Los Roques - General Info

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This group of islands lies about 120NM off the coast, due north of Caracas. Much of it is a National Park and its pristine coral reefs and bird life attract many international visitors. It is a nice place for cruising boats to stop on passage from the Windward Islands to the ABC Islands.

Gran Roque, the capital, is the most easily accessible spot for tourists from the mainland. Consequently, all types of planes come and go at all hours, so it is not the totally quiet, remote island you might have expected.

However, other parts of the group are rarely visited and provide many quiet and peaceful anchorages.

Over the years conditions for cruising boats have fluctuated. In February 2018 the governor of Los Roques introduced incredibly high fees for visiting yachts. Fees stabilized during 2019 and reports have been positive since 2020. See cruisers comments and reports for more details.


11°56.71’N, 66°40.60’W (Gran Roque anchorage)

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Los Roques was last updated 2 years ago.

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  1. May 3, 2023 at 6:49 PM
    Chris Lewns says:

    I visited Los Roques at the end of Feb 2023. It is a truely wonderful and beautiful place to visit. Gran Roques is the island for entry and all the paperwork. We used Alejandro Linares to help with the paperwork. He was unable to attend but sent a friend who took me to the island and the appropriate offices so that we could go through the formalities. It is not a cheap experience but if you can stay for a good length of time you get better value! This is a beautiful and remote set of islands with friendly peaceful people. Cay Francisqui is a particularily tranquil anchorage once you have negotiated the shallows and has a great bar. So worth stopping in for 5-7 days if you are on the way to ABC.

  2. August 22, 2022 at 12:13 PM
    pachific says:

    If you are on your way to the ABC Islands, Colombia or Panama, you should stop in Los Roques. Otherwise, you’re probably missing out on one of the best destinations in the Caribbean.
    Nowhere have we seen as much wild life as here, and there are anchorages that will amaze you.
    We also recommend anyone to take Alejandro as their agent. (+58 4122126051 ). Alejandro does more than just clear in as agents do on the eastern Caribbean islands. Only Gran Roque has shopping and rubbish disposal, and although it’s not far, it takes a while to navigate there and back. Alejandro brings groceries, takes out the rubbish and gives a SIM card for internet access, a service more than worth his fee. He makes your stay more enjoyable, easier and more pleasant.
    The cost of registration is in line, as mentioned on the noonsite. The supermarkets are well stocked, a supply ship comes every week with fresh food and there is no shortage of fresh fish anyway. The cost of living is the same as on Windward and Leeward Island, but we like the service and friendliness of the locals much better here.
    From the officials to the coast guards to the locals – everyone has a smile on their face, shakes your hand and is not pushy at all. In terms of safety, we feel much more comfortable here than on some of the eastern Caribbean islands.
    Our friends and we have extended our stay because it is a unique and one-of-a-kind experience.

  3. July 27, 2022 at 9:35 PM
    MsLili says:

    Gran Roque is the first port of call for checking into Los Roques. We never use an agent but this time we decided to use one that came recommended, and we don’t regret it. Not only did it save us a lot of time (Alejandro took us through the 5 steps of checking in within a very relaxed 2 hours) but also we saved money. From other boats we found out that when doing the checking in yourself, you can actually pay quite a bit more and it definitely takes a lot more time. Alejandro made himself available to us 24/7, gave us advice on where to go to see the best spots, organized a local SIM card for us and while we were cruising around, also had groceries (that we ordered through him) and a big fish delivered to our boat as well as our garbage taken care of. Alejandro’s WhatsApp nr is +58 412-2126051.

  4. June 3, 2022 at 5:21 PM
    profile photo
    sue-richards says:

    Reported by cruiser Rowan Gormley – April 2022

    We’ve just spent two weeks in Las Roques and it was the highlight of our 3 seasons in the Caribbean
    – more
    Live coral than in the rest of the Caribbean put together
    – amazing fish and bird life. First time I have seen fully grown parrot fish
    – friendly people, lovely colonial architecture, good restaurants
    – perfectly safe – no hassles, no boatmen, and certainly no pirates

    Check in is pretty straight forward

    We used an agent, Alejandro Linares who was very responsive, helped with all sorts of things. WhatsApp +58 4122126051

    1. June 24, 2022 at 9:37 PM
      profile photo
      Elpelegrino says:

      Hello and thank you for your post. interested I would like to know how long we can stay in los roques? how much did it cost you? detail? thank you. Bernard
      I travel with my family, 3 childrens

  5. October 17, 2018 at 8:02 PM
    Lynda Lim says:

    Julius says:
    Oct 17, 2018 08:02 PM

    Update from 10/2018. We stayed 2 weeks.

