Federal Dependencies of Venezuela

The Federal Dependencies of Venezuela (Spanish: Dependencias Federales de Venezuela) encompass most of Venezuela's offshore islands in the Caribbean Sea and the Gulf of Venezuela, excluding those islands that form the State of Nueva Esparta. These islands, with a total area of 342 square kilometres, are sparsely populated – according to the preliminary results of the 2011 Census only 2,155 people live there permanently, with another hundred from Margarita Island who live there seasonally to engage in fishing. Local government is officially under the authority of the mayor of Caracas, although de facto power is often held in the heads of the sparse and somewhat isolated communities that decorate the territories.[1][2][3][4]

Federal Dependencies of Venezuela
Flag of Federal Dependencies of Venezuela

Location in Venezuela
Location in Venezuela
CapitalGran Roque
Islands and Groups
 • Total342 km2 (132 sq mi)
 (2011 Census)
 • Total2,155
Time zoneUTC-4:30


The federal dependencies are composed of 600 islands and smaller formations; many have an area of less than 10,000 square metres and are essentially simple rocks. The largest island, La Tortuga, accounts for almost half of the territory of the federal dependencies.

Dependencias Federales stretch for 900 km (560 mi) along the coast from Archipiélago Los Monjes in the west at the Gulf of Venezuela to Isla de Patos southeast of Isla Margarita at the Gulf of Paria in the east.

Village Gran Roque
Los Roques Archipelago

Biogeographical area

The World Geographical Scheme for Recording Plant Distributions groups the islands, excluding the abyssal Aves Island, into an area it calls the "Venezuelan Antilles" (Level 3 code "VNA").

Principal islands and groups

These are set out below:

Federal Dependencies in Venezuela (numered)

Political Map Federal Administrative Agencies numbering based on the table of islands
Nr. Island or group Surface
2011 Census
(preliminary return)
Members Islands Coordinates
Within the Continental Shelf
1 Los Monjes Archipelago 0.20 - Monjes del Norte - Monje del Este - Monjes del Sur 12°21′N 70°55′W / 12.350°N 70.917°W
2 La Tortuga Island 156.60 - Isla La Tortuga - Islas Los Tortuguillos - Cayo Herradura - Los Palanquines - Cayos de Ño Martín - Islote El Vapor - Cayos de Punta de Ranchos 10°55′N 80°31′W / 10.917°N 80.517°W
3 La Sola Island 0.0005 - Isla La Sola 11°18′N 63°34′W / 11.300°N 63.567°W
4 Los Testigos Islands 6,53 172 Isla Conejo - Isla Iguana - Isla Morro Blanco - Isla Rajada - Isla Noroeste - Peñón de Fuera - Isla Testigo Grande 11°22′N 63°06′W / 11.367°N 63.100°W
5 Los Frailes Islands 1.92 - Chepere - Guacaraida - Puerto Real - Nabobo - Cominoto - Macarare - Guairiare - Guacaraida - La Balandra - La Peche 11°12′N 63°44′W / 11.200°N 63.733°W
Outside of the Continental Shelf
6 Patos Island (Este) 0.60 - Isla de Patos Este 10°38′N 61°52′W / 10.633°N 61.867°W
(Note A)
Los Roques Archipelago 40.61 1,471 Gran Roque - Cayo Francisquí - Isla Larga - Nordisquí - Madrisquí - Crasquí - Dos Mosquises - Cayo Sal - Cayo Nube Verde - Cayo Grande - Noronquí - Espenquí - Cayo Carenero - Cayo Selesquí - Cayo Bequevé - Cayo de Agua - Cayo Grande 11°51′N 66°45′W / 11.850°N 66.750°W
8 Blanquilla Island 64.53 - Isla La Blanquilla 11°50′N 64°35′W / 11.833°N 64.583°W
9 Los Hermanos Archipelago 2.14 - La Orquilla - Isla Los Morochos - Isla Grueso - Isla Pico (ó Isla Pando) - Isla Fondeadero - Isla Chiquito 11°45′N 64°25′W / 11.750°N 64.417°W
(Note A)
Orchila Island 40.00 - Isla La Orchila - Cayo Agua - Cayo Sal - Cayo Noreste 11°47′N 66°10′W / 11.783°N 66.167°W
(Note A)
Las Aves Archipelago 3.35 - Isla Aves de Barlovento - Isla Tesoro - Cayo Bubi - Cayo de Las Bobas - Isla Aves de Sotavento - Isla Larga - Cayo Tirra - Isla Saquisaqui - Cayos de La Colonia - Isla Maceta - Cayo Sterna 12°00′N 67°40′W / 12.000°N 67.667°W
12 Aves Island (Norte) 0.045 - Isla de Aves 15°40′N 67°37′W / 15.667°N 67.617°W
  Federal Dependencies of Venezuela 342.25 2,155    
  • Note A: within the Dependencias Federales, the Archipiélago Los Roques, the Archipiélago Las Aves and the Isla La Orchila together comprise the Territorio Insular Francisco de Miranda, which was established on November 10, 2011.[5]

