Venezuelans are enormously fond of the island they call the Perla del Caribe, or the "pearl of the Caribbean." Its status as a duty-free port and its proximity to the mainland make it the top vacation spot for Venezuelans. Come here to explore miles of white sandy beaches, glittering hotels and restaurants, vibrant nightlife, and 16th-century forts and national parks, all of which have transformed Isla Margarita into an increasingly popular destination for other travelers as well.
Isla Margarita is split into two sections linked by an 18-km (11-mi) spit of sand. Most of the island's 400,000 residents occupy the more developed eastern half, especially the bustling city of Porlamar and adjoining Pampatar. Others are found in the much smaller city of La Asunción, the capital of the region that also encompasses the neighboring islands of Coche and Cubagua.