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Anybody been to Margarita Island
Old 06-24-2007, 12:38 PM   #1
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Anybody been to Margarita Island

I read about it. It looks nice and apparently it is very affordable for vacations. The only problem is that out of the US, you would have to have several connections. There do not seem to be an direct flights. I think there are some flights from Canada.


Isla Margarita: Your guide to Margarita Island, Venezuela
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Old 06-24-2007, 12:58 PM   #2
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Looks like a beautiful place. But there are many beautiful place to go to in this world. I would be hesitant about visiting a country that has such hostile intentions toward that USA. When Chavez and his pals have been overthrown, I may consider it at that time.
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Old 07-01-2007, 03:37 AM   #3
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It looks like it is a low cost, hidden jewel in the Caribbean (out-side of the hurricane belt). The only problem that I have found is that there are not direct flights. From the US, one must fly to the continent of South America and catch a flight... there are not that many. When I checked on flights, it was going to take about 12 hours to get there because of the lay over in the airport.
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Old 07-01-2007, 07:31 AM   #4
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we've been, albeit 15 years ago. 5 star hotels on the water. world class shopping and dining close by. cabbies, hotel staff, people extremely nice. but, third world living conditions also close by away from the beaches--quite a contrast. we we're perhaps naive at that time but we were uncomfortable with the military presence...more common today i'm sure. we were also struck by the number of large cement unfinished structures being built. seemed really out of place but rumor had it as drug money...would recommend for beach vacation but not much else going on...caraccas(?) a short trip away but we bailed....

ps; we fried--be careful...
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Old 07-01-2007, 07:52 AM   #5
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I think I've been to Margarita Island a few times, memory is a little fuzzy about the visit though!
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Old 07-01-2007, 08:08 AM   #6
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Decameron All Inclusive Beach Resort Panama hotel

Just went here last year and it was cheap, cheap, cheap. Get your coupon/package in panama city before you go out there and you'll get a better deal. It was absolutely beautiful and I was stuffed and all the drinks are free. Didn't spend a dime accept for airfare and lodging. They will pick you up from the airport. It was wonderfull and I plan on going back as soon as I can. Felt very safe there and there were a lot of expats and tourists vacationing there. Really good time. Rooms are nice but the Villas are better and don't cost any more. Really laid back and the staff caters to your every whim. They also have all that other stuff, scuba, jet ski, boats, tours, pretty much whatever.
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Old 07-01-2007, 11:42 PM   #7
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Was there about 10 years ago. Similar impression to littledoc. Lots of great shopping, good resorts, and better priced than some alternatives. Very popular with Europeans in particular. Did not experience much, if any, military presence. The island is quite a different mindset socially than mainland Venezuela that I have also experienced. Helps to speak Spanish.
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Old 08-20-2007, 03:57 AM   #8
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From what I have read, Margarita Island sounds like a great place to visit. Some expats even live there. (See Escape Artist articles.)

I work with a few Venezuelan expats and refugees. According to some there have been incidents recently where tourists have been extorted by the police on the island. It can also be risky just getting to the island from the airport. The consensus is that it is not safe at this time. Darn.

I have also been very interested in a little town in the mountains, Merida. No reports of trouble once you get there, but getting there safely may be a problem.

Oh, well.
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Old 08-20-2007, 05:08 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Ed_The_Gypsy View Post
From what I have read, Margarita Island sounds like a great place to visit. Some expats even live there. (See Escape Artist articles.)

I work with a few Venezuelan expats and refugees. According to some there have been incidents recently where tourists have been extorted by the police on the island. It can also be risky just getting to the island from the airport. The consensus is that it is not safe at this time. Darn.

I have also been very interested in a little town in the mountains, Merida. No reports of trouble once you get there, but getting there safely may be a problem.

Oh, well.

Ed - any specific details on the extortion and safety incidents?
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Old 08-20-2007, 11:27 PM   #10
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On safety, I gather that there is a bridge between the Caracas airport and the the city that is out. Ground vehicles going around the bridge get waylaid.

I heard from my colleague that a bunch of Dutch tourists were detained by the cops as they arrived on the island and they had to ransom their passports back.

