Los Roques in Venezuela

The emergence of Los Roques

Although the Venezuelan archipelago of Los Roques has only recently become one of most important tourist destinations in the country, these islands have been inhabited for a long period of time and have a rich and interesting history. Archaeologists have studied dozens of clay figurines that were found in the islands, and now believe that the first settlers arrived there more than 1,000 years ago. By the 15th century, the archipelago had become known among explorers and pirates, and three centuries later Los Roques were an important trading point in the Caribbean. Following a period of decline in population, several families from Isla Margarita moved to Los Roques, and in 1972 the archipelago became a national park.

The weather in Los Roques

The archipelago of Los Roques is located in the southern Caribbean, approximately 100 miles north of Caracas. Due to its location, the archipelago is characterised by its tropical weather, with average temperatures of between 24 and 28 degrees year round. However, and unlike in other tropical areas, there isn't a distinct rainy season in Los Roques. Rain tends to fall between October and December, but even at that time the rain is nowhere as heavy as in the mainland. Another bonus is the absence of hurricanes that typically affect nearby areas. As a result, Los Roques is a tropical paradise with picture-perfect clear and sunny skies all year round.

Nature and underwater life in the Los Roques

The mild tropical weather of Los Roques has contributed to turning the islands into a refuge for many animal species. Visitors to the area will be able to easily spot numerous bird, mammal, and fish species, like dolphins, pelicans, octopus, parrotfish, barracudas, red snappers, bats, gulls, herons, frigates, scarlet ibis, lizards, and flamingos. The islands are also home to reptile species like chamaleons and iguanas, and to a large population of green turtles. All in all, there are more than 90 bird species and 280 fish species in Los Roques. As for vegetation, the islands are home to four different types of mangroves and to some small areas of savannah. The dry climate of Los Roques is favourable to the growth of several cactus species. Watermelon trees are representative of these islands. The coral reefs that surround the islands are also an important tourist attraction, as they are among the best preserved in the whole Caribbean region.

Habitants of Los Roques

According to the latest census, there are approximately 1,900 permanent inhabitants in Los Roques. Although the archipelago is made up of more than 300 islands, the majority of residents live in Gran Roque. The population has been growing slowly since the mid-20th century. In 1941, only 481 people lived in the islands, and more than forty years later the population had barely grown to 670 people. The low population density of the archipelago is mostly due to the restrictions imposed by the local government following the establishment of Los Roques as a protected national park. The vast majority of locals originate from Isla Margarita, located on the eastern coast of Venezuela.

Activities in Los Roques

A stay in Los Roques is ideal for anyone looking to relax, enjoy the natural beauty of the Caribbean, and take part in water sports. Some popular activities include kite surfing, diving, fly fishing, snorkelling, wind surfing, kayaking, catamaran sailing, paddle fishing, kite safaris, island touring, and swimming with dolphins. With literally hundreds of islands to choose from, visitors to Los Roques can easily arrange trips to private islands and secluded beaches. The archipelago is also a prime spot for bird watching, and the Scientific Foundation of Los Roques offers courses and talks to familiarise visitors with the biodiversity of the islands. The Foundation also offers their “Adopt a Turtle” program to anyone interested in helping preserve the habitat of marine green turtles. Those who feel more energetic can take a short hike to the extinct volcano located in Gran Roque, from where they will be rewarded with the most spectacular sunset views of this beautiful Caribbean archipelago. Packages for Los Roques you will find here