5 Things you can do in Gran Roque

If paradise exists, it surely resembles the Venezuelan archipelago Los Roques. In this atoll the "Gran Roque" is the largest and most populated islet. Here are also the main tourist services and that is why we want to invite you to know some of the hidden wonders of this destination before you decide to explore the rest of the keys.

1 EAT, WALK, ENJOY

In a town of colorful houses and sandy streets, there are around 3,000 people who live on this island. If you are curious, you can walk through its streets and be part of the simple and daily life of this place.

Gran Roque was founded in 1900 by inhabitants from Margarita. It is remembered that in times of the conquest of America the town was a refuge for pirates, and centuries later a refuge for Dutch and West Indians who came to extract charcoal.

Be it day or night, life around here is quite calm but there are a variety of establishments that you can enjoy. In the mornings, you can walk in search of a Creole breakfast with the typical empanadas. The best known sites are La Arepera, Los Gochos and The Mermaid. The Kiosk behind the school and El Ranchito next to La Corsaria. At other times of the day, also at Henry's bakery you can taste cheese or golfeados bread, or arepas with various marine products, at Posada Caballito de Mar.

As in all the towns in Venezuela where the sun rises, at noon the inhabitants disappear from the streets and everything closes until three in the afternoon. Tourists who have not gone out for a walk in the keys usually have lunch at their inns, although there are also several options available for those who want something different.

Among the restaurants, Bora La Mar stands out with its specialties with fish, lobsters and other marine fruits. The Song of the whale It is an enchanting establishment for its pasta and fish, but above all for its tables overlooking the sea, which also offer romantic candlelight dinners and quiet music. The best pizzas can be found in Pedros pizza, although you can also taste hamburgers with fries. Aquarena Restaurant and bar at the same time, it offers a variety of pasta and sushi dishes and its famous fruit smoothies on its menu. Ciao Pescao Los Roques, with its Italian food and the restaurant Caribbean here with Caribbean and Venezuelan tasting, are also recommended options.

At night, there are places to have drinks of all kinds, alcoholic or not, spread around the Plaza Bolívar. And if you want a bit of nightlife, on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, in the Galapagos Inn a dance floor with varied music is set up where tourists have fun until midnight.

PLAZA BOLIVAR

Like all the towns that were founded in the colony, the Bolívar Square of the island is the geographic and socioeconomic center from which the life of the place is organized. Here a small bust of the hero adorns the center of the esplanade, surrounded by some trees that offer walkers shade and shelter from the inclement sun of the area. At night, if you have traveled with your own drinks, you can freely consume them in this area. Therefore, it is the meeting place par excellence.

In September, in honor of the Virgin of the Valley, protective guardian of the inhabitants of eastern Venezuela, a festival is held in the square that includes songs and also processions.

2 DUTCH LIGHTHOUSE

In the highest part of the island (about 130 meters above sea level) you can see the old structure of a 12 meter lighthouse whose bases were built in 1874 with coral and limestone. After many setbacks, today it is known that it was Pedro Boregón who was in charge of completing the construction process.

This lighthouse is a cultural and urban icon of Gran Roque. Originally, the tower was an iron structure in the shape of a truncated pyramid, which in 1896 was covered with lime masonry.

From there you can see the sea and the calm waters of the nearby keys. Also, enjoy a panoramic view of the town. Visitors prefer to climb this hill to enjoy the sunset.

3 POWER DOG

At the beginning of 2020, 300 stray dogs roamed the streets of the island, without owner or destination. This surprising number of canines has been rescued by two local women who, determined to prevent these faithful animals from continuing to die of hunger or heat stroke, created a foundation. If you are an animal lover, you can visit the headquarters of Huellitas in Los Roques and play with the puppies cared for by their volunteers. And if you fall in love with one you can adopt it!!

4 WHAT GOOD ENGLISH!!

E-ROQ Project Inc is an incredible initiative that offers children living in Gran Roque a curriculum that combines learning English with knowledge of civil values, tourism and environmental conservation. This school aims to prepare the inhabitants with communication tools to promote tourist activity and serve the thousands of English-speaking visitors who visit the archipelago year after year.

While you are enjoying your vacation you can visit this school and look at the fun learning dynamics they offer.

 

5 PURE ADRENALINE

If you want to take advantage of the day, diving into the sea may be an option. This experience can be varied, considering the diversity of options available. Snorkeling or diving are more desirable alternatives as the archipelago has an impressive diversity of marine flora and fauna. If you have the PADI Open Water Diver certification, there are also special plans for you, as well as for all those newbies who just want a dive.

If you want to stay on the sea, there are options for novices and professionals. While surfing can be practiced freely, kitesurfing has paid services that depend on the time chosen. This sport where you can slide with a board over the sea while being dragged by a giant kite, has schools in Gran Roque that offer all the necessary equipment and advice.

Other less risky options are stand up paddle (paddle surfing). Another alternative is the kayak that you can enjoy quietly alone, or with your companion and navigate at the pace you want.

When you travel to the Los Roques archipelago it will always be exciting to visit the nearby keys, but without a doubt you can also enjoy the different experiences that Gran Roque offers you at different times of the day. Much of what you will find there can be adjusted to your preferences and also to your pocket.