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Sint Maarten - Tarzan swing - r.w. photo

What can you do on this island?

  1. Relax on the soft sandy beaches. There are lovely beaches on both the Dutch and French side of the island, including Little Bay, Mullet Bay, Cupecoy, Pelican Bay, Indigo Beach Bay, Orient Beach, and of course Maho Beach—where you can get sandblasted as planes fly into to Princess Juliana International Airport directly above your head!

Practicals

Transport

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St. Marteens - Island tour quad - b.s. photo

Food

The island is full of great restaurants, especially on the French side. Check out the town of Grand Case where you can find places like La Villa Restaurant, Restaurant L'Auberge Gourmande, and Piazza Pascal, and many others.

Shopping

Even if you are just window shopping, it is worth checking out the rows of jewelry stores in downtown Philipsburg. There is nothing like glittering diamonds shining in the sun!

St Marteen - shopping street - Krista photo

St Marteen - local rums - b.s. photo

Fun

 The island is full of fun beach bars, such as the Sunset Beach Ba with refreshing cocktails, like the BBC (Bailey’s Banana Colada)

St. Marteen - Lay Back Beach Bar - guavaberry rum - b.s. photo,

St. Marteen - Philipsburg - b.s photo

St Marteen - Philipsburg - local beers - b.s. photo

Health

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Sint Maarten - look where the yoga class takes place

Others

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Saint Martin - horseback riding tour

Background

Saint Martin - French power projection - d.m. photo

St. Marteen - Dutch and local flag - b.s. photo

Destination in brief

Sint Maarten/Saint Martin is a Caribbean island shared by the Dutch and the French. The northern part of the island is Saint Martin, an overseas department of France, the southern part of the island is called Sint Maarten is a Dutch terrirory (not a colony!). It's funny that France and the Netherlands have no common border in Europe, but they have one here, without any border control. 

The Dutch side's capital city is Philipsburg, where the giant cruises dock, bringing huge crowds of tourists to the island. Philipsburg is full of souvenir and jeweler shops which are usually overrun by the cruise passengers.

The French side is more relaxed as no cruises dock here. Saint Martin has a port, but this is more for ships taking passengers to nearby islands (like Anguilla). Marigot is the capital city of the French side.

Closest islands: Anguilla (north), Saint-Barthelemy (south east)

Size of the island is 97 sq km. The French side is bigger (53 sq km), the Dutch side is 34 sq km only.

Population (in 2020): 42,870 of Sint Maarten and 38,620 of Saint Martin

The island has about 3.7 million visitors per year, but most of them are cruise passengers, staying 6-8 hours only.

Languages: Dutch on the Dutch side and French on the French side - English is more spoken on the Dutch side

June-October is the rainy season; starting August, there is hurricane risk. Best to come: December-April (high season)

People

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Sint Maarten - girl with little brother - s.b. photo

Saint Martin - local woman - d.s. photo

St. Marteen - school girls - b.s. photo

Attractions

Philipsburg

Philipsburg - b.s. photo

Philipsburg - b.s. photo

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