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    Los Roques summary

    Los Roques is an archipelago of some three hundred and fifty tiny islands that lie within the arms of a protective coral atoll some eighty miles off the cost of north Venezuela. A seascape of exquisite natural beauty extending to 850 square kilometres, the islands were designated a marine National Park by the Venezuelan government as long ago as 1972, and remain to this day the largest and oldest Marine Reserve in the Caribbean. The sea here teems with marine life of every description, and the variety and quantity have contributed to making Los Roques one of the foremost diving and fishing destinations in the Caribbean. Spectacular coral reefs combine with extensive, deserted flats and pure white talcum beaches to create one of the most alluring of all destinations for the fisherman, diver or holidaymaker.

    Wild and Exotic arrange the services of experienced guides to escort their guests in one of the best salt water fly fisheries in the world. The multitude of pancake flats are prime bone fish habitat, and the surrounding waters home to tarpon, bonito and other aggressive predators eager to devour a well presented fly. The best bone fishing months are from February to June. The technique at Los Roques differs slightly from the Bahamas where enormous flats sometimes take hours to cover. Here there are numerous small pancake flats up to several hundred yards long. A boatman drops the fisherman and his guide at one end, and then manoeuvres the vessel through deeper water to the far side of the flat, where the angler is collected following a stalk that rarely disappoints. As well as being prolific bonefish habitat, the waters of the archipelago are also populated by tarpon, bonito and other aggressive predators that readily attack a well-presented fly. The best months for salt water fly-fishing are from February through to July. All Wild and Exotic clients will be sent a detailed recommended tackle and clothing list prior to departure.

    For the blue water fishing enthusiast, the bill fishing is equally prolific in seas that abound with marlin, swordfish and sailfish as well as dorado, tuna and wahoo. The famous La Guaira bank off the Venezuelan shoreline rises to within 45 fathoms of the surface and creates a rich feeding ground for these voracious predators. Although the deep sea fishing is good all year round the best time for marlin is considered to be between December and May, with the opportunities to score a blue water grand slam being from March to May and again from October until December.


    Where to stay in Los Roques

    For centuries the only business associated with these islands was fishing and lobster catching, however since the introduction of scheduled flights to Gran Roque, one of the few inhabited islands in the atoll, a number of fisherman’s cottages have been converted into small guest houses known as posadas; these are the only places that a visitor can stay; there are no hotels or resorts. The small settlement on Gran Roque closely resembles a South American village, complete with square, church and police station connected by sandy tracks. Not every visitor comes here to fish, and all the posadas featured on this website offer daily excursions some of the archipelago’s many islands in a small boat. Guests normally take a delicious picnic lunch, together with parasols and deck chairs to ensure maximum comfort and enjoyment. Other activities available on the islands beside salt water fly-fishing include world class scuba diving, snorkelling, surf kiting, windsurfing, kayaking and yachting.

    We have listed our selection of posadas on El Gran Roque and provided a brief description of the location and décor for each. Please contact us for the latest availability and price at your preferred posada. The standard of accommodation  varies from basic facilities (cold water and ceiling fans) to luxurious (air conditioning, cable TV and hot water). All of the posadas featured on this website have ensuite facilities attached to each room, and many have family rooms (often on split levels) with space for four guests. Each posada reflects the tastes of its owner, and as the majority are run by Italian families, guests will experience stylish surroundings and freshly prepared seafood. Whereas some posada managers speak fluent English, others have difficulty in communicating with English speaking guests. Wild and Exotic visit Los Roques on a regular basis and will help you select the posada that is most suitable for your requirements, as well as providing detailed advice on how to get the most from a stay at this unique archipelago.

    El Caracol: This small posada has just 4 guest rooms, and offers rustic simplicity in a beachside setting. The rooms are furnished in simple Caribbean style with ensuite showers and ceiling fans. Caracol is owned and run by a delightful Italian family who specialise in producing superb food, which is served either on the rooftop terrace, or beneath the shade of a parasol pitched between two palm trees on the white sandy beach. If requested the owners light a beachside barbeque on which to cook fresh lobsters that are delivered each day to their kitchen.

