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Martinique - Take normal security precautions
Take normal security precautions in Martinique.
Safety and security
Safety and security
The crime rate is low. Petty theft, such as pickpocketing and purse snatching, and theft from cars occur, mainly in the capital, Fort de France, and its port. Do not carry large amounts of cash or wear expensive jewellery. Leave your passport and other travel documents locked in your hotel safe. Never leave personal belongings, such as money, credit cards, cell phones and other and electronics, in your rental car or unattended, especially on beaches. Avoid deserted beaches and unpopulated areas after dark. Do not walk alone at night.
Demonstrations and labour strikes occur and have the potential to suddenly turn violent. They can lead to disruptions in traffic and business operations. Avoid all demonstrations and large gatherings, follow the instructions of local authorities and monitor local media.
Driving standards are fair. Many roads, though paved and well-maintained, are narrow and winding. Night driving can be dangerous, especially in the mountains and on rural roads. Traffic jams occur around Fort de France during morning and evening commuting hours.
Public transportation by bus, van or licensed taxi is relatively safe. Both urban and inter-city bus transportation is available in Martinique.
Fort de France is a cruise-ship stop. See Advice for Cruise Travellers for tips to ensure your well-being during a cruise.
Ensure that your travel insurance covers such activities as scuba diving and sailing, should you decide to rent equipment or take classes.
Flora and fauna
Beware of Manchineel trees, found on trails and some beaches, particularly on the south coast. All parts of the tree contain strong toxins, including a highly toxic sap. Rainwater dripping off them can cause skin rashes and blistering. The trees are usually marked with a band of red paint.
Though rarely seen, the venomous fer-de-lance viper snake resides on Martinique. The snake’s bite is highly toxic and sometimes fatal unless an antivenin injection is administered.
Dial 18 for the fire department, 17 for the police and 15 for ambulance.
We do not make assessments on the compliance of foreign domestic airlines with international safety standards.
Every country or territory decides who can enter or exit through its borders. The Government of Canada cannot intervene on your behalf if you do not meet your destination’s entry or exit requirements.
We have obtained the information on this page from the French authorities. It can, however, change at any time.
Verify this information with foreign diplomatic missions and consulates in Canada.
Entry requirements vary depending on the type of passport you use for travel.
Before you travel, check with your transportation company about passport requirements. Its rules on passport validity may be more stringent than the country’s entry rules.
Regular Canadian passport
Your passport must be valid for at least 3 months beyond the date you expect to leave Martinique.
Passport for official travel
Different entry rules may apply.
Other travel documents
Different entry rules may apply when travelling with a temporary passport or an emergency travel document. Before you leave, check with the closest diplomatic mission for your destination.
Tourist visa: Not required for stays up to 90 days
Long-stay or residency visa: Required for stays longer than 90 days
Professional visa: Required
Student visa: Required
A Schengen visa is not valid to visit Martinique, a French overseas department.
Other entry requirements
An onward or return ticket and proof of sufficient funds for your stay on the island are required to visit Martinique.
Children and travel
Learn about travel with children.
- Hurricanes Irma and Maria in the Caribbean - October 3, 2017
Be sure that your routine vaccines, as per your province or territory, are up-to-date regardless of your travel destination.
Some of these vaccines include: measles-mumps-rubella (MMR), diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, polio, varicella (chickenpox), influenza and others.
Vaccines to Consider
You may be at risk for these vaccine-preventable diseases while travelling in this country. Talk to your travel health professional about which ones are right for you.
Hepatitis A is a disease of the liver spread through contaminated food and water or contact with an infected person. All those travelling to regions with a risk of hepatitis A infection should get vaccinated.
Hepatitis B is a disease of the liver spread through blood or other bodily fluids. Travellers who may be exposed (e.g., through sexual contact, medical treatment, sharing needles, tattooing, acupuncture or occupational exposure) should get vaccinated.
Seasonal influenza occurs worldwide. The flu season usually runs from November to April in the northern hemisphere, between April and October in the southern hemisphere and year round in the tropics. Influenza (flu) is caused by a virus spread from person to person when they cough or sneeze or by touching objects and surfaces that have been contaminated with the virus. Get the flu shot.
Measles is a highly contagious viral disease and is common in most parts of the world.
Be sure your measles vaccination is up-to-date regardless of your travel destination.
Yellow Fever - Country Entry Requirements
Yellow fever is a disease caused by a flavivirus from the bite of an infected mosquito.
Travellers get vaccinated either because it is required to enter a country or because it is recommended for their protection.
- There is no risk of yellow fever in this country.
Country Entry Requirement*
- Proof of vaccination is required if you are coming from or have transited through an airport of a country where yellow fever occurs.
- Vaccination is not recommended.
- Discuss travel plans, activities, and destinations with a health care professional.
- There is currently a shortage of the yellow fever vaccine in Canada. It is important for travellers to contact a designated Yellow Fever Vaccination Centre well in advance of their trip to ensure that the vaccine is available.
About Yellow Fever
Yellow Fever Vaccination Centres in Canada
* It is important to note that country entry requirements may not reflect your risk of yellow fever at your destination. It is recommended that you contact the nearest diplomatic or consular office of the destination(s) you will be visiting to verify any additional entry requirements.
Food and Water-borne Diseases
Travellers to any destination in the world can develop travellers' diarrhea from consuming contaminated water or food.
In some areas in the Caribbean, food and water can also carry diseases like cholera, hepatitis A, schistosomiasis and typhoid. Practise safe food and water precautions while travelling in the Caribbean. Remember: Boil it, cook it, peel it, or leave it!
- Travellers' diarrhea is the most common illness affecting travellers. It is spread from eating or drinking contaminated food or water.
