The largest island of the archipelago Los Roques is called "Gran Roque". It´s located to the north and is where most of population, about 1.500 inhabitants, live. Formerly a small fishing village, but today it has become a major tourist town with more than 120 stores, 50 of which are inns, and the others are restaurants and other services stores.
The airport is located on the seafront, a few meters from the beach. After you get off the plane, you must go through immigration control point to pay the entrance to the National Park. Much of the streets of Gran Roque are sandy, which explains the number of people who are walking barefoot. Houses and inns exhibit their bright colors giving to the island an atmosphere of joy and holiday.
Top 10 stuff to do in Gran Roque
Go up to Dutch Lighthouse:
This majestic lighthouse dating to the 1800s, when the first settlers arrived in Los Roques, they first built one that collapsed, then a Dutch made a deal with the government of the day and let him rebuild the lighthouse. For a long time it helped the sailors at night to avoid the coral reefs and shipwrecks, today is simply the ruin of what once was. From here you can see the best view of the whole town and several islands, in fact the days the sky is very clear you can see Cordillera de La Costa. It is advisable to come up with closed shoes, and the best times to visit are before 8:00 or after 16:00.
Visit Nuestra Señora del Valle Church:
Nuestra Señora del Valle is a beautiful chapel with a very particular design, being on the beach, it is a completely open structure to pass the drafts, the windows open up like wings unfold. Every Sunday you can go to Mass and during Easte and Lent there are beautiful processions and religious rites. It is also open to the public to get married at the edge of the beach. To reach this beautiful church, you just have to walk along the edge of the beach until you come across it.
Dancing in the Plaza Bolivar:
Like any good Venezuelan town, the Plaza Bolivar in Los Roques is one of the most important points in the Gran Roque , a social place you cannot miss to visit, no matter what time you are always going to live a different experience; in the day you will see how happy children playing everywhere, and the characteristic roqueños dogs, sleeping under the shadows of majestic trees and at night you can be part of the lives of Roqueños with music, songs, dancing, and yes, lots of beer.
Climb El Calvario:
As a habit acquired from the Spanish, in all our towns at the highest point there is a nailed cross, and called it is call El Clavito, in honor of Christ. For the more adventurous and athletes who dare to climb to the top, they are rewarded with the most beautiful views of the archipelago, it is also the perfect place to meet God and just thank for the spectacular scenery that you will be watching.
A long walk to La Boca del Mal Tiempo:
Although the beaches in Los Roques are characterized by calm and quiet, this beautiful and different beach at the back of Gran Roque it is the exception. Huge waves crash against the stone walls, a breeze from another world walking by your body and your body is invade by unearthly sensations, take your shoes off and walk barefoot on the black polished stones is an almost incredible feeling. Few know the location of this beach just follow the trail to the lighthouse, just 50 meters below the cemetery come.
Visit the Community Library Vicente Mengo Lares:
What had once been the village clinic, is now a beautiful library, where in addition to providing a space for all those avid readers there are in Gran Roque, serves as headquarters for the practices of the children's orchestra of the Park, each afternoon you pass by, classical music invade your ears and for a moment you will be transported to the best concert hall in New York. It´s located at the end of the main street.
Visiting the Cocha Acustica:
Taking a walk through the cemetery of Gran Roque:
While cemeteries are not for all audiences for their terrifying aspect, the one in Gran Roque does not meet this requirement; a simple but beautiful cemetery at the foot of the mountain provides space for the repose of the souls of the inhabitants of Gran Roque. In it you will see different types of architecture, from simple wooden crosses, to huge mausoleums that have nothing to envy to the European monarchs. Located on the path to the lighthouse, from the mountain to the right.
Admire the Grotto of Virgen del Valle:
Although not many know, behind the mountain where is the Lighthouse Dutch, there is a small cave with a Virgen del Valle (Our Lady of the Valley), which is the patron saint of Los Roques, to reach it you have to by sea , in a boat or peñero, even thought the current it´s worth to pay it a visit, you come back filled with the energy of the waves breaking against the walls.
Seeing a sunset:
Finally and not least, the most beautiful thing you can see in Gran Roque is a sunset; touches of red, orange, yellow and crimson on the skies create a work of art worthy of portraying and have engraved in your memory until the end of times. It's a feeling of another planet to contemplate a sunset on the island, without much effort or much planning, every day the sunset is more beautiful than the day before. Recommendation: Go to the lighthouse at four thirty in the afternoon and watch the sunset from the highest point.
There are few places that have such a beautiful and big acoustic shell as the Gran Roque, a beautiful composition of the Virgin del Valle in painting adorns its wall from left to right completely. Although most of the time it´s for recreational propose, a playground for children, in the evenings events and celebrations are done, and even film sometimes. It´s located in the Plaza Bolivar.