De las tierras más altas y hermosas de nuestro país, Mérida es la primera. Ubicada en el occidente de Venezuela, limita al norte con los estados Zulia y Trujillo; al sur con Táchira y Barinas; al este con Trujillo y Barinas y al oeste con Táchira y Zulia. Su capital es la Ciudad de Mérida. Es un paisaje de tierras altas, frescas e incluso frías que otrora, fuera habitado por diversas tribus indígenas en épocas pasadas.

 

Por Bernhard Weissenbach

Los Timoto-Cuicas, Torondoyes, Timotes, Mucurubaes y Escagueyes ocuparon las regiones más elevadas y frías del norte de Mérida. Por su parte, las tribus Bailadores, Chinatos, Mocoties y Jirajaras optaron por asentarse en el sur de este hermoso estado que terminó adoptando varios de estos nombres indígenas para identificar a sus pueblos.

Por muchos años, Mérida ha sido considerada como un destino top para venezolanos y extranjeros por sus características geográficas y climáticas. Sin embargo, la belleza de sus montañas, laderas, picos, lagunas y pueblos trasciende porque su oferta turística incluye parques temáticos, iglesias, plazas y teleférico entre un sinfín de atractivos como monumentos, santuarios, museos, universidades y cuna de talentos deportivos. Todo este universo de encantos es lo que la posiciona de manera sólida en el mercado turístico.

Sin duda, el teleférico de Mérida encabeza la lista de atractivos turísticos de este destino. Abordando un poquito de historia, conocemos que esta obra fue proyectada en 1952, por un grupo llamado el Club Andino Venezolano, durante el gobierno del General Marcos Pérez Jiménez; con la intención de construir un sistema de transporte que permitiera de forma segura y más rápida, el ascenso a la Sierra Nevada de Mérida. Tres años después, en 1955, el la propuesta fue considerada por el Ejecutivo y se iniciaron los trabajos de levantamiento topográfico de la misma.

En 1956, se trazó la ruta final y, en 1957, entró en funcionamiento el teleférico de carga hasta la estación La Aguada. La creación de esta parada fue determinante, permitió el transporte de los materiales de construcción para culminar el resto de las estaciones de una obra de ingeniería de talla mundial que, en el año 1960 fue inaugurada y tasada en un valor de inversión de alrededor de 16mm de dólares.

Luego de casi 50 años de funcionamiento continuo, el teleférico más alto y largo del mundo debió cerrar sus puertas en el año 2008, por una infinidad de problemas y escándalos financieros entre las autoridades nacionales y el consorcio austríaco que llevo adelante el proyecto. Cesadas las diferencias pudo ser reinaugurado en octubre de 2016, retomando sus atributos de ser el Teleférico más alto del mundo, alcanzando una altura de 4.765msnv;  y el segundo más largo del mundo, en un recorrido de 12.5 km.

Recientemente en nuestro artículo sobre Parques Temáticos, tuvimos la oportunidad de conocer algunos de los más famosos lugares para visitar durante su estadía en Mérida. Por tal razón, les dejamos a continuación, algunos otros atractivos dignos de visitar en la Ciudad de Los Caballeros de Venezuela:

  • Laguna de Mucubají. Parque Nacional. Vía Apartaderos hacia Santo  Domingo.
  • Pico El Águila. Carretera Transandina. Troncal 7.
  • Parque Nacional Sierra Nevada.  Troncal 7.
  • Páramo de la Culata. Sierra Nevada.
  • Los Chorros de Milla. Av. Principal Chorros de Milla.
  • Capilla de Piedras Juan Félix Sánchez. Troncal 7, San Rafael de Mucuchíes.
  • Plaza de Toros Román Eduardo Sandía. Av. Las Américas.
  • Estadio Metropolitano de Mérida.
  • Estadio Guillermo Soto Rosa. Av. Humberto Tejera.
  • Teleférico de Mérida. Final Calle 24 Rangel, Plaza Las Heroínas.

Junto a esa pequeña lista, podemos agregar, fácilmente, otras 40 atracciones o espacios dignos de visitar en este maravilloso estado ubicado en lo más alto de nuestro país. Eso sí, abríguensen bien y lleve consigo una cámara, pues bajo ningún concepto puede pasar por alto, retratar postales únicas cargadas de paisajes majestuosos, historia, gastronomía, entretenimiento y su valor más preciado, su gente.

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