Merida Travel Guide
See the Andes under someone else's steam (mostly) this South American summer. While some parts of the Venezuelan Andes may not be traversable on horseback, at least your beast of burden can carry the packs.
The northern Andean llaneros (called gauchos at points further south) patrolled the western grasslands they were named for. There are still 12 million cattle in western Venezuela and Colombia, but that's a task for a more advanced rider.
A passel of outfitters offer horseback riding trips in Venezuela, from luxe resort landings to tent-and-campfire outings. Arassari Trek leads from out of a traditional farm called Finca Yegua Blanca outside of Mérida, and Lost World Adventures will take you to one of the world's highest cable car systems or to glacier lakes. But hey, if your Spanish is good, try going with a local operator once you get there.
The airport of the city of Merida, Venezuela is in between a valley with 17,000-foot mountains and houses at the end off the runway... As of matter of fact a passenger plane crash after take off on the 21st of February.
That was Santa Barbara Airlines Flight 518, and the crash killed all 46 people on board. The turboprop plane didn't get far from the airport because of the mountains surrounding the runway: Flight 518 slammed into a rock face just 6 miles from MRD.
Know another dangerous airport? Fill us in.