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Merida to Maracaibo, Venezuela - I Can See The Oil Pipelines

Venezuela travel blog by Mark Berman - December 2010   » View Photoset (21 Photos)

Mark Berman, South America backpacker for 10yrs!
I left Merida after 2 weeks there and took a bus during the day north to Maracaibo, this journey took 9hrs. The scenery isn't the most
Venezuela Photo - The road leaving Merida to Maracaibo.
The road leaving Merida to Maracaibo.
mind-blowing that Venezuela has to offer but it is pleasant enough and has long straight roads and open spaces.

9hrs by Bus

After leaving Merida the bus headed in the direction of Tovar and El Vigia. The mountains and river gauge are nice to see, there is lots of cactus around. A billboard depicting Simon Bolivar and Hugo Chavez claimed that it was now 200yrs since Venezuelas 1st independence and that they were now having their 2nd independence. After nearly an hour on the road we came to some big mountains that had a great series of tunnels going straight through them. The first tunnel was Tunel Estanques and is 1485 meters long. The next tunnel was Tunel Cana Brava and is 537 meters long and the next tunnel was Tunel Santa Teresa and is 2650 meters. We came out to be alongside on the right of the river gorge and then over a bridge, the scenery is beautiful and green. A little
Venezuela Photo - A vehicle overloaded with steel bars tips up on the road.
A vehicle overloaded with steel bars tips up on the road.
while later there is a town and stalls beside the road selling meat, fresh fish and fruits such as strawberries, watermelons and peaches. We came to a place called Mucujepe where there is a little park with a red and yellow monument in the middle. There is a yellow church with multicolored windows. 10 minutes later we come to Obispo Ramos de Lora, a small place with a few shops and red and orange flowers. 15 minutes later we come to a larger town or possibly an extension of the previous town, there is a shop selling
Venezuela Photo - Wall murals in the street in a town on way to Maracaibo.
Wall murals in the street in a town on way to Maracaibo.
horseriding equipment. There is a white church in the distance as we pass around the fountain-traffic island, the streets are busy with markets and colored umbrellas. There is a monument of a green and red virgen Santa Elena. We passed through the toll gate, over rivers and past various things on the roadside like fruit and meat stands. The land here has farms and animals around. Then we came to the town of Tucani, a busy little place where the park had decorations and props for the children for Christmas all set up.

10kms South of Lake Maracaibo

Tucani is about 10kms south of the bottom of Lake Maracaibo. We now headed in the direction of Santa Apolonia, Palmarito and Nueva Bolivia. La Pueblita is 5kms, Santa Apolonia is
Venezuela Photo - Bolivar was the 1st to make Venezuela independent, Chavez was the 2nd, billboard north of Merida.
Bolivar was the 1st to make Venezuela independent, Chavez was the 2nd, billboard north of Merida.
16kms and there is the Aguas Termales 14kms away. After this, a short while later we stopped for lunch for about 30 minutes. It is around this point that the road divides, left to Maracaibo or right to Barquisimeto. We come to Estado Zulia and some toll gates. 20 minutes later we are in Mene Grande, this is farming country for the next hour. Now I start to see the oil pipeline along the roadside as we head towards Ciudad Ojeda. Cabimas 3kms, Santa Rita 23kms and Maracaibo 40kms.

There is Oil Beneath the Lake

20 minutes later we are on the Maracaibo bridge going across the great Lake Maracaibo, there is much oil beneath the lake. This is the last part of the 9hr journey as we arrive in Maracaibo at the bus terminal after taking 10 minutes to cross the bridge.

Cheap Hotels

There are a bunch of cheap hotels behind the bus terminal and I found a bed at one of these for the night. My plan for the next morning was to continue on to the city of Coro.

