Volcanoes, Forests and Pitons, Oh My!

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Martinique is thrilled to announce that the Volcanoes and Forests of Mount Pelée and the Pitons of Northern Martinique have been included in UNESCO’s esteemed World Heritage List. After 10 years of work, this decision taken on September 16, 2023, represents a major achievement for the elected representatives of Martinique and the teams working with the Martinique’s local authorities and the Regional Natural Park of Martinique.

Seeing the island’s volcanoes and forests of Mount Pelée and the Northern Pitons listed as UNESCO World Heritage Sites, is a source of great emotion and pride for the people of Martinique. These natural gems are part of the Martinican identity and have left their mark on history. Located at the foot of the volcano, Saint-Pierre was devastated by the eruption of Montagne Pelée on May 8, 1902, and it took decades for the town to rise from the ashes. Pelean type eruptions are unique in the world and are what makes Mount Pelée so special. The landscapes, geology and the protected endemic and irreplaceable flora and fauna of this area are also recognized as special by UNESCO.
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A whole tourist ecosystem is unfolding and will continue to emerge around Mount Pelée and the Pitons of Carbet. So, beyond hiking on the site, there are so many other things to discover when visiting the surroundings: waterfalls, diving among the shipwrecks of Saint-Pierre, museums, experimental areas, and the warm and friendly population… The charm of Northern Martinique, with its authenticity and know-how, will enchant and inspire visitors to encounter totally immersive experiences.

With 624,700 tourists between January and June 2023, and nearly 30 cruise calls scheduled in Saint-Pierre for the 2023-2024 season, these results confirm the Martinique Tourism Authority’s ambition to promote the Isle of Flowers in new markets and to share new experiences.

“We hope that this distinction will contribute to our new dynamic promotion of Martinique. We look forward to preserving and sharing this exceptional site with our visitors.” remarked Bénédicte di Géronimo, President of the Martinique Tourism Authority.

After its first recognition in 2020 for the Yole de Martinique, listed as a UNESCO intangible cultural heritage site, and the entire island and surrounding waters were declared a UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve in 2021, this third UNESCO honor affirms Martinique’s wealth of sites to the world.

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Montangne Pelee; Photo courtesy of the Martinique Tourist Board
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The Caribbean Island with French Flair, The Isle of Flowers, The Rum Capital of the World, The Isle of the Famed Poet (Aimé Césaire) – Martinique ranks among the most alluring and enchanting destinations in the world. As an overseas region of France, Martinique boasts a modern and reliable infrastructure – roads, water and power utilities, hospitals, and telecommunications services all on par with any other part of the European Union. Martinique’s beautifully unspoiled beaches, volcanic peaks, rainforests, 128+ kms (80+ miles) of hiking trails and waterfalls differentiate the island as one of the Caribbean’s preeminent natural wonders.

It is this special combination of modern world conveniences, pristine nature, and rich heritage that has earned for Martinique several notable distinctions in recent years, including being named “Best Caribbean Destination” by About.com, and “Top Caribbean Island for Delectable Dining” by Caribbean Travel + Life. The Bay of Fort-de-France, which fronts Martinique’s charming capital city, was also recently inducted into The Club of The Most Beautiful Bays in the World. The entire island of Martinique is recognized as a UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve and in addition, the notable ‘Martinique Yole’ (or skiff) has been recognized by UNESCO as a model for heritage safeguarding.

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