Traveled with spouse and small child (1.5 yrs old) to Isla Margarita from 30 August 2012 through 03 September 2012 for a family vacation. Flew in on LTA which was ok. International arrivals terminal at Margarita is small, but this is the Carib and most airports aren't that large anyway. Costa Linda sent a taxi cab driver to meet us at the airport and he kindly took our bags (this helped with a restless infant in tow) to the cab. It was $25 USD from the airport to the hotel which is at Playa el Agua. The drive takes about 30-40 minutes or so. The neighborhood around the hotel was quiet, alot of walls as that's just how it goes sometimes in these parts of the world. Staff there was very nice. Julissa and Mary were especially kind and were always able to answer any questions related to restaurants, culture, the beach, security, fees, etc.. Great bunch of people. Some staff didn't speak English but everyone worked hard to communicated with us. Costa Linda is setup much like an Old World style hacienda. Very cool decor. Our rate was $70 USD (cash payment) a nite for 3 people. They also included a pack and play crib for our baby. The room was on the 2nd floor (take note, no elevators) which came with an indoor hammock and two queen sized beds, A/C, and cable TV. There's a safe in the room you can use for an extra daily charge. Some units have different setups as there were also outdoor balconies with hammocks in some rooms. We'd probably get one of those next time we visit. The rate included a breakfast buffet and they also give you tickets for free towels and beach chairs at Playa el Agua. The food at the restaurant was good and staff was kind too. Free wifi is available in the lobby and restaurant/lounge area. The hotel/B&B felt very secure with an electrified fence and lots of walls. The hammocks in the restaurant and lounge area were great. We spent plenty of time laying around, reading, having good rum, playing with the baby. The beach; It's about a 10 minute walk straight down to the beach. You follow the street which feels like a tunnel with the high walls on both sides, but once you hit the main drag it opens up and you find blue waters in front of you. We used the tickets for free beach towels and chairs each day with no trouble. Nice beach, clear water, and great sun. Alot of vendors though, but everyone has to make a living somehow these days. Easily dispatched if you politely say no thank you. While alot of businesses along the strip are somewhat rundown, people there do try hard to accommodate you. The beach experience was very good overall, I was pleasantly surprised. It's abit windy most days, but this really helps with the hot sun and it keeps bugs away. Dinner at Costa Linda was very good after a long day at the beach. Good choices overall. Keep in mind with the breakfast buffet, it's best to arrive early as we didn't one morning and alot of items were gone by the time we arrived. The restaurant did have a baby high chair available available which we used on a regular basis. Good to have a stroller though. Overall, we very much enjoyed our stay. It's sad to see that Margarita has seen a turn towards tougher times which you can see with much of the economically despressed areas, but alot can be said about the character of the people here. Not a rude soul to be found. In terms of security, stay away from areas that look sketchy and just be smart and aware of your surroundings. At night, it's best to stay at your hotel and take it easy (not a problem when you're at the beach all day). Overall, we had a blast at Costa Linda and look forward to returning one day. Despite being the only non-Spanish speaking guests there, we were treated with just as much kindness and respect as our fellow vacationers. We flew out on Conviasa (state airline) after 3 full days there. Keep in mind, Conviasa has been in the news with management issues, but the plane seemed relatively clean and well-kept. One last tip is bring US dollars. The "official" exchange rate is astronomical at around 4.3 Bsf to 1 US dollar, which based on the rates means you're basically getting 1 unit of currency for every 50 cents, thus you're losing half the value of your money when use credit cards and ATMs. Was able to exhange money for 9.7 Bsf to 1 US dollar which made a huge difference, be discreet about it though. There's an airport departure tax around 210 Bsf or so per person which would've been over $125 USD total, but with money changed via the unofficial exchange rate we only paid the equivalent of $50 USD. Duty free at the international terminal is pretty small, which is surprising as the domestic terminal looks more like a megamall than an airport. Good times to be had at Isla Margarita if you plan ahead, bring USD, and just be safe when you're venturing around the island. Costa Linda Beach Hotel is a great place to hang your hat if you decide to visit.
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- Also Known As:
- Costa Linda Beach Hotel Playa El Agua
- Costa Linda Beach Margarita Island/Playa El Agua, Venezuela