ADSactly Travel - Los Roques Archipelago - What The Caribbean Was Like Before Tourism

in travel •  8 months ago

Los Roques Archipelago - What The Caribbean Was Like Before Tourism

Located in the Caribbean 160 km north of Caracas and about 45-minute flight lies an archipelago of hundreds of islands and rocks. Los Roques is a National Park, within the Leeward Antilles, that covers 221,120 ha. Considered to be one of the best-preserved and the largest atolls in the Caribbean but not widely known about outside Venezuela.

This paradise in aquamarine, crystalline waters is virtually uninhabited. Marine ecosystem of exceptional beauty and ecological value dominated by magnificent coral beds, mangroves, hard sand flats, seagrass beds and pristine beaches of white sand, where the sea is warm all year round and the average daytime temperature is 28 °C.

Los Roques Archipelago is only 130 meters above sea level. Gran Roque is the only island with a landing strip and the main entry point. The small native town on the Island of Gran Roque has more than 1,200 residents, doesn’t have paved roads, no cars except for water trucks, 60 small lodges, no noisy bars, no big hotels. It is a haven for windsurfing, kite-surfing, snorkelling and diving. The deep blue sea can reach depths of 1,700 metres in its deepest portion, with average depths below 15 m in the north.

At its highest point, now falling into disrepair stands the oldest of three lighthouses -the Dutch Lighthouse, built between 1870 and 1880 - a landmark of Gran Roque. Los Roques Archipelago is an important reservoir of biodiversity and food resources, approximately 38 plant species have been reported, four species of sea turtles (the hawksbill turtle, the green turtle, the loggerhead turtle, the leatherback turtle). It is home to many species of birds a rich variety of marine life and many iguanas but no native land mammals exist.

Lobsters, Photo: @highonthehog

The geologic origin of these reefs is very recent -about 10,000 to 15,000 years ago. However, the rock foundations that sustain the reefs originated about 40 million years ago during the Upper Cretaceous (Méndez 1978). These igneous and metamorphic rock foundations constitute the hills in Gran Roque. Calcareous sediments from reef crumbling, shells, and the residues of other marine organisms, accumulated on these rock foundations. After the last ice age, between 15 and 19 thousand years ago, sea levels rose considerably due to the melting of polar ice. This caused the growth of the north and south barriers, which enabled the formation of keys because they offered a natural protection of the inner area (Méndez 1978, AUA 2002). Los Roques is a unique archipelago because it is a coral-shaped atoll that formed without the intervention of volcanic processes (Méndez 1978).

Recent archaeological studies indicate that the first humans to set foot in Los Roques left their tracks in the beaches possibly 2000 to 3000 years ago. According to findings of Botuto shells, the indigenous people frequently visited the archipelago in search of resources that were scarce or did not exist on the continent. They navigated great distance from the coast of the mainland to fish, capture queen conchs, turtles and to extract salt.

Excavations done in Dos Mosquises have provided valuable information about what life was like in the only Ocumaroid settlement known in the Venezuelan territory. The settlement built around the year 1300 where farmers and fishermen, known as Ocumaroids and the latter group of Valenciaoids lived. The excavations carried out by the Venezuelan - Polish archaeological mission unearthed well-preserved small human clay figures.

In 17 and 18-century, pirates and smugglers used the Archipelago as a base or hiding place. During the latter part of the XVIII century, the Dutch valued the archipelago for its natural resources. There was a demand for limestone used in construction, mangrove wood, used as fuel for steamships, used as fertilizer guano - bird droppings and salt, that has been extracted from the salt mines in Cayo Sal. It drastically affected the resources and the landscape of the Archipelago.

At the beginning of 20th century, Los Roques was included into "Columbus territory" by president Antonio Guzman Blanco by decree of the Territorio Colon.

Nowadays the fishing is restricted and tourism has replaced it lately as the main economic activity. The calm, quiet and marvellous islands attract many visitors, but the authorities established the marine protection zones, allowing a maximum of 70 per day - an average of 70,000 people visit the area annually.

