Birds, warm turquoise water, idyllic islands, star-fishes, cliffs, white sandy beaches, corals... Parque Nacional Morrocoy is one of the most spectacular littoral environments on Venezuela's coast.
I was there in August and although Venezuela is in SOUTH America, it is actually in the NORTHERN hemisphere and August is summer which is the peak tourist season. So, I got to visit the park with scores and scores and scores of Venezuelan tourists.
There might be some concern to the environment because of the popularity. I could see that the fragile corals are already suffering. Many were completely white, i.e. dead.
Venezuelan families or those in a group can organise boat services with the boat-drivers. They usually arrange with the boat drivers to take them to an island, spend the whole day there, and then, get the boat drivers to come pick them up in the evening.
For those travelling alone or in pairs, this may not be feasible (financially). Suggest to join a boat excursion organised from the tour agencies or hotels. This may not be ideal but if you have a short time, at least you get to visit several islands and see many flying and roosting water birds (like frigates) around a mangrove area. Watch out for large star-fishes which can be seen very clearly through the shallow water.
We got about 1 hour (or shorter for the smaller islands) on each island. Some islands have no shade, so slap yourself silly with sunscreen. The last and most popular island is Cayo Sombrero. We were left here longer and there were lots of shady trees. There are roving masseurs as well to knead your muscles.
Do rent a snorkel mask which is optional to those who go on the boat excursion. While some corals are sadly dead near certain islands, there are rather lovely ones around Cayo Sombrero and it is quite amazing to see the colourful fishes. The mask is also a great ice-breaker with the Venezuelan children as you can lend it to them (much to their delight) and they will love you for it.
What else do we need as belgian tourist, visiting Venezuela in the winter. Temperature up to 30 degrees, white beaches, sun and sea.Temperature in Belgium, exceptional for the time of the season 12 degrees. I can image how it must be to visit Isla Margerita in this season. But this popular destination is mostly for beach and sunlovers; I like to pick up some more during my travellings.
Get or hire a boat in Tucacas and leave for the many islands in the surroundings.
Many beaches are inviting :
- Cayo Pescadores
- Cayo Playa
Less inviting but very popular :
- Cayo Sombrero (not recommendable)
Unique for western tourist, the way of having lunch - on or in the water - food will be brought by local watertaxis - and it is delicious. Even the ice-man will bring some cool drinks
Tucacas is a very small city at the eastern side of the Estado Falcon, about 1 hour driving from Valencia and a transit to the historical open museum of Coro.
New buildings and appartments are erected in a rush, the place became a favourite for the locals, and so the tourist are never far away.
While inTucacas, see the murales! Why? Because there is nothing else to see there! Still the city is not as bad as the Lonely Planet wants you to believe it. Yes, it's incredibly humind! Yes, concrete is king! But still... the houses are colourful, and the mural give it a touch of joy. In other words: Tucacas is not the hell they describe. To stay overnight is quite pleasant, after all.