Margarita Island

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Eco-friendly travel guide to Margarita Island advises how to be a responsible tourist. Learn how to explore the attractions in a sustainable way and how to respect the local people and culture. Make your trip green by supporting locally owned hotels, organic restaurants and other businesses. Read more on how to protect the environment by making conscientious choices and how to travel green in Margarita Island, Venezuela.

El Guamache Bay, Margarita island


  • Air quality: 3.5 / 5
  • Exploring by foot: 3.5 / 5
  • Exploring by bicycle: 3.5 / 5
  • Public transportation: 4 / 5
  • Parks: 3 / 5
  • Outdoor activities: 3.5 / 5
  • Locals' English level: 3.5 / 5
  • Safety: 3 / 5
  • Accommodation: US$80 - $100
  • Budget per day: US$180 - $300

Responsible Travel

Margarita Island is also known as Isla de Margarita. It is a part of Venezuela that lies in the Caribbean Sea. Undoubtedly, the beauty of the island itself is enough to place it at the top of the list of many travelers and explorers. To begin with, try and use public transportation as much as possible. While there aren’t too many options and the comfort of a private car or a cab is far more superior, it is recommended that you use the waterways, the trains. The buses are efficient, cost-effective, and they certainly help you reduce your carbon footprint. In addition to this, Margarita Island is a city whose beauty is par excellence, and exploring it on foot or a bicycle will also serve to be a phenomenal experience.

A big part of responsible traveling includes living in your destination so that you utilize the local resources in the most optimal way possible. One such way for you to do that as a tourist is to stay in an eco-friendly or a green hotel. This will help you ensure that you reduce your impact on the environment, and choosing a good green hotel will provide you with all the amenities and facilities in a much more sustainable manner.

The local markets are known to be a treasure trove, here you will find everything from antiquities to locally produced goods that reflect the fine craftsmanship. Additionally, this will help the local economy in a major way as you will put money directly into the pockets of the manufacturers/creators and possibly skip out the middleman. This will further enable you to support these small industries that don’t operate out of greed and carefully utilize the city’s resources.

Similarly, try and explore local food at simple restaurants to enjoy legendary Venezuelan cuisine. Avoid big food chains and global brands at all costs. The smaller bistros, restaurants, and even food carts will serve you some of the most authentic dishes; more so, if you plan to cook your local meal, make sure you get the ingredients from local food markets and not supermarkets. The freshest produce, including vegetables, seafood, and all kinds of meats, will be found at these markets, and they will be priced appropriately and often serve to be the difference between a good home-cooked meal and a great one.


Air Quality and Pollution

There is a saying that it is better to be safe than to be sorry. Thus, people love to make inquiries before they visit any city as they would not want to compromise their health despite wanting to have fun during the holiday. After all, health is wealth. In line with being eco-friendly, it is good to know about the city's quality and pollution. Compared to other Venezuelan cities, the air quality of Margarita Island is pretty bad, but when compared with other cities in the world, it is pretty good. The Air Quality Index shows that the Air Quality of Margarita Island is good. Summer and Autumn are the perfect seasons to visit. The air is fresh and crisp at this time of the year, and you will enjoy bike rides and walking in the city quite a lot.


Respect the Culture

It is not out of place that one of the first things you would hear when visiting a new place is that you should respect the culture if you want to flow well with the locals. However, some people might be lost if they do not know the traditions of the city. If you are having lunch with your local friends, then it is proffered if everyone pays for what they ordered or can offer to pay for everyone if you are hosting. Do not wait for others to pay your bill and always offer to pay for your own food.

If this city is your chosen city for a holiday, have no fear as we would give you some tips on respecting their culture. You should know that the people of this city love it when the atmosphere is relaxed. Thus, they would not jump into any business topic. Always talk about something simple and allow the host to start the conversation. You must show respect towards the local communities, landmarks, culture, and local environment. By indulging in cultural or recreational activities, you can learn a great deal about the city’s culture and history.


