Martinique is an island located in the eastern Caribbean Sea and is one of the Windward Islands. It falls under the overseas territorial collectivity of France. French is the official language on the island, and the people also speak Martinican Creole.
For those who want to explore the French West Indies, Martinique is a popular tourist spot. The island has an interesting history, with Christopher Columbus landing here in 1502. Although Spain had taken over some other islands, it had no interest in this territory, so over time the French dominion in the region increased.
One of the best things about this island is its multicultural cuisine. Food lovers can indulge in French, Africa, Carib Amerindian, and even Indian dishes. The Martinican desserts are perhaps one of the best in the world. Before you leave to explore this wonderful island, make sure to purchase
travel insurance or
travel medical insurance
to protect you from any unexpected accidents, illnesses or injuries.
Things to Do for Travelers in Martinique
There are plenty of things to enjoy during your trip to Martinique.
- Walk through the Balata Botanical Garden: Located near Fort-de-France, this spectacular garden houses over 3,000 varieties of tropical plants and trees. There are lush hills inside the garden and ponds with lotuses and water lilies along with swaying palm forests. There are little paths and shaded walkways and the air is filled with the chirp of many tropical birds.
- Exploring Les Trois-Ilets: This is a popular tourist zone on the island, filled with shops, restaurants, and museums. You can visit the pottery complex, where you can find handcrafted pottery goods made by the locals. Several other handcrafted goods are available here, like soaps and jewelry, and you can buy them as souvenirs. Take a charming kayak tour to get around the region.
- Visiting Saint-Pierre: Saint-Pierre was once the main port of the island and the new city is built on the remnants of the old one. You can get a spectacular view of the Mount Pelée from here. It is a volcanic mountain, with the last major eruption in 1902 killing over 30,000 people in the region. Today it is a bustling town and many cruise tours operate from here.
- Visiting the ruins of Chateau Dubuc: The grand chateau once belonged to the wealthy Dubuc family in the 18th century, which owned much of the Caravelle Peninsula. Their audio-guided tour lends insight into the history of the region. The hike through the charming mangrove forest takes about an hour, from where you can head to the quaint beaches of Tartene.
- Relaxing at Sainte-Anne: If you want to enjoy some alone time and want to take a break from your busy itinerary, then this is the best place to unwind. The beaches are warm and soothing and great for lazy walks. Swim in the pristine waters and sunbathe on the shores. Visit the local shops and restaurants to enjoy the local flavor.
Travel Risks for International Travelers in Martinique
Martinique is safe to travel to but there are things to look out for.
- Zika Virus: The Zika virus is quite common on the Caribbean islands, and it is especially dangerous for pregnant women. It could cause microcephaly in babies if the mother contracts the virus. It is a mosquito-borne virus, so carry repellants at all times.
- Dengue: Dengue has again made a comeback in the Caribbean Islands in recent years, and Martinique also comes under its grip. Try to wear covered clothing during hiking, as dengue mosquitoes mostly bite during the day.
- Bilharzia: Bilharzia, or schistosomiasis, is an infection caused by parasitic flatworms, which are mostly found in freshwater. Avoid drinking unpurified fresh water from streams and ponds while you are outdoors. You should also avoid swimming in fresh water as much as possible unless you are sure the water is treated by local authorities.
- Pit Vipers: While you are out hiking or trekking, always make sure you are wearing high boots. This is because an aggressive pit viper, the fer-de-lance, can be found in these regions. Avoid walking through shrubs and bushes, especially after dark.
- Natural disasters: Hurricanes often strike the region between June and September, so be careful about the timing of your visit. With quite a few volcanic mountains in the vicinity, the chances of an eruption are moderately high, along with low-to-medium-frequency earthquakes.
Martinique Travel Medical Insurance for International Travelers – FAQs
With medical insurance, you’ll get assistance with medical expenses in case you are sick or injured while traveling to Martinique.
Do I need travel medical insurance for Martinique?
It is not mandatory to buy medical insurance before traveling to Martinique. However, you should still get it, even if you have coverage, because of a reciprocal agreement between France and your home country.
Why buy travel medical insurance for Martinique?
The risk of tropical diseases and natural hazards in Martinique is moderately high. You do not want to incur additional medical expenses on your vacation.
Medical facilities in Martinique are on par with mainland France, and so the treatments can be expensive. With travel medical insurance, the cost of treatment will be covered by the insurance company.
Martinique Trip Cancellation Insurance for International Travelers – FAQs
With trip cancellation insurance, there would be no need to worry about lost money in case your island vacation is canceled for a covered reason as listed in the policy of your certificate wording.
Why buy trip cancellation insurance for Martinique?
Trip cancellation insurance could possibly protect your finances if the service providers in Martinique cancel your bookings. Calamities like hurricanes or volcanic eruptions could lead to sudden cancellations, but the insurance could also provide coverage on such occasions.
Some insurance policies will reimburse you even if you have to cancel the trip, but make sure the insurance mentions such terms. Check the fine print of your plan for a list of cancellation reasons that are eligible for benefits.
What all is covered under travel insurance for Martinique?
Martinique travel insurance will cover the following:
Loss of baggage
Kayak tour and cruise cancellation
Flight delays and cancellations
Cancellation of hotel booking
Beach stay cancellation
Botanical garden tour cancellation
Before You Travel to Martinique - Do This
Check the local weather reports for hurricane warnings. Avoid going out to the sea if any warnings are given.
Carry ample mosquito repellent to reduce the chances of dengue.
Get vaccines for Zika virus, dengue, and malaria, along with other tropical diseases as well.
Carry a portable water filter to avoid drinking unpurified fresh water when you are outdoors. Otherwise, make sure you have bottles with you.
Get travel insurance for Martinique and you can completely relax during your visit to this amazing tropical island. Browse a wide variety of options and select the plan that best fits the needs of your itinerary and destination.