Spot Guide - El Yaque

The Island
Isla Margarita is situated just 40 km off the northern coast of mainland Venezuela. Isla Margarita and the two other Islands Coche and Cubagua constitute the Federal State Nueva Esparta. The island is about 70 km long (east-west) and 30 km wide (max.). With an area of about 950 km2 it is half the size of Teneriffa (Canary Islands).
The eastern part of the island is characterized by mountains (up to 1000 m) and lush vegetation. It is also the most populated area on Margarita. Beautiful sandy beaches stretch along its east coast. Macanao, the smaller, western part has in contrast a more desert like landscape. Cactus and thorn-bushes dominate the vegetation. Between both parts of the island lies Laguna La Restinga a 26 km2national park. This mangrove swamp boasts a widely branching network of channels and a magnifold fauna.


The biggest city on the island is Porlamar with 180.000 citizens. Modern multistory buildings, hotels, fast-food restaurants and duty-free shops line up along the streets. The administrative capital of Nueva Esparta is La Asunción. Compared to Porlamar it is rather small in size. La Asunción is situated in the remote, but fertile valley Santa Lucia.

The Spot
The most popular place for windsurfing on Isla Margarita is El Yaque, a former fishing village just 2 km south of the airport at the southern coast of the eastern island. At this spot the north-eastern trade winds, which are already diverted by the mountains on the eastern part of the island, are accelerated by thermic winds as a result of rising air masses above the dry and hot peninsular Macanao. 


These strong eastern sideshore winds make El Yaque an ideal place for freeriders. You will find shallow waters up to 400 m from the beach. The water in this area is quite choppy, but a bit far more out the wind swell can reach about 1-1.5 m.

The windiest months are March and April (90% of the days above 4 bft). May is a bit less windy, but the wind tends to be more constant. In August and September less than 50% of the days will have 4 bft or more. As the trade wind is reinforced by thermal winds after lunch time, the strongest winds blow normally between 2 and 5 pm.

Locals told us, that the wind situation in March 2002, was unusually bad. However, out of 3 weeks we had only 3 days, where we were not able to plane and most of the time we used sails of about 4.5-6 m
2 on a 90-100l board. As the winds are mostly quite gusty, it is advisable to choose slightly bigger material, rather than roll in a calm.

El Yaque is not only an ideal place for windsurfers, it is also very suitable for kite surfing. Since in many places kite and windsurfer do not get on very well with each other, from 9:00-17:00 kite surfing is restricted to a special kite area only. However, this kite bay, which is situated upwind of the windsurf area, is said to be a brilliant place for both beginners and advanced kite surfers



Surf Center
There is definitely no need to bring along your own material. As much as seven surf centers offer lots of surf equipment. All centers are located directly on the beach, only some meters away from the water. Beginning from the western edge of the beach Centre Natalie Simon (Bic/AHD/Neil Pryde), Happy Surf (F2/Neil Pryde), Planet Windsurf (Fanatic/Arrows), Vela (F2/JP/Neil Pryde), Mistral(Mistral/North), Viva (Fanatic/Neil Pryde) and Sharks (Neil Pryde) mainly offer boards and sails in a pool system. At Mistral you can have a reserved board for the whole rental period.

If you want to use your own surf board, a good place to store it is the Jump & Jibe Hotel. Many other centers do not offer a storage place anymore. The Jump & Jibe Hotel also hosts the “skydivers”-kite school.

We rent our boards at Vela and were really satisfied with the quality of the material and the very friendly service (greetings to Tom, Kathy, Robby, Simona, Alex and the other guys). The center also offers some good clinics free of charge.

Surf Shops
If you need some spare parts or clothes (lycra shirt, shoes etc.) you might ask the staff at your surf center. However, most of the centers offer only a very limited range of equipment. In addition there are three surf shops at the main street (Neil Pryde next to the Windsurf Paradise Hotel, Surf Fast at the Pizzeria and another shop across the road next to the travel agency).
The two supermarkets at the main road also offer essential accessoires like sun protection lotion and tape.


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