VENEZUELA: Intro and About the Area
The sheer numbers of fish, consistent conditions and lack of people lands Los Roques in the top 5 worlds best bonefish destinations. This is a year round fishery with bonefish averaging 4 pounds and real opportunities existing daily for 10 pound fish. When you consider that it’s much easier to access than its equally qualified competitors, Christmas Island and the Seychelles and offers mild Caribbean temperatures, you could easily call Los Roques the number one bonefish destination in the world. Throw in the pristine beauty and a few Permit and Tarpon and there’s really no better place.
Los Roques is an atoll consisting of 350 coral islands, rocks islands, sandbars, and cays.
This bone fishing paradise is accessed by an easy 40 minute flight from Caracas.
To protect the marine ecosystem, Venezuela declared this group of island Los Roques Archipelago National Park, forever preserving it’s coral reefs, mangroves, sea grass beds and natural beauty and along the way, creating the largest national park in the Caribbean. The creation of the park restricted population growth and consequently only 1600 people live in Los Roques, all inhabiting the largest island in the atoll, Gran Roque. The entire atoll offers a peaceful, no frills experience, with no cruise ships, large hotels, or discos and only a few restaurants. There aren’t even vehicles in Los Roques, save for the water truck and a few golf carts.
In 1996, Los Roques was declared a Ramsar site because of its biodiversity and food resources. The creation of the national park restricts commercial fishing and protects one of the healthiest and most biodiverse coral reefs in all the Caribbean. Los Roques harbors roughly 280 species of fish, 200 species of crustaceans, 140 species of mollusks about 61 species of corals, 60 species of sponges and 45 species of echinoderms. In addition, 92 bird species, 50 of which are migratory, can be seen in the park. Four species of sea turtles regularly nest on the islands of Los Roques including the endangered Hawksbill Sea Turtle.
Venezuela– The Country
Land of Grace. Venezuela’s nickname, given by Christopher Columbus after he sailed into the Paria Gulf in 1498 and described the region as a “Terrestrial Paradise” in a letter to The Catholic Monarchs (ie Isabella I of Castile and her husband Ferdinand II of Aragon.)
The stilted houses on Lake Maracaibo prompted navigator, Amerigo Vecpucci, from Alonso de Ojeda’s 1499 expedition, to call the region Little Venice or Venezuela.
While other nicknames and theories for the origin of Venezuela’s name exist, Land of Grace seems to describe the country most accurately. Its territories are all environmentally different with many protected areas, all helping to make Venezuela the worlds 17th most biodiversecountry.
Venezuela’s 26 states host significant biodiversity across habitats ranging from xeric scrublands, coastal mangrove forests, cloud forests, and the particularly rich low land rainforests which host over 25,000 different orchids. It has 1,740 miles of Caribbean coast, plus 16,000 ft peaks within the Andes most northern reaches.
In the center of the country, vast plains stretch from the Columbian boarder to the Orinoco River Delta in the east. The Orinoco River system is one of the largest watersheds in Latin America. Near the Brazil and Venezuela boarder, one can find the most northern part of the Amazon Basin, the tallest waterfall in the world called, Angle Falls and huge table top mountains.