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
Steady trade winds blow November to June, strongest from February to April. Wave season November to March/April. Air temps average 27°C / 81°F, peaking in September at 31°C / 88°F. Water temperatures average 24°C / 76°F.
Everything is close by on Margarita. Taxis are reasonable and there are many. Buses are a slightly longer, stickier ride. Max distance to any spot is 45 minutes by car. On Coche there are bikes, taxis, buses and quads 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.
Plenty of accommodation in El Yaque, all in walking distance of the beach. Three main all-inclusive hotels between a 30 second and five minute stroll from the kite spot on Coche. Apartments at Playa Punta and several cheaper posadas in the capital, San Pedro.
FOOD AND DRINK
Small 'bodegons' mainly selling drinks and snacks in El Yaque. Bigger supermarket is a 25 minutes taxi to 'Sigo'. Food served beachfront in El Yaque and at some larger hotels. Happy hour usually 5pm to 7pm and 'party time' kicks off about 10pm, although it's pretty chilled. Porlamar / Pampatar
have more restaurants, bars and clubs. Hotels on Coche offer simple nightlife and is great for kite families wanting to relax.
Surfing, wakeboarding, hiking, cycling, kayaking, SUP, snorkelling, diving, shopping, casinos and historical sites. El Yaque is a better option for singles or lively couples, although kids are welcome at happy hour. On Coche: powered watersports 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.