    La Cigala: This charming posada is especially well organised to receive guests from the UK, as the Italian owners, Liana and Enrique, also speak fluent English. The 9 simple rooms are arranged around a central courtyard, in which breakfast and dinner is served to the accompaniment of rustling orange coconut palms. Wooden shutters screened with a nautical canvas for extra privacy secure all rooms, which offer a variety of accommodations including three split-level rooms for family occupation. The posada’s lethal Caipirinha cocktails have achieved legendary status, even making the pages of the Sunday Times magazine.

    La Gotera: This small striking blue and white posada comprises 5 guest rooms, and occupies a prime beach location. The foliage of a mature sea grape tree and a roof of palm thatch shade the wooden deck of the outdoor terrace, which is separated from the sea by a narrow spit of white sand and surrounded by comfortable chairs and bright bougainvillea plants. A huge sofa fills the posada’s living room, which is decorated with bright paintings, vases of flowers, and bowls of fresh tropical fruit. Freshly prepared meals are served on the gorgeous seaside veranda and incorporate the best of Italian seafood cuisine.

    Piano Y Papaya:  A relaxed ambience permeates this posada, which is located just behind the island’s small church and a short distance from the beach. There are five rooms surrounding a spacious living area that  incorporates a tropical garden with a huge hammock in one corner. There is also a lovely roof terrace with commanding views in all directions.

    Posada Malibu: Located off the Calle Laguna, a quiet back street leading to the inland lagoon, this 11 bed roomed posada is one of the most sophisticated retreats on the island, with some rooms offering both air conditioning and hot water. A sophisticated ambience swirls around the clean wooden beams, and sunlight streams into the open courtyard with a floor of tiles, cobbles and wooden slats where sea grape, bamboo and ferns grow from a garden. Wooden stairs decorated with fragments of coral lead up to a shaded rooftop terrace that is arranged on three different levels featuring colourful plants, a bar and driftwood sculptures. The Italian owners also let out their personal living space by special arrangement for guests wishing to experience the ultimate in comfort and sophistication.

    Macanao Lodge: This is one of the largest and most luxurious posadas on the Island, located on the beach but also close to the bustling village square. All the rooms have showers and are light and airy with an attractive tropical garden in the courtyard.

    Posada Movida: This posada has 6 rooms and is located off the Calle de Laguna. Run by a young Italian couple, there is a friendly laid back atmosphere. The main living area features a graceful mahogany table, turtle shells on the walls, and wooden shutters that are flung open to let light pour into the room. Guestrooms are located off a narrow alley leading away from the main living area, and decorated with beautiful arrangements of coral and shell. A wooden staircase leads to a rooftop terrace, where guests can relax on the wrap around sofa or in hammocks slung beneath the shade of a wooden trellis.

    Posada Natura Viva: Located between the plaza Mayo and the sea, this large posada occupies a central position in the settlement. 16 rooms lead off from a central courtyard framed by lime green walls. The door of each room features an original oil painting depicting some form of marine life, such as corals, shells, flamingos or tropical fish.  The garden in the courtyard is surrounded by mosaic patterns, and colonnades impart the feeling of a sun drenched Italian Palazzo. Guests dine at the far end of the courtyard beneath the shade of a tiled roof, or beneath giant parasols to shield them from the sun. Brightly coloured stairs lead to an expansive roof top terrace that enjoys panoramic views of the ocean.

    Sailboats: The brisk trade winds that blight so much of the Caribbean are reduced to a gentle breeze by the time they reach Los Roques. These are perfect conditions for sailing. As well as representing the best posadas on dry land, Wild and Exotic also offer a selection of Beneteau sailboats for exclusive or shared charter, that sleep between four and eight guests each. Each sailboat comes complete with skipper and crew to sail you wherever you choose within the archipelago. Fishing and scuba diving can also be easily arranged during your trip.

    Tackle and Seasons in Los Roques

    It is possible to buy flies and limited supplies of tackle at Los Roques, but supplies are by no means guaranteed. All tackle is supplied for the blue water fishing. Reputable tackle dealers can supply all that is listed and it is better to arrive prepared.

