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Customised English-speaking trekking agency in Venezuela.
image fond Hiking Chaac Mucuchies to Tucani Mesa Julia Venezuela Hiking Chaac Mucuchies to Tucani Mesa Julia Venezuela Hiking Chaac Mucuchies to Tucani Mesa Julia Venezuela Hiking Chaac Mucuchies to Tucani Mesa Julia Venezuela

Trekking from La Culata to Santa Apolonia in the Andes Venezuela

Here is a variant of the Chaac hike that crosses the Andes towards Lake Maracaibo. The beginning is the same before this circuit separates to reach Santa Apolonia, a town known for... its thermal waters! Be careful however, this hike is not for everyone, the path being in places covered by vegetation, making it difficult to progress in the lower part of the trek which corresponds to the humid forest.

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  • -A hike that goes from 4450 meters to 1500 meters above sea level!
  • -Very varied campsites at each stage, forests, plains, high mountains...
  • -The possibility of finishing in the thermal waters on the last day of the hike.
  • -Trek in one way, the outward and return journeys are made by different paths.
  • -Public transport relatively easy to go but the return is more complicated - although possible.
  • -Numerous drinking water points except the last day of the hike without water on a portion of 10 hours of walking.
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  • -The path being not very used, it is common for there to get portions where the path disappears completely into the vegetation. In such case your guide will be equipped with a machete to open a passage.

Level of difficulty: 3/5
Duration adaptable from 3 to 5 days.

Crossing the Andes to Santa Apolonia and Maracaibo Lake Venezuela
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Crossing the Andes to Santa Apolonia and Maracaibo Lake Venezuela
Day 1: From Mérida to Pan de Azúcar peak Base Camp

Departure in the morning from Mérida by public transport towards La Culata. After about 1 hour of driving, we will reach the end of the road at La Culata at 3000 meters above sea level. landscapes will switch between meadows and dense vegetation that is composed mainly of rosette plants, shrubs and grasses. We camp in the evening at the base camp of Pan de Azúcar peak at an altitude of 4200 m after 6 to 7 hours of walking. Note: the Chaac hike theoretically begins at El Banco. This place being almost inaccessible by public transport, we advantageously chose La Culata as a starting point, this affecting neither the duration nor the landscapes of the hike.

Accommodation: Night in a tent.
Communication: no network.
Crossing the Andes to Santa Apolonia and Maracaibo Lake Venezuela
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Crossing the Andes to Santa Apolonia and Maracaibo Lake Venezuela
Day 2: Walk to Llano del Trigo and Refugio El Oso

Today we will reach the highest point of our hike at 4450 meters above sea level via a pass without vegetation where sand and rocks alternate. The view is splendid on the entire descent to Lake Maracaibo which seems so close to us! We will gradually descend to the El Oso shelter at 3200 meters where we will camp after 6 to 7 hours of walking.

Accommodation: Night in a tent.
Communication: no network.
Crossing the Andes to Santa Apolonia and Maracaibo Lake Venezuela
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Crossing the Andes to Santa Apolonia and Maracaibo Lake Venezuela
Day 3: From El Amparo to Cerro el Novillo

The forest is in front of us, majestic, humid and compact! We leave the high altitudes almost bare for this new landscape experience. The path is getting smaller and smaller, we have to step over tree trunks that have fallen to the ground, brambles are not uncommon and the many small streams of water are sometimes difficult to cross. Your guide using a machete will open part of the path in front of you! The experience is worth living, even if it is tough. Overnight at Cerro El Novillo at 3300 meters above sea level after 6 to 7 hours of walking.

Accommodation: Night in a tent.
Communication: no network.
Crossing the Andes to Santa Apolonia and Maracaibo Lake Venezuela
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Crossing the Andes to Santa Apolonia and Maracaibo Lake Venezuela
Day 4: From Cerro el Novillo to Santa Apolonia

Be careful, we won't find any water all day and will have to plan ahead. The very poorly maintained path now winds through a primitive forest and the heat increases as we progress. Soon Santa Apolonia will be in sight after 6 to 7 hours of walking. On site it is possible to go to the thermal waters and even to spend the night there. The return to Mérida will have to be done via the city bus terminal of Caja Seca which is not easy to reach due to the lack of frequent transport from Santa Apolonia.

Accommodation: none.
Communication: no network.
PRICES PER PERSON
Options :
  • - Personal carrier (12KG), see HERE.
  • - Public or private transport on the first and last day of the trek, see HERE.
The following is included in this price:
  • - Specialized guides, see HERE.
  • - telephone support 24 hours a day, 7 days a week throughout your stay
  • - The administrative formalities for entering the natural park.
Not included:
  • - Accommodation
  • - Hiking equipment available HERE for hire
  • - Transport to the starting point and back on the last day of the hike, see HERE
  • - Meals, see HERE
  • - Personal expenses
  • - Any type of insurance.
  • - Anything not mentioned in "this price includes"
Organization of the stay:
Circuits on free dates are private. Only circuits whose dates are published HERE are in groups.
Questions ?


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