Journaling The Journey

Los Roques, Venezuela – 5 Best Beaches

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Los Roques archipelago is a string of about 350 islands, cays, and islets scattered north of Venezuela in the Caribbean Sea.  This 128 kilometers  (80 mile) area offers an escape to pristine beaches, turquoise waters, and a laid-back island vibe.  Los Roques was declared a National Park in 1972 and is renowned for its diverse marine life, protected coral reefs, and untouched natural beauty.

The area really did remind us of a few other best beaches in the world that we love – the Maldives as well as the Bazaruto Archipelago in Mozambique.  There are a lot of similarities here!  Find out the best way to reach Los Roques, where to stay and which are the best beaches here to visit.

Best Beaches Venezuela

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The sand bank connecting the 2 sides of Cayo de Agua

The true magic of Los Roques lies in its vast archipelago of cays and islets, each offering its own unique charm and activities. Popular options include Cayo de Agua, Cayo Madrisqui and Cayo Carenero.  There are many other options in the archipelago.

Cayo de Agua

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Rob on Cayo de Agua

Dubbed “Water Cay” for its crystal-clear water and gentle waves, Cayo de Agua is one of the best beaches in the world.  It is a must-visit island in the Los Roques archipelago. Imagine relaxing on the soft, white sand or snorkeling in the vibrant coral reefs teeming with colorful fish like angelfish, butterflyfish, and even the occasional sea turtle.

Cayo de Agua is actually two islands connected by a pure white sandbar that one can walk across.  It creates the iconic picture of Los Roques, Venezuela that is one of the most photographed places in all of Venezuela.  This island is a 45 minute fast boat ride each way from Gran Roque.

Cayo Madrisqui

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The view from Cayo Madrisqui

Cayo Madrisqui stands out among the islands of Los Roques. You’ll find the same pristine white sand and clear azure water, but with a few unique features. For one, it offers trees for welcome shade, a rarity on other islands. It also hosts a fishing village (Cayo Pirata) with a small restaurant, perfect for a refreshing break.

Cayo Carenero

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Cayo Carenero with it’s beautiful sandy white beach

The southern coast of Cayo Carenero boasts a shallow lagoon with white sand, perfect for wading and relaxing. On the other hand, the north coast is a snorkeler’s paradise, offering vibrant marine life just beneath the clear water. While popular, the island still has secluded areas, allowing you to find your own peaceful spot.  This island is a 30 minute fast boat ride each way from Gran Roque.

Dos Mosquises Island

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The island of Dos Mosquises which houses the Turtle Sanctuary

Just 30 minutes from Gran Roque, Dos Mosquises is an island that is on the main tour.  One of the attractions besides the white sand beach and the clear turquoise water is the Refugio de Tortugas (a turtle sanctuary) where a variety of endangered turtles are protected and then released into the ocean at about 6 or 7 months of age.

Cayo Crasqui

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The long beach of Cayo Crasqui

Cayo Crasqui, another outer island in the Los Roques archipelago, shows off a lengthy beach with several trees offering shade. It also features a unique sandspit, although high tide submerges it. In the heart of the beach, a small fishing village provides a charming cafe for a quick bite.

Gran Roque – the Main Island of Los Roques

Beyond its captivating beaches, Los Roques has a diverse landscape waiting to be explored. Gran Roque, the largest island, serves as the main hub and entry point for most visitors. Here, you’ll find the charming village of El Gran Roque, with its colorful houses, local shops, and laid-back atmosphere. Take a stroll along the main street, Plaza Bolivar, and soak in the island’s unique character.

Venture beyond the village and discover hidden coves, explore shallow mangrove forests teeming with birdlife, or embark on a hike to the highest point on the island, Cerro Montaña Alta, offering panoramic views of the archipelago and amazing sunsets.

Accommodation Options – Los Roques Venezuela

Accommodations in Los Roques are predominantly on the main island of Gran Roque and are quite expensive.  If possible, we recommend that you get on the island and then book your room.  Prior to arriving on the island, hotels were quoting us rates that were 3 times the actual cost once there.

We booked a cute looking Posada through Airbnb (prior to arrival) for $150 USD per night (the most economical place with a private bathroom that we could find).  The room had no windows, was situated in the kitchen, had no hot water and was incredibly outdated.  Anywhere else, this would have been  $30 USD per night.

