ita IslandIformation and Tourism
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Margarita Island or Isla Margarita lies off the northern coast of Venezuela, and is the most southerly of all the
Caribbean islands. Its location means that it is out of the hurricane belt, a
very important consideration that many people overlook when considering a move
to the Caribbean
and offers a year round temperature of 80F/32C with low humidity and low
rainfall. The rainy season, which you will undoubtedly read about in travel
books or on the web is a little inaccurate. Real
estate prices are quite reasonable. It is a great place to vacation or holiday.
Playa el Agua is the most visited beach. Margarita Island windsurfing takes
place on Playa el Yaque and it is rated in the top 7 in the world!
There is a rainy season that runs from May
through July, but relates more to Venezuela, than Margarita Island. It does
rain, but very little and usually at night. Any daytime rain is short lived and
soon the skies return to their normal cloudless blue. Put it this way, if the
U.K. were to be described as having a rainy season, it would run for 9 months,
so don’t be put off in any way, Margarita Island has the perfect climate.
Main Cities & Towns
La Asuncion is the capital of the
island and of the entire state of Nueva Esparta There is
not too much in La Asuncion considering it’s the capital, but the church of
La Catedral de Nuestra Senora de la Asuncion, said to be the oldest in
Venezuela, is worth a visit.
Porlamar is the largest
city and the commercial hub of the island. Here you will find numerous
shops, bars, restaurants and banks. Do expect to be hassled a little by
money changers. IGNORE them, no matter how enticing the exchange rate
offered. They are untrustworthy and normally have false money. If you do
need to change $$ or Euros, just go in to any reputable shop, where you will
find they will give you an honest rate.
The main attraction now is the very impressive Sambil shopping complex
(Mall). Here you can shop to your hearts content in designer shops, such as
Tommy Hilfiger, Timberland, Dexter, Dolce & Vita, plus many more, and all,
duty free. You will also find banks and restaurants offering all types of
cuisine, as well as bars and a very modern cinema, offering all the latest
blockbusters. Sambil has become the place to be seen in.
>Pampatar, northeast of Porlamar, is
much more picturesque and calm. Founded in 1535 around the island’s most
protected deep-water harbor, Pampatar still retains much of its colonial-era
flavor and architecture. Here you can just relax and watch the fishermen,
bring in their haul. Then you can enjoy the catch of the day in some of the
beachfront kiosks or restaurants, where a meal for 2, including drinks, will
only cost $8 – $12.
Juangriego is located on the northern
coast of the island and is a very popular fishing village becoming increasingly
popular, particularly for sunsets. The sea food in this area is amazing, and the
prices are too. It really is worth a visit, just for the flaming red sunsets,
but go early if you want a prime table and viewing spot.
Renting a car is not essential, but it does make it easier to get around. You will need to bring your license with you. The main companies are,
Budget and Hertz. The first two can be found at the airport,
as well as opposite the Hotel Hilton. Rates vary from $30 – $70 a day. An
alternative method, as some people may not wish the hassle of rental, or the
hassle of driving, is to hire one of the many taxi drivers on the Island. You
can negotiate a good daily rate with him, especially if you pay in dollars. They
all know the Island really well, and could take you to places that you may not
have even heard of, so adding to your experience.
If you are adventurous and time is not so important, you can always try the
buses. There are numerous on the Island, and they will get you around for next
to nothing. The only negative point is that they are not usually air conditioned
and none too comfortable. However, it does give you that local feel. Taxis are
also readily available.
This is just an overview of the main areas, but their is much more to see. Just explore, that’s the fun part
Located off N.E.
Caribbean coast of Venezuela it was discovered by Christopher Columbus on 15th
August 1498 during his 3rd visit to the Americas. It forms part of three islands
comprising the state of Nuevo Esparta of some 1150 square kilometers, largest
island and most developed being Margarita with 1071, Coche 55, and Cubagua 24
The highest point is some 1000 meters (3,280.83
feet) above sea level and with a spectacular view. The estimated center of the
island near La Guardia is at 11 latitude 64 05 longitude. Average temperature is
estimated at around 28C with little rain like 22″ a year (our visitors love
A duty free status was granted on 19th August
1966 and then upgraded by law to free port on 1st April 1975. Resident
population is around 350000 but can increase dramatically during holiday
seasons. The island is well developed and has several hotels from which to
choose starting from as low as US$10! Transport to and from Margarita Island is by air
via Caracas international airport charter flights direct to Margarita or by modern ferries
from Puerto La Cruz Cumana and La Guaira, more important being Conferry and Naviarca Gran Cacique. Native language is Spanish. This hidden paradise is virtually hurricane
free is much visited by the sailing community who anchor principally at the
Concorde Hotel bay at Porlamar. last recorded tropical storm was in August
1993)The last tropical storm was in August 1993. Marine VHF radio channels
mainly used here by our foreign visitors are 16/72 and legal checking in
(immigration etc) is normally done by Juan Baro of Marina Juan Telf.
Margarita Island is also one of the larger and
more contrasted islands in the Caribbean, as well as being a modern and bustling
small metropolis with large hypermarkets, duty free stores, good private clinics
and excellent communications by sea and air, not to mention the numerous very
economical and modern internet cafes and other communications centers.
We have about 4 important local newspapers of
which the more important are El Sol de Margarita Diario La Hora Diario del
Caribe and El Caribazo. El Yaque beach (behind airport) is
also a world famous destination for wind surf and related sea sports.
There are some very quiet places to live and plenty of properties to purchase at
attractive prices. The average drive is about 20 minutes and longest about 1-1/2
hours. Whenever there is some unrest on the mainland (usually the capital city
Caracas) Margarita island is little affected and people go about their business