    Fly rod size number 8 – 9. (Optional for tarpon, size 10, 11 or 12).

    Floating line weight 8 or 9. It is essential to have plenty of backing on your reel as a big bonefish may strip well over a hundred yards of line off in a single run.

    Leader: 10 lb. Tippet 8 – 10lbs. (Optional for tarpon: a 60lb tipped leader).

    Flies: Clouser minnows with a lead eye for deeper water. Crazy Charlie’s, gotchas, pink puffs and crab flies for the flats. Pink, tan and white patterns are most effective. Jigs and streamers and tarpon flies. Wire traces and treble hooks.

    It is also fun to have a spinning rod in the boat when bone fishing to take advantage of opportunities that may present themselves with barracuda or tarpon etc. Minimum breaking strain of 20lb is recommended. Guests on the sailboat may also like to take heavy duty rods equipped with line at least 50lb breaking strain, with wire traces also essential for the larger predatory fish.

    Tackle and Seasons in Los Roques  

    It is possible to buy flies and limited supplies of tackle at Los Roques, but supplies are by no means guaranteed. All tackle is supplied for the blue water fishing. Reputable tackle dealers can supply all that is listed and it is better to arrive prepared.

    Fly rod size number 8 – 9. (Optional for tarpon, size 10, 11 or 12).

    Floating line weight 8 or 9. It is essential to have plenty of backing on your reel as a big bonefish may strip well over a hundred yards of line off in a single run.

    Leader: 10 lb. Tippet 8 – 10lbs. (Optional for tarpon: a 60lb tipped leader).

    Flies: Clouser minnows with a lead eye for deeper water. Crazy Charlie’s, gotchas, pink puffs and crab flies for the flats. Pink, tan and white patterns are most effective. Jigs and streamers and tarpon flies. Wire traces and treble hooks.

    It is also fun to have a spinning rod in the boat when bone fishing to take advantage of opportunities that may present themselves with barracuda or tarpon etc. Minimum breaking strain of 20lb is recommended. Guests on the sailboat may also like to take heavy duty rods equipped with line at least 50lb breaking strain, with wire traces also essential for the larger predatory fish.

    Los Roques fishing table

    Venezuela general information and map

    Capital: Caracas

    Getting there: There are currently no direct flights to Caracas from the UK, but there are regular flights with major airlines from most European cities, including an excellent service with Air France from Paris. The flying time from Paris to Caracas is approximately 9 hours and 30 minutes.

    Time: GMT minus 4.5 hours.

    Try not to miss: Los Roques is an archipelago of some 350 tiny islands that lie within the arms of a protective coral atoll eighty miles off the cost of north Venezuela. An area of exquisite natural beauty extending to 850 square miles, it has been preserved as a marine National Park since 1972. The sea teems with marine life of every description, and spectacular coral reefs combined with extensive pancake flats and talcum white beaches make the archipelago an outstanding destination for the fisherman, diver and sun seeker. Chartering a sailboat is a great way to explore the archipelago, and your skipper will take you to pristine deserted beaches and sensational bone fishing flats.

    The 30,000 square kilometre Gran Sabana, which was the surreal setting for the Lost World movie and home to some of the planet’s most ancient rock formations. Our excursions through Gran Sabana start on the shores of the Orinoco River and finish close to the Brazilian border 600 miles to the south. This fascinating journey traverses a high plateau of tropical rainforest, open savannah and waterfalls plunging down the sides of breathtaking escarpments, including the spectacular Angel Falls.

    Visas: No visa is required for visits of up to 90 days for UK citizens arriving by air, however visitors arriving by land will need to have a valid visa for entry.

    Why Venezuela: For the magic of Los Roques, a unique combination of Latin American ambience, bare foot Caribbean luxury and fine Italian cuisine.

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    “The captain of Chaito and his crew member were excellent. We were looked after superbly and taken to what can only be described as the best bone fishing flats imaginable.”
    Keith Kendall, Los Roques, Venezuela


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