Just 40km (25mi) off mainland Venezuela, Margarita Island emerges out of the warm water of the Caribbean Sea, showcasing beautiful beaches, majestic mountains and verdant valleys. Rather than attracting eco-tourists, this rich natural backdrop overlooks a hedonistic, beach-going, tax-free shopping, party orientated crowd. While the social life is hardcore, the surfing is not, but provides a small wave, warm water option for those looking for good times under the sun. With a swell window reduced by the Caribbean islands, Venezuela has to rely on easterly windswells and long distance North Atlantic swells wrapping around the West Indies. These swells come with regular onshore winds on the exposed coast but if it picks-up enough, the northwest tip of the island will receive clean surf. Heading west, away from the festive side of Margarita, a causeway crosses the marshes and lagoons of a national park before reaching the Macanao Peninsula. Here the lush vegetation disappears to leave deserted landscapes that end in steep cliffs or isolated beaches.