While Isla de Margarita itself certainly has some of the country's best beaches and enjoys a dramatic, mountainous interior to boot, its unchecked development, traffic-clogged roads and creeping urban sprawl has made something of a mockery of its tropical paradise image. Still trading on its '80s and '90s reputation as a jet-set destination, the reality is disappointing today, and we advise beach lovers to head to Península de Paria, Los Roques or Puerto Colombia rather than here. That said, direct air connections to Caracas make it easy to get here, hotels are plentiful and cheap, and tourist infrastructure is far more developed than elsewhere in the country.
The urban sprawl around the island's largest town, Porlamar, is the favored haunt of holidaying Venezuelans and is full of glitzy shops, huge hotels and beach bars. By far the best bits of the island are to be found elsewhere – the beach towns of El Yaque and Juangriego, the inland mountains and the largely untouched Península de Macanao are the real highlights of any visit here.