Located in the Caribbean Sea at latitude 11 °N and longitude 64 °W, Isla Margarita is the largest of the three islands – along with Cubagua and Coche – that comprise the State of Nueva Esparta in north-eastern Venezuela. It covers an area of around 1,020 km²: about 78 km long and 20 km at its widest.
Margarita consists of two peninsulas joined together by an 18 km long sand bank (La Restinga) creating a wetland mangrove lagoon that provides a habitat to many exotic bird and aquatic species. It is dotted with mountains: the highest points accessible to hikers are Cerro Grande (920 m) and Cerro Copey (890 m). The climate is almost always hot and sunny (24 to 37 °C) with two short ‘rainy seasons’ around June-July and November-December.
The majority of the population of 600,000 live in the commercial city of Porlamar and in Pampatar, an area filled with holiday apartments and modern shopping malls selling international brands. The eastern side of the island is the destination for large numbers of Venezuelan tourists, particularly the commercially developed beaches of Playa el Agua and Parguito, where most of the large all-inclusive package hotels are located.
The picturesque fishing villages of the north-west coast – and the less developed beaches such as Playa Caribe, Zaragoza and Puerto Cruz – are much more attractive to independent travelers. With its busy shops, stunning bay, cheap seafood restaurants and breath-taking sunsets, the vibrant and relaxed fishing town of Juan Griego is an ideal place to spend some time.
Frequent direct flights arrive on Margarita from Caracas (about 30 minutes), Puerto Ordaz and other Venezuelan cities. There are seasonal scheduled and charter direct flights from various North and South American and European cities. Ferries arrive daily from Puerto La Cruz and Cumaná (around 3 hours) – and there is also a small boat that connects Margarita and Chacopata (1 hour). The island has 160 kms of coastline and over 30 major beaches.
Amongst the activities we can offer are scuba and snorkelling, horse-riding, wind and kite-surfing, sailing and deep-sea fishing. Or you can simply relax and enjoy the sun, sea and sand. Margarita is the perfect location to begin, or to finish, your great Venezuela Adventure.