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Getting Here & Around
Mérida's Aeropuerto Alberto Carnevali (MRD), five minutes by taxi from the city center, is served by Avior and Santa Bárbara with 12 flights daily from Caracas.
The Trans-Andina Highway is one of the most scenic routes in the country, with wonderful towns along the way where you'll be tempted to stop, even if only to refill you tank and have a quick café con leche (coffee and milk). The spectacular 12-hour journey from Caracas begins on Highway 51 west to Valencia. From here, follow the road to Barinas, then Barinitas, where the ascent to the Andes begins. Budget and Davila are reputable agencies at Mérida's Aeropuerto Alberto Carnevali. With either agency, expect to pay close to Bs. F196 per day for the smallest car. There are morning and evening departures from Terminal la Bandera in Caracas to Terminal Antonio Paredes in Mérida. The grueling 10- to 13-hour trip costs less than Bs. F60. Purchase your ticket at least a day in advance at the station. Expreso Mérida is a reputable company that services the route. Buses from Mérida's Terminal Antonio Paredes head to all the smaller mountain towns along the Trans-Andina Highway, including Jají, Apartaderos, and Mucuchíes.
Travel through this Andean region can be arranged according to your own desires and interests through the U.S.-based Lost World Adventures or through its partner in Mérida, Montaña Adventures. Other reputable Mérida-based companies include Natoura Adventure Tours and VenAventours. There is a state tourism office, Cormetur, near the airport in Mérida. Some staff members speak English. The Institute of National Parks, Inparques, also has an office in Mérida that can assist you with camping permits.
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