Windward Islands Travel Information


Country: Caribbean Windward Islands

Language: English and French

Time zone: GMT-4

Currency: Euro, USD and Eastern Caribbean dollar

Population: 854,000

Culinary favorite: Beef pepperpot

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Travel Information

Need to know how warm it will be, what the time zone is and how gratuity is handled? Our handy list will give you a little bit of advance information to travel in the Windward Islands.

Average air temperatures

A sub tropical climate maintains even temperatures throughout the year, ranging from 19°C-30°C (66-86°F) during the day and 17°C-21°C (62-69°F) at night.

Average water temperatures

A sub-tropical climate keeps the azure waters warm year-round, ranging from 22°C (71°F) in February to 28°C (82°F) in August.

Wind and sea

The Caribbean offers consistent easterly winds from December through June, known as the Christmas trade winds. You can expect 10-15mph winds that build in the afternoon and subside at sunset. Passages between major island groups have the full affect of open Atlantic swell and waves can range from one-five meters. Tides are minimal in the Caribbean ranging between 10-50cm.

International airport

Martinique: Aimé Césaire Airport (FDF)

Grenada: Maurice Bishop

How to get to the Windward Islands from North America

Miami is the main routing for passengers destined for Martinique or Grenada from North America. Flying time from Miami is approximately 3 hours, from New York 4 1/2 hours, from Montreal 5 hours. Canadians may fly from Montreal directly with Air Canada to Martinique.

How to get to the Windward Islands from Europe

Air France flies directly to Martinique from Paris. There are many airlines from Europe that fly directly to Grenada including British Airlines, Virgin, Lufthansa.

Crime

Overall, the Windward islands are safe for vacationers and tourists, and most crimes that occur on the island are petty and nonviolent. Petty street crimes, like purse snatching and some pickpocketing, are of the main crimes that befall tourists. Thieves will take advantage of tourist who may carelessly leave their valuables unattended on the beach or in an unlocked car. You can prevent these thefts by securing your valuables in your hotel room, and locking the door behind you when you leave. Also, remember to lock all doors on your vehicle to keep your valuables safe.

Travel visa

There are no travel visas required by North American, European or Australian visitors for visits no longer than 3 months. Guests traveling from outside North America or Europe or not holding valid US, Canadian, European or Australian passports, must check with their nearest Consulate. You require a passport that is valid for at least 6 months beyond your stay as well as a return ticket.

Vaccinations, insurance and health

It is advisable to check that your tetanus shot is up to date and a certificate of vaccination against tetanus, hepatitis A and B is recommended (but not compulsory) to all travellers. A yellow fever vaccination is compulsory for travellers coming from zones known as infected. Good medical care is available throughout the French West Indies. Not all doctors speak or understand English. It is advised to purchase medical and cancellation/interruption insurance when traveling abroad on adventurous holidays.

Travel visa

There are no travel visas required by North American, European or Australian visitors to the British Virgin Islands with 30 days granted upon arrival. Guests traveling from outside North America or Europe or not holding valid US, Canadian, European or Australian passports, must check with their nearest Consulate. You require a passport that is valid for at least 6 months beyond your stay to enter the British Virgin Islands as well as a return ticket.

Vaccinations, insurance and health
It is advisable to check that your tetanus shot is up to date and a certificate of vaccination against tetanus, hepatitis A and B is recommended (but not compulsory) to all travellers. A yellow fever vaccination is compulsory for travellers coming from zones known as infected.

Good medical care is available throughout the French West Indies. Not all doctors speak or understand English. It is advised to purchase medical and cancellation/interruption insurance when traveling abroad on adventurous holidays.

Time Zone

GMT -4 hours

Currency

There are a mixture of currencies in the Windward Islands from the Euro in Martinique to USD and the Eastern Caribbean dollar in Grenada.

Voltage
On shore:Electrical sockets (outlets) in Martinique usually supply electricity at between 220 and 240 volts AC on a European 2 pin plug. If you’re plugging in an appliance that was built for 220-240 volt electrical input, or an appliance that is compatible with multiple voltages, then an adapter is all you need. In Grenada the power plugs and sockets are of type G which is the 3 pin of British origin. The standard voltage is 230 V and the standard frequency is 50 Hz.

On yacht: Generally, the power supply aboard yachts is 12V DC by cigarette adapter so an AC anywhere cigarette 12 volt inverter device is a handy thing to pack if you wish to charge at all times. Yachts can also offer power from yacht electrical sockets when connected to shore power which is typically of European 2-pin plug.

Telephone and internet services
Martinique country code: +596. Grenada country code: +1

International data and calls can be expensive and it best to purchase a local SIM. Cell phone providers have offices in most towns and you can easily get a SIM card to put in an unlocked cell phone.

Service customs and gratuity

As in the United States it is customary to leave a gratuity. In restaurants, bars, and nightclubs, tip service staff and bartenders 15% to 20% of the check, tip checkroom attendants $1 per garment, and tip valet-parking attendants $1 per vehicle. Tip cabdrivers and other service providers 15% of the fare or bill.

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