Very expensive, these islands, if you want a nice room you have to pay 60 Dollars per person (only with fan) , otherwise you have to sleep in a hot dark room. The prices are risen 2-3 times since 2004 but not the service level. We felt the habitants are a bit unfriendly and halfhearted. It seems the locals can make enough money, so it doesnt matter how you are...
Every beach trip costs you, beacause at gran roques arent beaches - you have to pay for a boat and rent an umbrella and sunchairs (and pay ca. 20 Dollars again...).
There is not just ONE tourist trap, there are a BUNCH of them!!! All over!!!
At the island of El Gran Roque there are diffent kinds of tiny shops, "art" galleries, souvenirs stands, etc. You can buy postcards, sea-maps, T-shirts, beach hats, shell necklaces, etc... but you must know that -in this place- everything cost twice, three, four times more if you compare it with the prices in the mainland (Venezuela).
This is logic. Besides the "posadas" (guest houses), local fishermen and tourists, there is nothing else at Los Roques National Park. Everything: food, water, soap, beer, band-aids, icecream, aspirin, newspapers, chocolate... EVERYTHING is brought (by plane or by boat) from the mainland.
Okey, okey... Go ahead, buy your souvenir, but understand well why does it cost so much.
Unique Suggestions: Visit allllllll of the tourist traps. Most of them open after sunset and "work" all night long. Its fun, those are gathering places, people go in and out, nobody expects you to buy something right away. No presure. Take your time. Go to see all of them. Dont buy anything until you see what everybody has to offer, and once you have found something you really, really, like.
Fun Alternatives: Go to the beach. Gather some sea stones, dried corals, some shells. Take some white sand with you, and when you are back home, make a mini-"karesansui" (japanese sand and rocks garden) ... Those are wonderfull souvenirs that really make you remember a wonderdull day at paradise.
WARNING: IT IS FORBIDDEN BY VENEZUELAN LAW TO TAKE WITH YOU BIG SEA SHELLS LIKE THE ONES THAT ARE IN THE PICTURE.
Besides that... life is peachy!!!