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Photos: Hiking Around Merida

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A creek winds through the plains near Laguna Negra, Paque Nacional Sierra.

In the shadow of Venezuela’s highest peak, Merida is surrounded by some seriously world class hikes. The city itself sits at 1,600 metres above sea level, though the towering Pico Bolivar is an imposing 4981 metres. After a few weeks here, I’ve only had a few chances to stretch my legs, but what I’ve seen so far has been impressive. So far, a few highlights have been the Parque Nacional Sierra Nevada. A few hours out of Merida, the park is host to some decent peaks, and pleasant lakes. It’s noticeably higher than Merida, at 3600 metres, so altitude sickness can be an issue. This was illustrated by a school group we ran into, where students were groaning about walking on flat ground. La Culata is closer to Merida, but offers some equally stunning views.

Paque Nacional Sierra

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La Culata

Forested path near Santa Rosa, just outside town.

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