    2. Guardacosta asked for 20 USD bribe “for instant clearing out”.
    5. SAIME asked 5 USD each person and stamped outbound stamps straight away.
    6. In cashier booth they asked 50 USD for 37 footer but we didn’t have that much cash so payed about 1500 Soveirn Bolivar by credit card which was about 25 USD after all.
    7. ANAYA asked 10 USD for instant clearing out, otherswise come back when you are leaving.

  6. September 10, 2018 at 8:56 PM
    Data Entry3 says:

    We stayed with our 6 children in August-September 2018 for 15 days in Los Roques and Los Aves. It was really a highlight of the last 5 years of sailing! Absolutely safe, extremely friendly people and authorities. We had never such friendly immigration, customs and coast guards like in Los Roques. Fees seem to vary. Provisioning is a problem. Sailors should have enough in stock for the whole stay. For diving, we recommend Eugenio Escobar from ADC Dive Center. For a delicious Pizza find Pedro´s Pizzeria. Both are fluent in English and very helpful for any support. You can pay in USD but only cash. So take enough cash with you to enjoy some of the restaurants. The locals pay with bank cards in bolivares.

  7. February 21, 2018 at 9:24 PM
    Sue Richards says:

    The situation in Los Roques is changing on a daily basis. Read the latest reports from cruisers here under comments and adjacent (top right) in the report “Los Roques, Las Aves, Bonaire & Curacao: Latest Updates”.

  8. December 28, 2017 at 10:37 AM
    Data Entry3V says:

    Posted on behalf of Olivier Bausset 28th December 2017

    I want just to tell you about our crushing experience in Los Roques.
    We have a 40-foot catamaran and we were in Los Roques for 10 days in December. We left Grenada.
    The security was totally fine. We were travelling with 2 kids and were not worried.
    The clearance formality was clear. We did all the offices in 2 hours.
    The cruising was perfect. NO problem.

  9. November 28, 2017 at 1:44 PM
    Sue Richards says:

    AnchSailor says:
    Nov 27, 2017 10:54 PM
    Los Roques and Los Aves November 12-24, 2017

    We had a great time on these islands. We had absolutely no security issues. All the immigration officials were extremely friendly as was everyone else we met. Although we had 6 stops to check in I would much rather do that then check into Antigua. With the current currency situation, a 42-foot boat with 2 people cost $50. I was dinged for another $40 got to get a transit visa since I’m American. The rules were that I was required to have a visa before I got to Venezuela so this was their work around. A Canadian travelling with me did not have to pay extra.

    I checked on the exchange rate on dolartoday.com before I got there to know roughly where the unofficial exchange rate was currently. It was 50,000 bolivars to $1 but the best we could do was 30,000 bolivars to $1 but even with that rate, everything was an incredible bargain. Beers at real nice beach bars were $.50 and a three-course meal was $6 – think excellent service for $1.

    Free wifi was available in the main town square and in the same building as immigration by the airport. If you have long range antenna you can get it on your boat.

    While we were there we only saw two other cruisers and had all the anchorages we stayed at completely to ourselves. It is just like the Bahamas without the people – endless white sand beaches, good snorkelling, good holding and great sailing.

    Los Aves were equally spectacular and equally void of cruisers.

    Based on some comments here and elsewhere I was a little concerned about stopping but it turns out we stumbled into paradise. I only wished I had time to stay longer Delete Reply

  10. July 18, 2017 at 4:44 PM
    Sue Richards says:

    June 2017: Report from Jean-Pierre Germain of SY Eleuthera about Los Roques:

    We were in Los Roques in June 2017.

    The Isles appear to be on their own or at least distancing themselves from the mainland Venezuela policies.

    We were always safe but had to put up with minor “irregularities”. It took 6 hours to complete the port, immigration, customs and cruising permit and more than 6 kms walk.

    The currency is as bad as ever and for $USD206 (Cruising permits) for 2 boats, I brought back nearly Bolivar 2,000,000. (The Pharmacy is still the point for currency exchange but we managed to get about 15% more Bolivars than the pharmacist was willing to give initially. Bargaining seems acceptable.) The bundle of cash fitted well into my 2 backpacks but weighed nearly 50 pounds. A mate commented that the Bolivar was cheaper than toilet paper thus.

