Margarita Island - Isla de Coche
About Coche Island
Coche Island is an island located in the Caribbean Sea, belonging to the Nueva Esparta state of Venezuela. With its crystal clear waters and white sandy beaches, this island is a popular tourist destination for those looking to relax and enjoy the sun and sea. In this article, we will explore everything you need to know to plan your trip to Isla de Coche.
Located to the south of Isla Margarita is the arid Isla de Coche, which has an area of approximately 55 square kilometers and rises to 60 meters above sea level, is 11 km long and 6 km wide.
The island has a tropical climate, with temperatures ranging between 25 and 30 degrees Celsius throughout the year. The best time to visit Isla de Coche is between December and April, when the rains are less frequent and the weather is cooler.
The vegetation is scarce and eminently xerophilous, which is due to the low rainfall, which averages an annual of 300 mm. Together with the intense sun, this gives rise to a huge water deficit of about 2,000 mm per year. The average temperature is 27.5 °C, tempered by the NE trade winds, which constantly act on the island. You can see the effect of the strong and continuous breezes in the sparse vegetation of the island.
Isla de Coche has a population of around 8,000 inhabitants. It forms the Villalba Municipality, with San Pedro de Coche as its capital. The other towns of Coche Island are El Bichar, Guinima, El Amparo, El Guamache and La Uva.
One road runs along the southern coast of the island and another road runs along the north coast. On the southern coast is the natural port of El Bichar, half closed by Punta Camejo with its shallow water.
San Pedro de Coche
San Pedro de Coche is the capital of the Villalba municipality, and at the same time the economic and social heart of the island of Coche. It is the only port town to enter the island and the majority of the population resides here.
San Pedro de Coche was founded by a group of fishermen, and currently the town’s main economic activity is fishing. Another important source of income is tourism.
Tourism on Coche Island
The island of Coche has exceptional conditions for selective quality tourism (not massive).
On the island are high-quality hotels that offer tourists all the necessary services for a pleasant stay. In addition, both water and land rides and tours are offered. For tourism purposes, the island of Coche maintains close communication with the island of Margarita and with the Venezuelan mainland of Sucre State.
Activities on Coche Island
Isla de Coche is known for its beautiful beaches and crystal clear waters, which makes it perfect for water activities such as snorkeling, scuba diving, kitesurfing and windsurfing. You can also take banana or donut rides, or rent a jet ski, boat, or kayak to explore the waters around the island.
To the west of the island, the conditions to practice windsurfing and kitesurfing (strong winds of more than 50 km/h with a sea without waves) are considered among the best in the world.
If you prefer land activities, you can walk along the beaches, enjoy a picnic or sunbathe on the beach. There are also several restaurants and bars along the beaches where you can enjoy local food and drinks.
On the roads you can practice cycling or take a tour on all-terrain vehicle (ATV) or quads, of course, with sun protection to avoid sunstroke, given the absence of clouds throughout the year. The temperature, although high, is pleasant due to the cool sea breeze, taking into account that this breeze intensifies precisely in the hottest hours of the afternoon.
Another interesting place to visit is the pink lagoon, an abandoned salt pan where salt is no longer extracted commercially.
In addition, Isla de Coche is known for its handicrafts, especially those made with seashells. You can buy these crafts at local stores or outdoor markets.
How to get to Coche Island
There are several ways to go to Isla Coche:
1. By boat from Playa El Yaque
The easiest way to go to Isla de Coche is on a boat that leaves from Playa El Yaque, where a local will take you to the island and back and will connect you with vendors for food, land transportation, and lodging on the island.
Casa Maya is strategically located just 50 meters from the dock where the boats depart.
Duration: 20-25 minutes. The departures are from 9 to 10 am regularly and the return is no later than 4:30 pm.
Price: $25 per person round trip
Our neighbor Don Chicho offers the best boats in Playa El Yaque. Don Chicho offers boat transportation services between El Yaque Beach and the Coche and Cubagua Islands. For more information visit @eldonchicho or by WhatsApp. The boats have new engines, security systems, and life jackets for their clients. They have a radio, first aid kit, navigation lights and the best attention to customers.
2. Hire a Full Day excursion To Coche Island
Another very popular option to visit Isla Coche is on a ‘Full Day’ excursion. A typical excursion begins with the transfer from your hotel to the dock at Playa El Yaque, where you can take a boat or catamaran to sail to Playa La Punta, on Isla de Coche. You will have the rest of the day to spend on your own or do guided activities.
The excursions include the transfer to Isla de Coche, a light breakfast, entertainment, music, buffet lunch and open bar (soft drinks, rum and beer), hammocks, umbrellas and transfer to the hotel on Isla de Margarita.
Duration: transfer 25-30 minutes, stay all day.
3. By ferry from Punta de Piedras
Ferry Jet Marine:
This high-speed ferry type vessel is exclusively for transporting passengers (not vehicles) for tourism purposes. The service between Punta de Piedras and Isla de Coche is only offered on Saturdays.
The Ferry has a capacity for 220 passengers on the main deck and 40 passengers on the upper deck.
Visit the Ferry Jet Marine instagram account for information on the route, schedules, and where to buy tickets.
Duration: 30 minutes
Price: $8 and up (one way).