Cruising Los Roques – Feedback from cruisers

Published 6 years ago

Vespen de la Salina anchorage: © Ethan Lee

Posted February 2014 – Clearance in Los Roques, Venezuela

Los Roques is a nice stop underway from The Windward Islands to The ABC-Islands.

The following info was valid for us during our visit in November 2013. Besides, it is only valid if you only stop at Los Roques and do not visit the Venezuelan mainland.

You may stay a maximum of 15 days. You have to anchor at the highest and most visible island, El Gran Roque, in the group of islands, and visit four authorities in a special order located in 5 different locations (!). The officers only speak Spanish, but are very nice and helpful and arrange for someone to come and translate to a hardly understand English.

First stop is the Coast Guard station, Guardacosta, a white building with a large flag at the seafront at the northwest end of the village.

Secondly National Guard, Guarda Nacional, a white building at the seafront in the middle of the village.

The third stop will be a very small container building at the airstrip gate, no signs on the outside. This is the only place where you have to pay.  53.50 Bolivar/foot and 214 Bolivar/person. You will get SATIM documents as a receipt. Besides you pay a deposit of 535 Bolivar to SAIME and get a receipt issued by Banco de Venezuela. For the two of us and our 34 footers, it became a total of 2800 Bolivar, which has to be paid in cash. No cards or dollars accepted.

Fourth stop is the Local Authority in a white building in the middle of the village, no signs on the outside. Here you will make the immigration inward clearance and get your passports stamped. You will get a SAIME document.

Lastly, you visit Parc Authority, Inparques or Parque Nacional, a small building halfway between the Coast Guard and National Guard. Here you will have info and a map and a document giving you special permission to visit the half closed areas (areas marked PM on the map) of the national reserve.

Apparently, there are no customs!

When leaving Los Roques you have to return to El Gran Roque and clear out with the Coast Guard and the Local Authority. The latter will stamp the passports. We cleared out internationally and sailed to Bonaire. In this way, you do not have to visit the Venezuelan mainland.

There is an ATM at the two bank offices. Although signed they do not accept Mastercard, Visa etc. so you have to change USD to Bolivars in the banks to the unfavourable official rate of 6 Bolivars to one USD. Otherwise, the rate is 20 Bolivars to the dollar.

Personally, we felt very safe and secure during our stay in Los Roques.

Johan and Birgitta Prison

s/y Xavita IV

Posted October 2013 – Cruising Notes

Hello Noonsite,

Great site, I reference it often as we have been on a world cruise for the past four years.

I also enjoy sharing information with colleagues and cruisers to help make the trip easier, and hopefully maximized. Most of the time I don’t really have much to add to Noonsite, or at least from a cruising standpoint. Cruisers tend to know more than I do since we roll through pretty fast, always missing things, but the Boss says that’s why we have a reason to return.

But I thought I’d share my notes from Los Roques having just left there about 10 days ago and have perhaps some new, positive, information: Yachts can now clear in and out there without having to worry about being scammed or going to the mainland. There is a local agent, who has lived there for 15 years, but only just realized how he can assist yachts. He is a very trustworthy individual who cares greatly about his country and his stunning little archipelago out there. He understands how tourism can positively affect his community and he is very excited to show everyone a good time in his natural “water park” being a hardcore watersports enthusiast. We had the best experience there cruising, diving, kite-boarding, snorkelling and visiting beautiful, empty beaches. There is also a small surf break, but we didn’t have time.

Gran Roque proper was pretty cool too and we found everyone very friendly without the slightest note of a security or theft issue. I feel I need be more “on alert” in the windward islands.

Now granted I have a professional crew looking out for the boat, but I’m a cruiser and sailor at heart and think that with some assistance from this agent a wonderful experience can be held in Los Roques. I certainly plan on cruising there with my own sailing yacht in the near future.

I attach my humble notes that have the contact for Alejandro Linares of Yacht Services Los Roques.

Best regards and safe sailing,

Ethan Lee

Los Roques Cruising Notes_Ethan Lee_Sep13_v2

(Editor’s Note: Previous cruising notes for this area from June 2012 can be found in this noonsite report: Cruising the Offshore Islands – Blanquilla, Los Roques and Las Aves)

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