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Isla Margarita, Pampatar, Venezuela - The Old Castle Of Margarita Island

Venezuela travel blog by Mark Berman - January 2011   » View Photoset (30 Photos)

Mark Berman, South America backpacker for 10yrs!
I set out for a day trip from La Restinga to Pampatar to see the castle. I had to go via Porlamar. The bus from Porlamar only took about 20 minutes and leaves up the road from Plaza
Venezuela Photo - View from Castillo San Carlos de Borromeo of the cannon, city, beach, wharf and sea in Pampatar, Isla Margarita.
View from Castillo San Carlos de Borromeo of the cannon, city, beach, wharf and sea in Pampatar, Isla Margarita.
Bolivar in the direction of the church. Pampatar is located on the far east side of Margarita Island beside the sea, the main attraction being the castle Castillo San Carlos de Borromeo.

The Castle

Castillo San Carlos de Borromeo was constructed in 1663 and took 20 years to build. The entrance to the castle is a wooden bridge and then through a door in the rock wall. The castle has 3 levels, 2 above ground from the road and one below where there are many cannon in a row pointing towards the ocean. On the ground level an impressive stone ramp leads up to the top level. An old ship anchor sits in the corner. Bastions sit in each corner of the castles top floor, the views up here are fantastic! You can see the whole bay from left to right - the city, apartment blocks at the back of the beach, the wharf, the hills at the back and boats far out to sea.
Venezuela Photo - Monument to General Jose Maria Garcia Gomez (1841-1917) in the park near the castle in Pampatar, Isla Margarita.
Monument to General Jose Maria Garcia Gomez (1841-1917) in the park near the castle in Pampatar, Isla Margarita.

Other Sights

Outside the castle directly beside is an open-air amplitheater called Cedeño amplitheater named after Vicente Cedeño (1844-1914), he was a distinguished musician born in Pampatar famous for writing the waltz 'Castro en Margarita', it is a beautiful piece of music. I found a version on YouTube by Hernan Gamboa. There is a monument to Vicente Cedeño overlooking the amplitheater. On the other side of the castle is a nice cooling park with plenty of trees and gardens. There is a bronze
Venezuela Photo - Man in yellow shirt plays guitar mural in Pampatar, Isla Margarita.
Man in yellow shirt plays guitar mural in Pampatar, Isla Margarita.
fountain with a lion sitting on top and a monument stands nearby to General Jose Maria Garcia Gomez, he was born in Pampatar in 1841 in one of the dungeons and died in Caracas in 1917. Across the road is a childrens playground with many colorful murals painted along the wall. Opposite the castle on the other side of the road is a spacious plaza area with trees and blue lamps, beside it is the white church Santisimo Cristo del Buen Viaje built in the mid 1700's. A couple of cannon sit on small concrete pedestals between the church and Plaza Bolivar - a shaded area of trees and gardens and places to sit. A monument of liberator Simon Bolivar stands in the center. A walkway leads
Venezuela Photo - Dome shaped bastion at Castillo San Carlos de Borromeo in Pampatar, Isla Margarita.
Dome shaped bastion at Castillo San Carlos de Borromeo in Pampatar, Isla Margarita.
to a fountain with a green frog sitting on the top.

Walk Out the Wharf

It was a beautiful sunny day and I was eager to explore more of Pampatar. I walked down to the wharf near the castle and strolled to the end and took some photos looking back at the castle and beach with its backdrop of palm trees on the other side.

Beach and Beyond

I made my way along the beach where people were enjoying the water or sitting in chairs under shade. Restaurants serve food and drinks from behind the sand. I came back up to the main road from the beach and continued down the road. I found a nice 'n' shady park, it had a monument in the middle to General Santiago Mariño (1788-1854), he was a leader in the Venezuelan War of Independence from 1811-1823. At this point I asked a local where the buses back to Porlamar left from and took the short trip back. I had a great time exploring Pampatar.

