Martinique Travel Guide

If you are heading to Martinique, this in-depth travel guide is just the thing you need. Learn about the culture, travel requirements, incredible attractions, interesting facts, and so much more!

About Martinique: Martinique is an island in the Caribbean and is one of France's overseas regions. Martinique is part of France and its Republic and part of the European Union. There are approximately 400,000 people living in Martinique.

Martinque Travel Guide

Entry/Exit & Customs
Taxes & Fees
Medical
Crime
Getting Around
Culture
Landmarks
Safety

Martinique's north is mountainous and filled with tropical rainforests. Martinique is also home to the famous volcano Mount Pelee, which due to ash has created the infamous black beaches. In the south it is less mountainous and receives the majority of the tourist population. Martinique like the rest of the Caribbean enjoys a tropical climate.

Martinique has a higher standard of living than most Caribbean countries due to its direct connection to France.

Anthem: La Marseillaise
Capital: Fort-de-France
Time Zone: ECT (UTC-04)
Languages: French, Creole Martiniquais
Power Outlets: 220-240 Volts
Currency: Euro (EUR)
Credit Cards: All major credit cards accepted
Traveler Checks: Traveler checks accepted
Side of road to drive on: Right
Legal drinking age: 18

: : ENTRY/EXIT REQUIREMENTS

For short stays (up to three months) no visa is required for the following nationalities:
-Nationals who hold a valid ID card or passport from a European Union member country or other European Economic Area (EEA) countries, Andorra, Monaco and Switzerland.
-Mainland France residence permit holders (carte de sejour).
-Citizens of the United States and Canada may enter without a visa for a stay up to three months, however a valid is required.All non-residents must have a return flight ticket. Please be advised that the French Overseas Departments (DOM) are not part of the Schengen Area. Schengen visa holders must obtain the DOM visa extension in order to enter Martinique.

Ordinary, valid passports: Argentina, Australia, Bulgaria, Brunei, Canada, Chile, South Korea, Costa Rica, Croatia, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Japan, Malta, Mexico, Nicaragua, New Zealand, Panama, Paraguay, San Marino, the Vatican, Singapore, Uruguay, USA, Venezuela.

If your situation is not listed above, then a visa is required.

: : CUSTOMS INFORMATION

Restricted/Prohibited Materials:

Products of animal origin: Apart from some exceptions the Community rules do not allow the importation of meat, meat products, milk and milk products by travelers.

Animal or plants: Travelers must be aware that certain wildlife animals or plants and parts thereof are protected by the Convention of Washington (CITES). The importation of these specimens is strongly restricted following the Community rules implementing the CITES-Convention.

Pets: Pet owners have to respect the Community rules on movements of pet animals.

Prohibitions and restrictions in the following areas are covered by national legislation:
-Drugs
-Medicines
-Weapons
-Explosive Material
-Pornographic Materials

If you need more information, please contact the competent authorities of your country of destination.

Currency Controls In/Out: Travelers entering or leaving the Community and carrying any sum equal to or exceeding $10,000 (or its equivalent in other currencies or easily convertible assets such as checks drawn on a third party) to make a declaration to the customs authorities.

Customs Information:

Free To Import:
Tobacco products
200 cigarettes or
100 cigarillos or
50 cigars or
250 grams of tobacco

Alcohol:
1 liter of spirits over 22 % vol. or
2 liters of fortified wine or sparkling wine
2 liters of still wine

Perfume:
50 Grams

Eau de toilette:
250 ml

Other goods:
Up to a value of 175 Euro

French customs authorities may enforce strict regulations concerning temporary importation into or export from the French West Indies of items such as firearms, medications, animals, etc. For questions, travelers may wish to contact the Embassy of France or a French Consulate for specific information regarding customs requirements.

: : SALES TAX AND FEES

Sales Tax:

VAT (Value Added Tax) 2.1-8.5%

Airport Taxes:

There is no airport tax in Martinique.

: : MEDICAL INFORMATION

Emergencies:

The emergency number for police is 17, firemen 18, and medical emergency services 15.

Hospitals:

There are around 20 hospitals and clinics located on the island, most of which have facilities and specialists in every branch of medicine. The largest hospital on the island is called Hospital Pierre Zobda Quikman, and is located about three miles from Fort de France. This hospital is equipped with a 24-hour emergency room.

Always consult your insurance provider prior to travel to verify overseas coverage. Medical expenses can be costly; we advise all travelers to either upgrade or purchase health insurance prior to arrival.

Bringing in prescriptions:

All medication needs to be in the original bottle from the pharmacy clearly labeled. This must be kept in your carry-on luggage.

Vaccinations:

No vaccines are required, except for travelers from South America and Africa who may be required to present an international yellow fever vaccination certificate.

: : CRIME

Petty crimes like pick-pocketing are the most common crime in Martinique and even that does not happen often. Martinique is one the safest destinations in the Caribbean. Of course travelers are advised to take the necessary precautions while out, like not displaying a lot of fancy jewelry or carrying large amounts of cash on their person.

