what to do in Martinique for a week martinique zoo

All you need to know about Martinique Zoo and Latouche dwelling

On our one week itinerary on the Island of Flowers, we visited Martinique Zoo and the Latouche dwelling on our 5 days vacation in Martinique. At first, we were quite skeptical to go. Coming from French Guiana which has the most amazing and eco-friendly zoo I have ever visited. We almost skipped it to enjoy one more day on one of Martinique’s amazing beaches. But Martinique’s zoo is much more than a simple zoo! Latouche was an ancient rum distillery with so much history. Furthermore, the zoo has an amazing garden with so many nice locations.

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How to arrive at Latouche Dwelling

Situated in the Northwest of the island, Martinique Zoo is nearby Saint Pierre, a small fisherman’s village. It’s also very close to Mount Pelée, Martinique’s active volcano.

You can combine a 4 hour hike on the beautiful Pelée Mountain (note it’s a moderate-expert trail), to the afternoon in Martinique Zoo after a lunch stop to eat delicious fish and sea food in Saint Pierre village.

martinique zoo and latouche dwelling map to arrive
The map to arrive, as displayed in the site of Martinique Zoo and Latouche dwelling

Tickets Prices to Martinique Zoo

Depending on how much time you have for visiting, I recommend you book the nature pass for both the Martinique Zoo and Balata’s Garden to have a reduction. If you book the nature pass you will a small reduction on the global price. You can buy the e-tickets or check the prices here.

If you are a nature lover, both destinations are worth visiting. So don’t hesitate If you have enough time. You can consider half a day for exploring each destination.

Some History

The zoo runs in the Latouche dwelling, an ancient rum distillery, that is also one of the oldest habitations in Martinique. Its construction goes back to 1643. Back at that time, it was the property of Captain Latouche. For many years the dwelling was active as an indigo and manioc workshop, but also as a sugar and rum distillery.

In 1902 Mount Pelée erupted, generating one of the deadliest volcanic eruptions ever recorded in human history. Just like many other constructions around the area the Latouche property was severely damaged.

Today the few standing walls have been secured, and you can safely walk through the ruins of the ancient buildings.

What to expect from your visit to the Martinique Zoo

You will start your walk in the ruins of the ancient Latouche house. The path runs into the park to the remains of the machines used to transform sugar and rum. Inside the same structure, there is also a butterfly house. Once you are past the remains of the distillery building. You will find yourself in a huge aviary that hosts parrots, crowned cranes, red ibis, and flamingos.

The Martinique Zoo ends in a modern wooden house that has been turned into a museum. Inside, some objects and panels tell the history of the island, but also about piracy in the surrounding waters. It has also some pirate statues and silhouettes to amuse kids… or adults!

You can prepare for your visit via the Martinique Zoo website. Additionally, you can also book your tickets in advance, including the Pass Nature, if you are willing to visit Balata’s garden.

Is it worth visiting Martinique Zoo and Latouche Dwelling?

Absolutely! Even if I know you may be tempted to ditch it to spend another day on one of Martinique’s incredible beaches, you should visit Martinique Zoo and Latouche Dwelling. Especially if you are interested to learn more about the rum’s distillation process. Lacking inspiration for you Martinique itinerary? Check out ours based on a one week stay.

Do you have only a day to visit Martinique? With this guide about visiting Martinique on a cruise stop, you will be able to pick your favorite activities and create your ideal itinerary.

If you are looking for more tropical adventures, you may be interested in reading our French Guiana section. Otherwise, you may find the perfect inspiration in other destinations from all around the world.

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