     

View all photos in the Merida to Maracaibo Photoset


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Distances & times (if available) from about halfway from Merida to Maracaibo (Venezuela) to:


Map location: Merida to Maracaibo, Venezuela. I left Merida and took a bus north to Maracaibo, this journey took 9hrs. The scenery isn't the most mind-blowing that Venezuela has to offer but it is pleasant enough and the roads are long and straight!
 A : Timotes - Venezuela 67 kms 67 kms straight distance | 2hrs 28mins 2hrs 28mins by car (121 kms) | 2hrs 57mins 2hrs 57mins by bus (121 kms) (121 kms)
 B : San Isidro de Apartaderos - Venezuela 84 kms 84 kms straight distance | 2hrs 45mins 2hrs 45mins by car (140 kms) | 3hrs 18mins 3hrs 18mins by bus (140 kms) (140 kms)
 C : Mucuchies - Venezuela 88 kms 88 kms straight distance | 3hrs 6mins 3hrs 6mins by car (152 kms) | 3hrs 43mins 3hrs 43mins by bus (152 kms) (152 kms)
 D : El Paramo - Venezuela 100 kms 100 kms straight distance | 4hrs 3mins 4hrs 3mins by car (187 kms) | 4hrs 51mins 4hrs 51mins by bus (187 kms) (187 kms)
 E : Carora - Venezuela 124 kms 124 kms straight distance | 2hrs 37mins 2hrs 37mins by car (187 kms) | 3hrs 8mins 3hrs 8mins by bus (187 kms) (187 kms)
 F : Barinas to Apartaderos - Venezuela 99 kms 99 kms straight distance | 4hrs 14mins 4hrs 14mins by car (204 kms) | 5hrs 4mins 5hrs 4mins by bus (204 kms) (204 kms)
 G : Maracaibo - Venezuela 148 kms 148 kms straight distance | 3hrs 11mins 3hrs 11mins by car (217 kms) | 3hrs 49mins 3hrs 49mins by bus (217 kms) (217 kms)
 H : Merida - Venezuela 106 kms 106 kms straight distance | 4hrs 11mins 4hrs 11mins by car (233 kms) | 5hrs 1min 5hrs 1min by bus (233 kms) (233 kms)
 I : El Tintorero & Quibor - Venezuela 169 kms 169 kms straight distance | 3hrs 3mins 3hrs 3mins by car (234 kms) | 3hrs 39mins 3hrs 39mins by bus (234 kms) (234 kms)
 J : Barinas - Venezuela 130 kms 130 kms straight distance | 4hrs 52mins 4hrs 52mins by car (245 kms) | 5hrs 50mins 5hrs 50mins by bus (245 kms) (245 kms)
 K : Barquisimeto - Venezuela 186 kms 186 kms straight distance | 3hrs 24mins 3hrs 24mins by car (255 kms) | 4hrs 4mins 4hrs 4mins by bus (255 kms) (255 kms)
 L : Maracaibo to Coro - Venezuela 171 kms 171 kms straight distance | 3hrs 51mins 3hrs 51mins by car (258 kms) | 4hrs 37mins 4hrs 37mins by bus (258 kms) (258 kms)
 M : Acarigua - Venezuela 200 kms 200 kms straight distance | 4hrs 41mins 4hrs 41mins by car (357 kms) | 5hrs 37mins 5hrs 37mins by bus (357 kms) (357 kms)
 N : Cucuta to Venezuela - Colombia 244 kms 244 kms straight distance | 7hrs 2mins 7hrs 2mins by car (400 kms) | 8hrs 26mins 8hrs 26mins by bus (400 kms) (400 kms)
 O : San Antonio to San Cristobal - Venezuela 239 kms 239 kms straight distance | 7hrs 41mins 7hrs 41mins by car (427 kms) | 9hrs 13mins 9hrs 13mins by bus (427 kms) (427 kms)
Driving times are accurate but approximate and are listed in the order of driving distance! Drive times are always affected by weather conditions, the terrain, time of day, altitude, dinner and bathroom stops, animals on the road, protests, a fast or slow bus driver, police checkpoints, border and river crossings, dropping off and picking up passengers etc. These drive times are obtained from Google Maps and are meant as a guide. Note however, times quoted in the main text of this page are exactly as the author experienced it.


My Hostel & Hotel Reviews for Merida to Maracaibo, Venezuela:

Hotel Caroni, Maracaibo, Venezuela - Large Photo
Hotel Caroni, Maracaibo, Venezuela (December 2010 - 1 night) - A cheap dive across the road from the Maracaibo bus terminal. Not great or very clean, just a place to crash for a few hours. The best price I could get out of several dingy hotels all next to each other behind the terminal.

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Merida to Maracaibo, Venezuela - I Can See The Oil Pipelines. I left Merida and took a bus north to Maracaibo, this journey took 9hrs. The scenery isn't the most mind-blowing that Venezuela has to offer but it is pleasant enough and the roads are long and straight!

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