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MARGARITA ISLAND, VENEZUELA

Margarita Island, Venezuela Playa Dunes, Macanao Peninsula & Laguna Restinga January 8th - 17th, 2013

overcast 33 °C

Once again my best friend Jo & I set off on an adventure ... this time to Venezuela! We flew from Saskatoon to Toronto where we had a 16hr layover in Toronto ... but we were prepared to spend the night sleeping in the airport Amazing Race style. We brought yoga matts, neck pillows, light blankets, alarm clock and ipad for entertainment. The next day we had a direct flight from Toronto to Porlamar on Margarita Island.

We spent 7 all-inclusive nights at the Dunes Hotel & Beach Resort for only $379! The hotel was a tad run down, but the beach more then made up for it!! Ours was the only resort on the beach, so there werent too many tourists, nor beach vendors. It was long, clean, and had loud crashing waves! The end of the beach nearest the resort had a cliff covered in cactus, with a lighthouse on top. The far end of the beach provided views of the lush green mountains! Very scenic :)
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You can climb up to the lighthouse, but its at your own risk. There was a landslide a few years prior so the path isnt the safest. We were also told 'bandidos' hide out in the bushes and will steal your cameras, jewelry, sunglasses, watch, etc, and so not to bring any of those items with you if you choose to climb. I climbed about 1/3 of the way up for this photo.
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Jo at the beach.
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Me running from the crashing waves!
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Photography is hard work!
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BFFs
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"As I travel through the adventures of life, I will look back at the photographs I have taken, and see my footprints across this great place we call Earth." - Etienne Oosthuizen
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One afternoon we walked to the far end of the beach, and came upon a stream that connected to the ocean, creating very steep sandbanks!
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One of the many pools at our resort.
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The colorful beachfront restaurant
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Gorgeous flowers everywhere!!
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One night we saw some wild capybara in the resort!! My first time seeing some! They are South America's largest rodent. The biggest 1 in the photo is about the size of a medium dog! To me they look like a cross between a giant hamster and a tail-less rat.
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We also saw a HUGE locust!
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A few days into our trip we went on a jeep tour of the Macanao Peninsula. I never knew Margarita Island was so mountainous! Our first stop was Juangriego.
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Next we stopped at Laguna Restinga, and took a boat tour through the mangroves. Our guide scooped up a little red starfish!
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Pelicans in the lagoon
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Blue crab
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Venezuelan Eagle
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View of the lagoon from the boat
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Iguana at the entrance to the lagoon ... someone had fed him scrambled eggs.
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Then we hit the road again. Heres a few 'drive by shootings', aka 'the driver wouldnt stop for a decent photo so I just had to crank up the shutter speed on my camera and hope for the best'.
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Wild flamingos!!! I really would've liked to have stopped and gotten closer for better photos of these beautiful birds!
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Red mountains :)
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We stopped for lunch at Punta Arenas on the tip of the Macanao Peninsula. This is our jeep. The wagon behind the other jeep was the 'bar' that followed us to every pitstop.
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My vegetarian lunch ... giant carrots, tomato, rice, plantain, boiled egg & potato
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The beach at Punta Arenas. It was quite cloudy and raining on & off during lunch, so no suntanning or swimming :(
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After lunch we hit the road again and did a bit of off-roading to a lookout point.
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Our last stop on the way back to our resort was a little souvenir shop ... but I was more interested in the beautiful cactus, resident parrot and adorable dog with 1 floppy ear & 1 uppity ear!
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Thats it for Margarita Island ... stayed tunes for posts in Isla Cubagua & Canaima National Park!

Posted by ChantelleS 20.03.2013 17:39 Archived in Venezuela Tagged wildlife beach cactus south america lighthouse venezuela

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