Paraguachí, El Tirano
In the Guaquerí language the island of Margarita was known as Paraguachoa:
"abundance of fish". Paraguachí signifies "abundance of lobster".
El Tirano, Fisherbay
The village Paraguachí lies in one of the freshest and most fertile valleys
of the island. In the village square the trees create a shaded area where the
16th century church of San José can be seen. However, of the original structure
only the sacrosant remains.
The 2lst of July 1561 saw the arrival at
the Port of Paraguachí a spanish conquistador who would be
remembered for his cruelty and bloodthirstiness: Lope de Aguirre.
In his 40 days stay in the island he wiped out as many people
as he could. Included in the massacre was the then governor
Juan Sarmiento de Villandrando and many of his followers.
Even members of his own crew were not spared his wrath. Leaving
the island he left behind a trail of death and destruction.
Months later he was caught by García de Pacides and his final
act before surrendering was to stab his own daughter Elvira
to death. Since then the port of Paraguachí (also called Fermín
Port) has been called "EL TIRANO" (The Tyrant). Today as yesterday,
El Tirano is a fishing village where it is possible to take
boat rides to the islands of Los Frailes (the Friars lslands)
about 45 minutes away.
In the Town Hall of Paraguachí can be found a statue of El Tirano made in Genoa,
Italy. It came to the island in 1956 and was shown in the Nueva Cadíz museum
in La Asunción. In 1994 it was moved to its present site.
This is one of the favorite beaches of the surfer. "Pegue" "Flote" "aéreo"(air)
"360"(full circle) etc. are some of the words heard in Parguito; along with others
like "glass"(self explanatory), "choppy"(likewise) and "picado"(real choppy)
which describes the state of the sea.
Parguito is a 'live' beach: wide beach with calm water; medium beach with rolling
waves; high water (season of hurricanes, which in Margarita -thank whatever-
are tropical storms) and the waves can be "choppy" etc.
A good walk starts at the right hand side of the beach, by climbing the hill
and following the path. You are leaving Parguito and going towards "Puerto Abajo".
Along this walk can be found a series of caves known only by the more adventurous
(and caution is advised). One of them is called "The Witches Cave", so called
since the Colonial times, because a witch hid there from the Conquistadores and
their faith. The story ends with the witch changing into a fish, strange and
black. Many people have said they have seen its shadow in the water.
In the north of the island is Manzanillo beach known for its calm water and
sunsets. Historians tell how the Guaiquerí were so friendly with Christopher
Columbus so the spanish crown recognized their territorial rights and honored
them with titles. It was here ships arrived to take on "Magnesita" coming by
train (the only one on the island) from the mine in Loma de Guerra.
Playa Manzanillo Birdview
In the mornings one can see the collection of nets by the local community.
Anyone can help and the normal reward is some of the fish you help to pull out.
Beware, the tree Manzanillo has a fruit which looks very attractive and tempting.
Under no circumstances try it as it is extremely toxic.
The "In Place" for national and international tourists. The Water: (El Agua)
3 kms long. Water, beach, restaurants and a lot more. Its name came from the
number of ponds and wells which over time have faded away. Here you can find
everything to have a good time. There is no village of "El Agua", but there is
a organized community which has been and is concerned about the area.
Playa El Agua has an international community, German, French, Italian etc.
which has added its flavour. It is perhaps the most visited area on the island,
the most known and the most popular. It's a small world within a world. In Playa
El Agua and its outskirts (from Paraguachi to Manzanillo) you can find everything
necessary, and the superflous as well without the need to travel much.
Playa el Agua
Be careful while in the water. Keep close to the shore since there is undertow
and you may find yourself dragged out. If this happens, let yourself float a
bit and try to get out from the side. Don't fight against the current because
tiredness may overcome you.
Margarita has two national parks: Cerro El Copey and Laguna de la
Restinga, and three natural monuments (small parks):
Cerro Matasiete y Guayamurí, La Laguna de las Marites,
and Las Tetas de María Guevara (María Guevara’s breasts!).
All protect a range of habitats and are home to various species
of wildlife. Birds such as flamingoes, pelicans and scarlet
ibis are most prolific in and around the mangrove swamps of
La Laguna de la Restinga. The park has an area of 10,700ha
and can be reached easily by road. Visitors can hire boats
from the jetty to cruise the mangroves. Cerro El Copey covers
an area of 7,130ha, and comprises both flat land with small
villages and woodland-covered mountains, the latter of which
offer fantastic views of the island. The park is located in
the central eastern part of the main island and can be reached
by road from La Asunción.
District Nueva Esparta, Isla de Margarita