See also

Cayo herradura isla la tortuga Venezuela
Cayo Herradura, La Tortuga Island


  1. ^ Vila, Marco Aurelio. 1967: Aspectos geográficos de las Dependencias Federales. Corporación Venezolana de Fomento. Caracas. 115p.
  2. ^ República de Venezuela y República Dominicana. 1981: Tratado de relimitación de áreas marinas y submarinas entre la República de Venezuela y República Dominicana. Ministerio de la Defensa. Caracas. 8p.
  3. ^ Cervigon, Fernando. 1995: Las Dependencias Federales. Academia Nacional de la Historia. Caracas. 193p.
  4. ^ Hernández Caballero, Serafín (Editor). 1998: Gran Enciclopedia de Venezuela. Editorial Globe, C.A. Caracas. 10 volúmenes. ISBN 980-6427-00-9 ISBN 980-6427-10-6
  5. ^ El Territorio Insular Francisco de Miranda

External links

Coordinates: 12°21′N 70°55′W / 12.350°N 70.917°W

Blanquilla Island

Blanquilla is an island, one of the federal dependencies of Venezuela, located in the southeastern Caribbean Sea about 293 km (182 miles) northeast of Caracas. It is a popular location for divers, as well as famous for its white sand beaches, for which it is named. The island's wildlife include local cacti and iguanas, as well as wild donkeys and goats. Its reefs are notable for their black coral, which is used for jewelry and other crafts. The island is formed by the Aves Ridge, a seafloor feature which protrudes above water to the north, forming several other islands. Has an area of 64.53 km²

Gran Roque

Gran Roque is an island, one of the federal dependencies of Venezuela, located in the southeastern Caribbean Sea in the archipelago of Los Roques, which has 1.7 km² (170 ha) in extent, where the majority of the population lives. The airport is located by the sea, a few meters from the beach.

Gran Roque works as capital of the Venezuelan Federal Dependencies, and also of the Insular Miranda Territory and is the seat of all the inns, the airport, the school and was the headquarters of the Single Area Authority (AUA).

Gran Roque is located in the northeastern part of the archipelago, being its geographic coordinates 11º 47´33´´ of north latitude and 66º 40´37´´ of west longitude in its central part. its highest point is the Cerro Roque with 37 msnm and has 2.361 inhabitants. It is shaped like a right triangle with the sharpest vertex facing northwest, and its maximum dimensions are: 3.15 km in a southeast to northwest direction and 990 m in a northeast to southwest direction.

Insular Region, Venezuela

The Insular Region is one of the eight natural regions of Venezuela and also, one of the 10 administrative regions in which Venezuela was divided for its development plans; it comprises all of the nation's islands, and is formed by the state of Nueva Esparta and the Federal Dependencies.