Please note that comparing hotels/posadas on the island can be tricky.  Make sure that you are comparing apples to apples, as some hotels will quote a full board price with activities per person, and others will quote something else.  Here are some of the nicest and best rated hotels in Los Roques, Venezuela:

  • Sabbia by LD Hotels: This 8 room boutique hotel has modern clean lines and is situated on the beach.  The emphasis here is on service, and the property has an on site Chef.  For 2 people with breakfast and free wifi it is about $330 USD per night.
  • Posada Galapagos: This is rated as a 5 star boutique hotel that has been in operation for over 10 years.  The clientele consisted of a few European film stars staying there during our visit.  The prices vary considerably here.  You can reach out via their What’s App number to get the exact quote for your stay:+58 414-2417377
  • Eva Suites:  This is the posada that we can highly recommend.  We would have stayed there had they not quoted us an outrageous price of $330 per person/night price.  Once on the island, we toured this cute boutique hotel and were quoted $110 USD per night for both of us with breakfast.

Food Options – Los Roques Venezuela

Most Posadas on the island offer full or half board rates.  Therefore, it is difficult to find an independent restaurant to eat at without pre-arranging your meal.  Therefore, you can either eat at your posada or at one of these eateries:

  • Arepas Mamá Julia – This is a hut right outside of the airport.  If your flight arrives in the morning, before having breakfast, this is one of the only options.
  • Bora La Mar – This is a higher end seafood restaurant on the beach.  So, if you want to splurge consider making a reservation here in advance.
  • Panaderia Bella Mar – A bakery with baked goods and bread, great for taking with you on a day trip.

Unforgettable Day Trips and Activities

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The gorgeous crystal clear turquoise water of Los Roques

Several reputable tour companies offer day trips to various islands, catering to different interests and budgets. Here are a few highly reputable options:

  • Main Trip: The main trip that is provided by most of the Posadas (hotels) is through a dive shop kiosk which is located on the beach on the left side as you exit from the airport.  This full day trip is $80 USD per person and includes a partially covered power boat (with 8 guest capacity) to take you to Caya de Agua (45 minute boat ride), then in the afternoon to Dos Mosquises Island to see the turtle refuge, then to swim in a lagoon outside of Cayo Sarqui.  The last stop is at Cayo Crasqui where there are a few amenities including a small restaurant.  The final boat ride back is 30 minutes, getting you into Gran Roque around 18:00 (6:00 pm).  Sun umbrellas and seats are provided.
  • Oceanica Los Roques: Provides boat tours for kite surfing, scuba diving, snorkeling excursions, and island hopping adventures. (instagram.com/oceanicalosroques)
  • Osprey Expeditions: This is a tour organization that provides snorkeling, diving and island hopping trips for Los Roques Venezuela.  www.ospreyexpeditions.com

Getting Here

Reaching Los Roques requires a domestic flight from Caracas or Isla de Margarita. Several airlines operate regular flights, with prices varying depending on the season and departure city. Here are some airlines offering flights to Los Roques:

Pro Tip: The desired flights to Los Roques are in the morning, so that you can maximize your stay there.  The desired return tickets are of course as late in the day as possible.  However, these fill up quickly, therefore it is recommended to book the flights at least one week prior to your desired date to fly to Gran Roque.  We booked two weeks in advance and did not get our desired times.

Los Roques Guide – Travel Tips

  • Currency: The official currency in Venezuela is the Venezuelan Bolívar (VEF). However, US Dollars (USD) are widely accepted in Los Roques, especially in tourist areas.  The black market exchange is now gone.  We recommend that you bring $1 USD and $5 USD bills with you to use everyday.  During our 2 weeks stay we used USD everywhere.
  • Visas: Visa requirements for visiting Venezuela can vary depending on your nationality. Currently, citizens of the EU plus those of 43 other countries do not require a tourist visa to enter Venezuela.  However, Canadians, USA and Chinese citizens do.  Because many of the Venezuelan embassies have closed around the world, it has become difficult to get a tourist visa, if you need one.  Given this, we have written a guide to how to get a Venezuela tourist visa, here.
  • Best Time to Visit: Los Roques enjoys a tropical climate with warm temperatures year-round. The sunniest and driest months are in February, March and April.  However, the shoulder seasons (January, May-June and September) can be good options if you prefer slightly fewer crowds and potentially lower prices.

Wrap Up – Best Beaches Venezuela

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An aerial view of Los Roques, Venezuela

Los Roques, Venezuela really surprised us.  The white sandy beaches and the crystal clear turquoise water reminded us of some of the best beaches in the world!  This is not one of the easiest places to get to, given the visa that is necessary for many visitors.  In addition, there are very few amenities on these islands.  Wifi at most posadas is very poor.  Our data was better, but was still limited.

However, if you enjoy some of the best beaches in the world, we can highly recommend Los Roques, Venezuela.  And if you follow our Los Roques Guide, we believe that you will be able to come here quite easily and enjoy this wonderland of water sports and activities.

Have you been to Los Roques, Venezuela?  What did you think?  What do you think are the best beaches in the world?  We would love to hear from you in the comments.

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