We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

is margarita island safe ?

sask, canada
Level Contributor
3 posts
21 reviews
Save Topic
is margarita island safe ?

We just returned from the island. Stayed at the dunes resort for two weeks. Had a great time there, the beach , the water and surf are awesome. But when you decide to go for a walk , everyone is warning you about the locals mugging you. They say not to wear any jewelery or look like a tourist. We had decided to walk to the golf course which is close by , we were stopped by a couple of girls from Toronto , one of them originally from Venezuela , they told us that it was not safe to walk , because a couple of blocks down the road , we likely would've been robbed. We enjoyed the country and the beauty that this country has ,but after hearing several stories of the crime that goes on there , they scared the hell out of us , and just wanted to stay within the resort. We did venture out and enjoyed the country , but when you go thru a road block and ask why it's there , another local has been kidnapped . Nice country but it was hard to enjoy.

Isla de Margarita
Level Contributor
1,179 posts
35 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: is margarita island safe ?

The road block you refer to was probably nothing more than a traffic check-these are common all over latin america-they look intimidating but normally are put up just to do random checks for drivers licenses, car papers and such. I sincerely doubt the road check you encountered had anything to do with ''another local that has been kidnapped''

If you use common sense and don't invite trouble (i.e. stumble around drunk at night in unknown areas) it will most likely not come to you.

I am sorry your fears kept you from having a good time.

If one gets out and sees the island they will no doubt be impressed with the beaches, mountains and scenery (not to mention the friendly local people)

Margarita Island
Destination Expert
for Margarita Island
Level Contributor
2,199 posts
4 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: is margarita island safe ?

The guests who stay at our B&B are by nature more independent than "all inclusive " tourists. They must walk about 5 minutes to the beach & restaurants. They must take buses or taxis to Sambil, Porlamar or other areas of the Island.

Most arrive with preconceived ideas about Margarita however normally within 24 hours they are into the swing of things & wouldn't think twice about heading out on their own.

I've said this before & will keep saying it - Margarita is safe for tourists.

There hasn't been a kidnapping in Margarita in a long time. In any event it wasn't a tourist. I can't ever remember a tourist being kidnapped here.

In a week or 2 if you stay locked up in an AI you won't get to know Margarita which is really a shame after coming all this way. Margarita has so much to offer the open minded & independent traveler.

Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
725 posts
11 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: is margarita island safe ?

Road blocks are normal there and drivers are expected to slow down in case they want to check you out. Most of the time they don't even appear to look at you as you drive through. Once when I was in a cab the they stopped the vehicle and had the driver produce id.

I find it extremely hard to believe that they would set up a roadblock because some local was kidnapped. I see truth in other parts of your posting but not with this statement.

As far as robberies are concerned you need to follow Rule No 1. "Don't make yourself a target". If there are would-be robbers around and they see you have something they want then you might get robbed. It depends how easy of a mark you are.

I've been going to MI for years and I wouldn't just wander down a road for a look without knowing something about the area. I wouldn't do this in Mexico, D.R., Jamaica or most other Caribbean destination. Being a tourist automatically makes you more of a target especially if you are wearning all-inclusive hotel wrist bands and the bad guys targetting tourists will most likely be found near the resorts. As previously stated, common sense must be used..

During my past 9 trips (2-3 weeks each) I have had only one close encounter with a bad situation and that's because I was totally drunk. Luckily nothing happened as I recognized the situation before it got bad. Normally I'm all over the island but I am aware of area I need to avoid and areas where I need to exercise extra caution.

sask, canada
Level Contributor
3 posts
21 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: is margarita island safe ?

In response to the roadblock , it was the local that was driving us around that told us what the road block was all about. We didn't understand a word that was said , so we asked our driver after we were going down the road again , and that is what he had told us. No licence or papers were shown . We did enjoy the country as we travelled around the island !!

Evansville, Indiana
Level Contributor
11 posts
32 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: is margarita island safe ?

We were in Margarita Island in November 2010 and stayed at The Margarita Tropical Villa. We felt safe the whole time. We walked to the beach everyday and down to the Bodegon Johnnys and had no problems. We speak very little spanish, but still managed to do okay.We are looking forward to coming back and spending a little more time enjoying all the wonderful things this island has to offer.

