Travel guide to Margarita Island, Venezuela
What a beauty of Margarita Island!
Location of Margarita Island:
Also called Isla Margarita, it is floating n the Caribbean Sea, facing the north-east coast of Venezuela, a South American nation. Venezuela’s eastern side faces the Atlantic Ocean.
Venezuela was once a Spanish colony. It declared independence and joined Columbia. Finally, it became a full independent nation in 1830. It is still called a Latin American country.
Contrary to popular assumption, Venezuela is the most modernized of all the South American countries.
Overview of Margarita:
It is part of the Venezuelan state known as Nueva Esparta. The island is largely mountainous. Being a Caribbean Island, Margarita is tropical in nature.
The mountains wear green cape and is really lush. That gives the island a terrific tropical look.
Margarita has two siblings, namely:
- Coche Island
- Cubagua Island
La Asuncion is the capital of Nueva Esparta state. It is located on Margarita Island.
How to go to Margarita Island?
The island has an airport in Porlamar, a portal city on the island’s south coast.
The island’s capital city La Asuncion is situated 10 km away from Porlamar.
It receives flights from Caracas, the capital of Venezuela. The flight duration is only 35 minutes.
Travel by ferry from Caracas to Margarita Island.
The distance between the capital of Venezuela (Caracas) to Porlamar port city is about 480 km.
There is a ferry service that connects the two destinations. The voyage involves about 7 hours.
Where to stay on Margarita?
For the rich and famous, the best choice is Sunsol Isla Caribe. It’s obviously a seafront resort with luxury guaranteed.
For the mid-range travellers, the Costa Caribe resort is the best bet.
Aria by LD, and Wyndham Concorde offer breathtaking view from the bedrooms, and the sit out that seems to be hanging above the Caribbean Sea.
If you are a budget solo traveller, find out the availability in Casa Maya Guest House and Sleep ‘N’ Ride.
What to eat on the island?
It is a fish fry that was marinated in lemon juice before frying. When served, you can find raw onion rings and finely-chopped cilantro on top of the dish.
- Cole Slaw
It is mainly a cabbage salad that is served with rice or ceviche.
Mashed or fried raw banana
This is a spring roll with stuffing of meat, and vegetables. It is dipped in ketchup before every bite.
Travel guide to Margarita Island, Venezuela
Playa Pampatar Beach
It is a popular beach of semi-circular shape. Abutting the beach, there are several residences and hotels.
This beach is part of the south coastal city of Porlamar.
Sambil Shopping Mall
Even though Pampatar is a small town, the mall appears oversized-isn’t it?
Nonetheless, it is where you spend some time having visited Porlamar, 10 km from Pampatar Beach.
Punta Ballena Beach
This beach is at the southern end of the island. There is an ancient lighthouse too but I think it is not open for the tourists.
Playa al Yaque
It is where, water sports are famous. Both windsurfing, and wave surfing are played.
Kite-surfing is also available for adventure veterans.
Seafood stalls that sell, just-caught fish, and crab fritters do brisk business.
Playa el Agua
I think ‘playa’ means ‘beach’ in Spanish. Please be aware that, Spanish is the official language in entire Venezuela.
It is an affluent seafront with the backdrop of beautiful, tall buildings. El Morro is a must-visit place on the island.
All the beaches on the island are covered with white sand that makes the beaches attractive.
See the Fort of Santa Rosa.
A Spanish construction, the fort is built on a mountain. The view is fantastic from that height.
Santa Rosa Fort is situated right in the heart of La Asuncion. Invariably, your local tour of Margarita starts with the visit to the fort because; your first impression of this Venezuelan island should be good.
I saw several photos of the island from the fort. The green cover is everywhere. It is such a pleasant sight to the eyes.
Laguna de la Restinga
Yes, the name points to a small lagoon that is part of the national park with the same name.
The national park comes under a wetland and hence a Ramsar Site. This implies, it is an important birding area because of the availability of abundant prey.
The place of the salty lagoon and the national park is quite close to Macanao Peninsula, near the island’s western coast.
Here, you get the rare opportunity to see a sandbar that connects two water-bodies.
In this case, the two water bodies are the Caribbean Sea, and the Restinga Lagoon whose depth is only 8 feet.
Marine creatures to see in the lagoon by snorkeling:
- Sea Horses
- Grunt Fish
What a creation!
Being an important bird watching area, you can capture the photos of the following beautiful birds.
- Scarlet Ibis.
- Blue Heron
- Frigate Bird
- Green Heron
A pier exists to walk through. Boat tours are available to show you the mangroves that are the nesting habitat for the birds.
Basilica Virgen del Valle
When translated into English, it reads, “Basilica of Our Lady of El Valle.
The basilica stands majestic and beautiful.
An important festival is held by the church during September, every year. It draws thousands of pilgrims.
Playa Punta Arenas
It’s an uncrowded beach on the western coast of the island. Since the beach receives very few visitors, somehow, the sea is also rather calm with gentle waves.
The word, ‘punta’ implies the playa (beach) is at the tip of the land. In this case, it is the western tip.
Clams and starfish are washed ashore as if to show what is beneath the water.
Go to the mountains on a horse
For once, you get a lifetime opportunity to ride a horse, that too on a mountain trail that keeps ascending.
Lush forests on either side of the trail are pleasing to the eyes.
I thought an aquarium will pull more visitors than a museum of marine biology. Maybe, the museum is intended for educational purposes only.
Actually, there is an aquarium inside the museum. Isn’t it a bad idea to name the place as an aquarium than a museum?
The star attraction in the aquarium is the “sea horses”.
I think Margarita Island doesn’t draw visitors from abroad. Only the people of Venezuela occasionally go to the island to unwind.