July 2014, from Benjamin Leveque,
Thanks for your nice guides. Here is an update for
the Venezuelian islands.
From Martinique, we went directly to La Blanquilla
to spend 3 days there. The Guarda Costa visit us to
check the boat and papers. A complete check of the
boat was done but it was fine. No clearance done
Then we went to Los Roques, we can clear in and out
there and stay for 15 days. In two hours we make the
formalities and pay 6600 Bolivar for a 11 meter boat
and 6 persons (Port tax : 3000, Park : 250 /pers and
2100 for the boat). In total this is approximatively
100 USD. You may change USD (or Euro) into Bolivar
on the black market in restaurants or possada before
making the formalities (1 USD = 65 Bolivar, 1 euro =
85 Bolivar). There are 4 authorities to check with,
all were friendly. No english.
Then we went to Aves that are fanstastic. On Aves de
Sotavento the Guarda Costa let us stay only 48 hours
but on Aves de Barlovento there were nobody and we
could stay much longuer.
We meet almost no sailor on all these islands.
The Aleries spent 3 months in
Venezuela and managed fine, though they are quite street-wise
and did not go out at night. Their report is here
Noonsite . It does contain useful information. I would say
the situation in Venezuela has deteriorated somewhat since they
First a security
note - A yacht was attacked and the skipper pistoil whipped 5
miles off the Gulf of Paria about ten miles from the easter end
in November 2013 This is a dangerous area. Take note!
Phil and Yvonne sent me the
following which is a bit more upbeat and contains some good tips
received November 2013
An update for Venezuela sailing November
have spent several years sailing around Venezuela.
this year we sailed from Puerto La
Cruz to Isla Tortuga, to Carenero,
Los Roques, Las Aves, Bonaire, then return south to Punta san
Juan, Ensa Cata, marina Caraballeda, Carenero, Tortuga and back
to Puerto La Cruz. Sailing was good in both directions, it's a
The guardia costa called us on
many times during
our trip to check if all was ok.
Caraballeda marina is not so
good, there are sunken boats unmarked in the middle of the
channel 2ft below the surface. We
hit one! They have been there since 1999.
You cannot clear in to Venezuela in Los Roques, one
can only clear into to Los Roques marine park, that is not the
same thing. The only Island you can clear into Venezuela is Isla
Margarita. (Chris Doyle note: according to the story below this
has now changed - contact the agent mentioned in the story
Due to the security problems
in Porlamar anchorage, it is better to use the Marina Venetur
near Pampatar. There is no water or electric but there is
The Guardia may come to you at
any of the islands, they will ask questions and fill out a form.
They will give you a copy, there is no charge, they are just
keeping a check, but
you are not cleared in.
If you are cleared in to
Venezuela, one can stay in Las Aves as long as your papers
allow. If you are not cleared in, but are on route, the
coastguard will allow you to stay a few days, maybe more.
Problems have arisen by people sailing from Bonaire
or Curacao without clearing out and then
spend weeks or months in Roques and Aves, when they are caught
they have problems because of being in Venezuela without
clearance or zarpes for a previous port. It is important to
remember, Venezuela maybe a bit 3rd world in many areas, but
they insist you clear in and out of
their country upon arrival and exit, as does every other country
in the world. Failure to do so is an offence and to rectify the
problem, especially in a foreign language will be expensive.
You cannot clear in to
Venezuela in Medregal Village, only in clearance ports mentioned
in the Doyle guide, agents in the marinas can help for a fee, it
should cost no more than 4000 Bolivares with an agent.
This is for a 3 month or 6 month stay
depending where you clear in. Renewal is cheaper. 18 months
total is allowed, then you must clear out.
Anchoring overnight in the
islands outside near
Puerto La Cruz
and Mochima is no
dangerous than anywhere else we have travelled in the Caribbean,
and contrary to a recent update, many motor
some sail boats
overnight. The fisherman are friendly, I prefer to anchor near a
fishing village. Common sense
precautions apply of course. Marinas are inexpensive with the
exchange rate around 60 Bolivares to the Dollar. Local knowledge
is important but listen to those who
visit these islands and not stories from a friend of a friend.
Downtown Puerto La Cruz (Paseo
Colon) and Plaza Mayor (Lecherias) is safe daytime or evenings,
area is buzzing, great family atmosphere.
Outside the marina area of
Bahia Redonda can be risky at night,
daytime is ok, but don't go too far
and don't dress like a tourist, no
jewellery, Ipads etc just common sense.