- Risk of developing travellers' diarrhea increases when travelling in regions with poor standards of hygiene and sanitation. Practise safe food and water precautions.
- The most important treatment for travellers' diarrhea is rehydration (drinking lots of fluids). Carry oral rehydration salts when travelling.
Typhoid is a bacterial infection spread by contaminated food or water. Risk is higher among pediatric travellers, travellers going to rural areas, visiting friends and relatives or travelling for a long period of time. Travellers visiting regions with typhoid risk, especially those exposed to places with poor sanitation should speak to a health care professional about vaccination.
Insects and Illness
Travellers are advised to take precautions against bites.
There is currently a risk of chikungunya in this country. Chikungunya is a virus spread through the bite of an infected mosquito. Chikungunya can cause a viral disease that typically causes fever and pain in the joints. In some cases, the joint pain can be severe and last for months or years.
Protect yourself from mosquito bites at all times. There is no vaccine available for chikungunya.
- Dengue fever occurs in this country. Dengue fever is a viral disease that can cause severe flu-like symptoms. In some cases it leads to dengue haemorrhagic fever, which can be fatal.
- The risk of dengue is higher during the daytime, particularly at sunrise and sunset.
- Protect yourself from mosquito bites. There is no vaccine or medication that protects against dengue fever.
Zika virus infection
Zika virus infection is a risk in this country. The mosquito that spreads the virus is found here.
All travellers should protect themselves from mosquito bites and other diseases spread by insects.
There is no risk of malaria in this country.
Animals and Illness
Travellers are cautioned to avoid contact with animals, including dogs, monkeys, snakes, rodents, birds, and bats. Some infections found in some areas in the Caribbean, like rabies, can be shared between humans and animals.
HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) is a virus that attacks and impairs the immune system, resulting in a chronic, progressive illness known as AIDS (Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome).
High risk activities include anything which puts you in contact with blood or body fluids, such as unprotected sex and exposure to unsterilized needles for medications or other substances (for example, steroids and drugs), tattooing, body-piercing or acupuncture.
Medical services and facilities
Good-quality medical care is widely available. The island has several well-equipped hospitals and clinics that have a good reputation for providing quality health care. Ambulances are available. Most medical professionals are French-speaking only. Payment in advance is often expected. Make sure you have accessible funds to cover the cost of medical treatment.
Medical evacuation can be very expensive and you may need it in case of serious illness or injury. Make sure you get travel insurance that includes coverage for medical evacuation and hospital stays.
Learn more about travel health and safety.
Keep in Mind...
The decision to travel is the sole responsibility of the traveller. The traveller is also responsible for his or her own personal safety.
Be prepared. Do not expect medical services to be the same as in Canada. Pack a travel health kit, especially if you will be travelling away from major city centres.
Laws and culture
Laws & culture
You must abide by local laws.
Learn about what you should do and how we can help if you are arrested or detained abroad.
Martinique is an overseas department of France.
Canada and France are signatories to the European Convention on the Transfer of Sentenced Persons. This enables a Canadian imprisoned in France or its overseas departments to request a transfer to a Canadian prison to complete a sentence. The transfer requires the agreement of both Canadian and French authorities.
Dual citizenship is legally recognized in France.
If you are a Canadian citizen, but also a citizen of France, our ability to offer you consular services may be limited while you're there. You may also be subject to different entry/exit requirements.
An International Driving Permit is recommended.
French customs authorities may enforce strict regulations for Martinique concerning the temporary import or export of items such as firearms, medications and animals. Contact the Embassy of France to Canada in Ottawa or a French consulate for specific information regarding customs requirements.
If you are interested in purchasing property or making other investments in Martinique, seek legal advice from appropriate professionals in Canada and in this country before making commitments. Disputes arising from such activities could be prolonged and costly to resolve.
The currency is the euro (EUR). Hotels, larger restaurants and car-rental agencies accept most credit cards. Automated banking machines are common across the island.
Natural disasters and climate
Natural disasters & climate
Hurricanes usually occur from mid-May to the end of November. During this period, even small tropical storms can quickly develop into major hurricanes.
These severe storms can put you at risk and hamper the provision of essential services.
If you decide to travel to a coastal area during the hurricane season:
- know that you expose yourself to serious safety risks
- be prepared to change your travel plans on short notice, including cutting short or cancelling your trip
- stay informed of the latest regional weather forecasts
- carry emergency contact information for your airline or tour operator
- follow the advice and instructions of local authorities
- Hurricanes, typhoons, cyclones and monsoons
- Large-scale emergencies abroad
- Active storm tracking and hurricane watches and warnings - United States’ National Hurricane Center
Martinique is located in an active seismic zone.
Dial 112 for emergency assistance.
There is no resident Canadian government office in Martinique. Canadians can obtain consular assistance and further information from the Embassy of Canada in Paris.
Paris - Embassy of Canada
For emergency consular assistance, call the Embassy of Canada in Paris, France, and follow the instructions. At any time, you may also contact the Emergency Watch and Response Centre in Ottawa.
The decision to travel is your choice and you are responsible for your personal safety abroad. We take the safety and security of Canadians abroad very seriously and provide credible and timely information in our Travel Advice to enable you to make well-informed decisions regarding your travel abroad.
The content on this page is provided for information only. While we make every effort to give you correct information, it is provided on an "as is" basis without warranty of any kind, express or implied. The Government of Canada does not assume responsibility and will not be liable for any damages in connection to the information provided.
If you need consular assistance while abroad, we will make every effort to help you. However, there may be constraints that will limit the ability of the Government of Canada to provide services.
Learn more about consular services.
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