Los Testigos Hot
Location: 45 miles northeast of Juan Griego in Margarita.
The most remote of the Venezuela islands "The Witnesses" are inhabited by a handful of interconnected fishing families who jealously protect the rich bounty of these islands, which are awash in the Orinoco flow and ocean currents. There's a coast guard outpost that you check in with and that's supposed to administer the rules (no spear fishing with scuba gear, and no shark fishing) but the real protection comes from the families who jealously guard the resources from outside encroachment. You have to get in good with the chiefs of the island by bringing them gifts and hiring them as your guides to show you the islands.
The Islands are different with huge sand dunes, gorgeous beaches, lots of fish and lobsters. 160 people are living here in this isolated area of the Caribbean. There are no ferries or airport, and therefore visiting these virgin islands can only be done by boat.
Trips only by sailboat from Margarita:
Sailing to Los Testigos onboard the sailboat Audrey
Leaving from Porlamar Margarita Yachting Marine at 6:00 pm. In direction of the Archipelago of Los Testigos at 45 nautical miles, magnetic course 70º, estimated time of navigation 10 hours, to arrive to Playa Real at dawn.
During the day we will visit the beach and go snorkeling, possibly going to see the Lobsters hatchery and climb the mountain to see Iguanas, which are found in abundance here.
Playa Real (The royal beach) offers a wonderful landscape and crystal clear water. Next day we leave to Playa Tamarindo, as beautiful as Playa Real, going up to the lighthouse, where we have a very special view of the islands and surrounding sea. Here Indian pottery can be found from the pre Columbian times.
Later we visit the Dunes, dunes of more than 100 meters high. After crossing the top we will reach a gorgeous wild, and almost inaccessible beach. Finishing a Magnificent day doing some snorkeling around Langoleta island.
The third day we go to visit Isla La Rajada where the landscape is something really indescribable, with a black rock grotto surrounded by a green covered ground and a beautiful blue as background, you can see the sea coming down the grotto to form a pool in the middle of the rocks. We do some snorkeling too and go back to Playa Real where we can have a special good bye dinner with lobsters (only in lobsters season). We weight anchor at 10:00 p.m. heading for Margarita where we will arrive at the Margarita yachting Marine early in the morning.
First class attention of Captain Marc and his crew is included as well as all meals, snacks and open bar (national drinks) during the trip.
PRICE: $ 500 – p/person (min. 3 adults, max 6, children under 12 years 50%. Transportation hotel-dock-hotel included, facility to store luggage on a safe place)
We can also offer one day in Los Frailes (optional) on the way back to Margarita.
The rocky reefs feature low-profile encrusting, heavy on sponges, tunicates and other invertebrates instead of hard corals, but there is an abundance of fish life. Visibility and conditions in Los Testigos are spotty. They are the first islands to get the blast of Orinoco Delta runoff and they are awash in open ocean swells and current. This is advanced diving where visibility can vary day by day, dive by dive, as can wind, current and swell. The sites are not deep (80 feet max), but you need to be able to sink fast, stay neutral, do floating safety stops and handle shifting currents. On my last stopover on the Islands I found old India pottery and many goats in the mountain.
Diving is optional.
A special Place
On a private yacht