by Jose Kevo
July 27, 2004
Cayo Sombrero is actually closer to the town of Chichiriviche, but arriving from Tucacas provides a better boat tour along the way, as well as easy access to other drop-off spots.
The round-trip cost, which can be split between up to seven people, was Bs70, 000 ($35) and well worth the price.
The cay is positioned the farthest off any mainland area which helps create an island affect not only in appearance but also from natural conditions. The only dock is on the leeward side and if arriving by water taxi, there's a pair of options for nestling into the sand.
Left off the dock is a long strip of beach with calm waters and plenty of shade mostly accommodating those which have arrived with private watercraft. Taking a right at the small Ranger's station, a trail leads passed a land-locked lagoon to what's likely the crowning jewel for the entire National Park; a pristine stretch of "authentic Caribbean" on the windward side.
A couple of hundred yards off-shore is a reef system where tides consistently break and keep lapping their way towards land with just enough mediocre force to prevent any type of recreational boarding...but just enough wake to erase any calm affects. This was by far the Best Beach I found anywhere along Venezuela's mainland coast. Crowds were out for a Sunday, but not beyond anything unpleasant; litter in the sands/tides was not a problem here.
Along the windward side, there's changing rooms, bathrooms and showers clustered near the trail opening as well as some shack kiosks selling plates of food, drinks, and authentic, made from scratch pina coladas for Bs5, 000. Alcohol is supposedly banned on the cays but people were obviously bringing their own. Otherwise, drinking water is all I suggest bringing. As you'd expect with Sombrero's popularity, this is where Beach Vendors hawking foods were most abundant.
Based on catching a ride with the water taxi, I didn't have quite an hour on Sombrero - not nearly enough. When departing, this is where I met up with the two Czech guys that had been camping here for two nights. They detailed an area near the northern tip where several were roughing it in tents. There are nearby restrooms on the leeward side and a kiosk, which stays open late serving food. Otherwise, lots of mosquitoes, no open fires, and what sounded like the times of their lives!
Camping is also allowed on other more remote cays and can be arranged through the Parks office inside Banco Unión in Tucacas.
From journal Drifting Through Life...The Morrocoy Cays