The Venezuelan islands
Until recently reserved for long-term cruisers, the Venezuelan islands are exceptional, both for their beauty and their isolation. A spectacle that you can now discover aboard a Privilège 495, and soon a 615.
Situation: The Venezuelan territory stretches from around the equator to north of the eleventh parallel. It also has 72 islands, scattered in the Caribbean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean. Of course it is these islands which interest us!
Access: Direct flights to the islands from Caracas, which can be reached easily from the main European or American towns.
Formalities: A valid passport is sufficient for citizens of the EU, the USA, Argentina, Chile, Costa Rica, Mexico, Paraguay and Uruguay, who do not need visas for a visit of less than 90 days...
Climate: We are here in the Tropics, and the climate is therefore...tropical! The so-called dry season is from December to April. This is of course the best period to sail in Venezuela. But the rest of the year is just as pleasant, with an average temperature of 26°C over the year.
Sailing conditions are very pleasant, with steady north-easterly or south-easterly winds. Of course great care must be taken with the numerous ‘cays', but on-sight navigation is very easy in the archipelagos.
Safety: There have been a few pirate attacks in Venezuela, certain of which were of a rare violence. The cruising community was naturally worried by these events and certain people have even boycotted the destination. But it seems that the authorities have attacked the problem radically, to make the anchorages safe. Whatever, the flagship destinations, such as Los Roques, La Blanquilla and Las Aves are perfectly safe.
Health: nothing is compulsory, but certain countries require that when returning from Venezuela, the traveller is vaccinated against yellow fever...
Money: The Bolivar Fuerte (VEF). 1 euro = 3.03 VEF. 1 US$ = 2.14 VEF.