Parque Nacional Sierra Nevada

Venezuela

The most popular high-mountain trekking area is the Sierra Nevada national park, which has all of Venezuela's highest peaks, including Pico Bolívar (5007m/16,427ft), Pico Humboldt (4942m/16,214ft) and Pico Bonpland (4883m/16,020ft). Climbing these peaks shouldn't be attempted without a guide, unless you have climbing experience. Guided trips are offered by most of Mérida's tour operators.

Pico Bolívar, Venezuela's highest point, is one of the most popular peaks to climb. Given the country's mania for Bolívar monuments, it's no surprise that a bust of the hero has been placed on the summit!

An easier destination is Los Nevados, a charming mountain village nestled at 2440m (8005ft). The hike is normally done as a two-day loop that includes rides by cable car, mule and jeep.