Margarita Island Travel Guide

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Margarita Island Travel Guide

Margarita Island Local History

When the "conquistadores" discovered the island in 1498, full of wealth and good fruitful soil they decided to settled there to live. They named the island "La Margarita", which in English means pearl. The Guaiqueri Indians received the conquering Spaniards with open arms unaware that they later would become slaves of their own wealth. Margarita didn't escape the pirates whom, in the 16th and 17th centuries whipped through the whole region in the Caribbean.

The island fell victim to the ferocious invasion of Lope de Aguirre. Because Margarita was an easy target in the Caribbean, the natives had to defend their shores with fortresses. Freedom from the invasion came in May, 1811 and Margarita became the first free province of the Spanish domain.

Margarita Island Attractions

Top Attractions

Castillo de San Carlos Borromeo - Pampatar (about 10km northeast of Porlamar). The main attraction of Margarita is the Castillo de San Carlos Borromeo. This 17th century fort protected the town and harbour from foreign and pirate attacks. The fort's thick stone walls and bronze cannons still watch over the beach, harbour, and Caribbean Sea. The fort is open Monday through Saturday; admission is free.

Iglesia de Santísimo Cristo del Buen Viaje - Pampatar. Just across from the fort, you'll find the Iglesia de Santísimo Cristo del Buen Viaje. This was a church of great importance to the sailors and fishermen of Margarita. Legend has it that when a colonial-era vessel transporting a crucifix from here, was unable, after repeated attempts, to leave the harbour, the crucifix was left here as a last resort. At the eastern end of the harbour are the ruins of the Fortín de la Caranta, which offers beautiful views of the town and bay.

La Catedral de Nuestra Señora de la Asunción - La Asunción. La Asunción is the capital of the island and of the entire state of Nueva Esparta. The city's church, La Catedral de Nuestra Señora de la Asunción, is said to be the oldest in Venezuela. A few minutes from the centre of town is the Castillo de Santa Rosa, another of the island's historic and battle-worn forts.

Los Roques or Canaima and Angel Falls - An excursions from Margarita to either Los Roques or Canaima and Angel Falls are very popular. The most established and professional operator making trips to both destinations is Aerotuy (Tel (0295) 263-0307) The cost for the Los Roques day trip is $199 per person; to Canaima and Angel Falls, the cost is $240 per person. The fares for children are roughly half-price, and rates are slightly lower during the low season and midweek. http://www.tuy.com.

Labas What a blast it was! Every night something different and some new shows I would just come back for their parties.
submitted by JK, 10/02/07

Labas In Playa el Agua. The best place I saw in margarita and the SAFEST, no trouble or anything
submitted by Ray, 26/01/07

Sambil Mall Margarita also has a beautiful Mall that was built on the 28th of May of 2001 with more than 200 stores to go shopping in. http://www.sambilmall.com/margarita/
submitted by Marsha Fernandez, 26/10/05

Margarita Island Shopping

Venezuelans and visitors alike take advantage of the island's status as a duty-free port. The downtown heart of Porlamar is a chaotic jumble of shops and small department stores selling everything from perfume to lingerie to electronics and appliances to liquor and foodstuffs. In 2002, the Puerto de la Mar pier was opened for cruise ship traffic, allowing cruise passengers to disembark in downtown Porlamar, just blocks from the aforementioned jumble of shops and stores. In recent years, however, large malls have been attracting shoppers away from the downtown options. The biggest of the bunch is the new Centro Sambil Margarita, Avenida Jovito Villalba, Pampatar. Other popular malls include the Centro Comercial Rattan Plaza, Avenida Jovito Villalba, Los Robles; and Centro Comercial Jumbo, Avenida 4 de Mayo.

For better bargains and a more local feel, head to El Mercado de los Conejeros. Located on the north-western outskirts of Porlamar, it's a sort of permanent flea market of food, crafts, and dry-goods stalls. It's open daily from the wee hours of the morning until around 2pm.

At shops and roadside stands around the island, you will come across locally produced jewellery and ceramic wares of varying quality. One of the nicer and more readily available handicrafts for sale on Margarita are the local hammocks, or chinchorros, which are an intricate weave of thin strands of rough natural fibres. You'll also find woven baskets, hats, and handbags. The town of Santa Ana and the roads that form a triangle between Santa Ana, Pedro González, and Juangriego are prime hunting grounds for crafts shops and galleries.

Margarita Island Activities

Parque El Agua - Avenida 31 de Julio, El Cardón, on the way to Playa El Agua, Tel (0295) 234-8559. This new water park with an assortment of pools, slides, and rides. The park is open daily from 10am to 6pm. Admission is $9 for adults, $4.50 for children. http://www.parqueelagua.com.

Diverland - Isla Aventura near Pampatar, Tel (0295) 262-5545. This is a combination amusement park and water park, with a wide range of attractions and rides. It's open from 10am to 11pm daily throughout the high season and most weekends the rest of the year. Operating days and hours are much more limited during the week and low season.

