Spot guide in a dream archipelago
Los Roques is an archipelago located in the caribbean and belongs to Venezuela. It consist of approximately 350 islands, cays and islets protected by a coral reef. The water is super flat and crystal clear.
It’s one of he most impressive place I’ve been in all my travels. It’s not just about its beauty. Indeed, this archipelago is well preserved and there is a low to protect the nationa park : the “pousadas”, typical venezuelan hotel, can’t be built on more than 1 floor and there is a daily limit that control the flow of turists. This regulation make the island livable, fascinating and not dangerous at all.
To get around among all the islets you have two options : you can take a daily “lancia”, small boat, from the main harbour, or rent a boat for the all day at around 60€. The second way it’s definitely the best to go around the archipelago and to exploit the natural beauty that this place delivers.
If you love kitesurf, renting a boat allowed you to go wherever you want, sail among the cays, get to the most remote islands and find the best wind spot with someone that is always looking after you to ensure the safety.
Any activity will be amazing: snorkeling, wakeboard, fishing, scuba diving, etc. It’s a unique archipelago that has to be visited.
KITESURFING IN LOS ROQUES
The wind in Los Roques is different than in Coche or Margarita’s island. Here the wind is cyclical and it can blows for two weeks in row as drop for two weeks. If you want to be sure to catch the best wind you have to check the forecast before getting yor ticket. I didi it and I had eight windy days out of ten.
The wind can be pretty steady and blows at around 20 – 25 knots. The 9m is the kite I used more often.
Then if you can take a bigger kite it can be useful whenever the winds drops a bit.. I’ve seen people kitesurfing with a 13m and 15m.
If you want to know the spots’ conditions in Venezuela click here
Here it is the map ..
To visit all the cays two weeks can’t be enough, so you have to make a choiche…. here you have the list of atolls I’ve visited !
ATOLLS WHERE TO KITE
It’s a cay close to Gran Roque. When we were cruising with the “lancia” the capitain stopped and said to us: “we are arrived you can get off”. We thought he was kidding us, but he wasn’t. A desert key in the middle of the ocean. We have been dropped there and he came to pick us up few hours later. The tiny atoll is surrounded by shallow water which give you a bit more safety while you kite. Be careful about the reef cause in some area the are pretty sharp. Keep in mind that if you came with a normal “lancia” you do not have anybody in case of danger, so watch out.
It’s one of the most well-known kite spot in Los Roques and there must be a reason. It’s one of the only beach that provides some facilities as restaurant and a kiosk where you can drink a fresh beer. The beach is big and you have plenty of place to set you kite up. The off-shore wind make the activity quite dangerous if you do not have a boat that look after you. Right in front of the beach the wind it’s not the best, but you if head to the left side, in the canal between Madriqeui and Isla Augustin, the wind is steady. Here the condition are just awesome.
Cayo de Agua
It’s the most famous and most visited atoll in the archipelago. It’s one of the furthest atoll so it’s not always possible to get there because it depend on the sea conditions. If the sea it’s rough the way back become dangerous.
Two islands are connected by a narrow strip of sand where you can walk surrounded by the ocean or just enjoy jumping it with your kite. Moreover you’ll find many shade of blue that make the sea awesome.
It’s not the best spot to kite both as regards wind condition and choppy water. But it’s so beautiful and unique that you have to go there and jump the sandbank !
It’s my favourite kite spot. it’s one of the furthest atoll along with cayo de Agua. it takes around 1h boat riding to get there. The landscape it’s unreal. The coral reef protect it form the rough sea and the result it’s a huge flat playground. The cay is so small that you can not even pump 6 kites at the same time.
The constant wind, the flat and shallow water make it a perfect freestyle or freeride spot. All around the cayo you have on one side a shallow water (up to the knee) and on the other side a deep water where you do not have to be worried if you fall while performing some hard tricks. The difference in the level of water create an amazing color effects.
From Sebastopol it’s possible to go downwind up to Francisqui. It’s 20 km ride and it takes around 2 – 3 hours. This long ride, together with rays, sea turtles and sharks (we didn’t see them), will take you to the less known atolls. It’s a unique experience.
It’s one of the closest islands of Gran Roque and it’s one of the most beautiful. It is divided in two parts, the north and the south. In the south part there is a kite school and it’s the best place where to pump you kite and start your session. The wind conditions are not the best due to the north island, the wind it is gusty. In the north atoll the water is flat, the wind steady and you can find evevn a restaurant where to eat.
It can happen that in the south island you find some waves and it becomes pretty cool to do some waveriding.
INFO ABOUT KITESURF SPOTS
It suits everybody
The islands in Los Roques’ archipelago are pretty small. You can mostly circumnavigate it in less than 5 minutes. So you have to pay attention because you will go from one side where the wind blows on-shore to the other side where it blows off-shore.
