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Isla Margarita

Posted By: f095

Isla Margarita - 07/27/04 02:58 PM

I am a died in the wool fan of San Pedro and will be returning as often as I can. I was thinking of visiting Isla Margarita off the coast of Venezula. You are all world travelers - do any of you have any advice about this island?
Posted By: klcman

Re: Isla Margarita - 07/28/04 12:08 AM

Not worth the long haul to get there, IMHO. Have not been since '92 and probably won't be back until 2092 laugh

Most interesting aspect is the fact that it is virtually 2 islands in one, connected by a short spiot of land - one, the populated side, typical forested mountainous Carib isle; the other, think SW US desert. Did have some awesome body surfing experiences on desert side though. Damned near broke my back being tosssed by a rogue wave.

Beaches are covered by hucksters that you CANNOT escape from. Weekends are overfilled by people coming out from Caracas. Good surfing on NE side if island. Many beaches too rough and huge undertows to consider getting the footies wet.

Many, many all-inclusives, concrete walls, security guards (for good reason, btw)..they don't want ya to explore the island and truly experience the culture.

If ya need to check that island off your all-time list, then I guess, go for it. Otherwise, go back to AC or find another venue...it's a bigggggg world with way too many good things to waste away time & $$
Posted By: seashell

Re: Isla Margarita - 07/28/04 12:27 AM

klc, have you been to San Andres?
Posted By: klcman

Re: Isla Margarita - 07/28/04 05:10 AM

nope, not yet
Posted By: f095

Re: Isla Margarita - 07/28/04 01:17 PM

Thanks klcman - I just wiped that adventure from my list - other than AC, where would you recommend? We do not like resorty areas but do like good beaches and fishing. Seashell, is San Andres a good place to go?
Posted By: seashell

Re: Isla Margarita - 07/28/04 01:51 PM

I'm still in the fact gathering stages of my research. Near as I can tell though, it's a pretty good place to go. I was hoping someone around here would have been there and would have info to add to my already growing pile of info.

To that I should add, that I don't do any research on any place with regard to fishing.
Posted By: KWIBMF

Re: Isla Margarita - 07/28/04 04:06 PM

agree with klc, you'll wish you had gone somewhere else. Especially if your itinerary requires you to spend any amount of time in Caracas.
Posted By: Gela

Re: Isla Margarita - 07/28/04 04:14 PM

f095, if you are going to travel that far - I would recommend either Aruba or Bonaire.
Posted By: f095

Re: Isla Margarita - 07/28/04 08:12 PM

Thanks seashell and gela. I was looking into cabo san lucas but finally ruled that out. I will check into Aruba. My sister has been to Bonaire so I feel like I have also.
Flora
Posted By: fuzzy_navel

Re: Isla Margarita - 07/28/04 10:50 PM

f095 - Aruba is one of my favorite places to visit. I liked it so much I've taken friends and family back with me so they could experience it as well. I did find certain areas of Aruba rather 'resorty' (I noticed you mentioned that in your post above). That being said, they did have some absolutely wonderful beaches. I don't do any fishing so I can't speak on how that is in Aruba. There seems to be two types of people, those who love Aruba and those who hate it. Most people don't feel it's tropical enough for them and are disappointed. It does have a very interesting landscape. Certain parts are desert-like with barren fields, dust, and cacti. I think the contrast of the amazingly blue sea against the desert brown landscape is absolutely beautiful. I'd be happy to answer any questions about Aruba and/or send you some photos, just click on my profile for my email address. ~Jenn
Posted By: klcman

Re: Isla Margarita - 07/28/04 11:13 PM

Only reason(s) to go to Cabo
1)fish
1a)drink
2)golf (bring lots of $$$)
2a)drink
3)drink
3a)drink
Posted By: Ernie B