Top 10 Places to Visit

Some people may wonder why others would want to visit Margarita Island, and tourists' sites are amongst the reasons.

Here are the top 10 places you can see in the city:

  • Playa El Agua: Playa El Aqua is a popular beach with shops and restaurants on Margarita Island. The beach is lined with huge palm trees that give shelter to various restaurants.
  • Playa El Yaque: Playa El Yaque is a staple for windsurfing and kiteboarding in Margarita Island. It is internationally known as one of the famous seven locations in the world.
  • La Restinga Margarita: La Restinga Margarita is a protected wetlands area with amazing boat rides on Margarita Island. It is located in Nueva Esparta, Venezuela. It was established in the year 1974.
  • Playa Parguito: Playa Parguito is an island beach. The beach is known for its surfing. The beach is 20 meters wide and 1000 meters long. It is located in the Northeast end of Margarita Island.
  • Parque El Aqua: Parque El Agua is twisting water slides and a wave machine in Margarita Island. It is an aquatic park with wave pools, a lazy river, and snack vendors.
  • San Carlos de Borromeo Fortress: San Carlos de Borromeo Fortress is a Spanish built coastal fort and museum in Margarita Island.
  • Playa Guacuco: Playa Guacuco is a busy beach with waves, views, and eateries on Margarita Island. It is one of the famous beaches in Venezuela.
  • Playa Caribe: Playa Caribe is a beach on Margarita Island. It is an exposed break beach along with moderate waves.
  • Cerro El Copey National Park: Cerro El Copey National Park is a forested peak overlooking desert plains. It is one of the famous national parks on Margarita Island. It is located in Nueva Esparta, Venezuela.
  • Playa Zaragoza: Playa Zaragoza is one of the famous beaches on Margarita Island. It is located on the western side of the northern tip of Margarita Island.
Aerial View of Playa El Agua


Explore

The city has many things to offer apart from the many historical and culturally renowned places packed with tourists. The various parks, beaches, museums, and landmarks will help you get deep insights into the local culture and its beauty. People say that all work and no play would make one dull. This city ensures that it has places that play roles in calming and relaxing the mind. Thus, it is not surprising that people always want to visit this city. There is so much to do in this city, so tourists should have a schedule plan ready so that activities will not be jumbled.


City Parks

The city is big, and it has a big collection of parks and other such places. It has big open spaces and greeneries where you can spend time with your children and other family members. The views are one thing you cannot take away from parks.

Here are some famous city parks of the city:

  • Placita Ali Primera
  • Esfera de Soto
  • Parque de atracciones Diverland
  • Parque El Agua
Parque El Agua


National Parks

The country has always been famous for its beautiful and graceful natural resources, and so that this city has a wonderful collection of national parks and zoos. We are listing down a few of them that may not exactly be located in and around the city but are not very far away from the city.

  • La Restinga Margarita
  • Cerro El Copey National Park
La Restinga Margarita


Beaches

The city is famous for its beautiful and stunning beaches. There are several big and tiny beaches, and it may not be possible to list down every one of them. Some of the beautiful and best beaches in the city are listed below:

  • El Yaque
  • Porlamr
  • Pampatar
  • Juangriego
  • La Asuncion
File:El Yaque beach sunset
Sunset at El Yaque Beach


Landmarks

In simple terms, we can say that a landmark is a high or long structure that people can quickly locate, helping them keep track of places. When there is a landmark around, it helps with directions and eliminates losing your way. Foreigners are usually happy and gleeful to know of landmarks in the country, and you would see them trying to keep it in mind as no one loves losing their way while exploring. Some of the landmarks that would help you in Margarita Island are:

  • Plata Punta Arenas
  • Margarita Marine Museum
  • Parque de Atracciones Diverland