Admission is $5 for adults and $3 for children for unlimited use of the rides and pools. This place offers both dolphin and seal shows, as well as the chance to swim with captive dolphins, but I have some serious doubts about the environmental and humanitarian standards of their operation. http://www.parquediverland.com.

Margarita Island Beaches

The Island is blessed with 72 beaches with names like Moreno, El Silguero, Pampatar and El Yaque. On beaches like El Agua, Parguito and Guacuco, you will find most services like hotels, restaurants, umbrellas and chairs, beside the opportunity to surf if you like the sport.

Other beaches like Manzanillo, Puerto Cruz, La Restinga and Juan Griego, are partly oceanic and offer a great diversity of water sports and services.

Playa El Agua beach - With 2½ miles (4 km) of white sand and tall mature coconut palms on Playa del Agua you'll be sure to find either a quiet spot for your sunbathing or a little more activity at one of the more popular areas. The people watching is superb as most vacationers take advantage of the flat, stone free tropical beach for casual strolling or more serious jogging. There are 46 restaurants and kiosks that not only provide all manner of food and drink but also rent lounge chairs and umbrellas on the beach at reasonable prices.

Margarita Island Restaurants and Bars

Margarita Island Restaurants

Nikkei - Avs. Bolívar and Gómez, in the La Samanna Hotel, Tel (0295) 262-2222. This elegant, yet not pretentious restaurant serves up a wide range of traditional and fusion creations from the cuisines of Peru, Japan and a few of other Asian countries. The second-floor dining room is actually a large loft, with walls of solid glass on all sides and heavy natural wood beams supporting a red tile roof overhead. The service is efficient and friendly. You may want to start with a Salad Nikkei, a small bowl of fresh mixed greens and seaweed in a ginger, honey-mustard vinaigrette, where bits of fried salmon skin take the place of croutons. It is recommend that you try to mix and match dishes for a Pan-Asian/Peruvian feast. Don't let the small sushi bar fool you; the sushi here is excellent. Hours daily noon to 4pm and 7pm to 11pm. Main courses $6-$13; sushi $1-$2; rolls $3.75-$8.75.

El Pacífico - Playa El Agua, Tel (0295) 249-0749. This is probably the best of a group of restaurants lining Playa El Agua. Try to get a table near the large windows overlooking the sea, or live dangerously and dine at a table under one of the tall coconut palms. To start off, try the plato de pescado ahumado (plate of smoked fish) and follow it with the fresh grilled red snapper or langostinos al parchita (jumbo shrimp in passion-fruit sauce). The elegant presentation of plates garnished with swirled sauces and parsley flakes contrasts nicely with the plastic lawn furniture with worn tablecloths. Hours daily 9am to 11pm. Main courses $5-$12; lobster $11-$25.

Margarita Island Bars & Clubs

Isla de Margarita has its fair share of bars, discos, and nightclubs but the recent downturn in tourism has seen the closing of some of the islands more popular and long-standing clubs. Many visitors stick to their all-inclusive resort, which usually features a small collection of bars and a disco and nightly entertainment revue. Others like to barhop sections of Avenida 4 de Mayo and Avenida Santiago Mariño.

Señor Frogs - Tel (0295) 262-0451. This popular Mexican chain, has a lively restaurant and bar in the Centro Comercial Costa Azul, near the Hilton, which turns into a raging disco most evenings after 11pm. A Granel in the Sambil mall, Tel (0295) 260 2491 is a new restaurant and cafe that often features live jazz or bolero outfits.

Margarita Island children's activities

Parque El Agua - Avenida 31 de Julio, El Cardón, on the way to Playa El Agua, Tel (0295) 234-8559. This new water park with an assortment of pools, slides, and rides. The park is open daily from 10am to 6pm. Admission is $9 for adults, $4.50 for children. http://www.parqueelagua.com.

Diverland - Isla Aventura near Pampatar, Tel (0295) 262-5545. This is a combination amusement park and water park, with a wide range of attractions and rides. It's open from 10am to 11pm daily throughout the high season and most weekends the rest of the year. Operating days and hours are much more limited during the week and low season.

Admission is $5 for adults and $3 for children for unlimited use of the rides and pools. This place offers both dolphin and seal shows, as well as the chance to swim with captive dolphins, but I have some serious doubts about the environmental and humanitarian standards of their operation. http://www.parquediverland.com.

Useful Margarita Island Links

Information Isla Margarita
Info-Portal about Isla Margarita / Venezuela. Deutsch, English, Nederlands. With Photos, Videos and lots of informations

Margarita Complete Island Guide
Margarita is somewhat still unknown to the tourism industry. You'll soon discover for yourself that Margarita is full of friendly people, beautiful beaches and amazing sunsets to see. We're glad you've come to our site, sit back and enjoy the photos, tips and even our Venezuelan recipes!

Beach Wedding Planner in Margarita Island Venezuela - Caribbean Wedding - Destination Wedding in Mar
Beach Wedding Planner in the Caribbean Margarita Island Venezuela. Civil & Religious Wedding in Margarita Island for Venezuelan and non-Venezuelan citizens. Our goal is to make you feel special in your most special day.

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