Please send updates and
I got the following from Ethan H. Lee about Los Roques. At a
time when Venzuela is considered dangerous, this opens up the
possibility of just visiting Los Roques, which the author found
safe. Ethan sent me a detailed report which I have added at the
bottom of this page. For some reason I could not get his
excellent photos to come over.
Hello Doyle Guides,
Great guides! I use them whenever I’m in
the area(s) and its been a while. After three years in the South
Pacific and Indonesia it seems almost like “cheating” to have
such an in depth, updated and excellent guide. I also enjoy
sharing information with colleagues and cruisers to help make
the trip easier, and hopefully maximized.
Therefore I thought I’d share my notes
from Los Roques having just left there about 10 days ago. Yachts
can now clear in and out there without having to worry about
being scammed or going to the mainland. There is a local agent,
who has lived there for 15 years, but only just realized how he
can assist yachts. He is a very trustworthy individual who cares
greatly about his country and his stunning little archipelago
out there. He understands how tourism can positively affect his
community and he is very excited to show everyone a good time in
his natural “water park” being a hardcore watersports
enthusiast. We had the best experience there cruising, diving,
kite-boarding, snorkeling and visiting beautiful, empty beaches.
There is also a small surf break, but we didn’t have time.
Gran Roque proper was pretty cool too and
we found everyone very friendly without the slightest note of a
security or theft issue. I feel I need be more “on alert” in the
Now granted I have a professional crew
looking out for the boat, but I’m a cruiser and sailor at heart
and think that with some assistance from this agent a wonderful
experience can be held in Los Roques. I certainly plan on
cruising there with my own sailing yacht in the near future.
Including the contact for Alejandro
Linares of Yacht Services Los Roques.
Full Ethan PDF guide to Los
I received the following
update from a cruiser in January 2013
1. PUERTO LA CRUZ (Technical
Yacht Services): Jaun Guerero Diesel Mechanic (mentioned in your
Venezueal/Bonaire Guide)has a new telephone:
Old number now sits at the bottom of the yacht basing n. ;-) He
is very honest, reliable and the price is right. His sons work
with his as well and are equally decent folks. They recently did
some works on my Lehman Diesel and did an excellent job a at a
very good price.
2. PUERTO LA CRUZ ANCHORAGES:
There is no longer any recognized or used overnight anchorages
anywhere in Puerto la Cruz. Due to security issue NO ONE anchors
out in any of the anchorages designated in any of the sailing
guides. The local dive and charter companies will come to your
boat and tell you in pidgin English that you will be shot and
robbed if you stay the night. I believe them to be correct. With
marina prices at under $10/day for a 50 foot boat there is
simply no reason to anchor out anyway.
3. PUERTO LA CRUZ SECURITY: Due
to severe security issues yachts are discouraged form staying
overnight at any of the offlying islands just outside Puerto la
Cruz (example: Isla Boracha)
PUERTO LA CRUZ SECURITY: In the last 30 days the
following incidents have occurred in and around Bahia Redonda
Marina. Theses are just the incidents where I PERSONALLY
interviewed the victims. There were many more reported but I
could not talk to the victims directly so I can not confirm them
and will not mention them here. A German flagged yacht was
boarded IN the Bahia Redonda Marina early in the morning mid
December 2012. The owners had a dog on board. The pirates were
able to calm the dog for a time as they apparently knew the
dog's name. Long story made short, the owners were not hurt
badly but were thoroughly ransacked for 45 minutes while the
guard "slept" only a few meters away while the dog barked loudly
and the woman screamed. No one came to their aid. Subsequently
the security team has been "adjusted" and they appear much more
alert. In mid Dec. A gentleman was robbed at gun point in a
restaurant outside the East Gate of Marina Bahia Redonda. His
watch and ring were stolen. The same Gentleman was robbed
several weeks earlier at the same location ("Chicken Shack") of
his tablet PC. Suffice to say, as in all parts of the world
where crime is high don't wear ANY jewelry and
keep limited cash on you . . . . and don't bring your $900 iPad
to the restaurant to check email. Keep a low profile.
5. PUERTO LA CRUZ SHIPPING: When
shipping parts into Venezuela arrange shipping via DHL, HERE and
pay HERE in local currency. The price, with the current exchange
rate, will be exponentially less than if your supplier arranges
shipping from your home country. Transit times are 4-5 days form
either Europe or US, Outbound or Inbound. Tracking is online and
the service is good. DHL is just outside the Plaza Mayor
shopping area in Lecheria, which is about a 10 minute fast dingy
ride for the Marina areas and during the day seems just fine as
far as security is concerned.
