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Los Roques archipelago

The Los Roques islands are a federal dependency of Venezuela, consisting of about 350 islands, cays or islets. The archipelago is an atoll located 80 miles (128 km) directly north of the port of La Guaira, and is a 40-minute flight, has a total area of 40.61 square kilometres.

Being almost an untouched coral reef, it attracts many visitors, especially from Europe, some of which come in their own yachts and anchor in the inner, protected shallow waters. However, development and tourism are controlled.

Because of the wide variety of seabirds and rich aquatic life, the Venezuelan government declared Los Roques a National Park in 1972.

It is scarcely populated, having about 1,500 permanent inhabitants; however it receives approximately 70,000 visitors a year, many of them day-visitors who come from Caracas and the mainland. The most important island is El Gran Roque. It is the only populated island in the group and has an airport suitable for small or STOL aircraft, Los Roques Airport, with freshly repaved RWY 07/25 (1000 26 meters). The airport is controlled from the Maiquetia airport on the mainland. Other important islands are Francisqui, Nordisqui, Madrisqui and Crasqui.

Los Roques has an atoll structure, with two external barriers formed by coral communities, too, an inner lagoon and sandy shallows. This park consists of 40.61 km , 1500 km of coral reefs, 42 coral cays of origin surrounding a central lagoon of 400 km and shallow waters, 2 barrier reef (24 km east and south of 32 km) and 300 sand banks, islands and cays, ranging from a considerable area, as Cayo Grande de 15,1 km , to the Gran Roque is only 1.7 km (170 hectares) in extent.

Activities include fishing (bonefish, barracuda, tarpon, jack (Carangidae) and Spanish mackerel), birding, snorkeling, diving, and kite-surfing, and there is a sea turtle research center located on El Gran Roque. Accommodations include Pez Raton Lodge, a property primarily used to host fishing guests, and Posada Mediterraneo, a five-room inn which accommodates non-fishing guests.

The Dutch considered Los Roques to belong to their island territory of Curacao because of its proximity to Bonaire which also belonged to the Dutch. The author M.D. Teenstra in 1836 still writes (in his book "The Dutch West Indies"): The Government of Curacao also includes the uninhabited islets and rocks Little Curacao, Aves, Roques and Orchilla.

Los Roques was featured in the "Where in The World" series on flightsim.com (22).

External links

Los Roques and official info

Los Roques sailing yacht charter

Los Roques Photogallery

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This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article Los Roques archipelago

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