I’d heard rumors for years about the world-class kitesurfing to be found in the remote Los Roques archipelago off the coast of Venezuela, but it wasn’t until I had a free month this summer that I finally made the trip down to see if the hype was real. All I can say is—wow. Los Roques absolutely lived up to its reputation as a kiter’s paradise.
How to Get to Los Roques
Now that you’re jonesing to experience the incredible kitesurfing for yourself after reading my story, here are the basics for planning your visit:
Fly into Maiquetía International Airport (CPT)
This is the main airport near Caracas. From there, you’ll take a 1-1.5 hour flight on small charter planes to the archipelago’s airstrip on Gran Roque.
Los Roques flight schedule
|Monday / Tuesday / Wednesday
|8:00 ( 16:00 mo/we 11:20 tu )
|9:30 ( 17:15 mo/we 14:00 tu )
|Thursday / Friday / Saturday
|7:30 (10:30 16:00 fri 15:40 sat )
|8:50 ( 17:00 )
|09:00 / 16:00
|10:00 / 17:00
Be ready for stunning views out the window over crystal blue water on approach!
Take a Ferry from Puerto La Cruz
If flying isn’t an option, you can board a modern fast ferry for the 5-6 hour journey departing 1-2 times per week. It’s a smoother ride than in the past. Be sure to bring snacks, sunglasses and your sea legs.
Stay at a Beachfront Cabana
The best laid-back spots with direct beach access are Kitesurf Los Roques, Cabañas Medio and Cabañas Los Roques. Book well in advance, especially in high season. Don’t forget bug spray for the seabreeze!
Rent Gear from a Local Operator
Most lodging includes on-site gear rental from the kitesurfing schools. Or check Kitexito, Kitesurf Los Roques and Kitelos for quality boards, harnesses and lines. Lessons are also top-notch if you need to brush up.
Crystal Clear Waters and Constant Winds
What sets Los Roques apart is the combination of crystal clear turquoise waters and near constant winds perfect for kiting.
The islands are surrounded by shallow lagoons and channels separating the cays from the open Caribbean Sea.
With water temperatures in the low 80s year-round, you don’t need a wet suit. And thanks to the archipelago’s position directly in the trade wind belt, there is almost always a steady breeze blowing 12-20 knots—perfect for both learning and advanced riders.
On my first morning there, I launched from the white sand beach at Cayo de Agua just as the sun was rising over the palm trees.
Within minutes, I was zipping across the flat water toward Morro Pelado island, my kite flying high above pulling me along at speeds up to 30 mph.
The visibility was easily 30 feet down, allowing me to see schools of colorful fish swimming below my board. It was absolutely magical.
The Best Kitesurfing Spots in Los Roques
Cayo de Agua
Located on the western side of Gran Roque, Cayo de Agua offers longprotected launches in the shallow bay with consistent easterly winds 12-18 knots daily. Soft powdery sand and 30ft visibility make this a top beginner/intermediatespot. May-August can see slightly lighter winds but still reliable.
Gran Roque Lagoon
A excellent learners spot with gentle onshore winds and small rolling waves. Consistent 15-20 knot winds and calm waters make it easy to launch and land. It’s surrounded by the hotels and beaches of Gran Roque island.
This remote white-sand crescent beach on the northeastern tip of Gran Roque sees constant offshore winds 15-22 knots perfect for planing and slices backacross the bay. Visibility here around 25ft allows you to spot incoming sets early.March through June are peak months for size and consistency.
Offering a protected lagoon between two smaller islands, Kraski provides steady 13-18 knot winds for practicing top turns and loops. Paddle about 15 minutes to access it but worth avoiding crowds. Take advantage of June-September for longer riding windows before afternoon sea breezes shift onshore.
Boca de Sebastopol
Located along the eastern shoreline facing theopen Caribbean, this spot gives you consistent 18-24+ knot gusts and bigger wave riding on occasion. Vis is 20ft or less, so keep an eye outfurther offshore. Excellent fordistance cross-island rides from Decemberthrough April.
For advanced riders looking for bigger open waterchallenges, Sardinia offers uncrowded dramatic scenery and consistent 18-25+ knot sea breezes. Watch for developing afternoon chop and occasionalocean swell over 3ft on a blustery day.Best months are February-May.
Activities for Non-Windy Days
As much as we live to be out on the water catching jumps and slices when the winds are pumping, Mother Nature doesn’t always cooperate in Los Roques. So for those inevitable flat spells, here are some top ways to keep busy:
Explore by Kayak
Paddle off the beaten path around uninhabited tiny cays and search for sandbars only visible at low tide. Look out for sea turtles, rays and dolphins along the way.
Try Your Hand at Fishing
Charter a local panga boat for a half day excursion. Cast lines from the bow or beach and see what bites – mahi mahi and wahoo are common treats.
Hike Morro Pelado
Work up a sweat climbing the granite boulders and spires for 360° views stretching for miles from atop the island’s highest point.
Relax at the Beach
Spend a lazy morning chilling in a hammock with a good book while the soft waves lap at your feet.
Discover Scuba Reefs
Vibrant sea fans and schools of tropicals await below the surface on PADI certification dives or discovery trips.
Sail to a Private Cay
Charter a small sailboat to explore secluded powdery white beaches perfect for picnics, swimming and stargazing at night.
Living Like a Local in Los Roques – Practical Tips
Beyond just the world-class watersports, part of the joy in Los Roques is immersing yourself in the relaxed Caribbean vibes.
Here are some of my favorite aspects of island life and suggestions for getting the most authentic experience:
The main island of Gran Roque is easily navigated by rented golf cart or moped. Consider joining a charter excursion between farther cays if staying in multiple spots.
Venezuela uses bolivars. Most vendors/ATMs only accept cards with chip-enabled pins. Best to arrive with a small amount of local cash. US dollars also widely accepted.
Food & Drink
Fresh ceviche, lobster and crispy tostones are a staple. Cabaña-style restaurants offer the best authentic flavors. Sip margaritas at Chuao Beach Bar while watching kitesurfers.
WiFi can be spotty depending on where you stay. Useful to have a local SIM card for data roaming or rely on WhatsApp over wifi calling at restaurants/shops.
Peruse stalls at the small Gran Roque Saturday market for handicrafts, sun hats and seashell jewelry. Stock up on snacks/supplies at one of the mini-marts too.
As I wrap up this insider’s guide to all things kiting in Los Roques, I hope I’ve done justice in conveying just what a magical place this remote Venezuelan archipelago truly is.
Whether you’re a pro rider looking for endless days of uncrowded waves to push your limits, or a beginner hoping to accelerate your learning in the perfect low-pressure conditions, I can assure you that Los Roques will exceed your expectations.
Beyond just being one of the premier windsport destinations on the planet, it’s also an incredibly special island community that welcomes all who visit with open arms – whether just for a week or hoping to make it a long-term home as I have.
From the crystal azure waters teeming with sea life to the friendly international crews trading chops around a sundowner bonfire, it’s impossible not to fall in love.
While the pictures alone may have you itching to book your ticket, seeing the stunning scenic panoramas from your board’s point of view as you link maneuvers across the dramatic turquoise bays and ride the waves crashing against the towering rock outcroppings is a whole different level of magical.
Not to mention pushing your personal best distances along these world-class riding lines. It’s definitely why I keep coming back year after year without hesitation.
My greatest hope is that whether you’re a complete kiting rookie or seasoned pro, this guide provided enough taste and practical guidance to inspire planning your own visit. Don’t hesitate to reach out if any details need clarifying or extra advice arranging lessons, accommodations or island activities.