Los Roques: Archipelago + national park



Welcome to the national park of atolls, cays, and islets! Yes, this is what Las Roques is all about. With more than 40 islands, 300 rocks, 250 coral reefs, and countless serene coves as well as lush lagoons flanking the pellucid water, Los Roques is among the most splendid tropical destinations in the hemisphere. And now you know why this ecologically important destination is preserved as a national park. Officially known as the archipelago de Los Roques, it is a series of islands as well as untouched coral reefs in the Caribbean nestled at a distance of 166 km from Venezuela.

Reaching Los Roques

To arrive at Los Roques, there are only two ways of which the most spectacular is by air – thanks to the different blues of the waters present here. From Caracas, it is just a 40-minute flight in a small plane that will land on Gran Roque that is the only village in this preserved park. Alternatively, you can also catch a flight from the Margarita Island’s Porlamar. Other way to come here is by your own yacht. Can you make out a hidden, but an obvious fact from the above sentences? Well, that is about your accommodation that is only available in Gran Roque in form of villa-style hotels and posadas (inns).

Getting around

Overall, the islands of the Los Roques are isolated, calm, and quiet offering a perfect vacationing time with your family. Throughout the year, the climate here is hot, but memorable. With this, I have a tip for you: Carry lot of sunscreen, sunglasses, as well as a hat and have plenty of water as very little shade is available on the cays and that the sun umbrellas are not that efficient here. Although not cheapest, the easiest way to get around is via an all-inclusive tour that departs from Caracas. If you are booking your own posada, its rate might include boat transportation to and from the different cays as well as pools. One more option to get around is to approach boat captains at the village’s jetty at 9:30 am daily for catching a boat to explore the islands. Do not expect any kind of regular public boat service. However, private arrangement is possible from La Guaira, Caracas’ port. And at last, walking is the best option to reach to the places on land.

Attractions

A visit to the Turtle Sanctuary on Dos Mosquises, which is also a research station, is very exciting. The staff in Spanish will introduce you to the several breeding marine turtles. Be ready to swim with them for a reasonable entry fee.

In the list of things to do, add every possible sport – diving, snorkeling, sailing, boating, swimming, windsurfing, and kayaking. Well, the fun starts like this – Each morning, visitors reach the Oscar Shop in Gran Roque, which refers to a kiosk close to the airstrip. This is the best place to hire boats to enjoy a day trip to the various islands. What is fascinating here is that the boats are amazingly named as Nordisqui (North East Cay) and Selesqui (Sailors Cay). For kite boarders as well as windsurfers, Francisqui is famous because of its quiet lagoons as well as steady winds.

The soft white beach sand dunes are just great for sunbathing and relaxing, while the multi-hued blue waters are suitable swimming. Coral reefs that are untouched, submarine grottos, and vivid fish life facilitate excellent snorkeling and scuba diving. Certified instructors as well as gears are also available. And yes, for the bird lovers, there are gulls, pelicans, and white herons.

Just hire a boat, get to an island that is just the size of a yard, and enjoy with your family all alone.

Tour Company

There is only of its kind – Linea Turisticas Aerotuy – that offers lodging, flights, and catamaran options here.

Accommodations

  • Posada Dona Magalis - $65 per person per night.
  • Posada La Lagunita - $125 per person per two days.
  • Posada Shanti - $95 per person inclusive full board.
  • Posada Sol y Luna - $65 per person including half board.
  • Posada La Corsaria – $119 per person per 2 days all included.

Fees/Permits

130 Bolivars for foreigners, subject to change and to paid at landing time.

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