Just 25 miles off the Venezuelan coast, Isla Margarita is an intoxicating blend of Latin American spirit and laid-back Caribbean charm. Known as 'the island of pearls' due to its numerous oyster beds, Isla Margarita is the largest of Venuzuela's 72 islands in the Caribbean. It is actually two islands joined by a very narrow sandbar - most towns and villages are to the east, while the western side is largely undeveloped and has been protected as a national park, La Restinga National Park, which covers 26,000 acres. We had booked a trip to Restinga to take a speedboat through the beautiful lagoons and mangroves.
We met our fellow travellers for the forty minute journey to Restinga National Park and once there, after donning a life jacket, we boarded a small speedboat for our trip.
There were only six passengers per boat plus the boat man,
who pointed out things of interest during the hour long trip round the mangroves, like this pelican
and even fished an oyster and a starfish out of the water to show us - of course he put them back once we'd taken a photograph.
The whole place was just beautiful and huge, I'm sure we could have travelled round for days and still not seen everything! Unfortunately we had to leave on the next leg of the journey, which took us to a beautiful secluded beach about 25 minutes away, where we had about 90 minutes to relax and take some refreshments - i.e. beer and rum punch.
I just had to get in that crystal clear turquoise sea.
whilst MWM sat watching me from a safe distance, you remember he doesn't swim.
There was a small restaurant on the beach which had it's very own parrots and a monkey.
MWM and I walked along the beach collecting shells, of which there was a great variety, and then got a nice lady to take our photograph in the sunshine before it was time to head back to the boat.
We packed up our belongings to board the coach but not before two enterprising local children grabbed our feet (as though they were shoeing a horse) as we climbed the steps to the coach to brush sand off our shoes with a handbrush for a small fee!
Once back at the boat there was just time for our usual ritual of something to eat before we relaxed on our balcony with a cold drink, and of course we had to have a nap before getting showered and changed for dinner. After dinner we watched the show and a new comedian in Connexions before retiring to dream of lagoons, mangroves and pelicans.
The following day we would visit St. Vincent, the last island on our cruise, so I hope you'll join me.