Venezuelans and visitors alike take advantage of the island's status as a duty-free port, although the fact is the deals and selection are not all that special. The downtown heart of Porlamar is a chaotic jumble of shops and small department stores selling everything from perfume to lingerie to electronics and appliances to liquor and foodstuffs. In 2002, the Puerto de la Mar pier was opened for cruise-ship traffic, allowing cruise passengers to disembark in downtown Porlamar, just blocks from the aforementioned jumble of shops and stores. However, as is the trend across Venezuela, large malls draw shoppers away from the downtown options. The biggest of the bunch is the Centro Sambil Margarita, Avenida Jovito Villalba, Pampatar. Other popular malls include the Centro Comercial Rattan Plaza, Avenida Jovito Villalba, Los Robles; and Centro Comercial Jumbo, Avenida 4 de Mayo.
At shops and roadside stands around the island, you will come across locally produced jewelry and ceramic wares of varying quality. Among the nicer and more readily available handicrafts for sale on Margarita are the local hammocks, or chinchorros, an intricate weave of thin strands of rough natural fibers. You'll also find woven baskets, hats, and handbags. The town of Santa Ana and the roads that form a triangle between Santa Ana, Pedro González, and Juangriego are prime hunting grounds for crafts shops and galleries.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.