Isla Margarita, also known as Margarita Island, is a part of the Venezuelan state of Nueva Esparta. Isla Margarita Island is located in the Caribbean Sea, and technically includes the islands of Coche and Cubagua in addition to the main island. Isla Margarita is found to the northeast of the Venezuelan mainland, and is nicknamed the “Pearl of the Caribbean.” Isla Margarita covers a total area of nearly four hundred square miles, and includes a population of roughly four hundred and forty thousand residents. Margarita Island was first discovered by Europeans towards the end of the fifteenth century, when Christopher Columbus landed on the island in the year fourteen ninety eight. Margarita Island was originally inhabited by a Native American tribe called the Guaiqueries, who were subsequently subjugated by invading Spaniards. Margarita Island was an important source of pearls for the Spanish Empire, and was subsequently targeted by a series of pirate attacks. Isla Margarita was controlled by the Spanish until the islanders and the rest of Venezuela rebelled against Spanish control in the early nineteenth century. Venezuela continues to control Isla Margarita, which is a part of the state of Nueva Esparta.
Like most islands in the Caribbean Sea, Isla Margarita has great weather throughout the year, with temperatures generally measuring in between sixty five and eighty five degrees Fahrenheit. Margarita Island has an unusual physical shape, with two large peninsulas connected by a narrow, eleven mile long isthmus. The island sees a sparse amount of rain, and sees more than three hundred days of sunshine in any given year. Most of Isla Margarita’s human residents reside in the eastern portion of the island, and are specifically concentrated in the cities of Porlamar and Pampatar. Isla Margarita’s largest city is Porlamar, which has a population of roughly one hundred and twenty five thousand residents. Porlamar is the commercial and economic center of Isla Margarita, which has most of the island’s boutiques, shopping centers, and restaurants. Porlamar is also home to two municipal beaches, which offer beautiful scenery and white sand. The second largest population center on Isla Margarita is Pampatar, with about fifty thousand residents and the best known malls on the island. Other notable cities include the regional capital of La Asuncion and the tourist hot spot of Juan Griego.
An increasing portion of Margarita Island’s economy is based on tourism, which capitalizes both on the island’s location and the pro business policies of the territory. Isla Margarita is home to a variety of different resorts and hotels, ranging from affordable accommodations to luxury properties. Isla Margarita is accessible by both land and sea, including Santiago Marino International Airport. The island boasts duty free shopping on a number of items, making Isla Margarita especially popular among Venezuelan tourists. There are several dozen beautiful beaches on Isla Margarita, which are great destinations for swimming and sunbathing as well as windsurfing and snorkeling. The offshore waters of Isla Margarita are also frequented by visitors and residents looking for fishing and diving spots. These recreational activities are complemented by the gorgeous, Caribbean scenery of Margarita Island.