I will report back more as I learn it.
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Old 09-15-2007, 05:17 PM   #11
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I see many are confusing the crime on the mainland with my island. I moved here from Florida last year. I walk the streets of my neighborhood anytime I want. It is not a gated community either. I am in the tourist business and I have not heard of anyone having a passport held hostage nor being extorted by the police. I for one am glad I left GWB behind! If anyone has any questions my email is Richard@gringorent-a-car.com
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Old 09-15-2007, 06:34 PM   #12
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I was thinking about a vacation there, but the flight had 2 stops 1 going through Caracas... was a bit of a long delay. If there is a direct flight from say Miami, we will go.
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Old 09-15-2007, 09:10 PM   #13
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Gringo,

You are on the ground. Tell us more. My information is second-hand.
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Old 09-15-2007, 09:23 PM   #14
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Billy and I visited Isla de Margarita in 1991, the first year we retired. After spending 6 months on the island of Nevis, we hopped a Windjammer sailing vessle down to Grenada, then an airplane to Caracas. From Caracas we flew to Cumana and took a ferry to the island.

We still have fond memories! The food was excellent, international and cheap. The beaches were lovely and vendors would deliver ice cold (mini)Polar Beers right to your beach towel for a pittance (price included the beer!) Bars didn't really get going until 11pm or midnight and advertized things like "Watch the sunrise here!" Dancing and music was awesome.

We scuba'd, snorkeled and hired a private boat tour around the area.

I'm glad to hear that it is still cheap...

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Old 09-16-2007, 02:36 AM   #15
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I was thinking about a vacation there, but the flight had 2 stops 1 going through Caracas... was a bit of a long delay. If there is a direct flight from say Miami, we will go.

Looks like you miss out then as there is no direct flight here from anywhere in the US.
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Old 09-16-2007, 07:35 AM   #16
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Here is a website that has some really useful info about the island.
Margarita Island travel guide offers Excursions, Travel Tips and Articles, Photo Gallery, Beaches, Condo Rentals, Restaurant list and Margarita Forum.

One thing is that gas prices are down here, I am paying less then 5 cents a gallon and that is full service too. We have a large bunch of expats spread out over the island. A Canadian friend of mine went to the dentist because she was in pain. Ended up needing to have an oral surgeon to remove 2 teeth. The total bill for EVERYTHING, including panoramic x-ray, the dentist and surgeon, was less then $40.00.
My 78 year old father recently relocated here as well. He had cataracts removed from both eyes and the permanent contacts done with lazer surgery. For the first time in his life, he has 20/20 vision. He finds the medical care better here then the US.
Food is very reasonable as is beer and liquor. I pay about 4 bucks for a case of beer, 2 bucks for a bottle of either rum or vodka. Good quality beef is about a buck a pound, and it is very tasty. Fresh fish and seafood is in abundance here as well as is fruits and veggies
This is not a place for everyone. It is Latin American and they have a very laid back way about things. I myself find it very relaxing and am glad I made the move.
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Old 09-16-2007, 08:15 AM   #17
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Looks like you miss out then as there is no direct flight here from anywhere in the US.
Unfortunately, our local airport does not fly to Caracas. Three flights with (with time in each airport) makes a 1 week visit a little painful. Perhaps when we ER in a few years I will consider a trip as part of a South American extended vacation.

The US tourism industry has not bought into the island. Are there any large hotel chains located on MI... They are often responsible for getting flights lined up so they can do business.
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Old 09-16-2007, 09:59 AM   #18
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Unfortunately, our local airport does not fly to Caracas. Three flights with (with time in each airport) makes a 1 week visit a little painful. Perhaps when we ER in a few years I will consider a trip as part of a South American extended vacation.

The US tourism industry has not bought into the island. Are there any large hotel chains located on MI... They are often responsible for getting flights lined up so they can do business.
Thankfully there is no direct flight here from the US. There is in the winter from Montreal though. There is a Hilton here as well as a few others. No matter how you slice it you still will have a long flight. Last year I made the Maimi Caracas Margarita trip 8 times. I have now disposed of all holdings in the US and am just enjoying the laid back life here.
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Old 09-17-2007, 10:07 PM   #19
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Gringo

Your personal information and on the ground observations are outstanding! Very attractive. Will have to check out that site you listed. Thanks!

In general, do you feel safe? Do you need a car? How is your rent amount?

Thanks for your time...

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Old 09-18-2007, 03:21 AM   #20
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Gringo

Your personal information and on the ground observations are outstanding! Very attractive. Will have to check out that site you listed. Thanks!

In general, do you feel safe? Do you need a car? How is your rent amount?

Thanks for your time...

Akaisha
Author, The Adventurer's Guide to Early Retirement
Thank you kindly. We feel very safe here. The are where we live a car is not necessary. I own my home.
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