Off the coast of Venezuela lies a lesser-known Caribbean jewel: Isla Margarita. Here you’ll find the stretches of golden, palm-fringed sands you’re likely to find on most Caribbean islands; the difference being there’s not that many people who know about it! Fewer tourists and lower prices make Isla Margarita an ideal getaway for those who want all the luxury of a Caribbean holiday, without the crowds.
Boasting an average of 320 days of sunshine a year, Isla Margarita is a mountainous tropical paradise with great surf, stunning golf courses, beautiful hiking opportunities and fantastic resorts. On the west of the island you’ll find miles on miles of breathtaking beaches, while the east is a lush and leafy paradise.
As a beach-lovers paradise, Isla Margarita is blessed with some incredible sand and surf. Playa el Agua, Punta Arenas and Playa Parguito are three of the most popular. Isla Margarita has over 50 beaches on its 106 miles of coastline and its golden sands and choppy waters, in parts, make the beaches a hit with sunbathers and surfers alike. Put your feet up, sip on a refreshing cocada- a coconut milkshake- and soak up the sun!
A jeep safari is a fun and easy way to see the island. Take a drive, or hop on an organised tour, to visit the fort of Santa Rosa. This 17th century Spanish colonial fort is full of history, and offers spectacular panoramic views of the mountains, the ocean and the city below.
La Restinga National Park is a diverse day trip into the lush forestry of theisland. Laguna La Restinga, a swamp which covers over 25km of wetlands, can be explored by guided boat tours which will give you an insight into the dense mangroves and the wildlife that live there.
Porlamar is the main commercial centre of Isla Margarita, and the largest city. If you’re on a beach-crawl of the island, Porlamar has two for you to sample, as well as a host of duty-free shops, good restaurants and a fun slice of Caribbean nightlife life; think Salsa clubs and rum cocktails!
Venezuelan cuisine takes influence from a whole range of European, African and American dishes, and you’ll find a wide and inexpensive variety of gastronomic choices across Isla Margarita. Coconut, plantain, fresh seafood, grilled fish, potatoes, squashes, meats- including goat and rabbit- and Italian pasta dishes are commonplace in a Venezuelan diet.
Typical of a Caribbean island, the resorts and larger towns and cities offer a range of world cuisine, from European to Asian, and even fast food options, like McDonalds and Pizza Hut.
In true Caribbean style, rum-based drinks are the order of the day. Fresh coconut, pineapple and lemon juice are signature mixers, often complemented with tequila or vodka and ice. Enjoy in the sunshine, with your feet in the sand; the perfect Caribbean tipple!