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Acequias Discovery Tour: Experience Local Art, Culture, & Cuisine

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  • Explore the town of Acequias and help fund environmental and community awareness projects in Merida, Venezuela..Get acquainted with Acequias through the warm hospitality of a mucuposada, or traditional guesthouse owner..Learn how a local artisan creates ceramic artwork and take a guided tour on horseback to Las Lajas Lagoon.
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In the mountains to the south of Merida state, a group of people sleeps without the hustle and bustle of urban life. Ancestral traditions, ingenious craftsmen, traditional architecture, and the prodigious Andean landscapes combine with genuine local hospitality to ensure visitors an unforgettable experience. Southern Peoples continues to offer the purest expression of Andean culture. To visit Southern Peoples is to discover a unique region where rich local culture abounds. Taste authentic cuisine, meet friendly villagers, and spend the night in a local homestay. At Southern Peoples, you are not welcomed by employees, but by the community. Day 1: Starting in Merida, journey from Cuesta de Chihuy or Black Land in Gonzalez until you reach the community of Acequias, a town that has maintained its typical Andean architecture. The road leading to the village of Acequias winds along the banks of the mountain. Explore Sector Tierra Negra before gazing out at the stunning River Nuestra Señora and valley from the belvedere. Meet the regionally renowned Aligdo Rojas, a self-taught artisan in Sector Mocotaro, who works with ceramic to create figures of saints, small houses, and facades. Later, enjoy a locally sourced lunch at the family-owned restaurant San Antonio de Mucuño in Acequias. Taste an assortment of traditional bread, cheeses, small fried pastelitos, coffee, and chocolate. After lunch, rest up at the Mucuposada, the traditional guesthouse, or explore the town. Afterward, visit the village museum and church. After dinner, learn more about the work of this exceptional organization, Pueblos del Sur, through a video presentation.Day 2:Wake up to the sounds of the birds and roosters singing before returning to San Antonio de Mucuño for breakfast. After, meet your local guide and horses for an eight-hour expedition to beautiful Las Lajas Lagoon, enjoying expansive views of the Sierra Nevada mountains along the way.Day 3: After breakfast at San Antonio de Mucuño, visit the neighboring village of San Pedro. This charming town features a group of small, old homes with adobe walls and tiled roofs. Return to Acequias for lunch and a rejuvenating afternoon nap before uncovering the incredible ancient ruins of San Antonio de Mucuño, the vestiges of the earliest colonial mission in Venezuela dating back to the 17th century! Explore the semi-arid landscapes and discover the antique ceramic tile oven as you make the 12 km trek to the ruins. Day 4: Eat breakfast at San Antonio de Mucuño before heading out to visit the Valley Gallery in the neighboring village of Aldea San José del Sur. Then, tour Bolivia Plaza San José and the local church. Enjoy lunch at La Morita in San José del Sur, and later return to Merida.
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