6. CUSTOMS: Check in and out were
a breeze with the agent and total cost including all fees etc
for 4 persons and a 47 foot boat were $65 at the prevailing
"unofficial" rate of exchange. Clearance too 48 hours.
7. PRICES: At the
prevailing "unofficial" rate of exchange 17:1
to 20:1 B's to the dollar everything is dirrt cheap here and
well worth the stop. Import items and engine parts are higher.
8. BAHIA REDONDA MARINA: Don't drink the
water at Bahia Redonda maria. It is not potable. Buy bottle
9. CANAIMA, ANGEL FALLS &
EXCURSIONS: We rate the price and quality of the tours to
Canaima and Angel Falls as excellent. Prices are cheap and the
trip is well worth it. We booked with Jose Brutons at
Transpacific. he was very helpful and made sure we were well
taken care of. Highly recommended but prepare to rough it a bit
if you want the best prices.
My update from the same time:
Security. January 2013 - security is still a big issue in
Venezuela. People get robbed on boats and on shore frequently.
Many anchorages are no longer used because of security issues.
Updates from the News department at
the Safety and Security Net:
22 December 2011 - Cruising Notes
from the ABCs and the Venezuelan Out-Islands
These notes came from a cruiser who just completed his annual cruise
around Los Roques and Las Aves. The information that follows has not
been verified by the CSSN. However, the source is a long time
visitor to these islands and anchorages and has been reliable.
Changes in the Venezuelan Out-Islands
There is an increase in middle class Venezuelans going to Los Roques
for holidays, traveling on yachts and staying at some of the small
upscale hotels. Foreigners are not as welcome as in previous years:
if you go to Los Roques avoid holidays. Don't stay too long or you
are likely to be reported, run off, or fined.
The Guardia will no longer allow yachts to stay more than a few
days. All yachts must go to Puerto Cabello to check in before
arriving in Las Aves. If you land in Las Aves before going to Puerto
Cabello, you will be required to leave. The Guardia has been making
regular trips recently to Barlovento twice a week or more to clear
The Lieutenant that heads the Guardia Station of Las Aves de
Sotavento has indicated that he will accept a yacht going to Puerto
Cabello, doing a three day check in and check out with the agent
there, and then coming back to Las Aves, but only for a few weeks
not a few months. No more sailing allowed from Bonaire or Curacao to
the Aves and returning without checking into Puerto Cabello first.
Conditions at the marina in Puerto Cabello are uncertain.
Additionally it is uncertain of the time required to get a Cruising
Permit from the port captain, possibly in the neighborhood of four
to six weeks. It is still possible to do all of the checking in out
leg work yourself, but it is quite a time-consuming task requiring
many many copies of every document in every office. Carlos the agent
charges 80 USD for checkin/out which gives you three days at Puerto
Cabello. Staying longer requires the cruising permit discussed
There are few slips available at the marina and weather conditions
(wind and surge) make it advisable to use chains to the dock or
heavy chafe gear on all lines. Security in the anchorage in the past
has been a problem, leading to the suggestion that cruisers take a
slip if at all possible. If you speak some Spanish it is helpful.
Changes at Bonaire and Curacao:
In other news, the changes in Bonaire and Curacao are the result of
government status change as of 10/10/10 and new Dutch supported
computer systems for immigration that can count days.
Bonaire has tightened up their practice only allowing 90 days in any
180 day rolling period. They have started asking for a Zarpe when
arriving from Venezuela. So far they have accepted the Safety
Inspection that you get at Las Aves Sotavento issued by the Guardia.
You have to have a way to copy the safety report on board or furnish
the Guardia carbon paper for your copy. As far as the boat, the
practice is still six months in Bonaire with the possibility of one
extension; otherwise you need to import the boat at high tax rates.
Curacao has tightened their practice of allowing only 90 days stay
in a calendar year. You must have an anchor permit issued by the
Harbor Master for USD 10 and it requires you to file a float plan
upon check out - out of each anchorage you visit. As for the boat,
you can get six months and a possible extension for another six
months after which you must import the boat at a high tax rate.
There is a special status granted to yachts in storage and any local
Marina or Shipyard will have the details and fees associated with
that. A few months ago they chained forty boats to the dock or the
ground until their status could be sorted, and sent the Coast Guard
to board all boats and check papers.