Re: Isla Margarita - 07/28/04 11:25 PM

$500 US for a round of golf (2)
Posted By: klcman

Re: Isla Margarita - 07/29/04 12:56 AM

and a mandatory timeshare presentation wink
Posted By: f095

Re: Isla Margarita - 07/29/04 01:14 PM

I ruled out Cabo for all those reasons except for drinking and fishing!!! Way too many $$$$$$
Posted By: Gela

Re: Isla Margarita - 07/29/04 04:25 PM

f095 Cabo is great for a long weekend of fun. US dollars welcome, only photo ID and Birth Certificate for entry etc. But you are hounded with people trying to sell you a timeshare - everywhere you go. I know, my first visit I was pressured so hard that I bought one (back in 1997). Now I just swap the timeshare for other destinations laugh

Aruba's beaches are fantastic - the water is such a beautiful shade of aqua and the swimming can't be beat. There are sunken ships to snorkel and dive around as I recall. I would return there more often but I live on the west coast and the trip is a bit far - much easier to visit Belize!

Good luck in your search for paradise - isn't it fun researching? laugh
Posted By: f095

Re: Isla Margarita - 07/29/04 05:18 PM

Gela,
It sure is fun researching. I am also now looking at Manzanillo, Mexico along with Aruba.
It looks beautiful. Have you been there?
Posted By: USNA73

Re: Isla Margarita - 07/29/04 05:28 PM

Have you thought about the British Virgin Islands? Tortola is wonderful.
Posted By: Gela

Re: Isla Margarita - 07/29/04 05:54 PM

f095 - Manzanillo area is another great place too. I went to several beaches there back in 1996. Warm water, great swimming and I did a bit of kayaking too.

Friends of mine sailed around Tortola recently and I need to contact them to see how they like it. If they did, I may be sailing with them next year!
Posted By: f095

Re: Isla Margarita - 07/29/04 06:50 PM

Gela,
If you contact them, please give me a report. I am planning for next year already.
Flora
Posted By: denverdan

Re: Isla Margarita - 07/29/04 07:05 PM

Look into The Grenadine Islands too!
Anyone have info on the Cook Islands?
Posted By: f095

Re: Isla Margarita - 07/29/04 07:33 PM

I have heard that Cook Islands are the closest thing to paradise that exists. I have played around on their websites and was fascinated. Thanks I will try the Grenadine Islands also.
Posted By: seashell

Re: Isla Margarita - 07/29/04 08:46 PM

f095, when checking out the websites for Cook Islands, make sure not to open a website about stories that has XXX in the front of the URL. wink

The Cook Islands are beautiful, and I had a great time but the search for paradise continues.
Posted By: USNA73

Re: Isla Margarita - 07/30/04 01:03 PM

Flora, We've been to Tortola twice. First for our honeymoon, and again with three other couples. We would do it again. Peter
Posted By: Gela

Re: Isla Margarita - 07/30/04 04:41 PM

f095 - I'll keep you posted on Tortola. I love bareboat sailing where we sail a 42 foot sloop ourselves around the islands - anchoring where we want to, snorkeling, catching fish, and then sometimes heading for shore for nightlife and a fine dinner somewhere.

As for the Cook Islands - I have not been there but I have been to Tahiti and Fiji and I have to say that Tahiti is the most beautiful tropical place I have seen so far in my travels.
Posted By: lmarquis

Re: Isla Margarita - 07/30/04 07:20 PM

I have to agree with Gela. Although it has been over 20 years since I was in Tahiti, Moorea and Bora Bora, it is absolutely a stunning tropical paradise. However, did not really care for the people that much.

