Porlamar is the largest city on Isla Margarita, Nueva Esparta State in Venezuela. It was founded on the southeast coast in 1536, less than 40 years after Christopher Columbus first sailed through. Porlamar was a quiet fishing village until the arrival of air travel. Since then, it has become the central hub of the island with shops, restaurants and nightlife supported mostly by European and Venezuelan tourism.
Porlamar holds about one-third of Margarita Island's population and it is also the island's center of commerce. Since it was granted free-port status in 1973, its boutique-lined avenues have been crowded with tourists. In the early 1990s, the economic downfall also hit Porlamar. Other free ports in Venezuela now offer the same goods as the free port of Margarita Island