Los Roques Archipelago National Park is located around 175 km north of Caracas, off Venezuela's central coast, at 11°50’ latitude north and 66°55’ longitude west. The entire park has an area of about 2.250 km², spreading 46 km from east to west and 27 km from north to south. It is made up of more than 50 small islands (Keys/Quis) of old coral origin, and thousands of sand bars, forming an oval shape around a shallow, central lagoon. The climate is mostly dry – due to the influence of the constant and intense easterly Trade Winds – with an average annual temperature of 27.7 °C and nearly 9 hours of sun per day. Rain usually appears in the form of brief showers, most notably in November.
Los Roques is an area of outstanding natural beauty and enormous ecological diversity: about 61 species of corals, 200 species of crustaceans, 140 species of mollusks, 45 species of echinoderms, 60 species of sponges, and 280 species of fish can be found there. In addition, 92 bird species – 50 of which are migratory – can be seen in the park. Four species of globally-endangered sea turtle nest regularly on the islands, including the Eretmochelys imbricata. Los Roques’ pristine coral reefs, wealth of bird and marine life, beautiful white sand beaches and transparent, warm, blue-green waters make it a paradise for scuba diving, kite and windsurfing, sailing and fishing.
The local population has developed slowly since the mid-20th century when fishermen and their families began to settle on the islands. Currently the permanent population numbers around 1,250 people, including fishing families, tourist operators, and National Park personnel.
In addition, around 50,000 people visit the Park each year, staying in more than 60 posadas (family-owned hotels) mostly located on the largest island, Gran Roque. Accommodation generally includes breakfast and dinner, with prices from around US $50-200 per person per night. Many posadas also include boat transfers to the nearby Keys, along with packed lunch, beach chairs, sun umbrellas and snorkelling equipment. Boatmen are registered with Inparques – the National Parks Institute – and prices for day trips to the Keys are regulated. Departing from Gran Roque, beside the small airport, you will be dropped off in the morning and picked up again in the afternoon. There are a few restaurants on Gran Roque as well as a bakery and supermarket, a bank and an internet/ communications centre. Nightlife is relaxed: several posadas have their own beach bars.
Los Roques is one of the Caribbean’s main sport fishing destinations, either ‘trolling’ from a boat or fly-fishing from the many shoals and flats of the Archipelago. Amongst the more common species are Bonefish (also known as Macabi or Ladyfish), Tarpon, Sabalo, Permit, Jacks, Bass, Mullet and Barracuda. For scuba divers, the Los Roques coral reef barrier is one of the best preserved in the Caribbean. The warm, transparent water offers excellent visibility allowing divers of all ability levels the opportunity to see the huge diversity of fish species and colourful aquatic plant life, both during day and night-time dives. Los Roques also offers world-class Windsurfing and Kitesurfing as the wind blows consistently the whole year round. On Gran Roque you can rent equipment and find guides and instructors for all activities. Just let us know what you want to do and we will help you to organize it.