     

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Distances & times (if available) from Isla Margarita - Pampatar (Venezuela) to:


Map location: Isla Margarita - Pampatar, Venezuela. Pampatar is located on the far east side of Isla Margarita beside the sea, the main attraction being the castle Castillo San Carlos de Borromeo which was constructed in 1663 and took 20 years to build! Of course there's the beach too!
 A : Isla Margarita - La Asuncion - Venezuela 7 kms 7 kms straight distance | 26mins 26mins by car (14 kms) | 31mins 31mins by bus (14 kms) (14 kms)
 B : Isla Margarita - Porlamar - Venezuela 12 kms 12 kms straight distance | 23mins 23mins by car (16 kms) | 27mins 27mins by bus (16 kms) (16 kms)
 C : Isla Margarita - Juan Griego - Venezuela 17 kms 17 kms straight distance | 36mins 36mins by car (21 kms) | 43mins 43mins by bus (21 kms) (21 kms)
 D : Isla Margarita - La Restinga - Venezuela 34 kms 34 kms straight distance | 38mins 38mins by car (41 kms) | 45mins 45mins by bus (41 kms) (41 kms)
 E : Isla Margarita - Boca de Rio - Venezuela 38 kms 38 kms straight distance | 44mins 44mins by car (47 kms) | 52mins 52mins by bus (47 kms) (47 kms)
 F : Puerto La Cruz & Barcelona - Venezuela 139 kms 139 kms straight distance | 3hrs 5mins 3hrs 5mins by car (158 kms) | 3hrs 42mins 3hrs 42mins by bus (158 kms) (158 kms)
 G : Ciudad Bolivar - Venezuela 326 kms 326 kms straight distance | 6hrs 6mins 6hrs 6mins by car (437 kms) | 7hrs 19mins 7hrs 19mins by bus (437 kms) (437 kms)
 H : Ciudad Guayana - Venezuela 320 kms 320 kms straight distance | 6hrs 51mins 6hrs 51mins by car (511 kms) | 8hrs 13mins 8hrs 13mins by bus (511 kms) (511 kms)
 I : Colonia Tovar - Venezuela 384 kms 384 kms straight distance | 8hrs 18mins 8hrs 18mins by car (534 kms) | 9hrs 57mins 9hrs 57mins by bus (534 kms) (534 kms)
 J : Puerto Colombia - Venezuela 416 kms 416 kms straight distance | 9hrs 46mins 9hrs 46mins by car (598 kms) | 11hrs 43mins 11hrs 43mins by bus (598 kms) (598 kms)
 K : Puerto Cabello - Venezuela 465 kms 465 kms straight distance | 9hrs 1min 9hrs 1min by car (636 kms) | 10hrs 49mins 10hrs 49mins by bus (636 kms) (636 kms)
 L : Morrocoy National Park - Venezuela 493 kms 493 kms straight distance | 9hrs 43mins 9hrs 43mins by car (692 kms) | 11hrs 39mins 11hrs 39mins by bus (692 kms) (692 kms)
 M : Coro to Puerto Cabello - Venezuela 534 kms 534 kms straight distance | 10hrs 24mins 10hrs 24mins by car (751 kms) | 12hrs 28mins 12hrs 28mins by bus (751 kms) (751 kms)
 N : Canaima & Angel Falls - Venezuela 540 kms 540 kms straight distance
Driving times are accurate but approximate and are listed in the order of driving distance! Drive times are always affected by weather conditions, the terrain, time of day, altitude, dinner and bathroom stops, animals on the road, protests, a fast or slow bus driver, police checkpoints, border and river crossings, dropping off and picking up passengers etc. These drive times are obtained from Google Maps and are meant as a guide. Note however, times quoted in the main text of this page are exactly as the author experienced it.


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Isla Margarita, Pampatar, Venezuela - The Old Castle Of Margarita Island. Pampatar is located on the far east side of Isla Margarita beside the sea, the main attraction being the castle Castillo San Carlos de Borromeo which was constructed in 1663 and took 20 years to build! Of course there's the beach too!

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