Step into the waters, leaving the swaying palm fringed beaches behind you. There is an abundance of diving to be done during your time in Martinique. The best time to dive is December to May, though diving is available year round in this tropical locale. February through April is the cyclonic season, so be sure to check the weather before heading out.
The legendary Rocher du Diamant (Diamond Rock) is found to the south of the island, and is by far the most popular dive to be had. There are mysterious formations to explore, from thrilling caves to impressive arches.
Another excellent dive site is Anses d’Arlet (Arlet’s Coves). The warm, shallow water is teeming with marine life, and underwater photographers will be blown away by the variety of colors and textures. The coves truly seem to be straight out of a fairy tale.
Unbelievable tropical fish busy themselves around the reefs. From angelfish to gobies, you can see it all while exploring the healthy coral reefs. You may even run across large barracudas as they seek out small, fleeing fish.
Dolphins frolic in deeper water, and there are more varieties of shark than you can shake a fin at. An unforgettable dive buddy is the marvelous Cassiopeia jellyfish, their purple tentacles reaching skyward.
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Martinique, an island draped in tropical greenery, is a French overseas region. As one of the Windward Islands, Martinique is found quite close to Saint Lucia, Dominica, and Barbados.
Most people on the island speak Antillean Creole, though the official language is France. Here, French and Caribbean cultures blend seamlessly. The island has a high standard of living, and great pride is taken in the customary music, dances, and hybrid cuisines of the region.
The locals make their way via agriculture and tourism. Rum is an important export, as are bananas and petroleum.
As a side note, the notable artist Paul Gauguin lived in Martinique, painting the tropical landscapes and islanders. There is a museum dedicated to his stay on the island.
After leaving the lovely Caribbean beaches behind, head into the lush countryside. A particularly favorable spot is the Jardin de Balata, an intimate tropical getaway with breathtaking views. Then, go to La Savane des Esclaves, a museum that will teach you a great deal about the history of the island, both the bad and the good.
Flying into the island is a breezy way to make your entrance, but you have other options, as well. Ferries run between many of the Caribbean islands, making island hopping a popular and exciting way to get around.