I have heard great things about the Cook Islands from several people who have been there. I am going to do some research on it myself. Maybe that is where I will go next!
Posted By: Gela

Re: Isla Margarita - 07/30/04 07:26 PM

Laurie - I was on Moorea in 1982 and Fiji in 1984 - when were you there? Perhaps we passed eachother smile
Posted By: fuzzy_navel

Re: Isla Margarita - 07/30/04 07:27 PM

Gela and lmarquis, Tahiti is my dream. Hopefully one day I will be able to make it over that way. Airfare from Atlanta is out of this world! I'll also have to do some research on the Cook Islands. Sounds like a nice place. I haven't even made it to Belize yet and I'm already planning other trips. Can you tell I love my vacations? laugh ~Jenn
Posted By: denverdan

Re: Isla Margarita - 07/30/04 08:21 PM

If you visit konaweb.com and go to the "living on the big Island" message board, pretty far down on the board, some folks have written about Fiji, Tahiti, and the Cook Islands. Some folks have e-mailed me with info as well so if anyone wants that stuff let me know.
We are trying to decide bewteen AC, Fiji and the Cook Islands for a short vaca over New Years.
Posted By: Gela

Re: Isla Margarita - 07/30/04 09:48 PM

Hope - you can probably catch a flight to Tahiti direct non-stop from Honolulu so that's where you should play for New Years. laugh
Posted By: LaurieMar

Re: Isla Margarita - 07/31/04 12:11 AM

Gela: I was in Papeete, Bora Bora and on Moorea in June, 1982! Stayed at Club Med with a friend. If I recall, it only cost about $700 for the non-stop flight from L.A. and a week at the village in Moorea. Now, I hear the prices are outrageously expensive there.

Wasn't a big fan of the food or some of the French people, but the scenery was awesome and the natives were okay. Quick funny story: we rented mopeds for a day and drove around Moorea. Stopped at every hotel bar for a drink. By the last resort, Captain Cook's, we were feeling pretty darn good. It rained hard for about 1/2 hour, became a little muddy and slippery. As I was pulling up to the resort on my moped, trying to park it, I accidentally hit the forward throttle and plowed into a beautiful banana tree at the entrance, toppling it over. Everybody in the bar saw and laughed their heads off. The manager ran out and was quite distressed. There I was - muddy and soaked, but decided I needed another drink, so headed into the bar and did just that! What a hoot that was. . .

Hope, I am interested in info on Cook Islands. I hear Raratonga is really nice down there. You guys are going to be around in October/first week of November, right? Would love to meet up for lunch with you again and want to check out Kihei area for a day tripper.
Posted By: seashell

Re: Isla Margarita - 07/31/04 12:27 AM

Rarotonga is really nice. Quite beautiful. Muri Beach is the best area. There's all different kinds of acco. I can recommend a place and warn you off of another, if you'd like.

The snorkelling is incredible.

The nightlife isn't what we are used to in San Pedro, but it can be found. Once found, it's more difficult to get to and from than in San Pedro, as well. I didn't find the food all that, though there were two restaurants that we did particularly enjoy, unfortunately, the prices were a bit outrageous.

During the day, it is quite easy to get around by bus. The main road circles the island and you can catch the bus going either way. It's a great way to tour the island too.
Posted By: Diane Campbell