On some days in Curacao and in Bonaire the anchorages were visited
and boardings conducted by the black rubber dink twice per day. On
other days the frigate cruises by in Bonaire, or the helicopter
hovers taking pictures of boats and the black rubber dink shows up a
day or so later.
Usefull new website
Security alert from
Chris Doyle (2010)
Boat robbed and assaulted between Lost Testigos
and Margarita. "we were attacked by pirates at approx. N011 05.000
W063 23.000 (4 1/2 hr sail west of Los Testigos en route to Porlamor
at 10:00 a.m. Venezuela time. We were assaulted, held at gunpoint
and they ransacked Boldly Go taking all valuable items they could
carry back in their 16' pinero (wooden boat). Jim and are fine. Only
moments of psychological fear remain. We'll heal."
security alert from
Chris Doyle (2010)
Some people using credit cards in money machines
are apparently getting ripped off, with cash taken elsewhere.
security alert from
Oscar Hernandez (2008):
Local Newspapers yesterday informed of
another sailor killed in his boat.In this opportunity was a USA
citizen,Keneth Dale Peters 55y.He was sailing with his wife
Chathy.His boat name is Chill-.Another US citizen was injuered
while trying to help.He was getting ready to leave the
area when he was attacked to be robed.They were at La Borracha
Chris when I see this situation a get worried
and doubt if we put enough warnings regarding security in
the guide.I hope you include this information in the web page
and advice the importance of having as much security as possible
in Venezuela and preferable to anchor in marinas when possible.
security alert from
Oscar Hernandez (2008):
I have had tragic news of the murder last
Sunday of a French yachtsman who anchored
his Catamaran in front of Caraballeda Marina. Four guys swam to
the boat and shot him while trying to rob the boat .His wife
survived. This story is not different form those happening every day
in mainland in where delinquency has taking the country. The
fellow's name was Philipe Arman Leudire(61).The boats name is
"Chrysalide". I think is important specially for those who read our
Venezuelan Guide that this note is included in your website.
September 17 2008.
The following are
updates to the new (2007) edition:
We thought you'd be interested in our experience today attempting to
check into Los Roques.
We arrived at Grand Roque yesterday morning (Monday Jan 11) from
Guadeloupe. We were very tired so we raised our quarantine
flag, knowing that we check in the next morning. This morning
while inflating our dinghy we were approached by the Guarda Costa
and asked for our papers. We advised them that we were going
into town to check in as soon as the dinghy was assembled.
They seemed happy and went away.
We went into town about 11am and went directly to the office of the
Guarda Costa where we met the same two officers. The looked at
our papers and asked us some questions, determining that we had no
plans to go on to Venezuela. Our intended route is Guadeloupe,
Los Roques, Bonaire. We were told that we could only stay for
two days. We asked about the 14 days, and they said no, only
two days. I asked for perhaps a week, and they replied that it
would be a "personal" approval and they would need to talk with the
other officials first. They told us not to go to the parks
office. They told us they would come by the boat later.
They did come by the boat about 3pm, and told us that for $500USD
they could grant us a "special permit" to stay for seven days rather
than the usual two days. We showed them the Doyle guide and
asked about the $2/ft , $13/person and 14 day stay. We were
told that that was the case only if we had already checked in to
They told us otherwise we could only stay for two days, and that we
would have to leave by Friday. I verified by repeating that we
had to leave by Friday, and he confirmed Friday.
We only got the name of one officer, "Marcos".
Clearly the rules are somewhat fluid in Los Roques. Best
In summary, if you
do not clear in properly in a port of clearance before you get to
Los Roques you will only get two days. I imagine that is the
regulation. My rates were for someone who had cleared in.
A couple of comments based on a recent
visit to Guiria by ferry and 2 nights in town whilst on a trip from
Chaguaramas to Angel Falls.
Sam’s pub is no more.
The Hotel Plaza is the street side name for the building that
includes the Plaza restaurant.
The fancy bakery (Exactly as you described but I didn’t see
the name Chaceca anywhere) is located on the same cross street as El
Timon restaurant one block south of where it is shown on the town
map (Calle Bideau?).
Another marine agency,
Asociados located at Calle
Bolivar No.33 is Pier One Agent (Trinidad Ferry) and according to at
least one blog, will clear in visiting yachts. The agency is
approximately where the bookstore is shown on the town map.
Hope this info is useful,
Medregal Village update,
Posted early Aug 05 There are a few small changes to the write up we
do in the guide.
If Jean-Marc does your clearance, ask him
to explain who you should check with on you way out.
