How to get there - Services - Information
Isla Margarita is a nice holiday resort all year round, since the small archipelago is not affected by tropical storms and rainfalls. There is even drought in some parts of the island.
As the island lies close to the equator and the tropics, it has basically two seasons, a wet and a dry one. The dry season goes from October to mid-April, when the temperatures are lower and the climate, especially at night, can be quite cool. The wet season goes from mid-April to the end of September. Even though extensive rainfall occurs during this period it can be a good choice for travelling. Although the rains are heavy, they are short and bring about a sudden transformation of the plant life, which flourishes with luxuriance. Moreover, Margarita is not as crowded then, as it is in the dry season. For Venezuelans the most beautiful time is their holiday, and they like to enjoy it on their favourite island. This means that at Christmas and Easter the hotels are fully booked and the beaches are crowded. The average daily maximum temperature is 27 degrees C in January and 25 degrees C in September. Sea water temperatures range from 23 to 27 degrees C all year round.
Clothing and Equipment
What you pack in your suitcase depends on the destination, intention and the season. For Margarita light summer clothes and cotton sweaters are just right. 3-star-plus hotels usually offer an efficient laundry service, which helps to keep your suitcase light. Restaurants, hotels and shopping malls usually have the air-conditioning switched on high. You should take precautions if you’re sensitive to sudden changes in temperature.
For stays of less than 60 days a visa is not required. On arrival, airlines and travel agencies provide the so-called tarjeta de turismo (tourist card) to complete and sign. A copy of this card must be kept together with the passport by the visitor during the entire length of stay and is returned upon departure. In the event of loss, please turn to your travel agent, the embassy or consulate, or to the DIEX (Department for Foreigners of Ministry of Interior). The DIEX is authorized to issue an extension, if you present a return ticket. We advise you to make photocopies of passport and entry permit, because you are obliged to have both documents with you and present them when asked to do so. Leave the copies at the hotel (separate from the original documents). Taxes on leaving the country currently come to € 16.
How to get there by air
Some charter airlines fly to Santiago Marino international airport on Isla de Margarita from various European airports several times a week. However, if you wish to alter your booking, terms and conditions may be very restrictive. In most cases charter packages include accommodation and/or one further service such as a rental car. Prices may vary considerably according to season. Those who want to make use of a (usually more expensive) scheduled flight which allows you to alter your booking as well as to book at short notice, should fly to Maiquetia, Caracas’ airport. Since the island is very popular with Venezuelans, there is a dense network of national flights. There are numerous possibilities to access the island from various places of the main land. There are at least 15 flights from Maiquetia daily; further you can fly to the island from Arekuna, Barcelona,Canaima, Carupano, Cumana, Güiria, Los Roques, Maracaibo, Maracay, Maturfn, Merida, Puerto Ordaz, San Tome, Tucupita, Valencia and Puerto Ayacucho. For the Christmas, Easter and Carnival seasons you will need to book well ahead of time. For national flights you should remember the Localizador booking code, which is a number and letter combination. Use it to confirm your flight and do this in time, otherwise your booking may be cancelled. For Puerto Ayacucho this is even obligatory. It is best to confirm your flight right on arrival. Charter tourists whose destination is Isla de Margarita are usually taken to their hotel by shuttle service organized by their travel agent. Airport shuttles (Shuttle de Margarita, Linea Aeropuerto) are scheduled regularly for Bs 3,000, leaving right outside the airport building to Porlamar and stopping at several stops and at the Plaza Bolivar. A taxi ride from the airport to Porlamar costs Bs 8,000, to Playa El Agua Bs 15,000 and to other farther beaches (e.g. Playa Caribe) Bs 18,000. There are several money exchange services both in the national and international airport buildings. Please note that the prices quoted are only approximate and vary according to inflation rates.
How to get there by ship
There are various possibilities to travel to Punta de Piedras on Isla de Margarita by ship. Conferry runs from Puerto La Cruz and Cumana to Isla de Margarita. La Guaira is the closest port to Caracas. Naviarca runs between Cumana and Margarita Island.
There are several public as well as private hospitals and ambulance services. In the event of serious illness which has to be treated in hospital we recommend the private hospitals. You are required to cover the costs yourself, which will then be refunded by your health insurance company. Please contact the reception of your hotel for English-speaking doctors.
The time difference between GMT and Venezuelan local time is five hours in summer and four hours in winter.
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