MARGARITA ISLAND (Isla de Margarita, Spanish pronunciation: ) is the
largest island in the Venezuelan state of
* 1 History
* 2 Geography
* 2.1 Terrain * 2.2 Weather
* 3 Municipalities
* 4 Cities
* 5 Tourism * 6 Population * 7 Religion
* 8 Natural Heritage
* 8.1 Las Tetas de María Guevara
* 9 Crime * 10 See also * 11 References * 12 External links
1840 map by
In 1561, the island was seized by Lope de Aguirre , a notoriously violent and rebellious conquistador . Around 1675, the island was captured again, this time by Red Legs Greaves , a pirate known for his humanity and morality. He captured a fleet of Spanish ships off port, before turning the guns on the forts which he stormed and claimed a large booty of pearls and gold .
Construction of the fort Santa Rosa was ordered by the governor, Juan Muñoz de Gadea , after the French buccaneer Marquis de Maintenon attacked the island in early 1676.
The island gained independence from the Spanish in 1814 after the
collapse of the
First Republic of Venezuela
Located in the
Caribbean Sea between latitudes 10°52'N and 11°11'N
and longitudes 63°48'W and 64°23'W, the island, along with the
islands of Coche and
Cubagua , comprises the state of
Most of the island's 420,000 residents live in the more developed
eastern part of the island, which includes the large cities of
Macanao peninsula to the west has a central mountain range in the
east-west direction. The highest altitude is 760 metres (2,493 ft) at
Pico de Macanao . Several smaller ranges derive from this axis
following a north-south orientation with deep valleys between them.
The most notable of these valleys is San Francisco in the
north-central part of the peninsula. The Paraguachoa peninsula to the
East is formed by a mountain range in the north-south direction from
Macanao peninsula consists of mountainous spine of the central west-east, with several culminations, including Macanao Peak, which is the highest, with an altitude of 760 meters above sea level stands. This axial region several side brackets oriented north-south off, including deep valleys are dissected, the most important is San Francisco in the north central of Margarita. The central massif is surrounded by foothills forming a more or less continuous, narrow strip and north and south of the peninsula reaches almost to the coast.
Isla Margarita eastern is formed by a mountain range which runs
roughly north-south direction, from northern
Among the higher elevations found on the island, are cited:
* San Juan Hill 960 meters above mean sea level * Copey Hill 890m amsl * Cocheima 810m amsl * Tragaplata Hill 640m amsl * El Cacho Hill 510m amsl
PENíNSULA DE MACANAO:
* Macanao Hill 750m amsl * Los Cedros Hill 745m amsl * Risco Blanco Hill 680m amsl * Guaraguao Hill 660m amsl * Soledad Hill 540m amsl * Piedra Lisa Hill 500m amsl * El Castillo Hill 380m amsl
Copey Hill - view from San Juan downtown
The average temperature is 27 ° C with minimum ranging between 22 ° and 23 ° C and maximum that can easily exceed 34 ° C. Rainfall is common in the winter months or rainy season that begins around July-October (although the rain is usually quite rare). Being located in the Caribbean Sea near the Earth's equator, solar rays fall perpendicularly on the island and therefore it is advisable to always use some sort of sunscreen when visiting its beaches.
ISLA DE MARGARITA ISLA DE CUBAGUA ISLA DE COCHE MACANAO
Boca de Río MAR CARIBE TUBORES TUBORES Punta de
Piedras VILLALBA San Pedro DíAZ San Juan Bautista GARCíA El
Political Territorial Division of
Antolín del Campo La Plaza de Paraguachí 72 km² 21.890 305,30
Díaz San Juan Bautista 166 km² 39.491 238,04
García El Valle del Espíritu Santo 85 km² 49.967 587,16
Gómez Santa Ana 96 km² 33.436 349,38
Marcano Juan Griego 40 km² 31.959 796,98
Tubores 2) Punta de Piedras 180 km² 30.062 167,10
Villalba San Pedro de Coche 55 km² 80.238 218,33
The urban area of
The largest city on
Juan Griego is a city on the northern side of Isla Margarita, and is
the most northern port in Venezuela. It has a population of 28,256
inhabitants (as per census of 2001) and is capital of the Marcano
municipality of the
Playa El Agua
The island's status as a duty-free port and proximity to the mainland
make it a popular vacation spot for Venezuelans. It sees a large
number of tourists around
There are at least 50 beaches on the island, which has a 106 miles
(171 km) coastline.
Playa El Yaque is popular as a windsurfing and
Playa Parguito ,
Playa Caribe , Playa Punta
Playa El Agua
A typical house in San Juan Bautista View of Margarita island at night.
The demonym for islanders is Margariteños/as and Neoespartanos/as. Ethnic minority populations of some significance include Lebanese, Spanish , Italian , German, French, Dutch, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Portuguese, Argentine, Chilean, Uruguayan, Colombian, and Chinese. Immigrants from mainland Venezuela are colloquially called navegaos by islanders.
A little less than 25% of the Neoespartanian population live in Porlamar. Margarita's population is just under 440,000, although this tends to fluctuate during holiday periods and the festive season.
Basílica de la Virgen del Valle (Valley of the Espíritu Santo)
The predominant religion is
Roman Catholicism . Other Christian
denominations are also present. Of the churches that present in the
Neospartan entity, among the most important are: Basílica de la
Virgen del Valle (in the Valley of the Espíritu Santo), Cathedral of
La Asunción, Iglesia San Juan Evangelista (Juangriego), Iglesia
parroquial de San Juan (San Juan Bautista), Iglesia de San Nicolás de
Bari (Porlamar), of the San José de Paraguachi and other churches and
chapels minor located in populations of Santa Ana, Punta de Piedras,
Evangelical Christian churches have had a significant growth in
recent years demonstrating their presence and impact in the population
of the island. One of the fastest-growing is the Centro Cristiano Casa
de Alabanza (CCCA), present in Porlamar, Juan Griego,
The patron saint of eastern Venezuela is the Virgen del Valle and in the population El Valle del Espíritu Santo is the Basílica Menor de Nuestra Señora del Valle, which approaching Margarita, Coche and Cubagua Islanders visit to honor her on her feast day.
El Reino Musipán amusement park.
LAS TETAS DE MARíA GUEVARA
The Las Tetas de Maria Guevara ("Maria Guevara's breasts"), located in a coastal plain in the south of the 1,670 hectare Laguna de La Restinga National Park , consists of two small twin hills with a height of 135 metres (443 ft). The vegetation around the hills is desert , with cacti, prickly pears, yaks, guamaches. The fauna is diverse, including desert lizards, rabbits, rattlesnakes and coral.
The legend told by the inhabitants of the island goes that the name María Guevara comes from a white young girl who was heavily involved in the War of Independence and that upon her death, the hills rose on her grave. One other Margaritan myth says the source of the name also comes from the same woman, but that she was from Cumaná