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Pico Humboldt - Venezuela's 2nd Highest Mountain

Pico Humboldt is the second-tallest mountain in Venezuela and one of the most beautiful peaks anywhere in the Andes mountain range.

The mountain rises to an impressive height of 4,925 m (16,158 ft) and is located in Mérida, Venezuela. Its sister peak is Pico Bonpland, and both mountains are located in Sierra Nevada National Park.

Pico Humboldt - Venezuela's 2nd Highest Mountain

Pico Humboldt: At a Glance

  • Height: 4,925 m (16,158 ft)

  • Location: Mérida, Venezuela

  • Prominence: 440 meters

  • Mountain Range: Sierra Nevada de Merida, Venezuelan Andes.

  • First Ascent: 1911 by Alfredo Jahn

What's in a Name?

El Pico Humboldt has a unique name. It's named for the German explorer Alexander von Humbolt who is known for promoting Romantic philosophy and science.

His best-known work is Cosmos: A Sketch of a Physical Description of the Universe. He traveled throughout the Americas, including Venezuela. He is regarded as the "father of ecology."

Merida, Venezuela
Views near Merida, Venezuela

Climate Change and Geography

Pico Humboldt was famously once home to four glaciers.

At one point, this mountain in Venezuela included two of the largest glaciers in the entire country. But they've been receding since the 1970s and are almost entirely gone today. The last glacier, which is only about 0.1 km in size, is predicted to be entirely gone in the next 10 years.

Climbing History

The first person to climb Pico Humboldt was Alfredo Jahn, who completed the ascent in 1911.

He is remembered as a member of the Academy of History the Academy of Physical Sciences, and for his topographic surveys.

Today, the easiest route of the mountain is considered to be Laguna del Suero. Pico Humbolt is not regarded as a particularly challenging mountain.

Pico Bolivar 2
Pico Bolivar is the tallest mountain in Venezuela.

But, due to its location, elevation, and terrain, el Pico Humboldt should not be attempted by anyone who does not have significant experience with similar peaks. The altitude has proven to be an issue for more than one climber, and it usually takes people a couple of days to complete the whole peak.

Nearby Mountains

Here are a few other mountains:

Pico Bolivar (16,332')

Venezuela's highest mountain

Pico Bolivar
Venezuela's highest mountain

Less than 6 kilometers away from Pico Humboldt is Pico Bolivar. This, the tallest mountain in Venezuela, rises to a height of 5,007 meters or (16,332′). The mountain is covered with snow all year and can be partially ascended via the Mérida cable car.

Pico Espejo (15,633′)

Known for rocky slopes

Pico Espejo
Pico Espejo is a less-prominent nearby mountain.

Pico Espejo is a less-prominent nearby mountain that is also reached by the Mérida cable car. It's known for its rocky, steep slopes.

Pico Bonpland (16,020′)

The third-highest peak in Venezuela and Pico Humboldt's sister peak

Pico Bonpland is the third-tallest mountain in the country, after Pico Humboldt, and is named in honor of Aimé Bonpland. The mountain is very visible from the slopes of Pico Humboldt, so much so that it may be hard to look away! It was also first climbed in 1911 by Alfredo Jahn.

Pico Pan de Azúcar (15,354′)

The ninth-tallest mountain in Venezuela

Pico Pan de Azúcar is one of the tallest mountains in the country and is located in the Sierra de la Culata range. Its name interestingly translates to "Bread of Sugar" due to the shape of the mountain, which is said to look like a type of bread sprinkled with sugar that's popular in the country.

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