Archipelago Los Roques: coral reef in Venezuela’s Caribbean

Aerial view of Los Roques Archipelago in the CaribbeanThe National Park Archipelago of Los Roques is a group of islands, sandbanks, beaches and coral reefs surrounding a lagoon about 400 km. square known as "Ensenada de Los Corrales". This type of formation, present in Los Roques, are also called "atoll" and are characteristic of warm waters provided by the tropics.

The most populated island is El Gran Roque, there are other keys as Pirata and Crasqui where there are some fishermen's cottages and the rest of the islands are completely uninhabited.

You will only find very white sand on the beach, the birds that always accompany you on your tour in Los Roques and the Caribbean sea, serene and translucent connecting diverse shades of blue and green; which also welcomes a rich variety of marine life.

Where and how far the Archipelago of Los Roques is?

  Los Roques is located in the Venezuelan Caribbean Sea, about 166 km. (or about 84 nautical miles)north of the central coast of Venezuela (La Guaira), almost straight north of Caracas.

 To go to Los Roques, you’ll take an approximately 35 minutes flight from Maiquetía, where both Simon Bolivar International Airport and domestic airport serving Caracas are located.

Why and when Los Roques became a National Park?

  Los Roques was declared a National Park on August 8th, 1972 to ensure the protection and preservation of its coral reef and in general, the beauty of this Caribbean beaches. Before those years, it began to be compromised by both commercial fishing and rising tourism that led an incipient occupation and uncontrolled urbanization of public areas by individuals.

Why Los Roques is known as an Archipelago?

 The word "archipelago" comes from the Greek and means "sea hierarch" and was the name used to describe a group of islands located in the Mediterranean Sea. Over time, the Greek word was used by the Italians "Arcipelago" and is currently used to designate any group of islands.

 In Venezuela, we have several archipelagos located in the Caribbean Sea: Los Monjes, Las Aves, La Orchila, Los Hermanos, Los Frailes, Los Testigos and the best known of them or tourist one: Los Roques.

 The archipelago of Los Roques is formed by El Gran Roque, the main island, some 40 cays or small islands, about 300 banks of sand and a large number of coral reefs covering an approximate area of 222 hectares.

 If you want to see a map of Los Roques to get a better idea of the location of El Gran Roque, the main islands, cays and beaches we invite you to visit our interactive map of the archipelago of Los Roques.

Why Los Roques is also a "Coral Atoll?

 According to a Wikipedia article, "An atoll is an oceanic coral island, usually ring-shaped more or less circular, and also known as the grouping of several small islands that are part of a coral reef with an interior lagoon that connects with the sea."

 The above definition accurately describes the archipelago of Los Roques. These formations were due to the progressive collapse of a volcanic island, which in turn led to the formation of coral reefs around them. This process took about 30 million years.

 In the case of Los Roques, the only remnant of the old volcanic island is located in the Gran Roque, with a small hill 120 meters high.

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