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.
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.
Declared a National Park in 1972.
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
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.
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.
There have been safety concerns and incidents regarding the flight from mainland Venezuela to Los Roques. Be aware that some airlines offer flights in small, old airplanes that might not offer optimal safety conditions for the flight. The latest flight disappearance occurred on January 4th, 2012, with four Italian tourists on board, failing to complete the Los Roques - Caracas route. Some report that the airline with the largest, newest planes is Aerotuy.
Private yachts stop off at the islands but there is no commercial ferry service.
Entry to the Park must be paid upon landing in Gran Roque. The latest prices were 76 Bolivars for Venezuelans and 152 for foreigners (July 2011). It's a great place for you and your family to relax and have fun.
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 4 pm.
On Gran Roque, the only vehicle is the rubbish cart, and everywhere can be reached by foot.
- Yacht charter in Venezuela and Los Roques A local and one of the oldest yacht charter companies in South America, can take care of all charter requirements, from bareboat to luxury yachts.
- SailingRoques SailingRoques offers sailing vacations in the Los Roques archipelago of Venezuela, on board of the sailingyacht Soltana.
- 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.
- 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.
Wonderfully fresh lobsters are available in season.
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...
- Posada Acuario, ☎ +58 424 1803 634 (firstname.lastname@example.org), .
- Posada Acquamarina, ☎ +58 412 310 1962 (email@example.com), .
- Acquamarina Rasqui Island Chalet, ☎ +58 412 310 1962 (firstname.lastname@example.org), . The only posada located in a little, charming desert island, only 3 room beachfront property
- Posada Karlin, ☎ 414 287-7554. Basic rooms but with air conditioning and good food cooked by Perfecta. Bs.100,000 incl breakfast and dinner.
- Posada Piano y Papaya, (email@example.com). Very nice guest house.
- Roque Lusa, Northern end of town. Bs.300 incl breakfast.
- Posada la Laguna, calle la Laguna (firstname.lastname@example.org), ☎ +58 212 9150666, .
- consejocomunallosroques.org (La nueva Consejo Comunal), Plaza Bolivar, .
Crime is virtually unknown on Los Roques but you should still take normal precautions.