For those flying into Porlamar Airport on Isla Margarita, you may never need the use of a rental car!! One call and you can arrange pick up and drop off from the airport in an air-conditioned Ford Explorer to any destination on the island for as little as $20 for 4 persons! That is quite a bargain when you consider that a destination such as Playa el Aqua is 40 minutes itself from the airport. Marcella Tinsman, an English-speaking American woman, runs a company named "Crusin-N-Style," and will gladly arrange your airport transportation. In addition this company offers island tours and they are quite reasonably priced. Tours of 4, 6 and 8 hours are available.
Ms. Tinsman has a very good web site (see below) and you can see when she is available as well as book right on line. She also has good links which may be extremely useful.
You can reach Isla de Margarita by several methods via mainland Venezuela. It is probably most reasonable to fly to Simon Bolivar Airport in Caracas. Then catch a short local flight of about 35 minutes to El Yaque's General Santiago Marino Airport (near Porlamar) on Isla Margarita.
You can also take the slow boat or express ferry from Puerto La Cruz or Cumana on the mainland coast. The costs should be very reasonable by the ferry route. If a day is long enough for you, cruise ships visit here and excursions can be had. To get around though, it may be less expensive to hire a driver for the day who will be glad to show you this island for $25 to $30 per person or less for 4-5 hours.
Bus transportation around the island is available from Bolivar Square in Porlamar. This maybe a slighter slower way to get where you want, but is very inexpensive and perhaps a good way to engage in a little conversation with locals.
Sound’s easy enough. Drive on the right, overtake on the left. If you are driving here for just a day or two, be careful. In a lot of places cars build up a lot of speed and overtake in curves. Sensible precautions just about anywhere, but just be careful so you don’t get your holiday ruined.
We were afraid that the cost would be really high or that we would get the full tourist price but actually the taxi drivers charged us 60BF to take us from the ferry to playa el agua. Ok, he was driving like crazy with reagatton at full volume but he was nice and definitly enjoying his day as he voluntarily stopped at various points to show us nice landscapes or views.
I had read in my tourist guides that it was quite cheap and easy to travel by bus around the islands. It is but it takes you hours!!! From playa el agua...to go to Playa Caribe you need to take a bus to Porlamar (an hour south) to hop on another bus (45min)... by taxi, it's only a 15min rides.
Ok the prices aren't the same... 1800bolibares/trip by bus compared to 25/30 bolivares fuertes by taxi
We drove to Halifax then flew Canada 3000 charter airline on an Airbus with one stop in Barbados (about 5 hours airtime). On the way back, our flight was diverted to Toronto due to a massive blizzard in Nova Scotia. After an hour on the ground we were cleared for Halifax and landed on instrument control during the still raging blizzard. We were hours behind scheule (midnight) and everything was booked up so we retrieved our car from the snow and made 2 hour drive through driving snow to the nearest town of Truro (normally takes 40 minutes). We checked in at 3 AM and then finished the trip when we woke up! I don't mind the blizzards coming home but I hate them on the way out! Photo during our stop in Barbados.
For getting 'Around' Margarita, I recommend either the shuttlebus into Porlamar or the 'Jeep' trip!
You have two alternatives to go to Margarita. The plane (especially if you go directly from Caracas) or the ferry that leaves out of Puerto la Cruz. You have two options: the fast or the slow/old one.
For a little less that 50 000bolivares (25$ official rate) we had our one way trip to the island. It was pretty well organized to go on/off the ferry but the ferry in itself wasn't all that FAST. For some reason, only one motor worked and it took us twice the normal amount of time!!!
Anyway, it's always fun to be on a ferry :)