Margarita Island, part of the state of Nueva Esparta, which also includes the neighboring islands of Coche and Cubagua, is the most developed tourist area of Venezuela.
Located about 38 kms. north of the mainland and with an area of approximately 1150 km², Nueva Esparta State is bounded by Sucre State to the South, and by the Caribbean Sea to the North, East, and West.
Margarita, known as the "Pearl of the Caribbean" since it is bathed by the Caribbean Sea, features twelve months of splendorous tropical sun, with almost no threat of hurricanes. It boasts unspoiled beaches, tropical forests and every modern resort amenity: snorkeling, windsurfing, waterskiing, water biking, parasailing, boating, deep-sea fishing, scuba diving, kite surfing, mountain climbing, tennis and golf, among others. The Island offers marvelous landscapes and seascapes to your heart’s delight at almost every turn. Touring around the island can become a most gratifying experience, as you can sense the hospitality and naturalness of its people. Moreover, a formidable hotel infrastructure makes this island the best tourist destination in the Caribbean.
• Population: Margarita Island has a total of approximately 500.000 residents.
• Average Annual Temperature: The temperature on the island varies from 32 º C in September to 24 º C in January. Since the sun´s rays are perpendicular here, very high sunscreen protection is recommended at all times.
• Currency: The monetary unit is the Bolívar Fuerte (Bs. F.) available in paper denominations of: 100, 50, 20, 10, 5, 2; and coin denominations of Bs. F. 0,01, 0,05, 0,10, 0,125, 0,25, 0,50 and 1. Credit cards such as Visa and MasterCard, are accepted in almost every store, restaurant, hotel, bar and nightclub.
• Currency restrictions: Foreign currency exchange transactions must be performed to the official exchange rate at banks and money-exchange offices only.
• Tipping: Restaurants, bars, and clubs’ bills include a 10% service charge; however, an adequate additional tip may well be over 5% of the total bill. It is a custom to compensate good service by tipping waiters and waitresses, tourist guides, hotel maids and porters.
• Water: Water in Venezuela is treated; however, drinking tap water is not recommended since it is kept in large tanks for long periods of time and it may spoil. It is best to drink mineral or filtered water only.
• Transportation: Although public transportation on Margarita by bus or by “por puesto” (shared cabs) covers nearly the entire island at a surprisingly inexpensive fare, hotel taxis are the most reliable and they usually have posted fixed fares in “bolívares fuertes”.
• Air and sea transportation: There are direct flights from many parts of the world to Margarita Island, but if your flight arrives in Maiquetía which is 25 Kms. from Caracas, there are several Venezuelan airlines with flight, connections to Margarita Island as well as with other parts of the country. It takes 35 minutes from Simon Bolívar International Airport in Maiquetía to General Santiago Mariño International Airport, in El Yaque, 23 Kms. from Porlamar, on Margarita Island. Sea transportation is available by Ferry from the cities of Puerto La Cruz and Cumaná. The ride can take from an hour to 5 hours, depending on the type of boat available.
• Electricity: The common voltage used for electric light and appliances such as hair blowers and shaving razors is 110 volts.
• Telephone code: Just dial 58 +295 +telephone number from abroad to call Margarita Island, Venezuela.
• Official Language: Spanish is the official language.
• Main economic activity: Tourism, Duty Free Port and Fishing.
• Required Documentation: A valid passport for at list six months, a tourist visa or a tourist card issued at the port of origin and a return ticket are required by Venezuelan authorities. Your travel agency can give you more detailed information on the subject.
A Vaccination Certificate against Yellow Fever from visitors arriving from risk geographical areas which valid for 10 days after the person has been vaccinated is mandatory by Venezuelan port and airport authorities. People not complying with this rule, will not be admitted to Venezuela. For more detailed information on the subject, please contact your travel agency.