Isla Aves

Isla de Aves (Spanish for "Island of Birds" or "Birds Island"), or Aves Island, is a Caribbean dependency of Venezuela. It has been the subject of numerous territorial disputes between the neighboring independent islands, such as Dominica, and European other countries of surrounding dependent islands, such as the Netherlands. It is part of the Aves Ridge and lies to the west of the Windward Islands chain at 15°40′18″N 63°36′59″W. It is 375 metres (1,230 ft) in length and never more than 50 metres (160 ft) in width, and rises 4 metres (13 ft) above the sea on a calm day. Under a particular interpretation of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea it could be classified as a rock, which would only give Venezuela a twelve nautical mile economic zone. However, Venezuela claims it is an island, which grants it a 200-mile (320 km) exclusive economic zone. Mostly sand, a small portion has some scrubby vegetation. It is sometimes completely submerged during hurricanes. It is 185 kilometres (115 mi) southwest of the closest land, Montserrat, 225 kilometres (140 mi) west of Dominica and 547 kilometres (340 mi) north of the Venezuelan mainland.

Islas Los Frailes

The Islas Los Frailes are an archipelago of rock islets with sparse scrub vegetation belonging to the Federal dependencies of Venezuela, part of Venezuela.The flotilla of Spanish explorer Alonso de Ojeda sighted in 1499 the archipelago composed of ten islands:



Puerto Real






La Balandra

La PecheThe largest island is called Fraile Grande or Puerto Real and is 2,200 metres (7,218 ft) long and occupies 0.75 km2 (0.29 sq mi). The southern islet has an elevation of 91 m (299 ft). About eight kilometres (5.0 mi) north of Los Failes is Roca del Norte (North Rock), which is 3 m (10 ft) high.

In 2012 the Bolivarian Navy of Venezuela named a Damen Stan Lander 5612 landing craft after the islands.

La Orchila

La Orchila is an island and a military base off the coast of Venezuela, north of Caracas. It has numerous beaches, including one where the sand is markedly pink (Arena Rosada).There is a presidential retreat on this island, and the residential complex reserved for the military houses consists mainly of elevated houses made of wooden logs. There is also a court for bolas criollas. All the facilities are connected by pathways, mostly unpaved but smooth and clean.

La Orchila Airport

La Orchila Airport (ICAO: SVLO) is an airport serving the island of La Orchila in the Caribbean Sea 130 kilometres (81 mi) north of the Venezuelan coast. La Orchila is in the Federal Dependencies of Venezuela.

The La Orchila VOR-DME (Ident: LOR) is located on the field.

La Sola Island

La Sola Island (Spanish: Isla La Sola) is a small island in the southeastern Caribbean Sea. The island is a part of the Dependencias Federales (Federal Dependencies) of Venezuela.

La Tortuga Island

La Tortuga Island (in Spanish: Isla La Tortuga ; "La Tortuga" means "the turtle") is an uninhabited island of Venezuela, the largest in the Federal Dependencies of Venezuela. It is part of a group of islands that include the Tortuguillos and Cayo Herradura. Isla La Tortuga has an area of 156 km2 (60 sq mi).

Languages of the Caribbean

The languages of the Caribbean reflect the region's diverse history and culture. There are six official languages spoken in the Caribbean. The six languages are:

Spanish (official language of Cuba, Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Bay Islands (Honduras), Corn Islands (Nicaragua), Isla Cozumel, Isla Mujeres (Mexico), Nueva Esparta (Venezuela) the Federal Dependencies of Venezuela and San Andrés, Providencia and Santa Catalina (Colombia)

French (official language of Guadeloupe, Haiti, Martinique, Saint Barthélemy, French Guiana and Saint-Martin)

English (official language of Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Barbados, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, Montserrat, Puerto Rico, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Sint Maarten, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago, Turks and Caicos Islands, and U.S. Virgin Islands)

Dutch (official language of Aruba, Bonaire, Curaçao, Saba, Sint Eustatius, Sint Maarten, and Suriname)

Haitian Creole (official language of Haiti)

Papiamento (a Portuguese and Spanish-based Creole language) (official language of Aruba, Bonaire and Curaçao)However, there are also a number of creoles and local patois. Dozens of the creole languages of the Caribbean are widely used informally among the general population. There are also a few additional smaller indigenous languages. Many of the indigenous languages have become extinct or are dying out.

At odds with the ever-growing desire for a single Caribbean community, the linguistic diversity of a few Caribbean islands has made language policy an issue in the post-colonial era. In recent years, Caribbean islands have become aware of a linguistic inheritance of sorts. However, language policies being developed nowadays are mostly aimed at multilingualism.

