Martinique
Sand, sun, surf, and epic mountain terrain may draw many visitors to Martinique, but the island is also home to a fascinating cultural history. The island was "discovered” by Christopher Columbus in 1502, but it was inhabited by the native Arawaks—and, later, the Caribs—long before and after his visit. Martinique was not visited again by Europeans until 1632, when the French came to settle. They warred with the Caribs, and they massacred thousands before solidifying their dominion over the island. Some indigenous artifacts remain, though many were destroyed in the devastating 1902 eruption of Mont Pelée. Martinique's most treasured cultural highlights include the Anse Cafard Slave Memorial, Scoelcher Library, La Savane Park, the St. Louis Cathedral, and the Balata Gardens.