In northern Caracas, in El Avila National Park, there is a small village named Galipan, whose first settlers came from Canary Islands to the Avila northern watershed about two hundred years ago.
Small town o the northern hillside. At the bottom Galipan peak
Houses on the hillside
View of Caracas. (San Bernardino. At the bottom Parque Central)
Driving a four wheel drive vehicle you can reach the top of the Avila mountain in less than half an hour. Along this very steep paved route you can admire beautiful trees and a fine view of western Caracas.
The way up
The way up from Caracas can be started at Cotiza. A few minutes from there you will come across a guard park station where you should pay a small entrance fee. Later you will get to a parking lot from where you can go on walking up to "Los Venados", one of the most pleasant spots in the park, furnished with camping and picnicking amenities.
Colonial house at "Los Venados"
Further up at a height of 1870 m. approximately, you get to a place named "Boca e' tigre" (The tiger's mouth), where the pavement ends and the way forks. The left fork gets you to San Jose de Galipan and further down to "El Litoral" (the sea shore by Maiquetia and Macuto ). The right fork will lead you towards the Avila Range; you will pass a small cave with a Virgin and at a new fork, taking left you will get to San Isidro de Galipan.
Al poco tiempo y a 1.870 metros de altura, se llega a un lugar conocido como "Boca 'e tigre" en donde termina el pavimento y hay una bifurcación que lleva a San José de Galipán y luego hasta el litoral (Maiquetía y Macuto). Si se sigue hacia la derecha, enfilando hacia la fila del Ávila se llega a una gruta con una virgen y en una nueva bifurcación bajando hacia la izquierda se llega a San Isidro de Galipán.
Way down to San Francisco de Galipán
Rearmost view: the Humboldt Hotel tower
Virgen de Galipán
In San Isidro, you may call in a small local shop to get groceries and most important of all, enjoy the house famous speciality: pork sandwiches and freshly brewed strawberry or blackberry juice. You can also hire a horse for the "small ones" to go riding around.
Waiting for the sandwiches
The Galipan area was deeply devastated by a huge rock and mud avalanche occurred in 1999, as the result of several consecutive days of heavy rains. Remains of this natural disaster can still be observed in neighbouring mountains.
On the way to Galipan you will pass by many stalls, where you can treat yourself to strawberries topped with whipped cream, peach, strawberry and blackberry juice, home-made biscuits, and flowers. Nice treats at nice prices.
Buying strawberries with whipped cream
House at Galipan