Los Roques Archipelago (Archipiélago Los Roques)

Archipiélago Los Roques




Location: 50 mi North of Caracas Map


Description of Los Roques Archipelago

Los Roques Archipelago is located 50 mi North of Caracas in Venezuela. Los Roques Archipelago is made up of over 350 islands, islands and cays of various sizes. Since 1972 Los Roques archipelago is under protection of the federal government and designated as a national park. You can get to Los Roques archipelago from a port city of La Guaira situated 128 km (80 miles) South of the islands or by taking a small airplane to an airport on El Gran Roque island. This small island in the Caribbean Sea covers a total area of 1.7 sq km or 170 hectares. It is the only inhabited land in the Los Roques archipelago.


It is believed that the archipelago appears in the cartography of the Spanish colonizers from 1529, being officially claimed by them from 1589 as part of the Province of Venezuela.

In the eighteenth century the Royal Guipuzcoan Company Mercantile Company is established on the islands and the first islands of the archipelago (Gran Roque, Carenero, Cayo Sal, etc.) were named at that time, temporary fishermen began arriving and in the nineteenth century It begins with the exploitation of salt flats and guano.

In 1871, President Antonio Guzmán Blanco integrates the islands to the so-called Colon archipelago, an administrative division created to group part of the Venezuelan Caribbean territories.

Around 1886 there is reference to the arrival of inhabitants who came from the nearby Netherlands Antilles, Aruba, Curacao, etc. That left as legacy some of the exotic names given to some island or keys (for example Francisquí, Madrisquí, Krasquí, Selesquí). The suffix "qui" corresponds to the English term (and other languages) "key", which means key.

At the beginning of the 20th century, an epidemic of bubonic plague in La Guaira caused the Venezuelan government to authorize the use of the island of Gran Roque as a quarantine site.

From 1910 the town of Gran Roque begins to consolidate with families from Margarita Island, mainly fishermen.

On July 20, 1938 the islands are integrated into the Federal Dependencies of Venezuela, and it is only from August 8, 1972 when the archipelago is declared a national park.

To give greater dynamism to its administration and to promote the sustainable development of the islands on November 2, 1990 according to presidential decree 1214, the figure of the Single Roques Area Authority is created, which would continue as part of the Federal Dependencies but with a special administrative status.

In October 2011, all the islands of the Los Roques archipelago are integrated into the Miranda Island Territory according to presidential decree 8549 dated November 1, 2011, published in the official gazette No. 39797, a subdivision of the Federal Dependencies with capital in the Gran Roque.