While Madregal Village has VHF radios for calling
out, they do not normally monitor incoming calls.
Their travel lift will take up to about 30 tons,
maximum length 48 feet.
In addition to their laundry, where machines are
occasionally out for service, there is a girl down the road who does
Wifi operates to a distance of about 30 meters
around the bar, not very high speed. TV is no longer offered.
The mini market is not part of the premises as
the guide says but a short way down the road..
A bus goes every day to Cariaco about 0600.
There are showers but not hot water as mentioned
in the guide.
Work on the slip is done by three contractors;
Bernard who does paint, Michel who des glass repairs, and currently
there is a mechanic. There is no woodwork shop. There is not
chandlery but they have a 72 hour system of brining stuff in.
There is a pleasant Swedish couple running a
great little pizza place close by. They don't open every day.
Since November 11, 2009, They have been
hauling-out catamarans, at the same price that we do for mono hulls
(concerning Live on Board & Long Storage).
Information From Peter Munro:
We visited Isla de Margarita yesterday and, as
advised by both your guide and other sailors who had been there at
the end of last year, we went immediately to Juan Baro. As you
rightly say he is most charming. Alas the story he had for us was
less so. A new port captain was appointed two weeks ago. As part of
his apparent drive to eliminate corruption in his sphere of
influence he is now taking up to 2 weeks to clear a yacht in and
out, although what the connection is escapes me.
We decided to cut and run because there was no way we could be stuck
there for 2 weeks - another sailor is still stuck there. May I
suggest that your website contains a warning - either do not visit
or be prepared to spend 2 weeks
Information From Doug and Wendy onboard Mustang
When you arrive at Porlamar, Margarita there is
now a simple check in office where customs, immigration and the port
captain are located. So if you wish it is easy to do yourself. Do
not let people tell you you have to clear in and out of each area.
Article 38 of the Marine Activities Law of Venezuela clearly states
that foreign or national boats involved in recreation are EXEMPT
from national check in and out after having cleared in
Internationally. Venezuela is like any other island or country...you
check in when you arrive and out when you leave. Lawyers for the
Sucre State Chamber of Tourism are also asking for any official or
person be reported who tries to convince boaters that they must
continually check in and out as this is a corrupt process. Their
email is email@example.com
Your guide refers to Alex and Maria and their Posada del
Kitesurfista under Isla Coche and Western Coche Punta Playa To Punta
El Boton. They do not have the Posada anymore and now live on their
sailboat Friendly Rival at Porlamar Margarita. Alex now provides
many services to cruisers including, taxi, procurement of anything
you need, spanish/english translation, info re money exchange and
off course his favorite, kite surfing lessons.
Alex and Maria have helped us and many other cruisers and we have
never heard anything bad, always good.
In your Venezuela update
there is an erroneous post that states that Jack' (sic)
restaurant passed through new management only to close
again. This is not the case. The restaurant, now known
as Sunset Bar & Grill is open from noon to midnight
('til dawn, some nights) Monday trough Saturday,
featuring an extensive menu of cruiser favourites
(burgers, steaks, fish and chips, pizza, etc) along with
some of the exotic Thai food Jak was famous for. The
prices are reasonable, the servings are generous and the
restaurant has been renovated and improved in many ways
to make it more comfortable and spacious. Chris and
Sandra of the S/V Nomotos have given a fair and
objective appreciation of our restaurant to which I
could add much but will let their few words serve for
thier simple honesty.
Since Nomtos left Sunset has
developed a very successful music business offering live
bands, jazz, rock, latin traditional and contemporary as
well as Cuban themes, Wednesday through Saturday
nights. Tonight, Wednesday, is Jazz night and the combo
consists of a keyboard, cuatro and 6-string bass. Really
Sunset is definitely open
for business and we're not looking to sell. For those
who knew Jak's, they'll know where to find us; for
newcomers, we're just next to Juan Baro on the way over
Susnet Brr & Grill
I saw the following letter from
John Smith in Compass and thought it well worth reprinting here. It
is many years since I visited this yard, and sounds like it has
grown a lot bigger and better. The mangrove swamp in Tyrrel Bay has
grown in John’s memory if he thinks Carenero is only 5 times as big.
Astillero de Higuerote
on the mainland of Venezuela is one of the best boatyards
I have been in, especially in regard to security here in Venezuela.
