Isla Margarita: Pearl of the Caribbean

The name Isla Margarita just conjures up images of relaxing on a white sand beach with an ice cold well, margarita, doesn't it? Venezuelans flock to the island for vacations, as do travelers from much further-flung countries. The island is actually two peninsulas linked together by a sandy piece of land.

You'll have plenty of beaches to choose from, most of which feature white sand. There's also a fort to explore (for free)—the Castillo de San Carlos Borromeo, which dates back to the 17th-century. Snorkeling, bird-watching, and boating are also all popular island activities.

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Isla Margarita is a duty-free port, so expect to find plenty of opportunities for shopping here as well.

Where Is it? In the Caribbean, about 24 miles off of mainland Venezuela. Fly to the island's own airport, Aeropuerto Internacional del Caribe Santiago Marino (check prices).

Where to Stay? At the Posada Yemaya, ranked number one out of hotels in El Yaque by TripAdvisor.

What Else Should I Know? Admission is $11 for non-residents and $6.30 for kids 3-11.

Who's it for? Budget travelers, beach-goers and shoppers.

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