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Getting To Margarita Island

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					Getting To Margarita Island

To fulfill the high demand of American tourists that now visit , Aeropostal offers direct
flights from Miami to Porlamar (Margarita) on Wednesdays and Saturdays.

AMERICAN AIRLINES, UNITED AIRLINES, DELTA AIRLINES, AEROPOSTAL, AVENSA,
CONTINENTAL, LANCHILE offer flights from Miami, Orlando, Houston, New York, San
Francisco, San Juan (Puerto Rico) and Atlanta directly to Caracas. Then you can connect to
Porlamar (Isla de Margarita ) the same day or the next day, depending on your arrival time

British Airways offer scheduled flights from London Gatwick (LGW) in to Caracas
international airport with the flight taking approx. 8-9 hours. You then need to get a
connection to the Island. Air France, KLM, Lufthansa and others also offer the same, but
you will have to check with them.
Charter flights are available with many airlines, and can offer a cheaper and direct
alternative.

First Choice fly out of Gatwick & Manchester direct to the Island. A package deal is not
necessary. Click on the link to take you to availabilty
http://www.westernair.co.uk/charterporlamar.html

Getting to Margarita Island is very easy. Del Caribe International is Margarita’s only
airport. It is divided into two sections, the international and the national. The “national”
airport is literally a 300 yard walk from the “international” airport, so the numerous
“porters” that will approach you, are not necessarily needed……..unless of course you
have a large amount of baggage. Fix a price with them first, otherwise they will try and
over charge you, for a short walk.

Air transat fly out of Montreal / Toronto, Royal from Toronto and Canada 3000 from Halifax.

Condor as well as LTU flies from Düsseldorf.

Nordic Nea flies out of Copenhagen.

Air Europa flies out of Tenerife / Madrid.

Surinam Airways fly out of Georgetown.

Airplus fly out of Madrid.

Martinair fly out of Amsterdam / Copenhagen.

Important Information
Check in / out, normally takes more time than in your home country and patience is needed
especially when queues are long. Please remember to re-confirm flights 48 hours in advance,
keep a record of your locator number and try to be at the airport one hour before your flight
leaves for national flights and two hours for international flights. A passport and a tourist entry /
exit card are always required when boarding a plane. Always make sure your baggage is well
secured and that the baggage ticket received has the name of your destination printed on it.
Margarita Island is one of the few places left, where the process of buying property as a
“foreigner” is easy and without restrictions. As a “tourist” most nationalities are granted a 3
MONTH entry stamp, plenty of time to purchase.

Just a few facts once you are there Porlamar is the largest city and the commercial hub of the
island. Here you will find numerous shops, bars, restaurants and banks. Do expect to be
“hassled” a little by money changers. IGNORE them, no matter how enticing the exchange rate
offered. They are untrustworthy and normally have false money. If you do need to change $$ or
Euros, just go in to any reputable shop, where you will find they will give you an honest rate.
The main attraction now is the very impressive Sambil shopping complex (Mall). Here you can
shop to your hearts content in designer shops, such as Tommy Hilfiger, Timberland, Dexter,
Dolce & Vita, plus many many more, and all, duty free. You will also find banks and restaurants
offering all types of cuisine, as well as bars and a very modern cinema, offering all the latest
“blockbusters”. Sambil has become the place to be seen in.

La Asunción is the capital of the island and of the entire state of Nueva Esparta (Margarita
Island). There is not too much in La Asunción considering it’s the capital, but the church of La
Catedral de Nuestra Señora de la Asunción, said to be the oldest in Venezuela, is worth a visit

Porlamar is the largest city and the commercial hub of the island. Here you will find numerous
shops, bars, restaurants and banks. Do expect to be “hassled” a little by money changers.
IGNORE them, no matter how enticing the exchange rate offered. They are untrustworthy and
normally have false money. If you do need to change $$ or Euros, just go in to any reputable
shop, where you will find they will give you an honest rate.
The main attraction now is the very impressive Sambil shopping complex (Mall). Here you can
shop to your hearts content in designer shops, such as Tommy Hilfiger, Timberland, Dexter,
Dolce & Vita, plus many many more, and all, duty free. You will also find banks and restaurants
offering all types of cuisine, as well as bars and a very modern cinema, offering all the latest
“blockbusters”. Sambil has become the place to be seen in.

Juangriego is located on the northern coast of the island and is a very popular fishing village
becoming increasingly popular, particularly for sunsets. The sea food in this area is amazing, and
the prices are too. It really is worth a visit, just for the “flaming red” sunsets, but go early if you
want a prime table and viewing spot.

Getting Around

Renting a car is not essential, but it does make it easier to get around Margarita. You will need to
bring your license with you. The main companies are, Budget, Hertz and Margarita rentals. The
first 2 can be found at the airport, as well as opposite the Hotel Hilton. Rates vary from $30 - $70
a day. An alternative method, as some people may not wish the hassle of rental, or the hassle of
driving, is to hire one of the many taxi drivers on the Island. You can negotiate a good daily rate
with him, especially if you pay in $$. They all know the Island really well, and could take you to
places that you may not have even heard of, so adding to your experience.


