Friday, February 15, 2013

Deserted Paradise, Los Roques

Just a Little Patch of Sand is All You Need to Be Happy
This is one of the wonders in the Caribbean well worth to visit. This place is like the big brother to Tobago Cays. In the Los Roques National park, there are 300+ small islands, sand dunes, and patches of land in the middle of nowhere. You can find hundreds of deserted anchorages, where you snorkel off your boat and explore underwater world. This is a remote destination for wealthy Venezuelans, there are no ferries or cruise lines, the only way to get here is to fly your personal jet or take one of the small airplanes from Caracas or Margarita or the Earthling sailor way. This place is so untouched that one could wonder around for a long time before getting tired. In matter of fact next time my path goes by here, I will spend an extended period goggling around Los Roques.
Socialists with private jets, hmm!?
Venezuelan Yachters
The Lagoon Anchorage
It was nerve-racking to enter this area! All you see approaching from east is two large boats that are sitting on the reefs and they have been sitting there for a long time. It’s difficult to see the reefs if you are entering from east at sunset and a reliable GPS system is vital. Thanks to the Garmin, everything is precise. It’s helpful to have someone stay on the bow to spot out reefs. We anchored right pass the long reef and It feels like being in the middle of the blue marble. It reminds me of Antigua’s Nonsuch Bay and Tobago Cays. The wind is constantly blowing and charging the batteries through the wind generator. All you hear is 8-10 ft waves clashing on the reefs as we are sitting in a calm waters a few hundred feet from them. The water is different shades of blue, green, and brown. As the clouds cover the sun and sway around the sky all the colors gradually change to a lighter or darker shade. This is part of paradise that only a few visit, I hope you can see it if you wish so!
Approaching Grand Roque

Los Roques Archipelago
What am doing? Just absorbing!
The Town in Grand Roque
The main Island and the only town is Grand Roque. That’s where the airport, stores, and civilization is! When you enter this town, specially if you have been at sea for awhile, it feels like going back in time! The architecture is Spanish/Mediterranean, the roads and streets are all sand, there are no cars, and during fiesta 2-5pm, it can literally be a ghost town. People walk around barefoot and there are lots of kids. Many of the houses on Grand Roque are Posadas (guest houses). Historically, locals have been hospitable to outsiders. In Chris Doyle’s Cruising Guide book from early 90’s, it says that the locals can make food and even give you a place to sleep if you need it. Now that has changed to charming elegant Posadas. All of them have a bar and kitchen for their guest and reservations can be made for dinning in. Some of the Posadas are absolutely magnificent and peaceful, decorated with pretty flowers and open ceilings and doors! At the Posadas you will find people that speak fluent English but it is useful to know basic Spanish.

Inside a Posada
Side Street

Indulging Arepas, a typical Venezuelan dish

Katherine is so excited, she is up in the air

If you are visiting Venezuela with US Dollars, make sure to negotiate the exchange rate. At the bank the rate is 4 Bolivares to $1 and in the stores you will get anything from 12 to 25 Bolivares. Therefore things can become very affordable for cruisers with foreign currency. We stock up with local beer, Solera, $11 per 24 case in can, cheapest so far in the Caribbean. Everything is made in Venezuela, even if it’s not made here, it will be labeled as if it was! 
The only hills are on the main island. They are visible from miles away and really easy to hike up to, where you get an excellent view over the archipelago. I’ve always wanted to visit Venezuela and for now this is all the taste I get from this country.

View the complete photo album of Venezuela here

Love Venezuela 


  1. Really enjoy your updates Earthling! Glad to have you back out there! Helps me deal with the Michigan winters a little easier.

    Denny Ray
    S/V Aleta


  2. I'm glad It helps you with the winter in Michigan, been there and lived it. There is a beauty in everything, including the White Winter!
    Thanks for following