Venezuelans, fans of shopping and bargains, travel to Margarita Island en masse on weekend jaunts to pick up a few essentials like imported cheeses, perfumes, liquors, clothes, or the latest electronic gadgets. Foreign visitors also buy handicrafts like hammocks, baskets, and pottery here, but what really attracts them to Margarita are the beaches, the almost guaranteed sun, the food, the nightlife and the fun. With its miles of coast, its restaurants, clubs, discos, and casinos, Margarita offers many options on which to enjoy the sun and the sea. Its freeport status (read: duty free) has made Margarita the least expensive resort destination in the Caribbean for tourists from Europe and North America.
The island is divided into two distinct parts, east and west. Most of the activity is on the larger, eastern end. This is where Porlamar and the capital, La Asunción, the windsurfing mecca of El Yaque, and the most popular beaches are located. The western end, the Peninsula de Macanao, is where visitors come in close contact with nature, wildlife, and secluded beaches.
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