La Restinga is a lagoon, a national park, and a beach on the isthmus between the main part of Margarita Island and the Macanao peninsula. The entrance to the park is very near the town Boca del Rio. You have to pay a small fee to enter the park itself.
From the entrance, you can then pay to take a boat ride through the various channels of the lagoon. The boat will then leave you at the beach and pick you up later, or you can return to the main entrance, however you wish. This boat ride costs 80 bolivars (80,000 old bolivars), as of May 2008, and is per boat.
The captain of the boat will take you through the mangroves and with good luck, he'll even find you a starfish or a seahorse to look at! The "channels" or canales have names such as "Mi Dulce Amor" (My Sweet Love), "Canal del beso" (Channel of Kiss), "Túnel de los Enamorados" (Lovers' Ttunnel), or "Paraíso del amor" (Paradise of Love).
Once you've traveled through the channels and seen the mangrove swamps, you arrive at the beach. It is actually a very long sandbar, about 22 km, but of course most of it is very deserted. Near the dock where you'll get off there are several restaurants and bathrooms, and you can rent beach umbrellas and chairs.
The beach itself is very shallow. You need to wade quite a bit to swim, but once you do, there are often nice, medium-size waves to enjoy. Kids will love picking seashells, and you can ven spot tiny crabs hiding in the mud!
La Restinga is also a home to over 100 species of birds, among which are flamingos, pelicans, heros, and of course the margaritan blue-crowned parrot which does not exist anywhere else in the world (la cotorra margariteña).
* the official website of El Parque Nacional Laguna de La Restinga
* an interactive satellite map of La Restinga area!