What and where
Los Roques is an archipelago, that is, a set of several islands of 22 thousand hectares. The islands, around 42, are called Cayos, and there are also a large number of shoals and coral reefs. Since 1972, Los Roques is a national park, a protected area and, therefore, there are islands that cannot be visited. You must also register and pay an entrance fee to get to the site.
The landscape of Los Roques is idyllic: coral barriers protect the archipelago from strong currents. The warm, calm water is crystal clear, allowing visitors to be delighted by the variety of the roqueño seabed. There, you will find 98% of the existing coral species in the world, as well as fish and other marine animals such as starfish, turtles, stingrays and even sharks. The sand is bright white, and beaches uncrowded, most with no buildings nearby. It is just you, nature and a few tourists. With so many islands, it is likely that you share your sand with few people even in high season.
The inns for tourists are on the main island, which are also a small airport, port and shops. That island is called Gran Roque. The name comes from “Roca” or “Roque”, which means Rock, because this island is located on a big hill, which can be seen from afar when at sea. On its top, there is an old lighthouse, one of the island’s attractions.
Who should go? What to do?
– Los Roques can be a romantic destination – quiet and almost deserted beaches, hospitable, small inns, and plentiful, good food are perfect for those who want peace for dating.
– Tourists in search of adventure will find many options in Los Roques. Water visibility ranges from 10 to 30 meters deep, and there are rock formations teeming with marine life beyond the coral formations.
– Therefore it is a popular location for diving, both with snorkeling and cylinder. The winds are also ideal for sports such as Kitesurfing in some islands. Also the marine fauna and calm waters are good for sport fly fishing.
– Families will find in Los Roques shallow beaches and calm waters, with no great danger to children. However, there are no “structured” options such as playgrounds or activities developed for kids.
When you should go
The weather is good in Los Roques the whole year: average temperature of 27 degrees and almost no rain. Hurricanes do not go through. What will vary throughout the season is the capacity of the hostels, which will influence the price of the daily stay as well as the number of tourists who you will share paradise with.
High season includes the months of July, August and mid-September, and extended holidays such as Carnival and New Year. Also, you should only worry about the time of the trip if you insist to eat lobster: between December and May.
How to get there
Air France, Iberia, America Airlines, Tam and Avianca fly to the international airport that serves Caracas, but it is located far from the city center, the airport of Maiquetía. From there, you need to take another flight at a local company to Los Roques – Chapi Air or Aerotuy. This flight is made in small aircraft – some for only 8 passengers – and lasts about 30 minutes.
Venezuela does not require a visa from Brazilians and, being part of the Mercosur, allows you to enter the country with your passport or your ID card. No specific insurance is required for the traveler to enter the country. However, it is recommend never travel without insurance, especially in a country subject to unforeseen events for flights to Venezuela and major economic crisis. So make sure you have the right to travel insurance from your credit card operator.
What to take in your suitcase
Only 10kg baggage is allowed per person on the flight to Los Roques. Otherwise, you have to pay a fine per kilogram. But you do not need it all.
- The important thing is to bring clothes and accessories for sun protection. As the sand is very white, you burn a lot, even under the tent.
- Take head protection with you! Caps, hats and headbands are very useful, especially for the boys.
- Take clothes with sleeves! So you can protect shoulders and arms in the late afternoon when they are starting to burn.
- Take a pair of shoes if you want to climb to the lighthouse, the path is made with stones. If you have neoprene shoes, take them as well. There are many corals and thorns in the sand.
- Time zone: The difference for Brazil is 1h30m. Yes, broken time (when we are in the summer time, the difference is 2h30m).
- Electricity: Power is 110V. The outlets are of two blades. Some hotels offer adapters.
- Shopping: There is a pharmacy, bakery, some restaurants and bars, in addition to hotels and a few souvenir shops, mini market, liquor warehouse, a church and a bank. There are also craft fairs somedays.
Enjoy your trip!