Merida City Guide
OVERVIEW: A mid-sized university city located in northeastern Venezuela. The best place to visit for a first time tourist to the country. Venezuela often gets a bad wrap for violence and government ineptness, but Merida is an extraordinary example of the country's potential.
WEATHER: Tropical/Temperate (18-24 °C). Temperatures remain consistent throughout the year.
SAFETY: Considerably safer than Caracas. Crime against tourists is rare. You should be fine unless you go looking for trouble.
MUST DO: I should suggest a whole bunch of nature stuff you should do like canoeing, horseback riding, hiking, cable car riding...but instead I'm going to recommend partying until the sun rises with genetically-gifted Chamitas (Venezuelan girls).
RENT AN APARTMENT IN MERIDA, VENEZUELA: $200.00 will get you an apartment in the city centre of Merida, although the Los Tapias neighbourhood might be a better option as far as safety goes.
HOSTEL DORM BED/NIGHT $10.00 around Parque los Heroines.
NIGHTLIFE IN MERIDA, VENEZUELA: 8/10
Among the best for a city its size. Avenida 4 near the cathedral is a good place to start. Bars in Merida are plentiful and range from upscale to dive. The best part about nightlife in Merida is the roaring enthusiasm of the partygoers. The energy is absolutely contagious, and bars will still be going strong right up until 5 am. You can find a party here every night of the week, and the people are very friendly and welcoming towards foreigners.
BOTTLE OF BEER: n/a
CHANCE OF HOOKING-UP IN MERIDA, VENEZUELA: 7/10
The women of Merida are very curious about foreigners. It's your job to turn this curiosity into sexual attraction. Say things that will make you seem interesting, and come up with a good reason for being in Merida -- become more than just a typical gringo tourist. I wouldn't say English is widely spoken here, but many students have basic ability. The way to dominate here is to dress classy, be social but not too aggressive and, if possible, go out with a partner or in a small group.
***ONLINE DATING: Latin American Cupid allows you to talk with girls and set up dates before you arrive in the country. For this reason, I recommend it.
ARE GIRLS HOT IN MERIDA, VENEZUELA?: 8/10.
I was weak at the knees. But then again, I have quite an appetite for the Venezuelan brand of woman. Although, in general, I didn't find Venezuelan women any more physically attractive than their Colombian neighbours during my time in the country, girls in Merida are an exception - they are truly stunning. If you can get past all the bullshit involved with travelling to Venezuela at the moment, you're in for a treat.
If you want to meet women in Venezuela, you will need to speak some Spanish. The Pickup Spanish program is the only course of its kind, designed specifically to teach you Spanish for meeting Latinas in Latin America
GROCERIES: Milk (1L)= n/a Loaf of Bread= n/a Eggs= n/a Water (1.5L)= n/a Cigarettes= n/a
JOB OPPORTUNITIES: English teaching under the table. Helping university students score well in their English classes is your best bet for earning any sort of income in Venezuela right now.
TAXI: Basically free with current exchange rate (2017)
NOTES: A wonderful city that is, unfortunately, located in a country undergoing political turmoil with an inflation rate that puts many African nations to shame. Because of this, I have to grudgingly say that travel to Merida isn't worth the trouble. A jaunt to Colombia will provide you with similar demographics, culture, better prices, and more security. Hopefully Merida will become a bit more accessible for tourists in the near future.
OVERALL RATING: 7.5/10
*More city guides from Venezuela here!