With nearly 3000km of coastline and 72 islands bathed by the Caribbean Sea, Venezuela offers a great diversity of marine environments, still secluded. If there are few sites for snorkeling on the continental coast, the Venezuelan islands are home to coral reefs, seagrass beds and mangroves that promise beautiful underwater encounters. Los Roques archipelago, in particular, is a true natural aquarium, protected by the largest national marine park in the Caribbean.
In Venezuela, it is not recommended to snorkel from the mainland coast, because the rivers descending from tropical forests pour a large number of particles into the sea: the water is consequently murky, with a very poor underwater visibility.
Most of Venezuela’s snorkeling spots are located on the islands in the Caribbean Sea. Although located some 20km from the continental coast, Isla de Margarita also has poor underwater visibility. If you are staying on the island (the most accessible in the country), consider a boat tour to Los Frailes archipelago, which is home to some good snorkeling spots.
75km off Puerto La Cruz, Isla de la Tortuga is a superb coral island surrounded by reefs and sandbanks. To snorkel there, book a day trip from Puerto La Cruz. You can also spend the night in basic accommodations on the island or on Cayo Herradura, located nearby.
Further north is the island of Blanquilla and Islas de los Hermanos, popular with scuba divers. There is no accommodation available on site (the islands are entirely natural), so the only option to go snorkeling is to book a liveaboard cruise, however, these are generally designed for divers.
While all these islands will delight snorkeling aficionados, the must-go of snorkeling in Venezuela remains the Los Roques archipelago, a vast 400km2 lagoon bordered by hundreds of islands and coral cays.
The National Park that protects the archipelago was created in 1972, and is said to be the largest in all the Caribbean. To discover the exceptional underwater life of Los Roques, you can stay on the island of Gran Roque (where there is a small airport) and then explore the different islands with day trips, such as Cayo de Agua.
The coasts of Venezuela are typically home to Caribbean ecosystems and sea life. Shallow reefs abound with butterflyfish, angelfish, surgeons and hundreds of other colorful species. In the marines reserves and National Parks, you may also encounter rays, sea turtles, nurse sharks and lobsters, including at shallow spots.
Snorkeling can be done all year round in Venezuela, but it is advised to choose the dry season (which extends from November to May), as rain can greatly reduce underwater visibility.
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Islets and sandbank edged by coral reefs
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