The yard is on a peninsula just adjacent to the capitaneria or port
captain’s office, so clearance from foreign is easy. The port
captain has authority to issue the ship clearance zarpe, which can
be extended to 18 months before the vessel must leave the country
for 45 days. The yard is large and has five travel lifts with the
largest rated for 100 tons. It is airy and well maintained with
plenty of free, clean water, free electricity and very clean
restroom facilities. While showering in the outdoor facilities I
watched a pair of osprey in a nearby tree and watched as three small
owls explored the recently plowed and cleared surface of the
surrounding land. The
main town of Higuerote is a 20-cent, ten-minute bus ride away and
the town boasts six good hardware stores and countless bakery/coffee
shops as well as the
normal plethora of street vendors selling a vast array of clothing,
CDs and prepared food. On every corner are fruit markets, fish
stalls and/or bodegas, at which a cold bottle of beer costs about 20
cents! The main beach (which I walk along to town) is about two
miles long and never have I seen such a rich supply of shellfish
being harvested on a daily basis. I walked into the gentle surf up
to my knees and with bare hands was able to collect over three dozen
small edible surf clams in less than one minute! Chipi-chipi, as
they are known locally, are like very small New England quahogs and
make a very similar tasting chowder. One must remember, however, to
leave the clams in a bucket of seawater with some cornmeal for a
while. The normal siphoning process of the clam will exchange the
sand which it has carried from the sea with the cornmeal that has
been added to the water, making a much more savory broth. Now that
my haul out has been completed I am anchored 200 yards away on the
opposite side of the channel at the entrance to an extensive
mangrove lagoon area, Carenero, which must be five times the size of
Carriacou’s. Sitting here in the late afternoons I watch flocks of
red ibis, green parrots and pink flamingos returning from their
day’s fishing, and on weekends the Venezuelans come out in family
groups and camp on the beach at the head of the mangroves where
there are benches and barbecue facilities. Unlike in my New England
hometown, the tenting is not only allowed but is encouraged! And
yes, there is ball playing, loud music, and open fires for cooking.
In Connecticut about the only thing you can do on the beach is leave
footprints and take pictures. (I certainly would not eat the
shellfish from there any longer.) All the crowds in Puerto La Cruz
oughta loosen up a little and check it out for themselves, but
sometimes I think that the yachtsmen of today are a lot like the
folks who have to put bars on all their windows for the “luxury” of
living in a city.
Mermaid of Carriacou
notice in the same Compass, two people had a narrow escape in Puerto
Santos, and I would like to make a comment. As an area gets a bad
reputation people stop going there. When people stop going there,
you do not hear of horrible things because there are no yachties for
horrible thing to happen to. Just something to keep in mind when you
read the safety and security reports.
A TALE OF TWO VAMASCA’S (Corrections to page 95,
In the guide, we became hopelessly confused over
the Vemasca stores, It turns out there are TWO separate stores that
evolved from the store that was originally started by Denis Laesker.
Both are owned by members of the family but completely separate from
each other. A visit to
both should be on your list of thing to do.
Vemasca Marine Supply is a chandlery and it is
very conveniently placed right between Marina Juan and Marina Puerto
Miguel in a block called Asovene. They sell a big range of yacht
gear as well as fishing gear, everything from deck hardware to
electronics and clothing, plus lots of stuff you need to work on
your yacht. They also
bring things in on special order and do all the paperwork. The ad
for Vemasca Marine Supply is in the wrong place in our guide on page
182 in the Puerto la Cruz section. Ritchie speaks excellent English.
Vemasca Marine Services is another big chandlery
in Porlamar and it also has another branch
in Puerto La Cruz (Their ad is correctly placed on page 94,
as is the location on page 95). Vemasca Marine Services also repair
electronics and may be able to help with other problems. They are
half a mile down the main road towards Porlamar (see picture).
It is probably best to take a cab. It is also possible to
either walk down the road or dinghy close by to the beach and walk,
but do not do either of these until you have checked on the current
Getting things wrong in my guide is always bad
news, but having TWO VEMASCA stores instead of one in Porlamar is
The information I had when I did the new version
of the guide was that I had not heard of many problems in this area.
Update: Security is a problem in this area. Yacht Lady Anne with two
people onboard suffered an armed robbery while anchored off the
village. They stole all electronics and valuables.
From the Melodye at the Safety and Security net:
Unfortunately, there have been a number of
pirate attacks in the Robedal anchorage over the past year and a
half or so, all the same MO as what Lady Ann describes,
including a count of three men.
Prior to that, one in 2000 but five in
1998!!! ONSA has included Margarita, Coche and Cubagua in
their Zona de Alto Riesgo (high risk) on their July 2006 map.
