Pico Bolivar is Venezuela’s highest mountain. It is named after Simon Bolivar, a hero of Venezuela’s independence.

Why Is It Famous?

The fame of Pico Bolivar comes from its status as Venezuela’s highest mountain, thanks to its elevation of 4,978 meters.

What Is Nearby?

This mountain is in Venezuela’s Merida State. You can take the Merida cable car to the nearby Pico Espejo. From there, you can climb the mountain by walking. Pico Bolivar is located on a mountain that used to be known as La Columna. It is next to El Leon, which is 4,743 meters, and El Toro, which is 4,695 meters.

Geological Description

During the Pleistocene epoch, specifically, the Merida glaciation, the glaciated area on Pico Bolivar covered mountains of at least 3,000 meters with a glaciated area of up to 600 square kilometers. By the end of the glaciation, the glaciers shrank progressively, possibly disappearing before the Little Ice Age began.

Estimates indicate that in 1910, two large areas covered a combined 10 square kilometers in glaciers. By 2003, nearly all of these glaciers had disappeared. Based on the current rate of glacier loss, experts indicate that Venezuela will become the first country to lose its glaciated areas by 2020.

Events in Time

In 1925, Tulio Febres Cordero suggested renaming La Columna to Pico Bolivar, with the official name change occurring December 30, 1934.

Throughout history, there were various estimates and calculations of the elevation of Pico Bolivar. Calculations included 5,002 meters in 1912 and 5,007 meters in 1928. In the 1990s, experts finally used GPS observations to measure it to 4,980.8 meters, without validation. New measurements in 2002 provided the correct height of 4,978.4 meters, which was published in 2005.


Pico Bolivar is the highest mountain in Venezuela and is home to shrinking glaciers that will likely disappear within a year or two.