, Táchira, Mérida and Trujillo. And as we said above, there are several important cities such as Mérida, Trujillo, Boconó, San Cristóbal ...
La economy of the area used to concentrate on growing coffee and farming, but after the discovery of oil things changed. It is not that the crops have stopped being made, in fact from here comes the production of potatoes, legumes, fruit trees, vegetables, bananas and celery, pigs, poultry and cows for the local market, but today oil is sovereign.
Tourism in the Andes of Venezuela
Although for a long time this part of Venezuela was away from tourism, we always relate the country to the Caribbean, for some time now, it has been open to this activity. Improvements in communication infrastructure (improved road construction in recent decades) have been the engine.
Although the isolation to which the so-called peoples of the south were subjected kept them away from the money that tourism leaves behind, in a certain way it helped them to be so valuable for this market today. And is that isolation has preserved them in all their indigenous and colonial uniqueness.
Those who live in this part of the country advocate a light tourism, low impact, that preserves their way of life and the environment. A tourism in the hands of the people themselves or a tourism that we could call community.
We can talk about some Recommended destinations here in the Andes of Venezuela. For example, the city of Mérida. It was founded in 1558 and has a beautiful colonial helmet, while being surrounded by impressive mountains. You can see the Archbishop's Palace, the headquarters of the Universidad de los Andes, the Cathedral or the Government Palace.
Merida has beautiful streets, a student soul, a municipal market three-story very busy and popular, an ice cream parlor with more than 600 tastes of ice cream, the Coromoto ice cream parlor, with its own place in the Guinness Book of Records and many parks and squares. One of the most famous parks is Los Chorros de Milla, with lakes, waterfalls and a zoo.
There is also the Mérida cable car which takes you to the Pico Espejo at 4765 meters, barely lower than the European Mont Blanc. The Los Aleros Folk Park, the Botanical Garden with its funny walk over the trees ... And if you like the mountains you have excursions to the Sierra Nevada with their magnificent peaks.
Another popular city is San Cristóbal, capital of the state of Táchira, at less than 1000 meters of altitude and therefore with a very good top. It dates from 1561 and is close to the border with Colombia so it is super commercial. Also, it has many colonial churches to visit.
Trujillo It is the capital of the smallest Andean Venezuelan state. It is very colonial and beautiful like the whole state. It was founded in 1557 and is at an altitude of 958 meters. It is known for the immense statue of the Virgin of Peace, with more than 46 meters high and 1200 tons of weight. It has good viewpoints and the photo from here is a must. The old town is beautiful, with a beautiful baroque and romantic cathedral.
Other beautiful destinations are Jajó, Táriba, Peribeca, Capacho ... all these places have their charms and their gastronomic and hotel sector.