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Los Roques

Archipelago de Los Roques is a chain of islands and coral reefs in the Caribbean Sea about 166 km north of the Venezuelan mainland. Administratively, they are part of Venezuela's Federal Dependencies.

Understand

The Archipelago de Los Roques National Park spans 225,153 hectares of sea and land and includes over 40 cayos or islands as well as some 250 coral reefs.

History

Declared a National Park in 1972.

Landscape

Los Roques islands are usually calm, quiet, and usually deserted, which makes it great to be with your family alone. It has the main island, Gran Roque, which is a collection of small villa-style hotels which are small but comfortable. Los Roques is full of natural pools and beautiful fish.

Flora and fauna

Climate

Hot and unforgiving. There is very little shade on the cays, and even sun umbrellas don't stop all the sun's rays. If you burn easily, be sure to slap on protection at all times.

Get in

By plane

About a 40-min flight from Caracas in fairly small planes, landing at the air strip on Gran Roque. There are also flights from Porlamar on Margarita Island.

By boat

Private yachts stop off at the islands but there is no commercial ferry service.

Fees and permits

Entry to the park must be paid upon landing in Gran Roque.

Get around

The easiest but not the cheapest way of seeing Los Roques is by organising an all-inclusive tour from Caracas. If you arrange your own accommodation, your posada will probably find a boat that can take you out to the cays and may include it in the cost of your room. Alternatively, you can approach boat captains at the harbour area on Gran Roque at around 9:30 each morning. However you get out to the islands, almost all the boats, or lanchas, will leave you there all day and come back to pick you up around 4PM.

On Gran Roque, the only vehicle is the rubbish cart, and everywhere can be reached by foot.

By boat

  • Yacht charter in Venezuela and Los Roques: Explore Yachts is a local and one of the oldest yacht charter companies in South America. It can take care of all charter requirements, from bareboat to luxury yachts.
  • Sailing Roques offers sailing vacations in the Los Roques archipelago of Venezuela, on board of the sailing yacht Soltana.

See

  • Turtle Sanctuary, Dos Mosquises. Run by Fundacion Cientifica Los Roques, the research station and turtle sanctuary on Dos Mosquises is worth a visit. The Spanish-speaking staff will give an introduction to the station's work breeding several different types of marine turtle. The sanctuary charges a small entry fee, so bring some change in your swimming trunks.

Do

  • Snorkeling. Most of the beaches of Los Roques have some incredible snorkeling. Your posada will arrange for you to hire a mask and flippers, or try Oscar Shop just outside the airport.
  • Diving. Los Roques are a paradise for scuba diving. A couple of places in Gran Roque offer trips and courses for beginners and refreshers.
  • Windsurfing, Francisqui Abajo. You can hire windsurfing and kitesurfing kit from the centre on a small island in the Francisqui group, a short boat ride from Gran Roque.

Buy

Eat

Wonderfully fresh lobsters are available in season.

Drink

There are a couple of bars on the beach at Gran Roque that serve great cocktails just inches from the sea. The atmosphere is relaxed in the extreme - just melt into a beanbag with a mojito in your hand and watch the sun go down...

Sleep

  • Posada Acuario, ☏ +58 424 1803 634, ✉ info@posada-acuario.net.
  • Posada Acquamarina, ☏ +58 412 310 1962, ✉ posada@intercon.net.ve.
  • Acquamarina Rasqui Island Chalet, ☏ +58 412 310 1962, ✉ posada@intercon.net.ve. The only posada located in a little, charming desert island, only 3 room beachfront property
  • Posada Karlin, ☏ +58 414 287-7554. Basic rooms but with air conditioning and good food cooked by Perfecta.
  • Posada Piano y Papaya, ✉ info@los-roques.com. Very nice guest house.
  • Roque Lusa, Northern end of town.
  • Posada la Laguna, calle la Laguna, ☏ +58 212 9150666, ✉ booking@lalaguna.it.
  • Posada Albacora, ☏ +58 414 282 61 31, ✉ info@albacora.com.ve. 5-star service.

Camping

Stay safe

Crime is virtually unknown on Los Roques but you should still take normal precautions.

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