Guías de Viaje

Mucubají Lagoons and Santo Domingo

On the road from Apartaderos to Barinas not far from Santo Domingo, you find Mucubaji Lagoon the starting point to one of the most extraordinary excursions that you can relish while visiting the Andes. If the fog is too thick you may not see the lagoons even from a short distance, but if it happens to be a clear day, do not hesitate! Do the excursion! It is something to be long pleasantly remembered.

Mucubaji lagoon
Mucubaji lagoon

Mucubaji Lagoon is very close to the main road. You can reach it either by driving into the National Park after paying a fee at the entrance, or walking for about ten minutes from the main road. Between March and September, fishing from the lagoon deck is allowed to those holding a fishing license issued by The Agricultural Ministry Office in Merida or Mucuruba.

Pier above Mucubaji Lagoon
Pier above Mucubaji Lagoon

Moor near the Lagoon
Moor near the Lagoon

From Mucubaji you can start the excursion to Laguna Negra (Black Lagoon). You can either walk or ride (fees for riding may include a guide). The round hike takes between two and a half to three hours. It is recommended only to fit excursionist who should bear in mind that the average altitude on this region is 3500 m.

Camino a Caballo

The round ride takes approximately one and a half hour. Horses for riding are tame and purposely trained, so the riding hardly demands any skill.

Video (MPG - 120K)

Shortly after departing, you will find a viewing point from where you can have a splendid far distant view of Laguna Victoria (Victory Lagoon). At any rate, don't miss it!!

Victoria lagoon
Victoria lagoon

A little further on the road the Laguna Negra's view will magnificently show up.

Laguna Negra aus der Ferne

Weg zur Laguna Negra

Laguna Negra

From now on the path gets narrower and allows only two horses side by side

Just before reaching Black Lagoon you will see a thin newly born rivulet running down the mountain like a silver thread, and a few minutes later the reward to your effort will materialize right before your eyes.

The view of the lagoon will take your breath away.

Laguna Negra (Black lagoon)
Laguna Negra (Black lagoon)

From this point you may continue the hike up to Laguna de Los Patos (Ducks Lagoon) and Pico Mucuñuque (Mucuñuque Peak) at an altitude of 4672 m. This excursion should only be undertaken by the very fit and experienced excursionist, well equipped and previously authorized by park guards.

Santo Domingo

Going down from Mucubaji to Barinas is Santo Domingo, an excellent choice for lodging and food, especially for those who would rather spend the night at a less high place.

Bolivar Square
Bolivar Square

Hotel Los Frailes

Santo Domingo is an unsurpassable place for trout, mushrooms and handcrafts. Among several hotels, one of them deserves a special mention, Hotel Los Frailes (The Monks), an ancient monastery converted into an hotel.

Trout hatchery
Trout hatchery

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