Caminos Posaderos Andinos, or Andean Inn Routes, is a network of spectacular trails and small inns allowing tourists to experience the Mérida Cordillera. The Mérida Cordillera is part of the Andes mountain chain within Venezuela, which extends from the Colombian border and has an area of 11,866 square miles. High plains, valleys, páramos (high, bare and cold regions) and mountains predominate its geography. This complex topography is interwoven with a wider variety of ecosystems, making it one of the most valuable reservoirs of biodiversity in Venezuela and in the world.
The project "Caminos Posaderos Andinos" was developed as part of a larger effort to promote alternatives to agriculture in rural communities. The project trains and advises communities in and near the national parks in the Mérida Cordillera on how to benefit from existing tourism. Community-based tourism is an important economic alternative for these communities. Moreover, the economic benefits attributed to the existence of the parks facilitates conservation work. The Programa Andes Tropicales (PAT), a local NGO, provides financial and technical support to the many small business owners who benefit from the project. Major donor support comes from the European Union, the CODESPA Foundation (Spain), Conservation International-Venezuela, the Venezuelan National Parks Institute and several European companies and foundations.
Construction and Operations
Thanks to a series of small grants and training programs local communities and businesses have been able to band together to create a network "mucuposadas" or Andean Inns which are interconnected by a network of approximately 150 miles of mountain trails and pathways. By using these services, sojourning with the farm families and enjoying the magnificent natural surroundings, the tourist participates in the improvement of the living conditions of the rural communities visited and helps with the conservation of fragile ecosystems and protected Andean areas.
Transformation of a Community
Caminos Posaderos Andinos allows the traveler to become familiar with places and cultures that are different from those offered by traditional tourism. This network of routes was designed especially for the adventure traveler and nature lover and generally uses the old pathways that allowed the inhabitants of the different villages to maintain contact and carry out trading.
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Facilities and Tourist Information
Caminos Posaderos Andinos is composed of a growing network of excursion routes having different degrees of difficulty that allow the visitor to go through exceptionally beautiful areas.
All along this network, the Asociación de Baquianos y Posaderos del Páramo (ASOBAP), a cooperative funded as part of the project, offers the traveler a wide range of services that assure a pleasant and safe trip, full of authentic experiences. These services range from guiding, to rental of camping equipments, lodging, etc.
The Mucuposadas, operated by members of ASOBAP, are traditional houses reconditioned to offer the visitor food and lodging services in a simple and warm manner. The Mucuposadas are distributed in a logical manner along the Caminos Posaderos Andinos (Andean Inn Routes) and, in many cases, they are the sole option for lodging in relatively unknown places of great beauty.
Since they are small enterprises managed by local families, ASOBAP chose to distinguish the lodging they offer from traditional lodging by using the prefix "mucu", which means "place of" in the old local native language.
Five Main Routes
- La Toma Alta-Mucumpis Duration: 4 Days/3 Nights
- Sta. María de Canagüá-Gavidia Duration: 6 Days/5 Nights
- Mitibibó-La Toma Alta-Misintá Duration: 4 Days/3 Nights
- Los Nevados-El Quinó_La Sabana Duration: 5 Days/4 Nights
- Mesa Julia-La Toma Alta Duration: 7 Days/6 Nights
To arrange for reservations, please contact:
Programa Andes Tropicales