  11. June 19, 2017 at 9:24 AM
    Sue Richards says:

    Posted on behalf of Alejandro Linares (Yacht Agent – Los Roques)

    Update 17 June 2017:

    Los Roques current situation is not good. Please avoid any cruise close to Margarita Island – Coche and Cubagua – at least between 40 to 60 nautical miles away from this island due to piracy.

    Contact number: + 39-371-3723788 WhatsApp

    Editor’s Note – we have asked Alejandro for more details, in particular, if there have been any incidents involving cruising yachts recently. We are waiting to hear

  12. November 8, 2016 at 1:06 AM
    Data Entry3 says:

    We visited Los Roques and Los Aves in October 2016. We were 2 boats with 2 kids on each boat. Before taking a firm decision to visit or not Los Roques, we made a lot of research, back in Grenada: We were hearing much bad news in regard to the situation in Venezuela. Our main concerns were not piracy but more the army or coast guards, both having a lot of power since June 2016. As it is impossible to get direct information from Los Roques on the internet, we made a few phone calls to pousadas to inquire about the situation on the islands. We also got a contact of a local guy running a kite school over there. Every feedback was positive. We were only warned that we may experiment with food or water shortage. When we arrived, we were very well received by the Coast Guards. They were really and helpful. Same thing with immigration agents.
    It cost us around 110 USD for immigration and park fees for a 43 feet boat with 3 adults and 2 children aboard. All the money gets changed on the black market, but there is no other solution. Formalities are not complicated and we saw no need for an agent.
    Gran Roque is charmful, with many beautiful pousadas and nice restaurants. There 2 supermarkets where we found more choice of veggies and fruits than in the Grenadines! Just be aware of the cargo ship scheduled to go shopping the next day (In October, the cargo ship came every Thursday). Water is free for whoever has paid the park fees. For a few bucks, you can even get someone to deliver it to your boat in Francisquis.
    We spent the next 2 weeks in the archipelago: Franciscus, Crasqui, Noronsqui, Carenero, Cayo de Agua and never noticed any suspicious people/activity. We had a very good contact with local people and fishermen and an overall wonderful experience.
    Los Roques does not share much with the situation on the mainland as the main income is tourism, paid in USD. So, people keep a better buying power than on the continent.
    Los Roques is beautiful, unspoiled islands, missing it would be too bad.

    Olivier Rocher
    S/Y Korrigan

  13. November 5, 2016 at 3:32 PM
    Data Entry3 says:

    We visited Los Roques October/2016. As an American boat, we were told that we could not visit Venezuela without a visa obtained at an Embassy. I’m not sure if this was because we didn’t use an agent, but they didn’t suggest it and we only wanted to stay a short time With several calls to Caracas we were able to obtain a 72-hour visa for $25 each. They did not ask us to pay any other fees even when we inquired about the national park fee. This was a true visa (although the stamps in our passports do not have entry dates) not just a stop over for weather/health. We checked in and out the same day and were allowed to move through the anchorages freely. We stayed a few extra days because the weather was not conducive for leaving and no one bothered us.

    I also emailed the agent referenced in the earlier comments. While his comments online were cautionary, his note to us implied that Los Roques was still safe at the moment, but cruisers should keep tabs on the situation as it could change overnight.

    We stopped in many different anchorages and found the people and the fishermen to be very friendly and we never felt unsafe. We had our three children on board, and we never felt like we were taking risks. Gran Roque has a few small restaurants and wifi is available, but groceries were slim picking. Everyone took dollars, so we paid in dollars and got pesos back in change.

    Amy Bradford
    SV Pelagic

  14. June 23, 2016 at 1:08 PM
    Sue Richards says:

    Posted on behalf of Alejandro Linares (Yacht Agent – Los Roques)

    Due to Political and economic situation, always thinking in the safety of the crew, passengers and the vessel, my advice is to avoid cruising to Venezuela for now.

    I’m the most interested person to have you here, but make you come to Los Roques in this critical time in Venezuelan history, means to put you at risk.

    Los Roques is still a safe place, but the lack of food and inflation rate are uncontrollable and we are about to have a civil war.

    Sorry for the news, but safety is first and Los Roques will always be there, it is just not the right time.

    As soon I think it is possible to visit without any risk I’ll notify noonsite.

  15. June 6, 2016 at 1:09 PM
    Data Entry3 says:

    We visited Los Roques in May/June 2016. Our experiences:

    Safety is NO concern at all, the town at Gran Roque is super peaceful, people really friendly.
    Everyone is struggling with the situation, but there are still some tourists and the situation seems to be much better than on the mainland.