Museums

People say that it is sometimes impossible to keep count of the number of museums on Margarita Island as there are many. The city's idea is to preserve adequate information for the coming generations and help foreigners with knowledge about the city. If you love to know about the cities you visit, we know that you will love or desire to pay a visit to any of its museums. Some Margarita Island museums are:

  • Margarita Marine Museum
  • Museo Nueva Cadiz
  • Museum of Contemporary Art Francisco.
Museo Nueva Cadiz


Eat

You will find that the locals prefer to eat healthy and nutritious food with lots of vegetables and meats. Apart from these traditional and modern cuisines, the local street food is a must-try one that will leave your mouth lingering with their flavors. You will find that vegetarian, and non-vegetarian dishes are popular, and you will not find much trouble conveying your food preferences. Here are some famous local restaurants, vegetarian and vegan, and street foods are given below.


Traditional Local Restaurants

The local meals of any city are usually a delight as it helps your taste buds explore. Below are some of the traditional local restaurants in Margarita Island, where you can enjoy the perfection of these meals without any regrets:

  • Restaurante El Remo
  • Restaurant Pola
  • Casa Caranta
  • El Fondeadero


Vegetarian and Vegan

Whether you are craving a veggie breakfast, lunch, dinner, or even late-night snacks, you will not have a problem finding vegetarian or vegan options to serve your needs. Some popular options that you can look at when looking for vegan or vegetarian food are:

  • Nonno Pizzeria
  • Gaia Ristorante
  • El Remo
  • Portarossa Mgta


Street Food

The street food in Margarita Island is renowned worldwide, and some of the most popular dishes were mentioned in the sections above. Most road trucks in Margarita Island spend significant time cooking a particular something; thus, they generally do that one thing truly well. Nonetheless, a couple of sellers have become an ace at their exchange, who have spent a lifetime sharpening ages-old skills and recipes flawlessly.


Drink

There are many local alcoholics and non-alcoholic beverages that you can see in the local cafés, restaurants, bars, and pubs in the city. These drinks will help you understand the significance and increasing popularity amongst the locals. You have dozens of big, small, and medium-sized bars to choose from. There is no doubt that the local people love to drink regularly, especially on special occasions with friends and family. You can enjoy almost all types of drinks that you get in any good western restaurant and bar. People in Margarita Island love to drink, especially at gatherings and special occasions. The locals are simple and laid-back ones that prefer enjoying the time they have. The city offers a wide variety of wines from the different areas of the country.


Tap-water

The tap water in the country is very safe for drinking. Margarita Island has little water pollution and several top-notch water processing plants, ensuring that the water that comes out of the tap is clean and safe for drinking. The city uses Sodium hypochlorite to treat their water. So it is safe. You can drink and use it for other things. Some bodies monitor the quality of tap-water in the city. The water is so clean that it is even better than the water in mineral water bottles. You can easily find many water taps and public drinking fountains in the country safe to drink, and you will not need to buy mineral water bottles. Such purity in the city's tap water is because of the advanced technology that the water companies use to convert the surface water into pure and drinkable water.


Organic Cafés

The city has stood up to the task of catering for all segments of the population, including those with a preference for organic foods. Since some people would prefer eating organic, it is not out of place to have organic cafes in different cities. While they are not as obvious as the mainstream restaurants, the city has several organic eateries:

  • Punto Criollo
  • Casa Caranta
  • Arroz con Leche Margarita


Breweries

Many breweries in Venezuela produce and sell world-class beverages with authentic tastes. You will find that locals have a passion for drinking beer and other alcoholic beverages. Because alcoholic drinks are consumed in such high amounts, there are many breweries in Venezuela. Margarita Island also shares a significant amount of breweries in Margarita Island. These breweries are must-visit places as you will learn a lot about local culture and traditions.