Accused of a crime in Martinique:

Persons violating Martinique’s laws, even unknowingly, may be expelled, arrested or imprisoned. Penalties for possession, use, or trafficking in illegal drugs in Martinique are severe, and convicted offenders can expect long jail sentences and heavy fines.

Victims of Crime:

If you are the victim of a crime in Martinique you should contact the local police and your embassy and or consulate for help. This includes the loss or theft of a passport. The embassy/consulate staff can, for example, help you find appropriate medical care, contact family members or friends, and explain how funds may be transferred. Although the investigation and prosecution of the crime are solely the responsibility of local Martinique authorities, consular officers can help you to understand the local criminal justice process and to find an attorney if needed.

Traveling to Martinique with a criminal record:

There are currently no restrictions on travelers with a criminal record to travel to Martinique. We do recommend however to verify with your embassy/consulate prior to traveling to verify that these requirements have not changed.

: : TRANSPORTATION

Car Rental:

Renting a car in Martinique is very simple. Most rental agencies will require the driver to be at least 25 years old.

Taxi:

Martinique taxi drivers are required to have a working meter in their car if there is no meter than you know you hopped into an unlicensed taxi and should get out and catch the next one. There are many taxi companies which makes taking a taxi very simple in Martinique. There are also taxi-collectifs, they carry multiple passengers and will have a TC on their license plate, and this is a more economical way of taking a taxi. The greatest part of a Martinique taxi is that they are mostly Mercedes-Benz and many of the taxi-collectifs are limousines.

Public Transportation:

There is only large passenger bus service in Fort-de-France, which typically costs $1.50 Euro. If you are staying anywhere else on the island it is best to take a taxi-collectif if you prefer public transport.

Drivers License Info:

If you are staying under 20 days a valid drivers’ license is fine. If you plan on extending your stay beyond that time frame you will have to have an international drivers’ license.

: : CULTURAL INFORMATION

Motto: Liberte, Egalite, Fraternite (Liberty, Equality, Fraternity)

Wardrobe:

Summer clothes such as bathing suits and T-shirts. You can leave your tuxedo at home, as casual wear is encouraged even in more formal hotels and restaurants. If you’re not planning to dine in Bermuda shorts and flippers, you will be welcome in these establishments in as little as a polo shirt, no need even of a shirt and a tie.

Etiquette:

Martinique is part of France and the culture is directly reflective of this fact. Sophistication and style are seen especially in the island’s capital Fort-de-France. Shaking hands is part of local etiquette and knowing basic French is very much appreciated.

Tipping:

Tipping is usually around 15% for all services in Martinique; restaurants, taxis, etc.

: : POPULAR LANDMARKS

St-Pierre Ruins

The St-Pierre Ruins Martinque
The St-Pierre ruins are located on the east coast about an hour from Fort-de-France. This town was completely destroyed in 3 minutes by a volcanic explosion by Mount Pelee in 1902. Of the estimated 30,000 inhabitants, only 1 survived the explosion, a man thrown in prison overnight.

The Birthplace of Josephine (Marie Josephe Rose Tascher de la Pagerie)

The Birthplace of Josephine
Josephine was the first wife of Napoleon Bonaparte and is also known as Empress Josephine. She was born in La Pagerie near Trois Ilets. There is also a museum on site filled with artifacts. You will find her story both fascinating and inspiring.

Bibliotheque Schoelcher

Looking at the Bibliotheque Schoelcher from the street
Also known as Schoelcher Library, it was built 100 years ago for the Paris Exposition of 1889, then dismantled and shipped to Martinique mosaic by mosaic. It was named after Victor Schoelcher, the French abolitionist whose work helped end slavery on the island in 1848.

Le Roche de Diamant (H.M.S Diamond Rock)

The impressive Le Roche de Diamant
The Roche de Diamant is a 175m high basalt island. Le Roche de Diamant was actually used by the British as a sloop of war in an 1804 sea battle. It is most famous for its role in the Napoleonic Wars.

: : TRAVEL AND SAFETY TIPS

-Always walk like you know where you are going, even if you don't. This means keep your back upright and eyes straight ahead. When asking for directions keep your voice low so others don't know you are lost.-Take precautions. Do not wear a lot of jewelry or conspicuous clothing while traveling to avoid being a target of crime.

-Be cautious when taking a taxi and always look for the appropriate documentation which should be posted in eyes view. Never take a cab from the airport that is off by itself.

-If your hotel or resort recommends staying on their property you should follow these precautions.

-Never leave valuables in a soft material. The seam can easily be cut. Often the crime takes place long before it is noticed. This applies to purses, bags and luggage.

-Do not invite strangers to your hotel room.

-Do not agree to meet strangers by yourself. Even those you consider new friends and fellow tourist's.

-Plan for the unexpected, this includes extra money and medication that is required should your stay be extended.

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