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What You Need To Know

Margarita Island  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.

 

Population: Estimate 494,104
Area: 1,020 km²

Currency

Crime

Since 2010, there have been numerous instances of tourist murders. On 27 August 2010 an Italian tourist, Emiliano Astore, was murdered on his boat anchored off Margarita Island in an apparent robbery. Two police officers and a civilian were arrested. A third officer was implicated in the “exploitation of objects” from the crime. On 18 July 2011, 28-year-old Briton Tom Ossel was killed resisting seven armed robbers who had tricked their way into the backpackers hotel before they took the guests hostage and raiding rooms for valuables. On 29 March 2011, French tourist Yves Le Bras was murdered in a robbery at the Laguna Mar hotel while he and his wife dined at the Guacuco restaurant. In March 2011, Belgian tourist Bonne Philippe was murdered while eating in a fast food outlet in Playa El Agua, Margarita. On 20 January 2012, about 30 or 35 Brazilian tourists were robbed in their hotel in Antolin del Campo, Margarita, by a gang of between 13 and 15 armed robbers. On 3 September 2013, a Dutch sailor was killed on his yacht while resisting armed robbers attempting to board his boat. Starting in October 2011, the Government installed equipment that requires everyone visiting Margarita Island to electronically register their fingerprints and a picture when entering Margarita Island. The US Government has not issued any warnings of violent crime on Margarita Island, but there is a general warning for all of Venezuela. The UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office warns that street crime in mainland Venezuela is high, and that armed muggings and ‘express kidnappings’ – opportunistic abductions to extort money from someone – are regular occurrences. Since 1998, there have been about ten pirate attacks on or near Margarita Island. Venezuela is now listed as a dangerous region for pirate attacks and in many regions, including between Margarita and Sucre, sailors should not anchor and yachts should sail in company.

 

Language

Margarita Island (Isla de Margarita, Spanishpronunciation: [marɣaˈɾita]) is the largest island in theVenezuelan state of Nueva Esparta, situated off the northeastern coast of the country, in the CaribbeanSea. The capital city of Nueva Esparta, La Asunción, is located on the island.

 

Religion

The predominant religion is Roman Catholicism. Other Christian denominations are also present. Of the churches that present in the Neospartan entity, among the most important are: Basílica de la Virgen del Valle (in the Valley of the Espíritu Santo), Cathedral of La Asunción, Iglesia San Juan Evangelista (Juangriego), Iglesia parroquial de San Juan (San Juan Bautista), Iglesia de San Nicolás de Bari (Porlamar), of the San José de Paraguachi and other churches and chapels minor located in populations of Santa Ana, Punta de Piedras, Porlamar, Pampatar and virtually all the towns of the island. There are also small populations of Jews and Muslims. Evangelical Christian churches have had a significant growth in recent years demonstrating their presence and impact in the population of the island. One of the fastest-growing is the Centro Cristiano Casa de Alabanza (CCCA), present in Porlamar, Juan Griego, La Asunción and Tubores Municipality. The patron saint of eastern Venezuela is the Virgen del Valle and in the population El Valle del Espíritu Santo is the Basílica Menor de Nuestra Señora del Valle, which approaching Margarita, Coche and Cubagua Islanders visit to honor her on her feast day.

 

Tourism

Margarita Hilton at Puerto Cruz beach 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.

Weather

The average temperature is 27 ° C with minimum ranging between 22 ° and 23 ° C and maximum that can easily exceed 34 ° C. Rainfall is common in the winter months or rainy season that begins around July-October (although the rain is usually quite rare). Being located in the Caribbean Sea near the Earth’s equator, solar rays fall perpendicularly on the island and therefore it is advisable to always use some sort of sunscreen when visiting its beaches.