  • El Zarpazo del Oso
  • The Kingdom of Musipan
  • Green Martini Lounge Margarita


Activities

The museums and art exhibitions are always there for you to explore, making you appreciate art. Even if you are not a lover of artwork, something in you will be compelled when you see them. The city is best known for its art and culture in tourism, and it has many places to explore. However, this is not the case for people who wish to visit the island, as there is always something to do. Foreigners hate getting bored when in a new city, so you would see those seeking locals' recommendations. If there is not much to do in a city, then what is the point of visiting there? It would be best to make friends with the locals to have an epic experience in the city.


Yoga and Retreats

Some people believe that this activity is only for females, but all genders can get involved in it. The yoga process is exciting to learn, especially as it helps to soothe and relax your mind, taking all the stress away. Some people say that it feels like they are in a different world while they are doing yoga. Thus, there is no reason why you should not do the same, also. Many yoga centers in the city are open to both professionals and newbies. However, these places are friendly grounds, and the instructors are also warm. If you are looking forward to making new connections, it is feasible at these places. You may doubt if it is exciting to do yoga, but you will never know, except you try it.


Accommodation

We would not say that accommodation in this city is cheap, neither would we say that it is expensive. The price you would get depends on your accommodation option. It may not be as low as what you would get in some cities, but it is not the most expensive in the world. With this clear, we know that the next question concerns the pricing as people want to know to plan their budget. The city has many options when it comes to accommodation, so foreigners are not stranded. These accommodation options range from hotels to apartments, and much more. You can either make accommodation plans when you are in the city or before you arrive. It would be best to do whatever works best for you.


Green Hotels

Many foreigners fail to realize that they have a role to play in protecting the environment, and it does not matter if it is your place of origin or not. If you are an environmental enthusiast, we know that you would search for green hotels in Margarita Island to ensure that you have an eco-friendly stay in the city. You should play a role in any place you find yourself.

Here are some of the green hotels in the city given below:

  • Lidotel Hotel Boutique Margarita
  • Sunsol Isla Caribe
  • Hotel Hesperia Isla Margarita
  • Venetur Hotel


Hostels and Guest Houses

If you prefer living your life like an adventure, you should opt for staying at hostels and guest houses rather than hotels. These hotels and guest homes enable you to meet and interact with other fellow tourists on the island and learn from them. By stay in a Venezuela hostel or guest house, you will be able to live in an environment filled with energy, social events, and lots of fun. Some of these places also regularly host various social events to learn about the local culture and traditions. Here the famous hostels and guest houses of the city:

  • Posada La Casa de Maria
  • Casa Caribe El Yaque
  • Posada Puerto Delfin


Apartments

If you want a cheap and better option than hotels, hostels, and guest houses, rental apartments are the best choices. You can find many apartment buildings in the city where you can lease a room for the time you are in the city. While choosing an apartment, make sure to inspect it properly before paying any amount to the landlord. Also, prefer apartments closer to the city center or central districts to be at a walking distance from all significant places.


Couchsurfing

There is an online community known as the couchsurfinge, and if you are a part of it, you will be able to come across dozens of CouchSurfing mates and companions. The perk of Couchsurfing is that it is free. As a foreigner, you do not need to pay your host. However, it is your responsibility to be respectful and abide by the laws of the city. It is a new concept but has taken off quite well in the city. The idea surrounding Couchsurfing is that locals of the city offer hospitality by opening their homes to foreigners. It is usually voluntary so that there will be no complaints. Thus, anyone who signs up to accommodate people through Couchsurfing is expected to treat them right as they were not forced to do it.


Camping

Campers describe the experience as exciting, and it lures those who have never been camping before. It helps you meet new people, and you get to do things you have never done before. If you a lover of nature and the outdoors, we know that you would wish to experience camping in whatever form when you are in a new city. The thing with camping is that there are particular areas for it; else, the whole purpose is defeated. Thus, it is right to know about camping sites.


How to Get There

When we travel, the form of transport that we opt for is quite important. When deciding on any form of transport, it is essential to look at the vehicle's carbon emission and how long the journey will take. There may not be many options for many people to choose from depending on where they are starting their journey and any travel restrictions they may have.