You are advised to follow the links we give to
the Safety and Security Net
PUERTO LA CRUZ
Page 181 left column. Jose from Costa Rica
retired, Kings service no longer in action.
A cruiser recommended staying very close to
the starboard buoys for the deepest water. They squeezed in with 6
feet of draft at low tide. It is best to contact the management for
the controlling depth before you go, they may have dredged by now.
There have been fewer
incidents, but be alert. I got the following from he safety and
security net. Check
for the latest news
After some five months of no reports of major
incidents in Venezuela and only a couple dinghy thefts. In the
past week, the Caribbean Safety and Security Net has received
two reports. I am still trying to get additional details
but this is what we know thus far:
1. Sometime during the night of June
29/30, a French singlehander was forced onto a reef near the
island of Coche by two fishing boats, who then boarded and
robbed him. The captain suffered some injuries and went
immediately to Porlamar the next day to report this to the
2. About 7 pm in the evening of June
23, a yacht anchored by themselves in Ensenada Toporo (about 1
mile north of Mochima Town in Mochima Park) was boarded by four
armed men, who proceeded to beat up the captain and take
numerous articles from the boat. The boat is UK registry,
although the captain is Russian and his partner is German.
They did report the attack to the local authorities in Mochima
Town and then to the Guardia Costa in Cumana.
Hello. I just find out that in Venezuela
Cumanagoto Marina has changed their phone number into 02934000347
and VHF watch on Ch.09. So maybe you will be so kind to update your
useful guide. Thanks. Vincenzo Sparavigna SY Spirit of Hope
From Ellen Sanpere, Cayenne III (Thanks
Cayenne III is back in Puerto La
Cruz. Here's a picture of the fuel dock near Bahia Redonda.
Notice, a new paint job, but the fuel pumps are gone. Gasoline
is available at the powerboat dock near Puerto del Este. Vemasca
must have moved or folded - it is no longer in C.C. Puerto
Three "canal police" stopped us, as we went
from Plaza Mayor to Bahia Redonda in the dinghy the other
night, and said a curfew has been imposed on dinghy traffic in
the canals, between 6PM and 8AM. Apparently, there was a serious
accident one night involving some locals and some cruisers and
an unlighted speeding dinghy. Vessels may enter the canal, but
only to go home, and may not go outside. This certainly crimps
our fun - no dinners at MareMares or the mall unless we take a
taxi, and the roads are mobbed all day/night long. Traffic
around Plaza Mayor is beyond belief!
The marinas and yards here are full, but
there aren't any people hanging around as in the past. The
Fundamigos mission is this week, but the cruiser fundraising is
greatly reduced from last year. The restaurant at Bahia Redonda
was redecorated, and the food has improved under new management.
In addition to the Sunday dominoes game, people are playing
Texas Hold'em poker and Parcheesi on Saturday.
The light at Chimana Segunda was not lit when
we stopped there last week, but people were in the national park
station there all night, presumably available in case of
Bolivares are now at Bs5000/USD and
fluctuating. Next January, there will be new currency, BsFuerte,
with the last 3 zeros dropped off. Prices are to be quoted until
then in both, i.e. Bs50,000/BsF50. Cruisers need to be careful
to avoid mistakes when paying for things.
When we need fuel, we will go to Cumana -
cruisers are welcome there.
s/v Cayenne III
From Donald on /v Quetzalcoatlv
The bureaucrats have added another layer to
clearing in at Isla Margarita, Venezuela. It is now
necessary to appear at the Office of the Port Captain in
Pampitar to sign a paper witnessed by an Port Captain employee.
The entire process for us using Marina Juan as an agent took
I would suggest that anyone not cleared into
Venezuela who wants to make a quick stop at Isla Margarita, to
not check in. Lie under a yellow flag for a couple of days
and continue on to your destination.
Note from Chris: In the new guide I did not
mention how long clearing took. I hope this is the extreme length of
time. I would like to hear from others...
From Ellen Sanpere
s/v Cayenne III
about FUEL (it is still in flux)
Well, we finally did get fuel in Venezuela:
$.08/gal. at Cumanagoto marina in Cumana. They were pleasant and
cheerful. The entrance was easy. The fuel dock is open 7AM-3PM.
We took a slip for the night at $10.69, incl. water &
electricity for a 44' boat and fueled up the next morning.
Dinner at the RetroBar in the adjacent mall was excellent. Too
bad there is no grocery store or produce market nearby.