Las Aves archipelago

The Las Aves Archipelago is a pristine archipelago in the Caribbean Sea, and is part of the Federal Dependencies of Venezuela. It is located north of the Venezuelan states of Aragua and Carabobo, between the Dutch island Bonaire in the west, and the Los Roques Archipelago in the east, at 12°00′N 67°40′W. The prime economic importance of the islands lies in fishing. "Las Aves" translates to "The Birds" in English.

Leeward Antilles

The Leeward Antilles (Dutch: Benedenwindse Eilanden) are a chain of islands in the Caribbean – specifically, the southerly islands of the Lesser Antilles (and, in turn, the Antilles and the West Indies) along the southeastern fringe of the Caribbean Sea, just north of the Venezuelan coast of the South American mainland. The Leeward Antilles, while among the Lesser Antilles, are not to be confused with the Leeward Islands (also of the Lesser Antilles) to the northeast.

Largely lacking in volcanic activity, the Leeward Antilles island arc occurs along the deformed southern edge of the Caribbean Plate and was formed by the plate's subduction under the South American Plate. Recent studies indicate that the Leeward Antilles are accreting to South America.

Lesser Antilles

The Lesser Antilles is a group of islands in the Caribbean Sea. Most form a long, partly volcanic island arc between the Greater Antilles to the north-west and the continent of South America. The islands form the eastern boundary of the Caribbean Sea with the Atlantic Ocean. Together, the Lesser Antilles and the Greater Antilles compose the Antilles (or the Caribbean in its narrowest definition). When combined with the Lucayan Archipelago, all three are known as the West Indies.

List of airports in Saint Kitts and Nevis

List of airports in Saint Kitts and Nevis, sorted by location.

List of airports in Saint Lucia

List of airports in Saint Lucia, sorted by location.

Los Hermanos Archipelago

The Los Hermanos Archipelago is a chain of seven rocky barren islets that is part of the Federal Dependencies of Venezuela, at 11°45′N 64°25′W.The individual islands are:

Isla La Orquilla

Islote El Rajao

Isla Los Morochos

Islote Papelón

Isla Grueso

Isla Pico (Isla Pando)

Isla Fondeadero

Isla Chiquito

Los Monjes Archipelago

The Los Monjes islands, a federal dependency of Venezuela, are located to the northwest of the Gulf of Venezuela, 34.8 kilometres (21.6 miles) off the coast of Guajira Peninsula, at the border between Colombia and the Venezuelan state of Zulia.The islands consist of rocks rising steeply out of the sea, without any beaches or natural landing. The Venezuelan Navy maintains a base on El Sur, where it constructed a pier. The islands have no natural resources and must be supplied from the mainland. Fishing is the main activity around the islands, usually by fishing boats making the short trip from the Paraguaná Peninsula in Venezuela.There are three islands or island groups, with a total area of 0.2 km2 (0.1 sq mi):

Monjes del Sur (12°22′N 70°54′W) consists of the two largest islands, connected by an artificial dam. The southern of the two islands reaches a height of 70 metres (230 ft) and has a lighthouse.

Monjes del Este (12°24′N 70°51′W), a small rock 5.3 km (3.3 mi) northeast of Monjes del Sur, reaches a height of 43 metres (141 ft).

Monjes del Norte (12°30′N 70°55′W), is 12.3 km (7.6 mi) NNW of Monjes del Este, and consists of five small rocks, the largest one of which reaches a height of 41 metres (135 ft).In 2012 the Bolivarian Navy of Venezuela named a Damen Stan Lander 5612 landing craft after the islands.

Los Testigos Islands

Los Testigos Islands (Spanish: Islas Los Testigos, Witnesses Islands) are a group of islands in the southeastern Caribbean Sea. They are a part of the Dependencias Federales (Federal Dependencies) of Venezuela.

Patos Island (Venezuela)

Patos Island (Spanish: Isla de Patos, Duck Island) is a small uninhabited island in the northwestern Gulf of Paria. The island is a part of the Dependencias Federales (Federal Dependencies) of Venezuela.

Capital District

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