Koche and Merida, Venezuela
The island, 11 km long and 6 km wide, is inhabited by about 10,000 people. The people live mainly off the sea, exporting shrimp, sardines and other fish. The island has good roads and a minimum of traffic.
The main attraction of Koche Island, located a few kilometers south of about. Margarita, are its white sandy beaches and absolutely transparent, clean coastal waters. Not far from the island is a coral reef that attracts snorkellers. For other water sports, Playa la Punta is especially popular with kite surfers.
The island is ideal for lovers of solitude, who can combine a beach holiday with quad bike rides and trips to the island. Margarita with the world’s best surf beach, nightclubs and duty free shops. Special ferries run between the islands twice a day.
on the island is always hot and dry; there is little rainfall throughout the year, with the periods from July to August and from November to January being considered the rainy season.
The center of the Venezuelan Andes is the state of Merida. The mountain system here forms two parallel mountain ranges, separated by a deep green valley, in which lies the city of Merida – the mountain capital of Venezuela and the largest city in this region. The southern range is called the Sierra Nevada de Merida, the highest peak of which is Peak Bolívar (4981 m), the northern mountain range is called the Sierra Culata. Both mountain ranges have been declared a National Park because of the extraordinary beauty and rarity of the local nature.
The state of Merida is famous for its diverse landscapes. The unique outlines of alpine landscapes, the beaches of Lake Maracaibo, the tropical greenery of the “cloudy” forests – all this fills the land of Merida with a special charm. 12 fast-moving rivers cross the state, forming calm, serene lagoons at the bends of the current. Turbulent streams begin their journey high in the mountains, as if touching the sky with their tops, and rush down through countless canyons, narrow valleys and gorges. The harmony of pacifying landscapes and the noble silence of the mountains give rise to a state close to meditation. It is no coincidence that the best Venezuelan writers were born in Merida. Many artists also look for inspiration in these peaks.
In the past, these lands were inhabited by representatives of the Timotokuika people, who were engaged in growing crops on high mountain terraces. Modern residents of Merida are distinguished by a soft, friendly disposition; long manual work on the ground tempered their character and instilled deep moral convictions.
The city of Merida, founded in the middle of the 16th century, surrounded on all sides by mountains, remained a provincial town for a long time. For several centuries, few events have stirred up his quiet life: the great earthquake of 1812 and the two-time visit of Simon Bolivar, who stopped in the city on his way to Colombia, and then back to Caracas.
The central square of Merida is named after him. It’s not that the townspeople treated Simon Bolivar in any special way, it just so happened that all the main squares of cities and even villages in Venezuela bear this name.
The main attraction of Merida is the longest and highest cable car in the world – Teleferico, which takes tourists from the city to the mountains to see the second highest peak of Venezuela – Espejo. Teleferiko is located at an altitude of 1639.5 meters above sea level and has a length of 12.5 kilometers. This cable car consists of 4 spans with three transfer platforms, which the cabin overcomes in 1 hour. The last, 4th, span has a length of 3069 m. Two cabins, operating on a pendulum system, move along a carrier cable under the pull of three cables and are driven by a 230 horsepower engine. The maximum capacity of the cabins is 45 passengers, the speed is 9.7 m/s (35 km/h).
In Merida, there is another attraction – an ice cream parlor, listed in the Guinness Book of Records. Here, visitors are offered more than 700 varieties of exotic sweets. Among them there are the most unexpected – ice cream with cheese, meat, pistachios, ham, garlic and vodka. The menu of this cafe takes up an entire wall. There is a tradition in the cafe – tourists who come to Merida from all over the world leave paper bills in the cafe – the money of their country.