a VirtualTourist member
We are planning to spend a few days here next year. Any advice welcome. Is it best to:-
a)travel independently and hire a car to get about
b)get there and then join a tour for day trips
c)join a tour in Caracas
Any suggestions re nice inexpensive accomodation or places to visit? Have read a few guide books but there are often many more things to do than they can include.
if you like active travelling then merida is a true paradise.
i went on several trips when i was there with a very good local company called arassari trek.
their website is: www.arassari.com
Hi [VT member a5d11],
I would usually recommend travelling independently, so that would be my option. We took a bus from Caracas (14 hours and about 25 dollars) to Merida and then flew back (about an hour flight). Nice way to see the countryside if you're interested. I don't think I would rent a car, just me personally, but the highways are nice if you want to do so. In Merida, we stayed in the Belensate Hotel, which is very nice and about 50 or 60 dollars a night. Merida is a tourist destination, so you'll be able to find much cheaper places than this. As Cachaseiro suggested there is a lot of adventure-type tourism, so they'll be plenty of guided or self-guided tour possibilities right there in Merida. You probably don't need to arrange anything from Caracas.
Lots to see, particularly the nature stuff, different vegetation zones, etc.. I would have liked to see the "Faro de Catatumbo" (an almost nightly lightning display) down from Merida on the Lago de Maracaibo, but we didn't have time.
Well, Merida is not such a big state, so I would recomend you to rent a car too. Merida is a touristic place, so you will find good directions to the main attractions. You can go by bus from Caracas, or by Plane. Going by car from Caracas is a little hard, 'cause the directions on the highways are not so good, and you'll have to drive for 8 to 10 hours. But of course you can do it too if you want. From Merida you can go to Tachira too, its another state in the border with Colombia, and from there you can cross to Colombia to the city of Cucuta. Tachira is around 3-4 hours away from Merida, you can make the tripo from Merida to Cucuta in around 7-8 hours. Merida is known as the Gentlemen City (Ciudad de los Caballeros) because its people is very kind so you will have a good time there.