Theme Week Venezuela – Margarita Island

Friday, 25 May 2018 - 12:00 pm (CET/MEZ) Berlin | Author/Destination:
Category/Kategorie: General

Juan Griego Pier © The Photographer

Juan Griego Pier © The Photographer

Margarita Island (Isla de Margarita) is the largest island in the Venezuelan state of Nueva Esparta, situated off the northeastern coast of the country, in the Caribbean Sea. The capital city of Nueva Esparta, La Asunción, is located on the island. Primary industries are tourism, fishing and construction. Christopher Columbus was the first European to arrive on Margarita Island in 1498. The local natives were the Guaiqueries people. The coast of the island was abundant in pearls, which represented almost a third of all New World tribute to the Spanish Crown. Margarita Island was fortified against the increasing threat of pirate attacks, and some fortifications remain today. It was the center of Spanish colonial Margarita Province, established in 1525.

The island, along with the islands of Coche and Cubagua, comprises the state of Nueva Esparta. The island is split into two peninsulas joined by an 18 kilometres (11 mi) long isthmus and covers an area of 1,020 km². It is 78 kilometres (48 mi) long and measures roughly 20 kilometres (12 mi) at its widest. The climate is sunny and dry with average temperatures ranging from 24 to 37 °C. Most of the island’s 420,000 residents live in the more developed eastern part of the island, which includes the large cities of Porlamar and Pampatar along with the state capital of La Asunción. The island can be reached by direct flights from Caracas or ferries from Puerto La Cruz, Cumaná, and La Guaira. There are no international flights to the island at present. The Macanao peninsula to the west has a central mountain range in the east-west direction. The highest altitude is 760 metres (2,493 ft) at Pico de Macanao. Several smaller ranges derive from this axis following a north-south orientation with deep valleys between them. The most notable of these valleys is San Francisco in the north-central part of the peninsula. The Paraguachoa peninsula to the East is formed by a mountain range in the north-south direction from Porlamar to Cabo Negro. The highest peaks are San Juan or Cerro Grande at 920 metres (3,018 ft) and El Copey 890 metres (2,920 ft). The peninsulas are connected by the La Restinga isthmus, on which the Laguna de la Restinga is located. There are also two breast-shaped hills known as Tetas de Maria Guevara on the isthmus.

© Valeriadesola/cc-by-sa-3.0 Former Margarita Hilton Suites at Playa Puerto Cruz © Enano275 Juan Griego Pier © The Photographer Playa El Agua © Antoniofermin San Juan Valley - Copey Hill © The Photographer © Spazzaven
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Former Margarita Hilton Suites at Playa Puerto Cruz © Enano275
La Asunción is the capital of the Federal State of Nueva Esparta with a population of around 28,500. It is the seat of the regional government. The city is overlooked by the Santa Rosa Castle of La Asunción.

The urban area of Pampatar has a population of around 50,000. A number of the island’s larger shopping malls are located in the city, namely Sambil Margarita, Rattan Depot, Centro Comercial La Vela, Centro Comercial Costa Azul, Centro Comercial AB (Avenida Bolivar) and La Redoma. The Royal Fortress of San Carlos Borromeo, constructed in the late 17th century, is located in Pampatar. The city also has several beaches.

The largest city on Margarita Island is Porlamar. The population can reach 125,000 in the high season, while in the low season, the population is about 85,000. Two beaches are located within the city.

Juan Griego is a city on the northern side of Isla Margarita, and is the most northern port in Venezuela. It has a population of 29,000 inhabitants and is capital of the Marcano municipality of the Nueva Esparta state. Its church of gothic styling, constructed in 1850 by Fray Nicholas de Igualdad, is still, along with the lovely bay, the symbol of the city. The La Galera fortress, where in the early 1820s a fierce battle for independence was fought, is located near the city centre. In 1973, the island become a free port and the city once again become the second city in sequence of importance in the commercial activities after Porlamar.

The island’s status as a duty-free port and proximity to the mainland make it a popular vacation spot for Venezuelans. It sees a large number of tourists around Christmas time, Easter week, and from July to mid-September. Whiskey, cheese, chocolate, and electrical appliances, among other goods, can be purchased less expensively than on the mainland. There are at least 50 beaches on the island, which has a 106 miles (171 km) coastline. Playa El Yaque is popular as a windsurfing and kitesurffing location. Playa Parguito, Playa Caribe, Playa Punta Arenas, Playa El Agua and Playa Puerto Cruz are also popular beaches. Margarita Island was the venue for the 2014 Caribbean Series. It was the second time it hosted the Series; 2010 was the first. It is expected that the development of the tourism industry on the island will be boosted by the influence of predominantly Dominican, Mexican, Puerto Rican, and Venezuelan sports enthusiast who arrived for the competition.

Here you can find the complete Overview of all Theme Weeks.

Read more on LonelyPlanet.com – Isla De Margarita, Wikitravel Margarita Island, Wikivoyage Margarita Island and Wikipedia Margarita Island. Learn more about the use of photos. To inform you about latest news most of the city, town or tourism websites offer a newsletter service and/or operate Facebook pages/Twitter accounts. In addition more and more destinations, tourist organizations and cultural institutions offer Apps for your Smart Phone or Tablet, to provide you with a mobile tourist guide (Smart Traveler App by U.S. Department of State). If you have a suggestion, critique, review or comment to this blog entry, we are looking forward to receive your e-mail at comment@wingsch.net. Please name the headline of the blog post to which your e-mail refers to in the subject line.




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