Not many cruise ships send passengers ashore in tiny Los Roques. Situated on a spit of land north of the Venezuelan mainland, the charming town is the gateway to the Caribbean’s largest national park, created to protect the marine ecosystem of coral reefs, mangroves and seagrass beds.
Tourists do visit (in droves), and the first surprise for me as Silver Explorer dropped anchor was a short runway at the water’s edge crowded with jets and planes. Once ashore, I discovered that the half dozen or so dusty streets were thick with small hotels, clean from what I saw and with a lot of character.
The town was storybook Latin America, with only a few people roaming the streets during the hours of siesta, lazy dogs laying on their bellies under shady trees, and kids diving from the piers into water as blue as Windex.
For Silver Explorers who went to the beach on Zodiacs this morning, the spectacle of marine life was top-notch. “It was the best beach of the week,” said Jean Marie, who is cruising with friends from the Alsace region of France.
I took the afternoon town tour and thought to myself, “I could do worse than to return here for a week’s vacation.”