Authored by @highonthehog


Photos: @highonthehog
Images: sources linked below

• Antczak, M.M. Antczak, A. 1988. Sacred artifacts in prehispanic archaeological contexts, Los Roques Archipelago, Venezuela. Ancient 8: 8-11.

• Méndez, J. 1978. Archipiélago Los Roques/Islas de Aves. Cuadernos Lagoven. 48 pp.

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WOW! so great I like to travel


glad to hear that :)

where the sea is warm all year round and the average daytime temperature is 28 °C.

That sounds like a real paradise. Even going there in the Christmas time wouldn’t feel like a winter at all. I have already been to Caribbean before on vacation. However, Los Roques Archipelago is the first time I’ve hear off. The water is amazingly clear and your pictures are perfect proof which are btw beautiful. Since I live in NY, I’d love the idea of no roads, no cars, no noisy bars, no big hotels,... and perhaps no internet, just relax and enjoy the nature. Snorkeling and diving would definately be my favorite since I love swimming in the deep waters. When I read about Los Roques Archipelago being “ONLY” 130 meters above sea level, thinking 🤔 about it, I think it’s a lot, it’s still very high for me, since where I live it is about 10 meters above the sea level. Anyway, great addition of history of this beautiful island. I wonder how the local authorities deal with only 70 people a day to be able to witness marine protection zones since there is 70k visitors per year. That’s probably the only headache they have to deal with 😆.

You must have had a blast @highonthehog!

Wow! Wow!! Wow!!!
I am awe by the level of clarity of these pictures. They are as clear as crystals. I can see and feel their physical presence from afar here in Africa!!

The second to the last picture is very intriguing; can't decipher what it is. Can someone, especially @adsactly tell me??By what I see, I would arrange for a vacation to the Carebeans soonest!!

uno de los bellos paraisos de mi amada Venezuela, hermoso post, lo comparto


Gracias por compartir este post y dar a conocer este paradisíaco archipiélago de Los Roques ubicado en mi país: Venezuela. Espectaculares fotografías.

@ adsactly thanks for writing about this wonderful place part of my country Venezuela. It really is a paradise


one of the cleanest places on earth!

Nice write-up coupled with an exciting pictures


Thank you , have a good day :)


thanks for the comment .

I am in love with that blue water & Mother Earth Caribbean...
Big up Jamaica!


This looks like a cool travel vlog! One thing I would recommend though is maybe play about with the settings and try and figure out the aspect ratio (Get rid of the black lines around the post) - Should be easily done :D


don't​ know what do you mean..?

Oh Los Roques, Venezuela. What a wonderful place, definitely paradise on earth. This post gives me chills and nostalgic. I lived there two months and that place change my life. So thankful for this amazing post that captures all that magic in that beautiful land 🌊💞🌴


Very impressive, I was there only for a day and I got a major sunburn ... Everything there is quite expensive and scarce, but beautiful beyond measure.

This place looks like a dream come true location. Especially because it's not known to tourists and so few people live there... It must be amazing. How did you get to hear about it?


This is a great place, I learned about it being in Venezuela and luckily managed to fly there on a private plane, this was a happy day!

Amazing photos, thanks for sharing them!


Good post!!!

Would be nice to pay a visit to the Caribbeans. Though much has changed due to tourism, it would still be a nice place to visit


naturally it has changed, but really not so much in this place.


Thanks, but would still worth paying a visit

Good day @adsactly
Great article you got there and stunning photos as well.
I just want to ask if you're somehow related to what @steempipe is ranting about on one of his posts?

Mastermind photography

Posted using Partiko Android

Hello @adsactly
scuba diving is always fun, it's more exciting with colorful fishes and live corals,i like your post.
How can i visit this places ?


Hey @prakashseth, visiting Venezuela​ is not so easy, there is a very big problem with security, a shortage of everything, a problem with inflation... I could continue .. I do not recommend tourism, however, if you have someone from a family there or a close friend who is in a more or less "balanced situation" it's another matter.

