Los Roques advice?
While waiting eagerly for the report on the recent trip to Los Roques, I am seriously considering organizing a DIY trip there for myself and possibly a friend.
I've done a lot of searching and reading, but I thought maybe some of those with some experience in the area could help me with a few specific questions.
I'm looking to do it as economically as possible. Basically, I don't really care about where I stay, as long as I've got a place to sleep and somewhere I can safely store my gear. I will likely get a guide for a few of the days, but hope to DIY on others.
I'd appreciate any input:
- Are prices set in dollars or bolivars? If paying in dollars, do they give you the official or the black market rate? I'm wondering if it is worth buying bolivars at the Caracas airport at the black market rate.
FOOD & ACCOMODATIONS:
- Aside from noise, does posada location matter much? Are most of the places in the same general area? Does anyone know of a map of Gran Roques showing the location of the posadas?
- If going in February or March, would it be better to book in advance, or show up and bargain for a room on the ground? Any experience with how much you can bargain down the prices if you stay for a week or two?
- What's the cheapest you can get an edible lunch/dinner for on the island (assuming you aren't going full-board)?
- Are there any of the cheaper posadas that give you access to cooking facilities?
- Any specific recommendations on inexpensive posadas?
- Is there any night life on the island?
I've read a fair bit about the opportunities for bonefishing on the islands. It seems that one can get shots at decent numbers of big bones using gummy minnows (particularly around the pelicans), but there are lots of boats and anchor ropes that you need to contend with. It also sounds like you can get a water taxi / day trip out to many of the nearby smaller islands. So:
- Are there any decent DIY flats accessible on the nearby islands? How is the fishing there? Are they disrupted by other activities (sail-boarding, kite-surfing, etc), or can you get away from the crowds?
- Is it true that you are required to have a guide to fish many of the more remote islands? If not, what would it cost to have someone drop you off to DIY fish for the day?
- Are there any decent deals on guiding? Most of the prices I've seen are in the $350/day range for two anglers. Can you do better than that? If so, are the cheaper guides any good?
- Is it possible to find a good guide when you get there? Any recommendations on where to find one, or who to talk to?
I appreciate your wisdom. Hopefully, any answers will help out others as well.