Mojitos, pina coladas, dreamy pools, and throbbing salsa music; this is what I think of when I imagine an all-inclusive hotel in Venezuela. While the pool was pretty nice at the all inclusive hotel I stayed at (called El Flamboyant), and the music was pretty good some of the times, I can’t say that it really lived up to my dreams of my first all-inclusive hotel stay.
I probably wouldn’t have chosen to stay at an all-inclusive hotel in the first place, but the travel agent said that was the only option if we wanted to visit Isla Margarita during Carnival. So, my friend Jean chose the hotel because it was right on the beach in a part of the island we didn’t visit last school year when we went to Margarita (we hid out there during the December elections in case there were major protests).
Playa El Agua is the perfect place if you like to get away from the crowds, if you like body surfing on cool ocean waves, if you like a brisk breeze, and if you plan on staying at your all inclusive the whole time and don’t need to easily travel around the rest of the island. Considering that many of my friends were banged up from a serious car accident the body surfing was out, and since we were so accustomed to the warm mainland beaches the cool breeze was a little too cool for us. Also, because it was Carnival we were actually looking forward to a little street party action (which we didn’t find).
We still managed to take a day trip to Playa Pampatar, which was next to a Castle Pampatar (that seemed to be closed for Carnival). The waters were very calm, warm, and perfect for my banged up friends. There were many beachside restaurants and we happened across a very affordable one. Prices were about half of what we saw the next day at Playa El Yaque.
It was about a 45-minute drive from Playa El Agua to Playa El Yaque so keep that in mind. Playa El Yaque is how we imagined Carnival would be on the whole island. By the time we got to the beach it was absolutely packed with people. This was the busiest I’ve ever seen a beach in Venezuela and there seemed to be people from all over! The calm waters, fun people watching, and common tourist shops were exactly what we had all been expecting, and we found it in spades at El Yaque.
Now we know, if you want to party and meet people, stay at El Yaque; if you want peace and quiet and the exclusivity of your all-inclusive, go to El Agua.
Also note, that if you want to go to Isla El Coche, then you need to leave before 9AM from El Yaque.