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World Travel Guide > Guides > South America > Venezuela > Isla Margarita

About Isla Margarita

Venezuelan tourists come by the bucket load for the easy-going atmosphere and cheap shopping. Now an increasing number of foreign visitors are discovering this Caribbean island, including those on stopover from cruise ship tours.

Originally discovered by Christopher Columbus, Isla Margarita is a tropical gem waiting to be explored. It is a large island of high forested mountains, which give way to palm fringed beaches and turquoise sea. Opportunities for eco-adventures and activities abound in this island paradise and its spectacular beaches will fail to disappoint.

A tropical paradise set off the northeast coast of Venezuela, Isla Margarita is a haven for sun-worshippers and watersport enthusiasts alike.

Sightseeing:

Cruise ships dock at El Guamache where a tourism development has sprung up but visitors will want to explore a little further on day trips to other parts of the island. Most people will visit to laze on the beach but those with a bit of energy will enjoy its many natural attractions. As well as white sand beaches and scenic landscapes, visitors have the opportunity to view wildlife above and below the water in the island’s forests and marine parks. Trekking, horse riding, diving, snorkelling, windsurfing and kitesurfing all accessible activities.

Highlights

• El Valle del Espíritu Santo (canyon)
• Juangriego Bay (beach)
• El Agua Beach
• Museo Marino (aquarium)
• Laguna de la Restinga National park
• El Yaque Beach (windsurfing and kitesurfing destination)

Tourist information:

Venetur

Address: Calle Los Uveros, Hotel Venetur Margarita. Costa Azul, Porlamar, Isla Margarita
Tel: +58 295 2601 818.
Website: www.venetur.gob.ve
Opening hours: daily 0900-1200, 1300-1700.

 

Shopping introduction:

Shoppers flock to Isla de Margarita, particularly the town of Porlamar, to take advantage of the island’s duty-free status. The shopping malls are lined with shops selling clothes and consumer goods at cheap prices. At El Guamache passengers from cruise ships can pick up souvenirs and locally made handicrafts including glass jewellery, terracotta pottery and multicoloured ceramic fishes.

Restaurants:

Food and water shortages on the mainland have largely bypassed Margarita Island and, as a major tourism destination, there are no shortages of places to eat whether at smart restaurants or beachside cafes. Food has Venezuelan and Caribbean influences, and fish and seafood is in abundance.

When to go:

Margarita Island is warm and pleasant all-year round, with the worst of the heat alleviated by sea breezes. The rainy season is November to January. Holidaying Venezuelans swamp the island during public holiday periods (Christmas, Easter and August), and Carnival in February or March is particularly raucous.

Nearest destination:

Isla Margarita.

Transfer distance:

4.8km (3 miles).

Transfer time:

10 minutes.