Pico El Aguila (also called Collado del Condor) is a high mountain pass at an elevation of 4.119m (13,511 ft) above the sea level located in the Merida región, in the Andes of Venezuela. The asphalted road to the summit is the highest in Venezuela, and the highest point of the Trans-Andean highway.
This road is very exciting and sometimes very exposed and unsecured driveway in innumerable twists and turns. At the top of the pass there’s a bronze statue of a real condor, which commemorates when Simon Bolivar and his army of liberation passed the Andes in 1813, during the Admirable Campaign, and there’s a shop where visitors can drink hot chocolate and buy souvenirs and a the small white-and-green chapel.
The road's winding design, providing stunning panoramic views, is very curvy and fun for a leisurely ride, so it pays to take it slow. The landscape is characterized by páramo with the high-altitude shrub frailejón(espeletia schultzii) that is endemic to the Andean Mountains of Colombia, Ecuador and Venezuela. From the summit it’s a beautiful switchback drive down all the way to Lake Maracaibo.
Pic: Rogelio Rojas