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Mérida is the Capital of the State with the same name. It is a City very open and cosy where all is very calm and. It is not as warm as you find everywhere in Venezuela, being surrounded by mountains
How to arriveWe went to Mérida from Coro. We took a taxi from the city center of Coro to the bus terminal: 4.000Bs. There are no buses until the afernoon and we decided to take a por puesto (very old) that cost 20.000Bs per person until Maracaibo. This takes 3 hours, with one stop of more than 30 minutes for refreshments. The same way by bus would have cost 15.000Bs.

At the bus terminal of Maracaibo we intended to take a “por puesto” but in 6 hours we spent waiting there, none left. The buses only leave at night, we took Expresos de Occidente to Mérida which leaves at 10pm, and costs 30.000Bs and it’s also a Bus cama. In Maracaibo you must pay an exit tax of 1.000Bs. It took 8 hours to arrive to Mérida, with only one stop to eat.
Sleeping & EatingWe chose posada Luz Caraballo to sleep, where a double room with private bath and tv costs 70.000Bs. In this case also they had just finished to build a new building and we were lucky to get one room in the new building. We recommend you to ask for the new rooms, as the difference is big. Moreover Mrs. Berta who manages the posada is really kind. The restaurant in the posada is also very convenient (Avenida 2 Lora, 13-80 in front of plaza Sucre (plaza Milla), Tel. 0058-274 2525441, Fax 0058-274 2520177,

To have breakfast we recommend the bakery Roma (Street 24, at the entrante of the Teleférico, Tel. 0058-274 529095) with thousands of choices.
We went to a wonderful restaurant for dinner La Abadía (Avenida 3 between streets 17 and 18,, moreover it has internet free. La abadía del Ángel, another charming place, also belongs to the same owner. Another restaurant we went is Cheo’s (at Plaza de las Heroínas).

In Mérida you can find most unusual ice cream shop Coromoto, which curiously has the Guinness record for the number of different flavours of icecreams. They say they have more than 827 different flavours. We can confirm this, moreover over and above the traditional ones they have strange names and flavours like: Spaghetti with Cheese, Viagra, and Smoked Salmon (Avenida 3, nº 28-75, diagonal to the church el Llano, Tel. 0058-274 252 35 25). Opening times 14,30 to 21,45 and Mondays closed.
What to seeIn Mérida we felt good and we must say that we saw many tourists. What is most worth while doing in Mérida is walking around and going to the Plaza Bolívar, Plaza de las Heroínas, to Plaza Milla, and to visit the Metropolitan Cathedral. The Archeological Museum is very recommendable to visit, as well as the Museum of Colonial Art.

The most important touristical thing in Mérida is the Teleférico (cable car) that brings people up to the top of Pico Espejo at 4.765 metres. The Teleférico is the longest one in the World and was built in 1.958. It has 4 sections, each one takes around 11 minutes and once you reach each station you must wait for a while to get used to the height and then you can take the next cable car.

The Teleférico costs 55.000Bs, children 38.000Bs and seniors 33.000Bs. Each day only 800 people may gio up, so if you intend to go up in one day by the cable car,  it is better to make a reservation online and pick it up once there. They open at 7,45 am and close at 2,45 pm (last ride 2 pm).

At the top it snowed and it was very cold, so it is better to go with suitable clothes and if you do not have them (like us!) at the entrance of the Teleférico you can rent hats and gloves for 1.000Bs, coats between 3.000 and 4.000Bs.

Another very recommendable thing to do is a day trip to los Páramos. Mérida is surrounded by wonderful mountains (it reminds one Switzerland!). On this day trip we went to the top of Pico del Águila at 4.118 metres, and on the way we visited the church made of little stones by the local artist Juan Félix Sánchez, also the National park of Sierra Nevada and the Mucubají lake, and also we rode horses for 30 minutes, which costs 5.000B (+ 5.000Bs if you want a guide who leads the horse). Also we fished for trout and for that we paid 5.000Bs (if you do not catch anything, you do not pay). Also on this trip you must bring suitable clothes as it is cold in the top of Pico del Águila. The trip is the whole day 9 am to 6 pm. We bought the trip at Gravity Tours (Gustavo Viloria, Street 24, between Avenida 7 and 8, Tel. 0058-274 2511279 or 0058-414 7377541,, [email protected]), it costed 35.000Bs per person.

The best trip from Mérida is los Llanos. We did not make it as due to the delayed Iberia flight we had to cancel it as we had 3 days less in Mérida. Gravity Tours are the operators of this trip and it costs around 350.000Bs per person for 5 days and 4 nights. We believe that this trip is really worthwhile. Moreover they also offer other trips with a bit more adventure like parachuting, rafting, climbing, etc.