Puerto la Cruz (called simply "the port" by locals) and Barcelona (the capital of Sucre state) form one metropolitan area joined by several main avenues and highways. Barcelona has a small historical zone and the enormous El Morro Tourism Complex, where there are hotels and artificial canals providing access to the sea. Most visitors, however, will be interested in Puerto la Cruz: It's the gateway to Margarita Island, with regular ferry service. If you are planning a trip from there, do not take up with any of the unregistered agencies handing out leaflets along the streets, regardless of their "amazing" prices.
The ferry terminals are at the west end of Paseo Colon, an appealing boulevard lined with hotels, restaurants, bars and touristy shops on one side and a pretty, wide, sandy beach on the other. Unfortunately, the waters there are too polluted for swimming. If you want to spend some time in the water, small boats docked at the east end of Paseo Colon shuttle visitors to nice beaches along the coastal highway between Puerto la Cruz and Cumana and to the nearby islands of Parque Nacional Mochima, where there are good beaches and excellent diving. Puerto la Cruz is located 205 mi/330 km west of Caracas.
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