Scuba Diving Martinique
Scuba divers in Martinique can avail themselves of fascinating dive sites, ideal water temperatures, abundant marine life and interesting shipwrecks.
Martinique is one of two overseas regions of France. The mix of French and Caribbean culture creates a unique vacation destination in which you can get the best of both worlds: the warm weather, pristine beaches, and colorful attitude of the Caribbean as well as the posh and refined nature of France. No two beaches on this island are the same. Some of the beaches boast exotic jet-black sands while other beaches feature sparkling white sands.
SCUBA DIVING MARTINIQUE
Martinique is one of the Caribbean islands that is surrounded by both the Atlantic Ocean and the Caribbean Sea. For divers, this means that there are many numerous, and diverse, underwater habitats to explore. The coast is surrounded by beautiful reefs teeming with tropical fish.
There are numerous ship and boat wreck sites off the coast of Martinique, many of which sank when Mt. Pele erupted in 1902.
HIGHLIGHT DIVE SITES
Rocher de la Perle (Pearl Rock) – 1/2 mile (800 meters) in front of the Anse Couleuvre, in the clear water Domenica Channel, with depths of more than 130 feet (40mtrs). Plenty of fish, tortoises, barracudas etc. Possibility of strong currents. This dive is for experienced divers.
Canyons de Babodi (Babodi Canyons) – an imposing volcanic landscape. Lava flows are inserted in parallel in water thus forming canyons.
Belle Fontaine – a beginners dive, that is shallow, but with a series of coral massifs.
Rocher du Diamant (Diamond Rock) – the most famous site of Martinique. This rock, some 2 ½ miles (4 kilometres) from the shore, goes down by progressive steps towards the bottom. In the west, at a depth of 55 feet (17mtrs) is a gigantic fault that perforates the side of the rock. Plenty of coral.
Epaves de St Pierre – (St-Peter’s Wrecks) In 1902, the Pelée Mountain erupted sinking many boats around St-Pierre. The nicest one is the “Roraima” 150 feet (46 mtrs) that can be explored. Another interesting one, especially for beginners, is the “Raisignier”.
Lady V – a 60 foot (18 mtrs) steel yacht at 45 feet 13 mtrs) of depth. An interesting dive for beginners.
Nahoon – a three masted steel ship resting at 100 feet (30 mtrs).
DIVE SEASON: You can dive the Martinique all year long, but the tropical, rainy season runs from October to January. Hurricane season is June to the end of November.
VISIBILITY: Generally the viz runs 24-45 metres/80-150 feet. While the weather is consistently good year-round, during the rainy season (roughly October to January) visibility can dip below the usual 30-45 meters/100-150 feet.
WATER TEMPERATURE: Nice warm water, varying from – Jan. to March 25CC/77F and June to October 28C/82F
CURRENTS: Mostly mild, but can vary by location
WEATHER: Warm tropical weather is the norm, with little change in temperature from winter to summer. Average annual temperature is 85° F/29.4° C. Humidity is usually high, especially from May to September.
SKILL LEVELS: Divers of all levels will find the Martinique exciting. Deep diving experience or advanced training is recommended at some sites due to depth and wreck training is recommended for divers interested in exploring the various wrecks.
DIVE ACCESS: Most of the diving is via boat. Although Martinique also offers accessible shore diving to great coral reefs with little to no current.
FEATURED MARINE CREATURES: you can expect to see turtles on just about every dive. You’re also likely to see eagle rays, barracuda, moray eels and, of course, stingrays. You’ll also spot lots of tropical fish such as sergeant majors, parrotfish
CLIMATE: Thanks to an average temperature of 79°, Martinique is the island of the “never ending summer.” Trade winds from the east and northeast provide a steady breeze that constantly refreshes the air. Due to these tropical climate conditions in Martinique, the island is lush with vegetation: lavish tropical forests, groves, savannas, and countless species of trees, fruits, plants and flowers, not to mention the mangrove forests.
LANGUAGE: French and English spoken.
ELECTRICITY: Electricity is supplied at 220 volts.
CURRENCY & CREDIT CARDS: Martinique uses the same currency as on mainland France: the Euro. US Dollars are also generally accepted, as well as all major credit cards. Nonlocal checks may be refused by some businesses. There are many ATMs available all throughout the island.
GRATUITIES: When it comes to tipping, all Martinique restaurants include a 15-percent service charge in the bill. But it is acceptable to add a bit more if the service was particularly good, especially if you plan to frequent the establishment.
PHONE & INTERNET SERVICE: All modern means of communication are available in Martinique: telephone, fax, international network access, cell phones as well as many phone booths located in urban areas and towns. The island has an excellent Internet network. The majority of hotels provide Wi-Fi access which is also available at the MARTINIQUE AIME CESAIRE airport.
All phone numbers in Martinique have 10 digits starting with 05 96 or 06 96 for cell phones.
VISA & PASSPORT REQUIREMENTS: For short stays (up to three months) no visa is required for the following nationalities: Ordinary, valid passports needed from USA. All non-residents must have a return flight ticket. If your situation is not listed, then a visa
CUSTOMS: Visitors may bring the standard duty free items such as 200 cigarettes, 1.14L of alcohol, etc.
DEPARTURE TAX: There is no airport departure tax when leaving Martinique
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