Meanwhile, the fuel dock in Bahia Redonda is
no longer selling diesel fuel to foreign-flagged vessels, and
even Venezuelan vessels must get an annual permit from the
gov't., paying a stamp tax, identifying the vessel as
Venezuelan. We were able to get gasoline for the dinghy easily
and at the same price as at Cumana.
We were told, the fuel dock in downtown PLC
will sell fuel at Bs.1500/liter ($.576 USD) for less than 1000
liters. For larger loads, the vessel must obtain a permit from
PDV. For awhile, some of the yard workers were bringing in 55
gal. drums of fuel, but that has been stopped.
We got the
feeling the locals do not want cruisers in PLC - they want
the rates to remain low and the cruisers are driving them
up. In fact, there was one guy on the VHF several times a
week loudly cursing the cruisers, especially those from the
As for money exchange, some travel agents
will gladly give a better than official rate, Bs.2600/$1 USD
last week. In Caracas, the rate was 2900, in Margarita the rate
was 2400. Exchange rates for the marina and boatyard are easily
negotiated when paying in dollars. It is rumored, the B will go
to Bs.4500/$1 some time in 2007.
The Hilton marina (now called Marina
Margarita) has not quite caught up with the lovely pictures on
it's web site. Only one side has electricity and a truck
delivers water every morning, gratis. The rates were pretty
good, (Bs.21,120 or so) and the security was good, but there was
no visible change from our visit 2 years ago.
Hi Chris, just a tip for easy navigating through
the NE channel into los roques. on the southern most little island
on the east side of francisqui there has been built a triangular
reasonably large whit house, which is visibly for many miles from
the outside (we picked it up in the early morning sun almost 5 miles
out. when used in conjunction with your way point for the entrance
it gives a clear and safe transit into the los roques. on a true
course of about 220 you have a nice visual reference together with
your gps waypoint. best personal regards, dick marx s.v. "Geramar"
We took a tour to Angel Falls from Puerto La
Cruz and used Jakera mentionned in your guide. It was the worst
tour I've ever taken. Jakera is contracting their tours out to
Gecko Tours. Gecko provides no guides and no one speaks English.
We ended up doing the hike back from Angel Falls in complete
darkness after seeing the overlook of Angel Falls for 5 min. at
Porlamar, more on Jack's - Now SUNSETyour
Venezuela update there is an erroneous post that states that Jack'
(sic) restaurant passed through new management only to close again.
This is not the case. The restaurant, now known as Sunset Bar &
Grill is open from noon to midnight ('til dawn, some nights) Monday
trough Saturday, featuring an extensive menu of cruiser favourites
(burgers, steaks, fish and chips, pizza, etc) along with some of the
exotic Thai food Jak was famous for. The prices are reasonable, the
servings are generous and the restaurant has been renovated and
improved in many ways to make it more comfortable and spacious.
Chris and Sandra of the S/V Nomotos have given a fair and objective
appreciation of our restaurant to which I could add much but will
let their few words serve for thier simple honesty.Since Nomtos left
Sunset has developed a very successful music business offering live
bands, jazz, rock, latin traditional and contemporary as well as
Cuban themes, Wednesday through Saturday nights. Tonight, Wednesday,
is Jazz night and the combo consists of a keyboard, cuatro and
6-string bass. Really good stuff.Sunset is definitely open for
business and we're not looking to sell. For those who knew Jak's,
they'll know where to find us; for newcomers, we're just next to
Juan Baro on the way over to Vemasca.
Susnet Bar & Grill
I have an update for you on Venezuela.
Page 269, top right corner: photo references are to incorrect pages.
Palmeras sunset is page 270 not 256 as printed.
Red footed booby is page 271, not 257.
Evi , S/V Wonderland, Los Roques, VE.
Thanks for the correction, Chris
A RESTAURANT IN LOS TESTIGOS
A man came around on one of those wonderful boats (peñeros)
and handed out small flyers advertising La Casa Verte/The Green
House. Polite and professional about it, so that encouraged us to
visit and we were delighted that we did so.
We were anchored in Observation Bay
The restaurant is easily accessible by dragging your dinghy on the
beach - the host and hostess were charming - two options only,
lobster or fish (served with rice and coleslaw), service is
impeccable - they offer soda, beer and wine - and while we were
there the host/owner came out with binoculars and pointed out in the
distance a sperm whale leaping about and thrashing its fluke - it
was wonderful. Lobster was 70 bolivars and fish was 35
bolivars. Excellent food, great views of the ocean, highly
since Aug 05