Martinique- The French Caribbean

I started adventuring to the French Caribbean when Norwegian was offering $35 One Way Flights direct from Boston. I’ve heard that service has been significantly reduced in the past couple years, and even discontinued from some East Coast cities. It was fun while it lasted! And got me hooked on the European amenities coupled with Caribbean charm :) . I’m now a big fan of both the French and Dutch Caribbean, and it all started with Martinique!

ISLAND HIGHLIGHTS:

  1. La Trinite. We stayed in an AirBnb in this surf-focused neighborhood in the Presqu Ile de la Caravelle park on the island. Neighborhood favorites were:
    Itacare Surf Shop- awesome smoothies, quick foods, & of course, a surf shop

    Cocoa Beach Cafe- beachfront dining with a local vibe, awesome at sunset, but they don’t start serving dinner until late (like 8pm!)

    Ecole Surf school, if you’re interested in surfing or suping!

  2. The Southern Part of the Island—

    Check out the towns of Sainte Luce, Sainte Anne, and Grand and Petit Anse beaches. Makes a great day trip to adventure around this part of the island. Or it could be awesome to stay in either of these towns!

  3. We also stayed at By The Seaside Bed & Breakfast in Hyacinthe. And one of the highlights of the whole trip for me was kayaking off the point of the peninsula over to Ilet Madame (island) and exploring and snorkeling around the island. The views from the island back to the mainland are amazing! Martinique is picturesque with its beautiful blue waters, lush green mountains, and sailboat-filled ports :)

NUTS & BOLTS:

Language: French is the official and primary language, some people will try to speak English with you if they can, but it is a largely French culture and you’re best served to have a book or translator on your phone. The language can be a challenge because the islands aren’t used to very much tourism other than from Europe. You’ll get by on smiles and broken French and English, just be prepared if you can!

Currency: Martinique, like France, is on the Euro

Electric: Same as Europe, US travelers will need plug adapters and voltage converters

Driving: The roads are in great condition compared to other Caribbean islands. Driving is on the right side of the road as well making it fairly familiar. However, the roads are narrow, windy, and steep. Be aware that the cars are manual transmission for the most part, so if you require an automatic request it in advance. No special licensure is required.

Airports: 1 airport in Fort De France FDF, serves the island with some direct flights from the US. Air France, Air Canada, and American Airlines are the major carriers, as well as many smaller Caribbean airlines that offer island hopping.

Ferry: You can also get to Martinique by ferry, or jump off from Martinique to neighboring islands by ferry!! L’Express Des Iles is the ferry servicing Guadeloupe, Dominica, Martinique & St Lucia.

If you’re thinking about going to Martinique, please contact us (fun@legittrips.com)! We’re happy to provide free consultations. Enjoy!

Barbados - Rich in Local Tradition

Ah Barbados, where cricket is life and afternoon tea is still a thing. The mix of British influence with Caribbean/Creole makes for a fun and interesting culture on the island. Barbados has many different towns to explore, which are connected by mini busses zooming from one area to the next. Locals and visitors alike can hop aboard anywhere for 2 Barbadian dollars and ride as long as they wish. Typically there’s music blasting and lights flashing. Riding the ZRs (as they’re called locally) was one of my favorite Barbadian adventures!

ISLAND HIGHLIGHTS:

  1. St Lawrence Gap- for food, views, or bar hopping. This cute, dense neighborhood of bars and restaurants has a fun, high energy vibe especially from sunset until late. The restaurants are incredible and the bars offer fun nightlife in one small area so you can sample lots of places within a very short walk. Cool area to check out. A bit touristy, but still worth the visit!

  2. Visit the best beaches in Barbados! There are a dozen. We stayed at South Beach Hotel on Rockley Beach and it was a great location to use as a central hub for exploring the rest of the island as well as the Rockley Beach area.

  3. Have a fish dinner at Oistins town. The fish come straight out of the ocean and get cooked up in all of the tiny shacks (“restaurants”) along the beach. Be prepared to wait, but it will be worth it! This is a very local experience, you may be the only tourists there depending on when you go (we’d suggest around sunset) so be mindful that this is where the locals go to catch up with their friends, be respectful when you’re in their backyard :)

NUTS & BOLTS:

Language: English is the official language, making it easy to get around. You’ll also hear the local Bajan Creole being widely spoken.

Currency: Barbadian Dollar

Electric: The plugs fit! Standard US chargers will be fine on outlets and voltage

Driving: If you’re comfortable using taxis and the local mini bus system, you don’t need a car. Taxis can be expensive, but you can always negotiate, and the bus system is very cheap!

Airports: 1 airport nearby to the capital city of Bridgetown, BGI, serves the island with lots of direct flights from the US. BGI is a major hub connecting to other spots in the Caribbean as well, so you can use it as a connection to more island hopping easily!

If you’re thinking about going to Barbados, please contact us (fun@legittrips.com)! We’re happy to provide free consultations. Enjoy!

Ambergris Caye - You'd Better Belize It

Ambergris Caye welcomes visitors by ferry or air. We typically take the ferry because we love the ride and recommend using Ocean Ferry Belize. Tropic Air is the main airline serving the island if you prefer to fly.

Ambergris, La Isla Bonita (fondly dubbed by the one and only Madonna) is where my love affair with Belize began several years ago. Ambergris has increased in tourism and bustle since I first started visiting, but with “progress” comes some cool new stuff, so while the traffic and the dust are getting worse, it’s still worth a visit!

ISLAND HIGHLIGHTS:

  1. Catamaran Sailing Trip to Shark Ray Alley! We recommend Lady Leslie and the father son duo that runs that operation. It’s the perfect balance of experience and fun. And the food is OUTSTANDING. You’ll get to snorkel the channel with sharks and rays, and enjoy a beautiful day in the sun aboard the boat!

  2. 1 Mile North- Head 1 mile north of town, over the bridge to visit Truck Stop, Marbucks, and Akbol Yoga (if you’re in to that sort of thing). Truck Stop is a bunch of shipping containers made into an outdoor food court, with an awesome deck for watching sunset! Marbucks is a local version of your favorite coffee shop, probably the best coffee on the island, and definitely the best service. Say Hi to the owner “Mar” (get it? haha). Lastly, if you want a yoga class on an over-water palapa at the end of a pier, you can’t beat this location and view. An entire school of fish jumped out of the water about 2 feet from me during my last practice there.

  3. Hermit Crab Racing- Tuesday Nights at Crazy Canucks Beach Bar in downtown San Pedro, hermit crab racing is the place to be! And it’s actually really fun.

NUTS & BOLTS:

Language: English is the official language, making it easy to get around

Currency: US Dollar, again super easy!

Electric: The plugs fit! Standard US chargers will be fine on outlets and voltage

Driving: The perfect place to rent a golf cart for all your driving needs!

Airports: 1 airport, SPR serves the island. The cheapest way to get there is via Belize City (BZE) and taking the ferry on either Ocean Ferry or San Pedro Belize Express from Belize City to the islands (about 90 minutes to Ambergris).

If you’re thinking about going to Ambergris Caye, please contact us (fun@legittrips.com)! We’re happy to provide free consultations. We also have an upcoming trip to the neighboring island, Caye Caulker if you want to add-on and join us in December or March! https://www.legittrips.com/bookyourtrip/