Known locally as La Perla del Caribe, or the Pearl of the Caribbean, a mountainous tropical Caribbean island paradise, Isla de Margarita is Venezuela’s most popular tourist destination. Margarita is really two islands joined in the middle by a stretch of sand, mangrove, and marsh that make up La Restinga National Park.
The island has two national parks and three nature reserves, as well as several colonial-era forts and churches. Situated 38 km north east of the mainland of Venezuela and far from the track of Atlantic tropical storms, Margarita’s climate is hot and tropical. With ample sunshine and very little rainfall year-round, it is blessed with an average of over 330 days a year of sun!
The average temperature is 27 degrees Celsius and the annual rainfall averages 27 inches resulting in mostly arid landscapes with some wooded areas and fertile valleys. Over 300,000 people live on Margarita Island most of whom live in the eastern part where the capital of Asuncion and the shoppers paradise of Porlamar are located.
The western part of Margarita island is called the Macanao Peninsula. It is sparsely populated and has seen little tourist development due to the limited availability of water. Wild deer, goats and hares roam the mountainous interior and the sandy beaches are only visited by the local fishermen. Eighty two different beaches await you, many of them unknown to most visitors.
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. 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.
Margarita is a duty-free port, which means that it also gets tourists from nearby islands in the Caribbean Sea who come to shop at very low prices. The roads are quite good and, if you have a rental car, you can reach any point on Margarita, including the shoreline.