Air

Aeropuerto International General en Jefe Santiago Airport is the main airport of the island. The airport serves over 50 million passengers every year and is considered the busiest airport in the country. It offers many international and domestic flights to various major cities. More Venezuela flight options are available worldwide, so it should not be a hassle finding one that operates from your current location.

Santiago Mariño Caribbean International Airport, Venezuela


Bus

The Transports Metropolitans de Margarita Island is the public agency that manages transportation through buses on the island. Buses are the cheapest mode of transport, and a lot of them offer excellent tours of the city and are pocket-friendly. Many private tour buses provide a great trip to the city's best sites and provide a local, knowledgeable guide.

A local bus in Margarita Island, Venezuela


Train

As the train tickets tend to get booked very fast, you need to be very early to book a seat for yourself successfully. You will be able to get the train from this city from the neighboring countries very easily. International trains are very widely available in this city but book the tickets online to not end up on the waiting list. If you are traveling from different cities in Venezuela, then you will be able to get the trains to the city very easily at a reasonable price.


Hitchhiking

While the locals are quite friendly and hospitable and hitchhiking is a common practice in many parts of the world, in Margarita Island, it is not a common occurrence to encounter hitchhikers. Hitchhiking is very much in vogue in the city, but you have to be careful when choosing the right person. Most drivers are naturally wary of picking up strangers, fearing carrying robbers and carjackers. While there are exceptional cases of drivers who would be okay with offering one a lift, most of them would not, especially when driving at night.


Others

Other than these standard modes of transportation, different ways include boats, cruise ships, taxis, and rented cars. These are not the most convenient modes, as they are not affordable and harmful to the environment. Even if you are not on a tight budget, you should avoid these modes of transportations as they result in a lot of wastage of natural resources. Also, these transportations are often overcharged and do not provide much exposure to the local culture.


Moving Around

These modes of transportations are efficient in helping you move around the city and discover the city's hidden gems. If you wish to travel, then the best option at your disposal is public transports such as subway trains, available buses, and electronic vehicles. Walking is an alternative mode of moving around but is the healthiest and cheapest mode.


Walk

Despite numerous attempts to decongest the city, including increasing the parking cost in town and banning public service vehicles from accessing certain parts of the town center, the streets have continued congested. Away from the city and into the residential suburbs boasts of many trees along many avenues that provide shade and fresh air as you stroll along. Walking is the most eco-friendly means of transport but also because of the traffic jam. As the city has rapidly grown, Margarita Island has become known for its unending traffic jams.


Bicycle

There are many rental services online and offline that will give you a bicycle on rent for limited days. You might face some problems because of the popularity while renting them out as they often get out-of-stock. The lanes and roads are very well maintained by the city officials, helping the riders ride safely and comfortably in the city. If you want to take care of your health and prevent pollution on your tour, then a bicycle is the best travel option. You might need to book them in advance to avoid any trouble.


Electronic Vehicles

The government recently introduces electronic vehicles such as electric cars, motorcycles, and bicycles to lower carbon emissions. The government has also given various subsidies regarding parking fees, charging costs, and vehicle purchases to make more people use them. These vehicles are more eco-friendly, and you can even hire one for some time to maintain your budget and get the best experience while exploring the city.


Public Bus

Using a public bus is the most standard means of moving around in the city, and the advantage is that it is cheaper than other forms or means of transportation you would find. The trolleybuses are more environmentally friendly than regular buses, so you should use them if you want to be eco-friendly. These buses are a standard mode of transportation for the locals and are entirely safe for tourists.


Tram, Train and Subway

Trains are the best way of moving around the city as they have an efficient and widespread network that covers almost every area or district. The metro system has about nine suburban routes and nine underground routes. It is the most reliable and affordable mode of transport and is used by almost every resident. You can buy the ticket online using the metro system's mobile application.


