Martinique: Health, Safety

ferns, Martinique, French West Indies, French Caribbean International
Copyright © John Smith, All Rights Reserved.
Probably the greatest danger to travelers to Martinique is overexposure to the sun. Remember to work on your tan gradually and use plenty of sunscreen.

Mosquitoes are always found in the tropics and, during rainy periods, they tend to be the most bothersome. In addition to their standard itching bites, mosquitoes may transmit nasty diseases such as dengue, chikungunya and malaria. The most reliable defense is a liberal application of personal repellent, particularly at dawn and dusk. Other defenses include locally available plug-in and burning coil devices that help to repel mosquitoes both indoors and out.

Outside of the rarely seen fer-de-lance snake on Martinique, there is not much in the way of really dangerous land critters in the French West Indies. The Manchineel tree (le Manceniller) puts out a highly toxic sap. You should never stand under one in the rain or taste its little green berries. These trees are usually marked with red paint by the locals.

In shallow coastal water, watch out for sea urchins, sharp coral and jellyfish. Always wear fins (palmes) when snorkeling and ask the locals about swimming and diving conditions before you go in the water.

Swimming in fresh waters in the tropics may lead to exposure to certain parasitic diseases. Check with locals regarding the current safety of ponds and rivers in Martinique.

Some large reef fish may contain toxins that can cause serious symptoms if ingested. Check with locals before eating fish that you have caught yourself. The tap water is drinkable in most places and excellent local bottled water is available in stores and restaurants.

Medical care is modern and widely available in Martinique, including hospitals, clinics, ambulance services and doctors. Remember that most medical professionals are French-speaking only.

AIDS is a factor throughout the world. Remember to practice safe sex.


For tropical storm information:

For US State Dept. travel advisories and information:

For Caribbean travel health advisories:
French Caribbean Map with St. Martin, St. Barts, St. Barth, Guadeloupe, Martinique, Les Saintes and Marie-Galante

Photo © 2013 Gerald Hill / Used by Permission.

Click for the BBB Business Review of French Caribbean International
French Caribbean International is an Award-Winning Member of the Better Business Bureau.

Terms of Use / Privacy Policy / About Us / Advertising / Contact Us

© 1996-2013 French Caribbean International. All rights reserved.
Unauthorized reproduction of images, text, audio, video or other content is prohibited.
French Caribbean
® is a registered trademark (marque déposée).

Since 1994, French Caribbean International has been the premier guide to the French West Indies. In addition to providing helpful travel information, we are an exceptional resource for accommodations including St. Barthélemy (St. Barts, St. Barth, St. Barths) villa rentals and hotels, St. Martin / St. Maarten villa rentals and hotels, Martinique villa rentals and hotels, Guadeloupe villa rentals and hotels, Les Saintes villa rentals and hotels, and Marie-Galante villa rentals and hotels.