Venezuela is located on the northern coast of South America where it meets the Caribbean Sea. Stretching over a surface of 916050 Km2, with over 45 national parks, Venezuela offers any kind of landscapes from white sandy beaches to desert like zones and ancient table top Mountains (The Lost World), the Los Andes mountain chain and extensive virgin jungles. Venezuela shares 3000 kilometers of its northern coastline with the Caribbean having the longest Caribbean coast line and more Islands than any other destination in the Caribbean.
When Christopher Columbus arrived on his third trip to the new world in 1498 he found a virgin and fertile country. He called it Little Venice when seeing the sophisticated lake settlements of Indian huts on stilts, reminding him of Venice. Christopher wrote in his diary that he had found the garden of eden (The paradise).
In 1898, when oil was discovered near Lake Maracaibo and today Venezuela is the third largest producer and exporter of crude oil in the world. This development has led to the opening up of an extensive infrastructure of transport and communications systems, making some of the most distant territories easily accessible for visitors, and lately Venezuela has become a very rich country.
Around 176 kilometers north of Caracas, lies the atoll of Los Roques which offers more than 350 virgin islands and reefs, constituting of the number one National Park in Venezuela with crystal clear, warm waters and 30 kilometers of coral reef making it a paradise for divers and snorkelers. These Virgin Islands were declared a National Park in 1972 and its 221,120 kilometers of pure virgin nature with a central lagoon of mangrove and coral has developed very little since then.
Diving in Los Roques archipelago is the essence of a diving adventure. It is a paradise of secluded and little known reefs with huge amounts of marine life, soft corals and a kaleidoscope of tropical fish. Diving is spectacular with a great variety of coral fauna and flora where there are 200-foot vertical walls, pinnacles and fabulous underwater caves filled with forest of multi colored sponges and black coral formations. Along the flanks of submerged mountains, snappers, groupers, jacks, Creole wrasse, barracudas and shark can be observed cruising along, whilst rays gently glide over the sandy bottoms. There are also a few shipwrecks to explore and a biological research station which shelters a turtle breeding centre.
There are two ways of diving Los Roques, either land-based or live aboard. Land-based accommodation is on the main island of Gran Roque where the population consists of about 150 fishing families and the main road is a sandy dirt-track trail! Accommodation is an informal affair of a few quaint guesthouses, all with fans and en-suite facilities. Rooms are small but clean and comfortable and lie within 50 meters. from the sea.
Diving is run through Reef Divers which is a professionally equipped and well-run operation with 2 dive boats of 30 and 35 feet. Boat runs range from 10 to 90 minutes and there are 2 dives daily with the occasional night dive. For non-diving partners exploration of nearby islands by catamarans can be arranged on request. Prices start from $800 for 4 days including accommodation, full board, weights and weight belts, 2 dives daily and 1 night dive every other day and return flights between Caracas and Los Roques.
For those who prefer to be on a live aboard, the Sailboat Turpial provides the ideal alternative. This classic yacht is a 49 feet. Sailboat with 2 double cabins all with en-suite facilities. She also houses an ample dining room, sitting room with television and a solarium on the upper deck. She is equipped with the most modern of navigational aids and communication equipment. Once on board, you will receive 2 dives daily including night dives almost every night. Although some sites allow diving directly from the boat, on most dives there is a support boat and boat runs are approximately 10-20 minutes. Prices start from $2000, which includes 8 days on Turpial with full board, all diving, tanks, weights, and weight belts. All trips, whether land based or live aboard provide services of a dive master and English-speaking guide. Weather is tropical and warm, and temperatures vary from 30º to 35º throughout the year. Water temperatures vary from 28º to 30ºF and visibility ranges from 50 to 100 meters. There are dives for every level of diver from beginner to advanced, PADI certification courses are offered, and diving gear rental is available on the land based operation.
Los Roques is secluded and complete unspoilt, it is only 35 minutes by plane from Caracas, the capital of Venezuela. KLM, British Airways, Iberia and a variety of other airlines fly from Europe to Caracas on almost daily basis with flights connecting daily to Los Roques. If you would like to see other islands, the nearest alternative - just one hour away - is Margarita Island, which in complete contrast to Los Roques, has plenty of nightlife, luxurious hotels, and duty free shopping. All trips can be tailor made to extend your cruise or stay on the islands or combine your holiday with a trip to the mainland. Venezuela offers fabulous national Parks such as Canaima Park which includes the highest waterfall in the world: The Angel Falls, Lake Maracaibo, the Orinoco river, the longest river in the world, and the most ancient rocks on earth: the highland of Guayana.
Whether traveling alone or in a group, we can arrange all trips including flights in Venezuela, accommodation and charter flights to suit your particular requirements. Special charter rates available for divers and non-divers on request.