Scuba Diving in Venezuela

Venezuela (Spanish: República Bolivariana de Venezuela) is located in the northern part of South America. It is washed by the Atlantic Ocean and the Caribbean Sea. The warm climate made Venezuela an excellent place for outdoor activities, including diving. The main obstacle for tourists will be the language barrier: the locals here mainly speak only Spanish, and only a few speak a little English.
The archipelago of Los Roques consists of 42 islands. There is a lagoon of 400 square meters in its center. The main island is El Grand Roque. Los Roques is a national reserve, where much of the aquatic territory is closed to visitors.
A less loaded dive destination is the Mochima National Park, the second largest reserve where the underwater flora and fauna are protected. Here for divers caves and grottoes, sunken ships of different eras are available.

Reasons to Visit

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The archipelago consists of coral atolls, which is a huge rarity for the Caribbean. They are turquoise lagoons and colourful reefs, which smoothly introduce marine life. Such landscapes could only be found in the Pacific Ocean. The water here is crystal clear with good visibility for diving. The transparency of the waters makes it possible to look at the bright colours of the underwater world of Los Roques in the light of day.
The waters of the Venezuelan archipelago Los Roques are incredibly transparent, but as a result of the lack of strong currents and sedimentation of silt, the water is deficient of nutrients. The coves of the Los Roquesian Barrier Reef provide peace and splendour of the sandy bottom. Beautiful and picturesque, they became home to giant strombus, prickly lobster, Caribbean lobster and all sorts of sea turtles. Many species of fish live here — Lutjanus, squirrelfishes, famous barracudas.
Not far from the coast you can admire coral reefs, the lagoons contain whole fields of algae of various colours and sizes. The warm waters inhabited by many beautiful, but dangerous marine creatures: for example, angelfish, moray eels and several species of sharks. Many species of reptiles are endemics (for example, cycluras), and only for the perspective of seeing you should visit Maracay.
Los Roques Island is a fantastic location for diving. Underwater visibility reaches 10–40 metres. When diving you will be met by the abundant underwater world: the bottom, covered with coral carpet and blooming sea anemone, dolphins, huge whales, Caribbean Achelata and prickly lobsters. There are four species of rare sea turtles, a lot of tropical fish, molluscs and echinoderms.
Mochima is the second largest underwater park of Venezuela from Puerto la Cruz to Cumana. There are few large living creatures here, but at a depth of 20 meters, you can find small caverns and caves as well as three sunken ships. In one of the caves, a statue was installed as an underwater attraction. There are coral reefs with a unique marine ecosystem.
Memo Notes
Currency VES - Venezuelan bolivar
Languages Spanish
Timezone UTC -4:30
Phone code 58
Emergency Help 144
Electricity

Type A - 120 V, 60 Hz

Type B - 120 V, 60 Hz

Dive Shops in Venezuela

The main dive centres are located on the main island of the archipelago Los Roques and Cumana, a city located near the Mochima National Park. Instructors speak Spanish and English. They are engaged in training newcomers and organising dive tours. Here you can rent equipment and suits for swimming.

Сlimate & Seasonality
Spring

Spring in Venezuela is hot and sunny, with minimal precipitation. It is especially hot in May when the thermometer rises to + 34 °C. The water in the Caribbean is warm throughout the entire season, but in March it could be slightly stormy.

Summer

In May, the rainy season in Venezuela. About a third of the days in June and July will have rain. In August, precipitation gradually subsides. The sea is warm and calm at this time. The average daily temperature is + 27-28 °C.

Autumn

The best time for diving regarding weather, mood and sea temperature is from September to early November. Water in the autumn warms up to +28 °C. Air temperature is steady in the range of +25-33 °C.

Winter

Despite the relatively warm water (+19 °C), from December to February diving in Venezuela is restricted. As a rule, the sea is very rough. Therefore it is not always possible to sail by boat. Waves rise to three meters. In December, the lobster season begins.

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The Best Dive Sites

Near Choroni, there is the Bajo de Chuao dive site. This is an underwater rock with a shallow part, lying at a depth of 12 m, and a depth of 37 m. You will discover a vibrant underwater world: many beautiful corals, colourful sponges and, of course, fish.
Tujo (Spanish: Caña Veral) — a forest of soft corals. This is a very romantic place with starfish and bright tropical fish: parrot fish, angel fish, butterfly fish.

Health & Safety

The level of medical care is low. There is a shortage of medication and personnel, especially in remote areas. In private clinics, the situation is better, but treatment is expensive, and cash in advance is required. There is the danger of being infected with yellow fever, so vaccination is necessary before the trip.
Venezuela is an unsafe country; troubles await tourists upon arrival at the airport, where criminal groups often operate. They steal luggage, force drug trafficking, kidnap tourists for ransom. Even favourite tourist places are hazardous and openly walking there with handheld electronic devices, jewellery or watches means putting yourself at extra risk. Also, due to the unstable political situation in the country, there is a threat of terror attacks. We strongly advice against participation in any demonstrations and rallies.

Dangerous Marine Life

Sharks near the coast of Venezuela are extremely rare. Here divers face two other dangers — jellyfish and sea urchins. To avoid becoming a victim of an urchin, walk on the rocky bottom exclusively in shoes. A meeting with jellyfish is fraught with burns. If you are sensitive to their poison, it can lead to a visit to the doctor.

Eat & Drinks

The Venezuelan cuisine differs from other Latin American cuisines by an almost complete absence of spices. There is only one type of seasoning — adobo. Venezuelans love fried bananas and eat almost everything, even meat. The main components of dishes are vegetables, rice, beef and legumes. One of the most noteworthy dishes is the Arepa flatbread made from corn flour with a filling and mayonnaise and ketchup sauce.
Since tap water here may be unsafe to drink, it is advised to consume only bottled water. Popular soft drinks in Venezuela are coffee and milkshakes with fruit.