Margarita Island Information 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 donít be put off in any way, Margarita Island has the perfect climate.

Main Cities & Towns
 

 

 Have Fun. Feel Good. Gain Respect: Rosetta Stone

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 itís 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.

Getting Around

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, thatís 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 square kilometers

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 this).

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. +582952631332 email.

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 normally.

 

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