Venezuela travel guide



Isla Margarita Travel Guide

History of Isla Margarita

The history of this island can be divided in four stages:

The Margarita Island was populated for the Guaiquerí tribe; they used to call the island as "Paraguachoa", word than means in indigenous tongue "fishes in abundance".
This tribe was friendly and hospitable, they were dedicated to the fishing and they became excellent navigators. In spite of being very friendly, these people were very proud of their lands and they defended them vehemently against the attacks of nearby enemy tribes.

The Colony:
This island was discovered during the third journey of Christopher Columbus, in August 15, 1498. In this journey, Colon came across 2 dry, low and little islands which nowadays are Coche and Cubagua and a third bigger size island called Paraguachoa. It was baptized by Columbus with the name of Asunción and later, in 1499, Cristóbal de la Guerra rebaptized it with the name of Margarita, which means pearl in Latin.
Alonso de Ojeda landed toward the island and established friendship with their inhabitants; they thought that these foreign people were his brothers, "The children of the sun" and that their arrival meant the beginning of big and prosperous empire, so they received them with great hospitality and kindness. When the people of the island showed to the people from Spain the oyster beds of Cubagua, the foreign forced them to extract thousands of oysters tons in favor to The Spanish crown.

The independence:
The ideas humanism, freedom and rights, such as other parts in the world, they came to the Spanish colony giving rise to a great independence movement.
In Venezuela, this fight to achieve the independence took place between 1810 and 1821 under the military genius leadership of Simón Bolívar, the Margarita Island, it was one of the first provinces that were able to defeat the Spanish oppression which had a military power much more numerous and well equipped than the patriots of the island.
This known courage and fierceness of their inhabitants made that this insular region were called as New Sparta (Nueva Esparta), during the colonial and the independence epoch, the island was the target of frequent pirate attacks, there were built several castles and small forts to repel these attacks, some of them still standing and they remember to us that the island was a turbulent place.

The Island at the present time:
It was declared a free harbor in 1974 it founded the basis of the economic progress. Contradictorily, the hot and sunny weather that represented a barrier against its development became one of the most valuable attractions. This pleasant weather, the traditional kindness of the people with the plentiful knowledges about the sea and their commercial ability have done that the island becomes in a great tourist and commercial center thanks mainly to this wonderful natural potential.
Today, it has increased the quality of service and the hotelkeeper infrastructure to be able to satisfy the needs of a constant tourist demand which comes from all parts of the world. It offers to tourists lots of first class attractions for example: hotels in the beach, golf fields, golf fields in the beach, commercial and businesses centers, a very attractive nightlife and a lots of entertainment.

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