Level Contributor
3 posts
2 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: is margarita island safe ?

Its easy to say be careful and don't make yourself a target. In truth Margarita is much more dangerous than it was 5 years ago. Read old newspaper accounts of crime on the island that has spread from the mainland. At one time there were all kinds of flights from Europe and Canada. Now there are very few direct flights as demand has gone way down. I still have several friends on the island and they tell me don't come back. I know several Americans who lived and had businesses there for years. They have now left. There are still many there but after buying property they are stuck with it as it is very hard to sell especially by non Venezuelans. As a tourist who is there for a couple of weeks chances are you will be fine but if you are adventurous maybe not. It takes a while to know where to not go. I loved the place but being concerned about armed breakins is not the way to live. Now of course there are penalties for exchanging money on the black market and at official rates Margarita is no bargain. There are a lot of negatives with Margarita nowadays. Check out Isla Mujeres, Boco del Toro, or San Juan Del Sur, for a safer vacation. Just my 2 cents

Margarita Island
Destination Expert
for Margarita Island
Level Contributor
2,199 posts
4 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: is margarita island safe ?

Alvis, first of all to correct an error.

You said: "Now of course there are penalties for exchanging money on the black market and at official rates Margarita is no bargain. "

There are no penalties for tourists to change on the black market. Everyone changes at the unofficial rate &, with that, Margarita is a bargain.

With regard to your comments about safety. It would be very unusual for a tourist to run into any problems here. We have hundreds of guests stay with us each year & none have had any problems.

Read the comments by the previous poster. That is the experience most tourists have.

Go to tripadvisor.com/VacationRentalReview-g107565… to see 22 reviews from people who stayed in the Playa El Agua area & loved it.

Margarita is still a great place to visit.

alkmaar
Level Contributor
51 posts
1 review
Save Reply
8. Re: is margarita island safe ?

Some say Margarita is perfectly safe. Though I love Margarita, I beg to differ.

Last saturday, March 19, 2011, a man from Belgium was shot in the face at a fast food stand in Playa el Agua. The man died.......

Margarita Island
Destination Expert
for Margarita Island
Level Contributor
2,199 posts
4 reviews
Save Reply
9. Re: is margarita island safe ?

This happened in the early hours of the morning under very strange circumstances.

The victim apparently knew the attackers as he was reported to be very nervous when he saw them. Until all the facts are known this appears to be a personal matter between this gentleman & his attackers.

Many cases like this are later found to involve drug deals gone bad or other problems. It has also not been reported whether this was a tourist or a resident.

It has been mentioned many times here in the past. Wandering around at 2 or 3 AM is not a wise idea.

B.C.
Level Contributor
112 posts
Save Reply
10. Re: is margarita island safe ?

My family members on the island believe the victim was a tourist and that it was drug related. Disturbing is the anonymous interview in the Sol de Margarita stating that people know who the perpetrators are but will not speak because the police either cannot or will not protect them There is also the possibility that the shooters were themselves police. There was a time when you could enjoy a night on the beach hit a few bars, dance in a disco, then sit at open air stand for a snack then head home as the sun came up. It was this freedom to party on a tropical night that made it a desirable exotic destination for a lot of people. For those who are there to see a few sights and sample the local atmosphere and enjoy the beaches by day it is still a great place. If you do want to enjoy a night out follow the advise given here countless times . Don't make yourself a target. DO NOT GET INVOLVED WITH DRUGS . The sad truth of the matter is for years the all inclusive resorts warned their guests "dont go out at night It's dangerous"'. This became a self fulfilling prophesy for as the number of people enjoying the many restaurants and bars on the beach at night dropped the restaurants closed up and the streets emptied and the only ones left on the street where those involved in drugs and other illegal activities. It is a complicated problem but I was never in favor of hiding in my house/resort and abandoning the streets. Hopefully someday it will all come together and we can take back the beach at night.

Get answers to your questions about Pedro Gonzales
More Pedro Gonzales Topics