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Playa Paraguachì · Playa Parguito · Playa Manzanillo · Playa El Agua · National Parks  
Maps : Nueva Esparta

 

Playa Paraguachí, El Tirano top

In the Guaquerí language the island of Margarita was known as Paraguachoa: "abundance of fish". Paraguachí signifies "abundance of lobster".

Warao indians in a curiara
El Tirano, Fisherbay

The village Paraguachí lies in one of the freshest and most fertile valleys of the island. In the village square the trees create a shaded area where the 16th century church of San José can be seen. However, of the original structure only the sacrosant remains.

The 2lst of July 1561 saw the arrival at the Port of Paraguachí a spanish conquistador who would be remembered for his cruelty and bloodthirstiness: Lope de Aguirre. In his 40 days stay in the island he wiped out as many people as he could. Included in the massacre was the then governor Juan Sarmiento de Villandrando and many of his followers. Even members of his own crew were not spared his wrath. Leaving the island he left behind a trail of death and destruction. Months later he was caught by García de Pacides and his final act before surrendering was to stab his own daughter Elvira to death. Since then the port of Paraguachí (also called Fermín Port) has been called "EL TIRANO" (The Tyrant). Today as yesterday, El Tirano is a fishing village where it is possible to take boat rides to the islands of Los Frailes (the Friars lslands) about 45 minutes away.

In the Town Hall of Paraguachí can be found a statue of El Tirano made in Genoa, Italy. It came to the island in 1956 and was shown in the Nueva Cadíz museum in La Asunción. In 1994 it was moved to its present site.


Playa Parguito top

Warao indians in a curiara
Playa Parquito
This is one of the favorite beaches of the surfer. "Pegue" "Flote" "aéreo"(air) "360"(full circle) etc. are some of the words heard in Parguito; along with others like "glass"(self explanatory), "choppy"(likewise) and "picado"(real choppy) which describes the state of the sea.

Parguito is a 'live' beach: wide beach with calm water; medium beach with rolling waves; high water (season of hurricanes, which in Margarita -thank whatever- are tropical storms) and the waves can be "choppy" etc.

A good walk starts at the right hand side of the beach, by climbing the hill and following the path. You are leaving Parguito and going towards "Puerto Abajo". Along this walk can be found a series of caves known only by the more adventurous (and caution is advised). One of them is called "The Witches Cave", so called since the Colonial times, because a witch hid there from the Conquistadores and their faith. The story ends with the witch changing into a fish, strange and black. Many people have said they have seen its shadow in the water.


Playa Manzanillo top

Warao indians in a curiara
Playa Manzanillo Birdview
In the north of the island is Manzanillo beach known for its calm water and sunsets. Historians tell how the Guaiquerí were so friendly with Christopher Columbus so the spanish crown recognized their territorial rights and honored them with titles. It was here ships arrived to take on "Magnesita" coming by train (the only one on the island) from the mine in Loma de Guerra.

In the mornings one can see the collection of nets by the local community. Anyone can help and the normal reward is some of the fish you help to pull out.

Beware, the tree Manzanillo has a fruit which looks very attractive and tempting. Under no circumstances try it as it is extremely toxic.


Playa El Agua top

Warao indians in a curiara
Impressions
The "In Place" for national and international tourists. The Water: (El Agua) 3 kms long. Water, beach, restaurants and a lot more. Its name came from the number of ponds and wells which over time have faded away. Here you can find everything to have a good time. There is no village of "El Agua", but there is a organized community which has been and is concerned about the area.

Warao indians in a curiara
Playa el Agua
Playa El Agua has an international community, German, French, Italian etc. which has added its flavour. It is perhaps the most visited area on the island, the most known and the most popular. It's a small world within a world. In Playa El Agua and its outskirts (from Paraguachi to Manzanillo) you can find everything necessary, and the superflous as well without the need to travel much.

Be careful while in the water. Keep close to the shore since there is undertow and you may find yourself dragged out. If this happens, let yourself float a bit and try to get out from the side. Don't fight against the current because tiredness may overcome you.

National Parks of Margarita top

Margarita has two national parks: Cerro El Copey and Laguna de la Restinga, and three natural monuments (small parks): Cerro Matasiete y Guayamurí, La Laguna de las Marites, and Las Tetas de María Guevara (María Guevara’s breasts!). All protect a range of habitats and are home to various species of wildlife. Birds such as flamingoes, pelicans and scarlet ibis are most prolific in and around the mangrove swamps of La Laguna de la Restinga. The park has an area of 10,700ha and can be reached easily by road. Visitors can hire boats from the jetty to cruise the mangroves. Cerro El Copey covers an area of 7,130ha, and comprises both flat land with small villages and woodland-covered mountains, the latter of which offer fantastic views of the island. The park is located in the central eastern part of the main island and can be reached by road from La Asunción.
Map:  

District Nueva Esparta, Isla de Margarita

 

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