Pico Bolívar is the highest mountain in Venezuela, at 4,978 metres. Located in Mérida State, its top is permanently covered with névé snow and three small glaciers. It can be reached only by walking; the Mérida cable car, the highest cable car in the world, only reaches Pico Espejo. From there it is possible to climb to Pico Bolívar. The peak is named after the Venezuelan independence hero Simon Bolívar. The Pico Bolívar is located on the mountain previously called La Columna, next to El León (4,743 m) and El Toro (4,695 m). The new name was suggested by Miguel Febres Cordero in 1925. It was officially renamed on December 30, 1934.
The height of this prominent Andean peak has been estimated and calculated various times during history. In 1912 one triangular measurement pointed at 5,002 metres. In 1928 came another calcutation at 5,007 metres, which stood as official height for a long time.
During the 1990s the scientists Saler and Abad estimated the height, based upon GPS observations to be 4,980.8 metres. However, no validation was made. New GPS measurements were made in 2002, which stated a height of 4,978 ±0.4 metres. These more correct findings were published in 2005.