    Check-in was 9000 Bolivars for immigration and 56000 Bolivars park entrance fee for two adults and a baby. Exchange rate changes quickly, we got about 900 bolivars for one USD. Bring cash (USD)! Money can be exchanged in restaurants or the pharmacy.

    Shops and supermarkets are open, but the goods vary from day to day, fresh fruits and vegetables are nowhere to be found.

    We were the only foreign boat there, so we could enjoy all the great beaches and bays alone, which was awesome.

    We really loved it there, a pity that you can only stay for 15 days, with probably another 15-day extension!

    Jaqueline & Mischa & Baby Willi

  16. March 10, 2016 at 9:16 PM
    Sue Richards says:

    Please note the correct e-mail addresses for Alejandro Linares are:
    [email protected]
    [email protected]

  17. February 16, 2016 at 8:40 PM
    Data Entry3 says:

    If you want help with Clearance or information Contact:
    Alejandro Linares
    [email protected]
    Or [email protected]

    He has been great with me, honest and looking out for the best interest of us and our yacht and putting customer service above profits. I definitely recommend.

  18. December 2, 2015 at 11:55 PM
    Data Entry3 says:


    We arrived on Sunday at Los Roques and paid no overtime.

    We Paid:
    Saime: 4500 Bolivar
    National Park Fees : 3852 Bolivar

    Thats it !

    Exchange Rate is 650-750 Bolivar for 1 USD.
    We are 3 persons on board of a 38 feet vessel.

    Be sure your clearance from previous port are correct with “next Port” VENEZUELA OR LOS ROQUES. Otherwise you have to pay a bribe of 180-40 USD. 🙁 Depends on your condition and arguments.

    The people are friendly and helpfull.
    At the moment there are only few sailors here.
    The market are very cheap for Rhum,Cigarettes and Beer.
    Fuel are also very very cheap.
    0,75l Rhum 2,8 USD
    1can of Beer 300ml 0,16 USD
    1ciragette box Marlboro 0,5 USD
    10 L Petrol 0,04 USD
    20 L diesel 0,09 USD.

    CRAZY !

    We are now 4 days at el gran roque, and the village are very safe.

    No worries about anything.

    We recommend everybody to visit Los Roques.

    SV Telefine
    [email protected]

  19. November 11, 2014 at 2:13 PM
    Sue Richards says:

    Posted on behalf of SV Perry:
    Just cleared out of Los Roques and had a wonderful time. A quick clarification on clearing out: Make your first stop the Coast guard station on the north side of town for your Zarpe. Immigration (your second stop) wouldn’t stamp passports without the Zarpe. We asked if we also needed to check out with the Guarda National (Police), but were told that was no need.

    Water is available from the ‘service station’ at the far north end of the beach. You may be asked to get a piece of paper permitting you to take water. If so, you get this from the local government office next to the bank in the town square. You may or may not be charged a small amount (we were not charged and permitted to take up to 600 litres).

    Be sure to stop here if you can. The islands are fabulous and the people friendly. This is not the Venezuela you’ve been taught to fear…

  20. October 12, 2014 at 1:08 PM
    Data Entry3 says:

    Visiting Los Roques is one of our cruising highlights. Extremely safe, beautiful, and welcoming. We have been there on 6 separate occasions over the past 2 years.

    To clarify some of the costs of clearing in, and the procedure…
    First go to the SAIME office, near the airport. They give you a bank account number, and you have to got the bank and deposit 1016 Bolivar. Then you go the Garda Costa post, near the airport. (Located in the Trailer, next to the National Park office. No cost for Guarda Costa, just paperwork. Then to the National Park office. Cost us 3000 Bolivar (for 47′ yacht) plus 254 bolivar per person. TOTAL COST was 4500 Bolivar for the boat, and 2 people, for 14 days.
    This equated to about $55 US at the current exchange rate.
    To change Dollars(Cash only) to local currency, go the the Pharmacist in the main square. Always fair rates, and can manage large amounts. Be prepared. If you change $100 USD, you are given around 150 bills, (quite bulky!) Bring something to carry the cash in….
    In October 2014, the exchange rate was 85 bolivar to US$1. (Better rates on the mainland, but still pretty good!).

    To clear out, go back to SAIME (Immigration) and get your exit stamps,(No cost) then go to the Police station,(Guardia Nationale) to get another stamp. (No cost) then off to the main Guarda Costa base, to get your Zarpe. (Clearance form)
    Everything closes between 12 noon and 2 or 3pm, so it is best to start early, and get it all overwith in the morning hours. If you have a wifi antenna, there is now wifi available in Grande Roque.

