Isla de Margarita is in fact one island whose two sections are tenuously linked by the 18 kilometres sandspit which separates the sea from the Restinga lagoon. At its largest, Margarita is about 32 kilometres from north to south and 67 kilometres from east to west. Most of its people live in the developed eastern part, which has some wooded areas and fertile valleys.
The western part, the Peninsula de Macanao, is hotter and more barren, with scrub, sand dunes and marshes. Wild deer, goats and hares roam the interior, but four-wheel drive vehicles are needed to penetrate it. The entrance to the Peninsula de Macanao is a pair of hills known as Las Tetas de María Guevara, a national monument covering 1,670 hectares.
The climate is exceptionally good, but rain is scant. Water is piped from the mainland but water trucks also deliver to resorts to keep up with demand. The roads are good, and a bridge connects the two parts. Nueva Esparta’s population is over 200,000, of whom about 68,000 live in the main city, Porlamar (which is not the capital, that is La Asunción).