Sustainable Shopping

Eco-friendly sustainable stores that promote zero-waste are increasing rapidly in the city, and many locals are tying hearse products. It may be their Imperial Porcelain in Margarita Island, and you can take it back home as a memorial of your stay in the city. It helps to give you the best experience and witness the culture up close. Sustainable shopping is a means of patronizing and buying the local craft of the people.


Food Markets

Some of the food markets also have some food stalls filled with delicious local foods. Roaming the food markets is always good, as you will be able to get close to the locals and learn about different cooking and eating ingredients. These markets are better options as they are relatively cheaper and better sources than the frozen and preserved food in the supermarkets and departmental stores.


Flea Markets

Flea markets are the best places for people that are low on cash and can’t afford branded products. These markets are the places where local people sell second-hand items at reasonable rates. You can find a wide variety of products like utensils, paintings, furniture, books, clothing items, equipment, etc. Such markets are the best places to get deep insights into the local people's culture and livelihood.


Second Hand Stores

These stores are the best places to visit if you want to buy cheap but quality products. You will find a wide variety of products, from the necessary utensils to furniture items. These stores are usually preferred by low-income families and are the best places for low-budgeted tourists. You can find many antiques in these stores that can be the perfect souvenirs from your trip.


Eco-Fashion

The eco-friendly way of fashion is to buy products that won’t harm the environment at any cost. It is also a responsibility for you to protect the environment and not pollute it in any way. Many businesses indulge in the use of sustainable and recyclable materials to make clothes. These are very affordable clothes because of the recyclable aspect. Eco-fashion clothes help in minimizing the impact on the environment and health of society. Organic cotton, recyclable fabrics, plant-based dyes are used to make eco-fashion clothes.


Recycling

Various laws are there for proper recycling and waste disposal that everyone has to follow to preserve its beauty. Many recycling centers in the city provide adequate recycling for used items without harming the environment. In Margarita Island, recyclable items are called materials and not waste as they can be re-used in the future. The recycling laws in the city help in making the city healthier and hygienic.


Waste

Almost all waste that is generated is dumped in a major landfill. The government has also provided multiple incentives to people following various recycling waste measures and saving natural resources. The local government and many organizations advocate against littering as they strive to keep the city clean always and avoid health issues. It may be that strict laws need to be put in place for them to comply, but we urge all foreigners to ensure that they effectively manage their waste by disposing them only at designated areas.


Work and Study Abroad

The city attracts thousands of students from other neighboring countries, especially those who wish to receive the local education style. Legally, no foreigner can start a job in the country without a work permit. Which authority you have to turn to to get your work permit depends on the type of permit. If you plan on taking up employment, then the matter of work permits typically needs to be taken care of even before you apply for a resident visa. While most expatriates have to contact the Ministry of Labour, those who want to start working in one of the country's many science parks will have to apply with the respective park administration.


Exchange Student

Many universities in Venezuela and the city partner with schools in other countries to exchange programs. Thus, you should check if your school partners with anyone in the city if you desire to visit the city. The universities offer short term programs and long term scholarships as well. There are many exchange student opportunities that are there in the city for students to choose from.


Au Pair

You will find that Au pairing is trendy in many countries, and many low-income families use the help of foreign individuals in meeting their basic needs like education, household management, and financial assistance. An Au Pair can be a couple or just an individual who is part of the Au Pairing program, a worldwide program to help people become the best version of themselves. If you want to help out any family, all you need to do is get yourself registered on the au pairing website and wait to get approved. By doing so, you will be able to help someone build a better life.


Volunteering

You can volunteer in many areas while in the city to research and choose a focus. Obviously, in a city of this size, there are plenty of issues to tackle. You can do your bit for society by volunteering for various endeavors, especially by NGOs and service groups. The city has some different organizations that work for a wide variety of causes. You can also contribute to society by doing your bit and volunteering for any of the programs being undertaken by some organizations or even arms of the government.


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