Situated off the northern coast of Venezuela, Margarita is home to simply perfect kiting conditions and neighbours the idyllic island of Coche and the Los Roques archipelago. Margarita is a multi-sport /multi-spot island, with only short distances between each spot. You can choose between crystal clear flat water, wave riding and different wind directions depending on your preference.
There are at least 13 different spots around here, these are the main three:
EL YAQUE, ISLA MARGARITA
This quaint fishing village has designated beach zones separating kitesurfers, windsurfers and swimmers. Launch from soft sand and a gently shelving beach with mainly shallow waters. The wind is cross-shore and the spot is suitable for beginners (as there is rescue cover) to advanced riders in the choppy water with shallow areas making it a perfect place to train and learn. El Yaque is very well equipped with lots of schools and shops to take lessons or rent gear from.
Barely seven miles long and four miles wide, Coche island is sparsely inhabited by fishermen yet draws watersports fans looking for uncrowded conditions and tropical beaches. Eight miles south of Margarita, Coche island was traditionally the venue for the opening stop of the PKRA tour for a number of years. Super-flat waters from the consistent offshore winds create some of the most insane freestyle conditions on the planet. There is rescue cover, too and Coche Kite Sports Center will take care of all your kiting needs. You can get to Coche by ferry from Punta de Piedras or by boat charter from La Isleta or El Yaque.
The Los Roques National Park is the world's largest marine reserve archipelago. Protected by the Great Barrier Reef, there are flat waters and waves to be found in and around the islands and beaches facing different directions. The water remains shallow, dropping to three metres at its deepest point. Rescue cover can be hired in advance. Most kiters visit Los Roques on a day-trip from El Yaque, Margarita and there are kite centres on the island. Here's a list of other spots to check out, ranging from big bays with onshore winds, perfectly clear flat waters as well as some wave riding: Playa Paraiso, Punta Mosquito, 'The Shallows', Araya, La Restinga, Funeral Point, El Tunal, La Pred / La Carmela, Punta Arena, El Cardon, Playa Parguito.
WIND, WEATHER AND WATER:
Although situated just outside the hurricane belt, Margarita is very rarely affected. Steady trade winds in this area of the Caribbean blow November – June, strongest from February – April. Learning is good all season, bring your seven to 12 metre kites. The wave season starts in November, lasting until March/April. Swells come from the north and northeast, which is the best direction for kiting in Margarita. Air temperatures average 27°C/81°F all year, peaking in September at 31°C/88°F. At night, the temperature only drops four or five degrees. Margarita is so close to the equator, so remember to wear plenty of sunscreen. The water temperatures average 24°C/76°F.
Margarita is really easy to get around, everything is close by, you can hire a car (if you are over 21), taxis are also reasonable and you can catch one from pretty much anywhere. You can also take buses if you don’t mind a slightly longer and stickier ride. From El Yaque it is possible to arrange trips to any kite spot on the island. The maximum distance between any spots is 45 minutes by car. On Coche there are bikes, taxis, buses and 4x4 quad bikes for transport.
Currency: Venezuela Bolivar (VEF): £1 = 7VEF / €1 = 6VEF / $1 = 4VEF There is also black market exchange which is approximately double the official. ATMs in Margarita and on Coche – be aware of lurkers. No ATMs on Los Roques.
In El Yaque there are plenty of accommodations to choose from with different price ranges, from small posadas, apartments and hotels. All accommodations in El Yaque are within walking distance of the beach.
Coche has three main all-inclusive hotels between a 30 second and five minute stroll from the kite spot. Apartments on the main beach at Playa Punta and several cheaper posadas in the capital of San Pedro.
FOOD AND DRINK:
There are a couple of small 'bodegons' whichmainly sell drinks and snacks in El Yaque. If you want to go to a bigger supermarket you can take a 25 minute taxi drive to 'Sigo'. There are various places to eat along the beachfront and at some of the larger hotels. Choose anything from Italian to Thai and of course many delicious fresh fish dishes as El Yaque is also a small fishing village. Happy hour starts at 5pm until 7pm at most bars along the beach, 'party time' kicks off from about 10pm if it does not continue through happy hour. The emphasis is mainly on chilling in bars, so many choose to take a taxi to Porlamar / Pampatar where there is a vast selection of restaurants, bars and nightclubs that will keep you going until the early hours of the morning.
Hotels on Coche offer simple nightlife and over the weekends CKS hold BBQs, cinema nights and some kite parties. Couple of fish restaurants and KP cafe overlooking the kite area. Coche is a great place for kite families and those who want to kite and relax.
El Yaque waterfront is child friendly with no shore break, The flat shallow water and light morning breeze allow children to learn watersports from an early age. There is a shortage of other activities for small children but El Yaque is clearly a better option for singles and couples, although it is no problem to bring your kids along to happy hour while you enjoy your sundowner. Activities round here include: surfing, wakeboarding, hiking, cycling, kayaking, SUP, snorkelling, diving, shopping, casinos and historical sites. On Coche, quad bikes, jet skis, ringo rides, wakeboarding, snorkelling and local style fishing.
Caracas (CCS) Simon Bolivar international airport has a connecting flight to Isla Margarita Porlamar (PMV) which takes 35 minutes. El Yaque is just five minutes from the airport. Get to Coche by ferry from Punta de Piedras or by slow boats from La Isleta or fast boats from El Yaque.