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Things to Know BEFORE You Go to the French Islands

Essential Information

US, Canadian and EU visitors will not find any Caribbean island which requires an entry visa, although US visitors require special permission to visit Cuba. Travel insurance is recommended for any trip to the Caribbean, particularly emergency evacuation coverage in case airlift is required. Check also that insurance policies cover so-called dangerous activities such as scuba diving.


Presenting a charming blend of Caribbean, Creole and European influences, the French Islands are fully part of France and include Guadeloupe, Martinique, St. Martin and St. Barts.

Area: Guadeloupe, 658 sq miles; Martinique, 425 sq miles; St. Martin, 24 sq miles.

Population: Guadeloupe, 405,739 ; Martinique, 386,486 ; St. Martin, 30,000.

Capital: Guadeloupe, Basse-Terre; Martinique, Fort de France; St. Martin, Marigot

Political: All are Overseas Departments of France, administered directly from Metropolitan France.

Official website: www.stmartinisland.org www.myguadeloupeislands.com www.martinique.org www.saintbarth-tourisme.com/en

Indigenous names: Guadeloupe, Karukera; Martinique, Madinina.

Currency Euro

Passport Required

Visa Needs Not needed for citizens of US, Canada or EU

Emergency Health Care Louis Constant Fleming Hospital in St. Martin; Centre Hospitalier Universitaire de Fort de France (596-55-20-00); Centre Hospitalier Universitaire de Guadeloupe, Pointe à Pitre (0590 89 10 10); St Barts uses St. Martin hospital.

Banks & ATMS. Abundant on all islands. Distribute in Euros

Free WIFI Locations. Hotels and cafes.

Internet Cafes. Widespread

Cell Phones access/Dialing code +590 for Guadeloupe and St. Maarten; 596 for Martinique

Safety Tips Safety concerns in Pointe a Pitre, Guadeloupe, and robberies in Marigot, St. Martin. St. Barts is extremely safe.

Departure Tax None

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