Excursion tips and things worth seeing

La Restinga

The lagoon La Restinga is a nature reserve of 1870 hectare and connects the East of Isla Margarita with the peninsula Macanao by a dike of 23 km length heading up to La Guardia. In the southern part a 800 m canal connects the lagoon with the sea.la restinga kleinThe lagoon comprises 26 m² and consists of mangrove forests and canals. The roots of the mangroves grow towards the light and vault the canals like a tunnel. Many animals live here, pelicans, flamingos, herons, ibises and cormorants. The marina’s name is Cano El Indio and from there start canal tours with names such as “Canal of lovers” or “Garden of love”. The boats stop at Playa Restinga which is with 23 km the longest beach of the whole Caribbean. The sand consists of finely ground shell limestone.

Macanao

macanaoThe peninsula Macanao is the western part of Isla Margarita. It is hardly populated and looks scanty with undergrowth and huge cactuses. You reach Macanao by the bridge of Boca del Rio the biggest location with approx. 7000 inhabitants. There you find also the Museo del Mar. The second biggest place is San Francisco in the interior of the peninsula. You can start your climbing tour onto the mountains “Cerro Macanao” and “Cerro Los Cedros” from here. The coastal street is well developed and asphaltic and you can reach some beaches (Playa Las Barrancas, Playa Punta Arenas) and some fishing villages (Boca del Pozo, Robleda) from there.

Maritime museum

Margarita consists of two islands which are connected through a narrow sandbank. We cross the only connecting bridge and shortly after arrive at Museo Marino. From a distance we see the skeleton of a huge whale which was found only few years ago on the neighbor island Cubagua where the massive marine mammals stranded.

meeresmuseumThe variety of the marine fauna and flora is presented very clearly in the sea museum. There is even a non-stop cinema on the first floor. In the air-conditioned cinema we enjoy the submarine world of the Caribbean sea along with its calming sound. Who would have thought that we find such modern museum in between countless cacti and dunes!

The pilgrimage church of the holy virgin of the valley

The pilgrimage church is in the center of EL Valle, on the western side of Plaza Marino. The church’s floor plan is a cross, has two thin towers and a neo-gothic façade. A picture of the Blessed Virgin Maria is upon the main altar in a niche. In every September the yearly pilgrimage in honor of the Virgen del Valle (Virgin of Valley) takes place.

Porlamar Lighthouse

The lighthouse is close to the shopping streets. It was built in 1896 and in use anymore. The octagonal tower is 80 m high reducing its diameter top down.

Plaza Bolivar in Porlamar

The Plaza Bolivar is located in the historic district of Porlamar and favorite meeting point. It’s a park-like field with shady benches to relax. Next to the Plaza there is Iglesia San Nicolas. In this church you find a copy of the black Madonna of Montserrat (Spain).

Museum for contemporary art

This museum for contemporary art in Porlamar was opened in 1979. It offers temporary exhibitions although the art of the local artist Francisco Narváez are permanently displayed. Admission is free. Opening hours are Mo-Fri, 9.30 am -4.30 pm, on weekends 10am – 4pm.

porlamar kirche mittelIglesia de San Nicolas de Bari

This church is on Plaza Bolivar in Porlamar. She was finished in 1961 and inhabits a copy of the famous black Madonna of Montserrat. More over there is a marble plate with the reproduction of the text of the charter of Porlamar.

Castillo de San Carlos Barromeo

San Carlos de Borromeo is a colonial fortress from the 17th century in Pampatar, close to the port. This was and is the most important and biggest fortress of Margarita. It was built in the 17th century as a defense of the port. From the castle you have a view over the city. Inside you can visit a colonial historic museum.

Iglesia Cristo del Buen Viaje

This church is in opposite to Castillo de San Carlos de Borromeo. It was built in 1758 and has outside stairs to the bell cage which is on Margarita a specialty. Inside there is a statue of Christ which is revered by the fishers.

la_asuncionPlaza Bolivar in la Asunción

Plaza Bolivar is located in the center of the city. This place is covered with shady trees under which you find benches to rest. On the Plaza you see a statue of Simon Bolivar and two bells dedicated to the memory of the campaigns. The bigger one dates back to 1661, the smaller to 1851. There are some things worth-seeing such as Iglesia Nuestra Señora de la Asunción, Museo de Nueva Cádiz and Casa de la Cultura. From here starts the pedestrian zone with nice shops and colonial buildings.

Museum Nueva Cádiz

The Museo de Nueva Cádiz is at the northern end of Plaza Bolivar. It is the former seat of the colonial administration and hosts today a small museum with versatile exhibits. It shows a design of the island, modern pictures and items from colonial times. There are also religious figures and art as well as a little exhibition on diving. Opening hours are Mon to Fri 10 am to 5 pm, on Saturday 9 am to 5 pm. Admission is free.

castillo santa rosaCastillo Santa Rosa

The Castillo de Santa Rosa was built in the 17th century to protect from pirates. It is located on a hill in south of the city. The ground floor plan is star-shaped, in the inner courtyard there is a shaft with secret passages leading to the most important houses of La Asuncion. The fortress has two massive towers from where you have a very nice view on the surrounding landscape

Iglesia Nuestra Señora de la Asunción

Catedral de La Asunción (12)The long drawn-out Iglesia Catedral de Nuestra Senora de la Asuncion counts to the oldest churches of Venezuela. It was finished in 1616 and the construction time took 46 years. The style is simple, built with has thick walls and very small windows. Furthermore you find a Renaissance Portal and a Moorish wooden ceiling. The organ originates from 1773. Nuestra Señora de la Asunción is the patron saint of this place. Next to the cathedral of Coro on the mainland it is the oldest and still preserved church of Venezuela. Its main portal heads to Parque Luisa Caceres. Southern to it joins Plaza Bolivar.


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