Caribbean Tourism

History

Christopher Columbus made landfall on the nearby Paria Peninsula in Aug 1498. Two years later, a settlement had been established at Santiago de Cubagua (later called Nueva Cádiz) to exploit the pearls which grew in its waters. Cubagua became a centre for pearling and for slavery, as the local Indians were used, under appalling duress, to dive into the oyster beds.


By 1541, when Santiago was destroyed by an earthquake and tidal wave, the pearl beds had been almost exhausted, but the Greek word for pearl, margarita, was retained for the main island of the group.

Margarita, and the nearest town on the mainland, Cumaná, were strongholds of the forces for the independence of South America from Spain. Between 1810 and 1817, the island was the scene of revolts and harsh Spanish reprisals. The liberator Simón Bolívar declared the Third Republic, and was himself declared Commander in Chief of the Liberating Army, at Villa del Norte (now Santa Ana) in 1816. After the war, the name of Nueva Esparta (maintaining the Greek allusion) was conferred in recognition of the bravery of Margarita in the struggle. Subsequent events have been nothing like so heroic, with life revolving around fishing and small agriculture. After a regeneration of the the pearl industry at the end of the 19th century, it has gone into decline, the oyster beds having all but disappeared through disease.


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Introduction

Located on the north coast of South America, Venezuela is a land of fascinating contrasts. The country is approximately 950 miles wide and...

The Venezuela Island

The Venezuela Island When the Spaniards landed in East Venezuela in 1498, in the course of Columbus’ third voyage, they found a poor country sparsely populated...

Before Travelling

Also see "Getting Around", and "Getting There" for more detailed travel information. Climate Tropical, with little change between season....

Getting There

From Europe: British Airways fly from London to Simón Bolívar, the international airport for Caracas three times a week direct. There are...

Communnication

Phoning Details Porlamar: International phone code: 095 Gran Roque international phone code: 02 Tucacas: International phone code: 042...

Tourist Information

Local Tourist Office Corpoturismo, Apartado 50.200, Caracas, main office for information is Unatur, floor 35, Torre Oeste, Parque Central,...

Accommodations

Hotels Fairmont International, Torre Capriles, Planta Baja, Plaza Venezuela, Caracas, T7828433, F7824407, will book hotel rooms both in...