Renting a car in Martinique proved to be slightly more difficult than in Guadeloupe. The Avis office in the marina told us to, quite literally, come back in two weeks and see if they had anything available. They weren’t taking reservations. We were stuck with another company, Jumbo Car, that turned out to be run by some fairly despicable turdmuffins. The car they rented us developed a fuel leak in the gas line. When we reported the problem, they were completely unprofessional about resolving it and demanded even more money from us. Right… So not happening.
Fortunately Martinique sports an awesome zoo which we reached before discovering the problem with the rental car. It is situated in an old rum distillery with all sorts of Jules Verne equipment laying about the enclosures as well as an aqueduct and a small waterfall. Apparently the landscaper had visited the midwest at some point, because a large portion of the flora would be instantly recognizable to residents between Texas and Arizona. And here we have racoons hanging out amongst their native cacti… chuckles.
The zoo also sported a smallish pirate museum with a decent number of artifacts and replica gear. It felt slightly out of place sandwiched in between the animals, but the kids still had fun with it. It is a smallish zoo, but not bad for the islands. It was not as creatively constructed as the zoo in Guadeloupe, so if you only have time for one I’d go with Guadeloupe over Martinique.
We also visited the botanical gardens which were situated higher in the mountains than the Martinique zoo and featured some fun rope walks much like the Guadeloupe zoo. The kids might not have appreciated the flora as much as their parents did, but the gardens also have an excellent kids park. We passed the time with a couple of other parents while we all let our kids run themselves silly.