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. It wasn't until the year 2000 that the national government gave concession to the company Inversora Turística Caracas, which was to reopen the tramway to coincide with a rebuilt Hotel Humboldt and Parque Ávila Mágica.

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, you can see the city of Caracas on one side and the coastline on the other side.

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, and can travel 3.5 km in little more than 15 minutes. The cost for a round trip ride is between 40 Bs (for senior citizens) and 100 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 In August 2007 the concession was revoked and the park is once again in the hands of the federal government.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 never was rebuilt or reopened. Despite being worked on for 13 years, the hotel is still a ruin.

System[edit]

View from Avila

The original system had 4 stations and two sections, the first one between the city of Caracas (1000m), and the top of Avila hill (2100m), that also took the passengers down to the Hotel Humboldt, and the second section left of the Avila; station 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The operating company, before the concession was revoked, reconstructed all the first section (Maripérez - Ávila). The State then took control of the system and announced plans to further modernize the reconstruction and modernization of the second section of the system, a task unfinished by the previous contractor due to the cancellation of the concession. At the beginning of 2008, the state put their plan into action and began the reconstruction of the second cableway system from Galipán - El Cojo, but to this day no constructions has started on the site.

See also[edit]

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