Are you guys enjoying a lot keep growing and make you project a great success @adsactly


Thank you , all the best !

hello adsactly ,Good article you got there and statue water photos as well.
I just want to asked if you are somehow related to what is ranting ab@highonthehog out on one of his posts?


copy paste comments have no life here.

Warren Buffett

Never rely on the only source of income. Create another source through investment.

If you do not need what you need, then you will have to sell what you need

Do not measure the depth of the river by drowning your feet

Never keep all the eggs in one basket

Honesty is a gift very expensive. Do not expect it from a cheap person!

Spend whatever is left after the savings, rather than saving what is left over


not so sure how does this relate to the topic. help me here.

Woooww,..amazing,great job, i like this post..


Thank you.

scuba diving is always fun, it's more exciting with colorful fishes and live corals. If you get a chance, then visit Andaman Island, India. You gonna definitely love underwater beauty.


Of course, it's a wonderful experience, to me like a meditation, especially deep diving. If I will be in the area I will definitely take your advice, cheers!


you'r warm welcome 'Namastee' to India..

Very good, I like this article, I hope you can give me voted, I have voted for you.@zero12345


Thanks for your comment.

Such a wonderful photography . All that photography only one things mean ....... @Beauty of @Nature ..........

Longtemps restrictioné à des pratiques touristiques élitistes, l’espace caribéen s’est largement ouvert au tourisme international au cours des trois dernières décennies. L’avènement du tourisme de masse s’est accompagné d’une redistribution des flux et de fonctions touristiques dans cette région. Les enjeux, qui accompagnent l’importance croissante du fait touristique, essentiel pour les économies des îles caribéennes, sont de plusieurs ordres : tout d’abord, il convient de s’interroger sur les effets d’entraînement des revenus du tourisme dans le cadre de ces économies extraverties. Se pose également los angeles question de l’accès aux ressources et de l. a. fermeture des lieux touristiques, dans un contexte où les sociétés locales développent aussi leurs propres pratiques touristiques et récréatives ; autant d’usages qui se polarisent sur des ressources littorales et doivent nous interpeller sur les enjeux environnementaux et los angeles durabilité des pratiques touristiques qui prévalent aujourd’hui.

parte de mi hermosa tierra VENEZUELA


;) thanks for your comment.

This is stunning! Would love to visit this someday!


all the best to you.



Thanks @betzy, it was a great experience to be there.


Wow! Very nice report! @adsactly
Thanks for the history lesson too!
Did you find any treasure?


Unfortunately,​ I did not find any pirate shipwreck loaded with gold. The underwater statue was pretty cool!

waaaooo excellent post, I'm from venezuela and god gave me the joy of being able to visit this wonderful destination on my honeymoon, I can say that it is the paradise full of marine life and the most beautiful view both the sunset and sunrise, his people very humble and of a love that you get, I can recommend this destination, if always taking care of our nature, it depends on us that this destination is still as virgin as the locals keep it. A big greeting from Venezuela friend @adsactly


I know that it is not easy to get there, especially now, in these times, so I feel that we had exceptional luck and I appreciate it very much. That's why it was so important to write this post because I know that not everyone will have the opportunity to fly there, and may even never find out that such a place exists. now its possible.

Congratulations! You did a good job. You almost did a scientific article...You treat several topics and you reference important articles.
Los Roques is used as a lab for field trips and workshops for study carbonates petrology.
As you wrote is very special for pracrice kite amd windsurf (continuos winds and flat sea is most of the main spots)...
The vestiges of ancient activity are relatively abundant and have been little studied.
Again! Nice job...Thank you for share it


I usually try to bring in more information than dry facts about prices and sleeping places. The history is very important to me and I think that for others it will also seem interesting in this context.

You are in the fantastic area. Each photo is beautiful and delightful.this is the sort of heart touching nature's're lucky to have this stunning herbal scenes surrounding you.


Thank you :)

Is that statue made also by clay I am impressed how look it is very well preserved even if it is on seabottom. The location looks unique and very uncontaminated even if the "human exploitation"