With so many wonderful places to see in this world, why would someone want to return to a place they had already been? Isla de Margarita is one of those places that draw you back again and again. Our first visit to the island was on the recommendation of an RCI vacation planner. He said that he had spoken with several people who had been there and had told him they had a great time. We stayed at Lagunamar the first time and had a wonderful vacation. We flew inland to the Orinoco River delta, stayed overnight, and flew the next day past Angel Falls to Canaima, where we were able to walk on a 6-inch-wide ledge the length of a football field behind the powerful falls. It all added up to an experience we'll never forget.
That same trip, we met and made friends with a local tour guide named Ricky. He introduced us to La Restinga, El Valle, Porlamar, Pampatar, and many more areas of the island he proudly called his home. If you're interested in knowing more about that first trip, you can see my journal entitled "Isla Margarita."
The only problem we had was that we ran out of time and had to leave. Ricky gave us his card with his phone numbers when he took us to the airport for our return flight. We said all the usual things tourists say, like "we'll be back", "we'll recommend you to all our friends," and "we'll call you when we come back next time." When we got home, we went on with our lives, visiting other countries and looking for new adventures. Then one day, we were talking about past vacations and agreed that Margarita Island had been one of the most fun destinations we'd been to. We decided to see if we could return. This time we wanted to take more time and really enjoy the peaceful, laid-back atmosphere and try for our scuba-diving certifications. It had been 2 years since our last visit, and I had no idea where I had mislaid Ricky's card.
With RCI's help, we booked the Dunes Resort and Beach Club for 3 weeks. We had met Ricky when we arrived at the airport on our first visit and hoped to find him there this trip. No such luck. However, when we asked around, one of the other local drivers told us he was Ricky's cousin and he would have him call us at our hotel. That evening Ricky called, and we arranged to see him the next day to make plans for more tours. During this trip, we met several other guests at the resort and introduced them to Ricky. We revisited some of our favorite areas with new friends and enjoyed seeing everything again through their eyes. We were able to scuba dive several times and further our training, too. Having an extremely knowledgeable guide who was most accommodating, and who took so much pride in his country and his chosen profession, made our tours unforgettable. The political atmosphere in Caracas, on the mainland, was a little unstable both times while we were on Isla Margarita, but we never felt worried for our safety. We had a wonderful time again and look forward to returning in the future.