This archipelago is for everybody, the only advice is to rent a “lancia” in case of any problems. If you are a beginner you will make fast progress and if you already have and advanced level you have just to chose which trick you wanna show to your friends back in your home country.
Most of the atolls are surrounded by shallow water, so you can find many freestyle spots. The conditions are also perfect for some old school’s tricks as well as freeriding. I advice you to go from Sebastopol to Franciskys in downwind, it’s about 20km and you are gonna go through beautiful atolls and you can see manta ray, sea turtles or sharks (they told us they are not dangerous) ! 😉
Finally, in Francisky’s islands you can go easily from one atolls to the other one. In the northern islands you can do some waveriding after the reef or, if you are lucky, it’s possible to see nice waves in the southern island.
To kite in Los Roques is a dram that I wish you to realize
MORE ACTIVITIES IN THE OTHERS ATOLLS
It’s the main island where you have to sleep and eat. The place is quiet and it is pretty relaxing walking through the streets as well as going to see the sunset from the “mirador” on the ill close to the village. Here the view is amazing. All the pousadas offer and “all inclusive” service and that’s way there aren’t a lots of restaurants. By the way I advice you to try to go out at least a couple of time cause it’s gonna be nice.
As I’ve already told you those islands are the closes to Gran Roque and they are perfect to kitesurf. In the northern island you can even go to swim in a natural swimming pool where it is hidden, at 5 meters deep, a statue of Virgine Mary. You have to go and snorkels there.
During a one no windy daywe’ve choosen to do wakeboard. So we’ve found a guy that had a “lancia” with a wakeboard rope and he took us to Espanqui island. We have been going around for around 2 hours and we were the only people on the spot. The sea was stunning.
This atolls is well known to swim with sea turtles. As soon as we got there we jumped into the water to look for those reptiles. We have choosen differents ways but not all have been really lucky. I have a friend who told me that he saw almso 10 turtles and who, as me, that could barely see one.
Unfortunately that’s why wild life is beautiful and interesting. We are not in an aquarium so the animals con still decide freely where to go
I do love to swim with sea turtles, it’s gives me a feeling of peacefullness.
HOW TO GET THERE, TRANSPORTS AND ACCOMMODATION
HOW TO GET THERE
Los Roques is the most expensive place to get in Venezuela. If you don’t care about money you can even rent a private jet that can go and back within a day, or for more days if you are a group. otherwise you can visit the archipelago with a private charter. You have some sailboat that organise a trip for 6 people maximum at around 800$ per day. Finaly, for whom as a smaller budget, you can go by plane but you have to spend a night in Caracas cause the flight leave the early morning. The flight is about 250$ – 200$ which includes just a 10kg bag. For each additional 1kg you are gonna be charged 1$. I’ve booked my flight with Ecoturismo Venezuela and it was perfect.
You have two ways to go around the islands :
- You can go to the harbour where you can find differents “lancia” that each morning leave for all the atolls. Each destination as an agreed price and a schedule time as well as a minimum and maximum number of people (be careful that the kite equipement is considered as 1 person and you are gonna be charged for that). The further is the island the higher is the minimum limit of people on board. Each way can costs you around 2$ up to 8$.
- You can rent a boat, “lancia”, with a sailor for all the day long at around 60$.
In Los Roques most of ten pousadas offer an “all incusive” service. The easiest solution is to book in advance but it’s also possible to find a cheaper place to sleep once in Gran Roque. I have been in Posada el Botuto and I was satisfied. I advice you to go a couple of nights to eat in the village, for instace in the rstarant l’Aquarena.
OTHER USEFUL INFORMATION
Is it really expensive ?
Beside the plane that charges you more than 300$ for les than 45min flight, the archipelago is not that expensive especially for what it offers. You can find a lace where to sleep for 30$, rent a private boat for 60$ daily (to share with max 6 people), and go to eat out for dinner having a fresh fish for reasonable price.
Fo a place like this one the prices are cheap.
You can find in the archipelago people who help you to change money but I do advice you to get there with enough cash for all your holiday. You are gonna have a better rate in Caracas or in Margarita island.
In the worst case you can find some fishermen or sailors who accept Euro or Dollars for boat rental.
We assume that the internet connection isn’t really good. I had a Venezuelan SIM card (Digitel) and I was often with no cell service. By the way the pousadas have wifi but you do not have to expect the european standard.
All what you dream to do on a sea holiday you will find it in Los Roques : snorkeling, scuba-dive, wakeboard, fish or just relax on the beach.
In Los Roques you can walk on a sand bank in the middle of the ocean to go from one atoll to another one, or just relax alone in an island without any tourits.. if you love the sea you are gonna find you paradise.