Re: Isla Margarita - 08/06/04 02:21 PM

I've been to Isla Margarita a few times - in fact I returned from Margarita a couple of days ago.
The geography is absolutely stunning, and the beaches are generally picture perfect.
The dollar goes really far - I stayed in a lovely posada with AC, kitchen, pool & jacuzzi ......... for $20 a day.
On the down side ......... trash along roadsides and some street crime.
If you want a wacky fabulous trip to this area I suggest that you go to Margarita, rent a car and drive out to the Macanao section of Margarita island(western part of the island) - it looks like Arizona with mountains and red earth (really beautiful) - but the mountains plunge down to warm Caribbean seas, framing crecent beaches (most of which will be totally empty). There is a spa out there that is very clean, simple and a bit on the wacky artistic side - it's miles from anywhere and has what just might be the and massage treatment pavillion on the hillside overlooking the sea ......very rustic accommodations, but generally adorable and probably having 5 rooms max. Cost per person per day for room (double occ), three meals, massage and mud bath - 120,000 Bolivares (which on the black market is $45 USD. I can't find the brochure on it just now to give you the e-mail address, but I believe they have a website so you can probably search it out.
My favorite fishing-village beach is Manzanillo, with Zaragosa (Pedro Gonzalez beach) and Playa de Caribe following. Playa del Agua is popular and to my mind the best place to stay in that area is Costa Linda (lovely upscale single story compound with excellent food, pool, snuggly nooks and nice rooms. <www.hotelcostalinda.com>
The island of Los Roques is reputed to be sandy streets, few people and great snorkeling (sounds like San Pedro)....... people rave about it.
If you go to Margarita, rent a car so you can explore. You don't need to reserve one - there is a rental-car place with about 12 agencies competing for your business, located just outside the Porlamar (margarita) airport.
Give them your credit card for a guarantee, but pay in cash (Bolivares) as you will have negotiated a huge benefit in the exchange rate that away. Last week the official rate was 1,900 Bs to 1 US; but you could get 2,500 Bs for a dollar from just about anybody wandering around the Caracas airport.
Fly to Caracas, then walk about 1/4 (don't take the bus or taxi) to the National terminal where you pick up Aeropostal to Margarita.
When you go to Los Roques you will take a boat from Margarita.
Oh by the way - gasoline costs almost nothing - I filled up the tank of a mid-sized rental car for one dollar US.
Other suggestions of interest - I have friends who were recently raving about an out of the way place called Little Corn Island off the coast of Nicaragua. population 700, two places to stay, lots of diving and snorkeling.
All that being said - I like Belize better. But when you live here, you need a break from perfection and a change of scene too. So..... when I go away I like Margarita for that - it's beautiful, gritty, exciting and a good chance to learn spanish.
Posted By: Diane Campbell

Re: Isla Margarita - 08/06/04 02:26 PM

An oops - somehow a part of my post is missing - the spa in Macanao......insert this - "has what may be one of the most beautiful beaches on earth"...........
Posted By: Gela

Re: Isla Margarita - 08/06/04 04:18 PM

OK Laurie - I was at Club Med Moorea in 1982 and was there just after you in July - for Bastille Day celebrations. Which were very interesting - the parade consisted of beautiful Polynesian Women dressed in their native garb - and were topless eek Sounds like you had a more colorful time than I did - all I did was take a day trip on horseback up into the Pineapple Hills. I couldn't walk for three days after that! My butt hurts just thinking about it.

Roratonga is high on my list now. With perhaps a stop off in Tahiti or New Zealand. Next year. Wanna come?

So now, I have just 6 days to figure out what little to pack for AC - I'm very ready for the adventure!
Posted By: f095

Re: Isla Margarita - 08/06/04 06:07 PM

Thanks Diane, that is great information!!
Flora
Posted By: denverdan

Re: Isla Margarita - 08/08/04 10:55 AM

WOW Diane, that was good info, thanks a bunch!

Laurie, I'm available anytime your on Island! I'll call 007 and see if he's available too iffin ya want. wink I never did get that picture of you two from you.

Gela, if Ms. Vicki doesn't call me soon we will be heading that way! It is much closer don't ya know... hehe
but I'd much rather be on AC!!! wink
Posted By: kailani

Re: Isla Margarita - 08/24/04 04:48 AM

I took my family to Margarita by boat on an extended sailing trip. We were there for six weeks and enjoyed it a lot.

We took a trip to Angel Falls by plane and spent a day in the beautiful park deep in the heart of the Venezuelan jungle. It is well worth the time and money.

Los Roques is great for bird watching, fishing and diving and general water/beach activities.

There are several other small islands in the area that you can reach by boat in a day trip that have great beaches, diving, snorkling and other fun activities.

Margarita is a vacation destination for many Venezuelans, and therefore has a lot to offer in recreational activities.

There is a samll, deserted (except for five or six Venezuelan Coast Guardsmen) called Blanquilla that is awesome for diving, and just hanging out. We spent several days there and really enjoyed it. The water was warm, blue and clear with abundant fish and other water critters.

I would go back.
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