Bonefish in Venezuela

Mar 10, 2011
Outside Magazine
Los Roques, Venezuela

Snorkeling Los Roques, Venezuela

Welcome to the best place in the world to bonefish: the flats of Los Roques, an old-style Caribbean paradise 80 miles off the coast of Venezuela. Here's why: only 1,500 people inhabit the 350-island chain, and the surrounding turquoise waters—packed with coral reefs, mangrove forests, and sea-grass beds—are the protected Los Roques Archipelago National Park. Hurricanes rarely land here, and with year-round temperatures averaging 81 degrees, there's never a bad time to cast. Did we mention that during high-tide season, between October and December, you're likely to catch permit, tarpon, and bonefish all in the same day? When you're not fishing, kick back deckside at the simple, sophisticated Pez Raton Lodge, a five-bedroom inn with a chef who cooks up a mean lobster. The lodge is just far enough from Gran Roque, the islands' main village, that you can enjoy solitude or walk to the town square for the islanders' endless stream of fiestas. For your first visit, go with an experienced fishing outfitter like Frontiers Travel, which, besides leading you to the best fish, can also help you navigate Hugo Chávez territory. After all, you're in Venezuela—it's not dangerous, but traveling can be logistically tricky. Five-night, four-day trips, from $2,795 per person;