The Pros and Cons of Martinique
Hello! During our little get away in January 2017 to Martinique we shared both good and bad experiences. I wanted to take the time to share the pros and cons of our stay on this french paradise. But first lets talk a little about the island itself.
Martinique is a small french island located south of Dominica and north of St. Lucia. It is the sixth largest french island out of nine, and about 436 square miles large with a population of 385,551. We drove from the northern part of the island to the sourthern most in 2 hours. Do not let the size of this island fool you, it has tons to offer.
This is my favorite pro reason to visit Martinique. Many tourists that vacation here are from Europe and there are not many, which means your chances of experiencing local culture are much greater. You will not have to deal with busy restaurants or over crowded streets.
Martinique is beautiful from their luscious forest to their colorful buildings. Apart from that you will find beautiful black and white sand beaches with warm , clean oceans.
This mountain is a actually a non active volcano located in the northern region of Martinique. The volcano is in an quiescent state which means it is indeed non active but is registering some seismic activity. Why do I consider this a pro? Well its definitely a sight to see. From a distance it makes a breathtaking background. We did not get a chance to hike up it when we were there, but you can! If you are not an experienced hiker thats no problem, there are trails for all skill levels. Beware hiking alone can be dangerous, so bring a hiking buddy.
Not only were we pleasantly surprised with how affordable the dive tours are, but the experience itself went way beyond our expectations. For one dive, which included equipment rental, the cost was only $30 per person. This is a bargain in the diving world. As for our experience, there was no current that day and the visibility was spectacular. Our guide went out of his way to interact with us by handing us sea creatures and showing us where we can find cool coral and fish. On top of that there were no other divers around! If you are interested we went with Paradis Plongee, we highly recommend this dive shop if you are in Martinique.
Les Salines is a beach located in southern Martinique. Ok, so when I stepped foot onto this beach I thought I had stepped into a movie. It has the whitest sand and the bluest waters. As you walk along the beach you'll see palm trees where you can find shade and little local food stands where you can grab a bite to eat. Usually places as beautiful as this are crowded with visitors, but both days we went we had plenty of space to spread out.
I know, I know I said scuba was very affordable. Well that was the only thing that was inexpensive on this island. Since Martinique is so small they import a lot of their goods, which means price increases to cover costs. For an example we went to a convenience store just to pick up some necessities for our airbnb such as coffee, water and snacks. Our little trip to the store ended up costing us about 80 euro which is equivalent to about 100 usd.
NOT EASY TO GET AROUND
You MUST rent a car, and you may need to know how to drive a manual transmission. The residential areas are pretty far from things such as the store, restaurants and attractions. As far as public transportation goes, there is none. The next option would be a taxi right? Our airbnb host let us know that there are some, but they will take a while to get to you and they are expensive. So we highly suggest that you rent a car, have some freedom and explore this beautiful island.
Welp, we did not find much during our stay. The most we found was little beach bars, that were never busy and closed early. We love beach bars, but do wish there was a little more going on as far as nightlife. This did not get us too down though because it gave us a chance to go to bed early, and wake up early to get a head start on our adventures.
Seeing as Martinique is a french island the native language is french. Since there is not much tourism from the US you will have a hard time trying to find people who speak english, or any signs translated in english. You will find some creole speaking locals, lucky for us Ferns speaks creole. But do not let this stop you from visiting, I just recommend downloading a translate app such as iTranslate.
Ferns and I do plan to return to Martinique some day. No matter where you go there will be some cons, but in this case the pros overcame the cons. We will be back for Martinique's raw beauty, scuba, and to hike Mt Peele. I hope this helps Travel Bugsss. Talk to you soon.