Martinique – a small island guide

The first drops of rain fall on my face when I begin to write this article. After a couple of seconds the drizzle changes to a huge downpour.
Local people don’t really pay attention to it – the sun only needs a few minutes to come back from behind the clouds and the weather is beautiful and hot again.

The rain in Martinique is like this: sudden, short and strong.

We still have a few weeks before the rainy season. This usually is between July and December. Holiday season is here from December to May with a peak season around February – April. Prices of hotels, plane tickets and tourist attractions are twice as expensive on this time.

What to see:

Beaches:

  • Anse Noire

Beach located near the rain forest on the north side of the island.
It’s not a popular place so if you are looking for a chill space to relax – this is the best option for you.
Anse Noire is a Volcanic beach, which means – the sand is dark (but beautifully shiny)

  • Plage Le Diamant

It’s a typical Caribbean coast with white sand and azure water. Definitely more people come to this beach but you will still be able to find a spot for yourself.
Near to the beach you can find Memorial de l’Anse Caffard – an amazing place of remembrance for the crash of a slave ship.

  • Plage fond banane

‚Banana beach’ – looks a little bit like ‚La Diamant’, but here they have public toilets and showers. It’s a favorite Martinique families’ spot – this beach is always full of kids and their parents.
The name of the beach probably comes from the banana plantations that occupy the area.

  • Grand Anse des Salines

The most popular beach in Martinique.
Located on the north side of the island, it has everything that I imagined dreaming about the Caribbean.
Unfortunately, the amazing views, coconut shell drinks and azure, clear water bring hundreds of people a day.

  • Anse Michel

A local boy showed me this place and I have to say it became my favorite place on the island.
Not a lot of people know how to get here, because this beach is a little bit hidden in the forest.
During the two times I have been there, I didn’t see anyone: I had this paradise to myself.

Apparently it doesn’t matter in which part of the island you are: you will always have less than 15km to the sea.

Waterfalls:

  • Cascada sur la ravine Baron

Located near to the street Rue de la Duchesse Catherine in Fort-de-France.
To get there you have to find a old board full of paint and graffiti which is on the street. A couple of steps behind this sign are some stairs. Go down.

The waterfall has a natural pool where you can swim.
(Note: poisonous spiders are often found near the waterfall)

When you come back to the street, walk until you find a big yellow building- it’s an abandoned hotel (you can find open bathrooms here). Pass the hotel and take the stairs. Here are hot springs!

  • Cascada du Saut du Gendarme

It’s a small and really popular waterfall. I met a lot of tourists here but for me this waterfall was a little bit disappointing.

  • Couleuvre waterfall

My favorite waterfall is located in the north side of the island.
To get there you have to walk into a rain forest. It can be slippery so I recommend you take trekking shoes.
After around 30min of walking you will find a beautiful, huge waterfall with a natural pool. Don’t be afraid to go into the water!

Montagne Pelée

Majestic and partially hidden in the clouds, this volcano is the highest point on the island (1397m above sea level).
At the foot of the volcano is the former capital of the city – Saint Pierre.
Built by wealthy settlers, it was the only city that initially had lanterns, theaters and cobbled streets.
Unfortunately, paradise ended abruptly in 8.05.1902 when the volcano erupted – it killed 26 thousand people and turned the city into ruin.

Today the volcano is a popular tourist attraction and a great place for trekking.

Jardin de Balata

Beautiful Botanic Garden opened in 19.04.1987, it is located northwest of Fort-de-France.
Here there are trees, flowers and plants from the subtropical zones of the whole world. The garden was created with a good idea in mind – each part of it seems to tell diverse stories and they also take you to different places of the world.
The garden is open from 9am to 6pm
To walk around you need approximately one hour but I really recommend that you come here early and stay a bit longer: the views are worth it.

Entrance: 13.50$

Couple of tips for hitchhikers:

Couchsurfing works really well so I recommend you to look for a host before you come. You can also sleep in your tent but don’t choose a tourist beach to do so.

Hitchhiking is easy and fast.

Where to take a shower:

  • In Le Marin near bar Le Numero 20 are stairs, go up and you will find bathrooms open between 6:30am and 7:30pm.
    To open the door you need a special magnetic card but you can just wait until someone will go in and just go behind them.
  • Similar bathrooms are located near Mango Bay restaurant but these are open until 9pm (you also need a card)
  • Restaurant Mango Bay has toilets located near their garden, so you can go there from the street without trouble.
  • There are showers and toilets on Banana beach
  • In Saint-Anne, in front of Police Municipale, there is a church. Behind it you will find a path that goes up; up there you will find a small building with public bathrooms.

WIFI:

  • In Le Marin, near the port, you can connect your phone to a free open wifi: ASUS5-Mango Bay or Marina.
  • In Saint-Anne there is a beach restaurant called Paille Coco– when I went there the password was cocktailfruits. Don’t worry if they change it – you can find the password on the bill – just order something or ask one of the clients.
  • Private beach Club Med has free wifi for guests. I just wrote a random last name and room number and the website accepted it.
  • On the island there are also three McDonald’s, KFC and other fast-food restaurants where you can find open wifi.

Laundry – Cost:

  • 7kg – 7€
  • 14kg – 11€
  • dryer – 2€

That’s all I think. I hope you will have an amazing time in Martinique!

From the island you can take a ferry to St Lucia or St Vincent
. I recommend to do it if you have enough time. St Lucia is called the pearl of the Caribbean and is really beautiful!

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