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GAVIDIA - SANTA MARÍA DE CANAGUÁ

Extraordinary trek following an ancestral road that the indigenous from the páramo (mostly glacier formed valleys and plains) of Gavidia and Mucuchíes used to transport the products from the mountains to the plains. You will get to see how this marvelous landscape keeps changing as you descend along the trail. You will walk the different altitudinal levels in which the ecosystems and the vegetation vary from the páramo covered with frailejones (a plant that you can only find in Andean mountains) to the grasslands of the plains. Along the journey we will cross through the Andean scrub and the magnificent cloud forest. We will see typical small rural houses. We will have the opportunity to stay in picturesque “posadas” or inns where we will spend the night and get to know and experience the lifestyle of the simple and very friendly people from the mountains. We will also have the chance to share the authentic Andean food based on products harvested by them and prepared at the heat of a typical “fogon”(hearth). You can make this incredible journey by foot, on the back of mules or horses or alternating both options. Let’s enjoy this eccentric privilege. Let’s transit through a road that gives us the opportunity to feel that we are travelling 150 years back in time while enjoying the never ending connection with an incredible landscape.
Itinerary:
Day 1: We will arrive to Merida and from there we will be transported to Gavidia. In Gavidia we will have dinner and spend the night in a Mucuposada (Andean rural inn).

Day 2: We will have breakfast in the posada. Afterwards we will initiate a long journey through “Llano del Trigo” to the “Alto de Micarache” (3.640 m.s.n.m.), to start the descent through the páramo and the transition area until we get to the cloud forest or mountain jungle, following the course of the Canaguá river until we get to the rural settlement of “Carrizal”. We will stop for a picnic lunch on the way. Dinner and lodging will be in a Mucuposada.
Estimated trekking time: 9 hours .

Day 3: Additional day in Carrizal to enjoy the place and its surroundings (thermal springs, crops, trout fishing, beekeeping, swimming in the river, etc) at the same time we get the chance to relax and rest from yesterday’s long journey.

Day 4: We will have breakfast in the posada. Then we will continue the trekking through the exuberant mountain jungle, crossing the rivers by suspension bridges until we arrive to San José from where you have a magnificent view of the plains. On one side the impressive mountains and on the other the grassland’s plains. We will stop during the journey to have a picnic lunch. We will have dinner and spend the night in a Mucuposada. Estimated trekking time: 5 hours

Day 5: After breakfast we will continue our trekking, walking through coffee plantations through a shadowy forest until we arrive to the “Alto de La Aguada” where there is a simple church built by Juan Félix Sánchez (famous andean folk artist). From there we will descend the final stretch of the range through grasslands to arrive at the end of the journey: Santa María de Canaguá. Here, we will have lunch in the posada. After lunch we can dedicate the rest of the afternoon to enjoy the nearby river. Afterwards you can enjoy a relaxing massage (optional), dinner and lodging.

Day 6: After breakfast you will be taken to the Barinas airport to take your flight back, or initiate your return by road, as you choose.


Trip Grading: Advanced

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