Caracas Aerial Tramway

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Caracas Aerial Tramway: Warairarepano

The Caracas Aerial Tramway ascends El Ávila Mountain within El Ávila National Park, in Caracas, Venezuela.

History[edit]

It was inaugurated on April 19, 1952, by the then president of Venezuela, General Marcos Pérez Jiménez. It remained open until the end of the 1970s. A series of fruitless attempts to reopen it in 1986, 1988, and 1990 each ended in closure. In 2000, the national government gave a concession to the company Inversora Turística Caracas, which was to reopen the tramway to coincide with a rebuilt Hotel Humboldt and Parque Ávila Mágica.

In 2000, reconstruction of the cableway system began, as well as the one of the stations, and the cable cars are now operating. There are now more than 70 tram cars which can travel 3.5 km in little more than 15 minutes. The cost for a round trip ride is between 100 Bs (for Venezuelans) and 110 Bs (for non-Venezuelans). In August 2007, the concession was revoked and the park is once again in the hands of the federal government. In October 2007, it was renamed "Waraira Repano”." However, the hotel project was not as successful (it was never rebuilt or reopened) and despite being worked on for 13 years, the hotel is still a ruin.

The park area at the top of the mountain is a wide walkway along the ridgeline. Several vendors have set up food or handicraft kiosks. There is also a restaurant and ice skating rink, an enormous Venezuelan flag waving in the breeze, and the ruins of the Humboldt Hotel. Often the top of the mountain has clouds drifting through it obscuring the views. It is several degrees cooler than Caracas or the coast. When clear of clouds, the city of Caracas can be seen on one side and the coastline on the other side.

System[edit]

View from Avila

The original system had four stations and two sections, the first one between the city of Caracas (altitude 1,000m), and the top of Avila hill (2,100m), that also took passengers down to the Hotel Humboldt, and the second section left of the Avila that passed over the town of Galipán and finished in El Cojo station in Macuto, although the Estado Vargas (Vargas Station) fell into disuse and became obsolete.

The operating company, before the concession was revoked, reconstructed all of the first section (Maripérez - Ávila). The state then took control of the system and announced plans to further modernize the second section of the system, a task unfinished by the previous contractor because of the cancellation of the concession. At the beginning of 2008, the state put its plan into action and began the reconstruction of the second cableway system from Galipán to El Cojo, but to this day[when?] no construction has started on the site.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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