Pueblos del Sur(Villages of the South) in Mérida State is comprised of the villages of Acequias, San José, El Morro, Aricagua, Campo Elías, Mucutuy, Mucuchachí, Chacantá, Canaguá, El Molino, Pueblo Nuevo, Capurí, Mesa de Quintero, Río Negro, Guaraque, as well as many other small hamlets.
While the physical territory of the Pueblos del Sur covers more than 40% of Mérida State, only 11% of the state´s population resides here.
Historically, the rural region has remained isolated from modern development. The uneven ground and steep slopes have contributed to its isolation. It was only in the 1970s that the first roads were constructed here.
However, the isolation of the area has also protected the region´s traditional lifestyle. The towns have continued living at their own pace, following the customs of their indigenous and Spanish ancestors. In no other area of the state, and perhaps in all of the Venezuelan Andes, do local residents live with such respect and reverence for their traditions.
Today, Pueblos del Sur has opened its doors to tourism. However, the people here do not seek to develop traditional tourism, but rather community-based tourism. In this way, the residents will be able to promote low-impact activities that are respectful of the environment and traditional culture. Community members themselves will be the ones developing and running the posadas, restaurants, and guide services.
Definitely, the Pueblos del Sur are the Andes au naturel!