If you are “adventurous” and time is not so important, you can always try the buses. There are
numerous on the Island, and they will get you around for next to nothing. The only negative point
is that they are not usually “air conditioned” and none too comfortable. However, it does give you
that “local” feel. Taxis are also readily available.
The Beaches

Margarita Island boasts many beautiful beaches that cater for all types. If you want to surf, there
are beaches that offer this or if you prefer a more gentile pace of life, and want to just relax and
read, there are beaches for that also.
Playa El Agua is by far the most popular. This is a 4.5 KM long stretch of white sand with
moderate to rough surf, backed by palm trees and a broad selection of restaurants and shops.
The current here is deceptive, so even the most accomplished swimmer should take care. Jet
skis and ultra lights are available here.




Playa Parguito has begun to rival El Agua in terms of popularity. Both of these beaches can get
packed on weekends and during peak periods. To the south and north of Playa El Agua, you'll
find beaches such as Manzanillo, El Tirano, Cardón, Zaragoza and Guacuco, all very nice and
less developed. Guacuco is a favorite, but the others are lovely also.
On the northern coast of Margarita you will find a string of excellent and less-developed beaches,
including Playa Caribe, Playa Pedro González, and Playa Puerto Viejo. These are some of my
favorite beaches on Margarita, and they are building up fast. Those looking for solitude should
head to the still-undeveloped beaches that ring the Macanao Peninsula.
More popular beaches offer lounge chairs and beach umbrella for rental from $2 to $4 per day. A
worthwhile investment, if you want some comfort, cool shade, and additional protection from the
sun.

National Parks




La Restinga National Park -- This 10,700-hectare (26,429-acre) park encompasses a zone of
mangroves, marshland, sandbar, and coral-sand beaches making a natural land bridge between
the two islands that today are Isla de Margarita. A visit to the park usually involves a boat tour
through the mangroves, followed by some beach time. You'll find some simple beachside
restaurants and souvenir stands here.

The bird-watching is excellent in the mangroves, and the park's beach is renowned for its supply
of seashells. At the park entrance you'll have to pay a $1 entrance fee and then walk to the
nearby pier, where there are scores of boats waiting to take you on a tour. The boats charge $4
to $10 per person, depending on the size of your group. The trip through the mangroves usually
lasts between 30 minutes and 1 hour, at which point you will be left at the beach. It’s a good idea
to have your “ride” pre-arranged to take you back.

The Island of Coche & Cubagua


The entire state of Nueva Esparta is made up of Isla de Margarita and two much smaller
neighboring islands, Isla Coche and Isla Cubagua. The pearl beds off these two islands were
major sources of wealth during the colonial period. Both islands are popular destinations for day
cruises, which will take you to their pristine and nearly deserted beaches. Coche is very very hot,
so be aware. Day tours by small cruise ships and converted fishing boats are common.

Los Roques,Canaima and Angel Falls
By far the most popular excursions from Margarita are to either Los Roques or Canaima and
Angel Falls. There are many tour companies that provide trips to these destinations, most of
which require overnight stays. Prices vary, so shop around.

Biking
Margarita is a good place to rent a bike for exploring, but do be careful of the sun. Distances
between towns and beaches can quickly become more daunting than you might expect.

Cruises & Sailboat Charters
With the constant trade winds and translucent turquoise waters, Margarita is a great place to sail.
A host of charter vessels anchor in the Pampatar harbor and other protected anchorages and
bays around Margarita. The fleet fluctuates seasonally, but a sailboat is always available for a
day cruise or multiday charter. Again, shop around for the best prices.

Fishing
The waters off Margarita Island offer excellent fishing grounds. A day's catch might include any
combination of tuna, dorado, marlin, and sailfish. You can hire a guide and a boat for the day,
with lunch and beverages, for between $300 and $1,200, depending on the size of the boat.

Golf




At the moment there is only one golf course operating on the Island. This is located at the
Hesperia’s hotel called Isla Bonita. The course is poor by European standards and is in need of
maintenance and water, and is also a journey of about 30 minutes from Porlamar. It is however a
way of getting your golfing “fix”. There is a brand new golf course called Margarita Golf Country
Club, located in the centre near the hotel Hilton. It is very impressive in comparison to the other
and although not officially open until November, people are playing there.
Casinos
“Lady luck” maybe smiling on you, so try out the casinos at either the Laguna Mar resort, or at the
Hotel Hilton.

Bingo
Bingo is “massive” here, with many places to play. All will be in Spanish however, so practice
those numbers!!!




Horseback Riding
A great way to explore, and a few places do offer this.

Jeep Tours
These full day tours are very popular and usually involve being picked up and dropped at your
hotel. Price includes food and drink and they are usually great fun. They do tend to “pack em in”,
so comfort is not going to be top of the agenda.




Scuba Diving & Snorkeling
As this is the Caribbean, count on some good snorkeling and scuba diving on and around
Margarita Island.

Ultra light Flights
Several pilots and companies offer ultra light flights over and around the island.

Surfing
Playa el Agua and Playa Parguito are probably the best beaches for this.
Windsurfing
Although you can rent a Windsurfer on many of the beaches on Margarita, Playa El Yaque, on
the southern end of the island near the airport, is the Mecca for windsurfers. World champions
come here, so it must be good.

Shopping
You can literally “shop till you drop” here. Numerous designer shops and boutiques will satisfy
even the most professional shopper amongst you.


With all this and sunshine as well, what more could you wish for !!!!

				
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