Located at a pleasant altitude of 1620 m and surrounded by the Andes mountains, including Venezuela's highest peaks, Merida stands out from the otherwise hot country. Tour operators offer an impressive range of adventure activities spanning from canyoning, rafting and paragliding to multi-days trekking and mountaineering, which will keep any outdoor freak busy for several days. For the calm days, there is also, of course, less adrenalin pumping stuff like day trips to nearby hill villages, mountain lakes and hot springs. If you want some adventure for your taste buds, drop by the world's biggest ice cream shop where 900 flavours (including cheese, beer and garlic) can be mixed. Cool, eh?