    We discovered an awesome Day Spa in Los Roques, “Spa Horua” . 90 minute massage is $25. to give you an idea of pricing. Top quality, professional spa. Thai stretching massage also available. Just ask the locals for directions. Bit hard to find, but well worth the effort.

    We spoke to the Coast Guard when there, and asked about getting some gasoline for our tender.
    No Problem, they said. Just turn up at the end of the beach, at the gas pump, at 2pm.
    So, I turned up with the gas can in hand. Lined up with 15-20 locals, and was able to fill the can. Cost 8 bolivar for 20 liters. Try to carry small bills, because they may not have change! It was not possible to get diesel, although I have heard stories of others being successful there. Fresh water is available for free, but you need to bring containers.
    There are NO DOCKS to go to. You have to beach your tender, and drag it up the sand.

    They sell fresh fish at the beach each day. Fisherman come in around 12-1pm and there is a few guys cleaning and selling fish. Costs about $2 per kilo for cleaned and filleted fish. Wahoo, Mahi, Tuna, Macrel, etc etc. As far as I could tell, everything was the same price.

    Grocery stores are hit and miss, lots of empty shelves on any given day.. If you see something you want.. Buy it right away, because they will run out at any time. Typical supply day is Wednesday, so Late Wednesday or Thursday shopping is the best. Some things are extremely inexpensive. If you want an imported item such as a bottle of Baileys, you will pay the US price. Better to buy local products.

    You can use the clearance agent if you wish, but we fumbled through the process, and were fine.

    Best overnight anchorage near Grand Roque is at Francis Cay, just East of Grand Roque. Very protected from all directions, calm water, etc. only 1-2 miles form G.Roque.

    Los Roques Cruisers Paradise!

    Travel safe!

    Capt. Russ.

  21. August 13, 2014 at 2:58 PM
    Data Entry3 says:

    After discovering that our circumnavigation of the Caribbean was to pass by the Venezuelan Islands of Los Roques I was sure that we had to visit. After some research though I was concerned that we may have to visit mainland Venezuela to gain the clearance necessary. I found the contact for Alejandro from Yacht Service Los Roques on Noonsite and after a quick email to see if he could help us I suddenly received a call from him offering his services and asking what we would need to make our trip special. It is not very often that an agent will put so much effort into making sure that you have every detail sorted and more so that you are chasing them just to get what you need. Alejandro is very different and was keen to show us his beautiful Islands and make sure that we got a real flavour of the local food, beautiful beaches, and incredible diving. Clearance was made simple and there were no issues in clearing in and out directly to Gran Roque. Alejandro arrived on board and everything I needed was supplied internet/phone fresh fruits and supplies. He showed me a great itinerary and planned some sensational days for us. Everything can be organised through Alejandro and as a captain himself he understands what is needed whether you are on a superyacht or cruiser. The highlight for all was a local seafood lunch on the end of a sandy spit on Crasqui, a table laid with fresh lobster oysters and such tasty fish, salads and all. A typical Venezuelan lunch we were told but I can’t believe how the locals all stay so good looking with all this food! Here there is also some of the best snorkelling in the islands so that just rounded off a perfect Sunday.

    Capt Matt Hooper

  22. March 22, 2014 at 8:24 PM
    Data Entry3 says:

    We have been planning to go to Los Roques for many months and have been in touch with Alejandro to do the paperwork clearances etc. He seems like a great guy and very efficient and helpful. 5 days before we were due Grenada bound for Los Roques I received an email from Alejandro asking us to delay our visit because of the”critical” political situation. We have taken he advise so, unfortunately, missing out these wonderful islands. I advise anyone wishing to visit to contact Alejandro [email protected] for an update.

    Paul Atkinson Talulah Ruby111

  23. February 18, 2014 at 5:25 PM
    Data Entry3 says:

    Los Roques, Venezuela.

    We had this February 2014 the great pleasure of visiting the Los Roques Islands in Venezuela.

    Alejandros yacht service took us all the way through customs, emigration in an absolutely excellent way. Alejandro took care of everything, took us on an unforgettable l trip around the islands. Help us with contacts for our journey ahead, and is beside all that, a very nice, positive and effective relationship.

    We can highly recommend a visit to the wonderful and absolutely safe Los Roques Island, as long you have Alejandro on your side.

    [email protected]

    Emil Midé Erichsen
    S/Y Havana, Denmark