St Martin Holidays Guide

The Caribbean

caribbean accommodation guide

St Martin/Sint Maarten is afascinating 87 km2island located in the northeast Caribbean, approximately 300 km. east of Puerto Rico. It is unique in that it is one of only two island nation two-fers … divided almost equally between France and the Netherlands since 1648but with neighborly cooperation and mutual friendship for all 350 years. The 96Km² Island has no border gates but is governed by France and the Netherlands, respectively, and boasts residents from about 70 different nations;people cross the border without even realizing they are entering a new country. The culture is very different from one side to the other: a call from the Dutch side to the French is charged as an international call, currencies are different, and the vibe is as different as the French are to the Danes, although both benefit from the underlying Caribbean culture.Neighbouring islands include Saint Barthélemy (French), (British), Saba (Dutch), Sint Eustatius (Dutch), Saint Kitts, and independent Nevis. Most of thetropical, gorgeous islands can be clearly seen from St. Martin most days.

St Martin Highlights

St Martin Holidays Planner

St Marten, on the French sidecaters to those looking for a holiday filled withelegance and comfort;it boasts secluded beaches, lavish luxury resorts, and restaurants offering some of the finest dining experiences available in the entire Caribbean. Shops are all duty-free, and boutiques carry the latest in French fashion along with the most interesting of Caribbean style, and the mouth-watering aroma of freshly baked croissants and delicate pastries mingles and mixes with the spicy scents of West Indian spices. Petite cafés and bistros reinforce the whole elegantly relaxed, Parisian style. It's also known for its nude beaches and excellent snorkeling opportunities.

Places to Visit

St Martin Accommodation Guide

Sint Maarten, on the other hand,is a busy cruise port and bustling commercial districtand is an active trade and touristcenter. It is very Dutch in flavor – more developed while a little less formal than the French sideand it has strong ties to the three other islands that comprise the Netherlands Antilles. Here the nights are festive, with hopping casinos and clubs serving the native rum-based guavaberry drinks.

Travel Facts

The island as a whole is constantly cooled by trade winds that keep the climatewarm but not sweltering, and comfortable all year long. The rainy season is from late summer to early fall, and because of its location is sometimes subject to tropical storms. On both the French and Dutch sides of the island you can find a sweeping range of accommodations, including resorts, inns, hotels, villas, and timeshares, quite a few of which are available for rent or sale.

St Martin Holiday Tips
St Martin Travel Info
Jumbo jets fly into Princess Juliana International Airport, on the Dutch side; Aéroport de L'Espérance, on the French side, is quite small and can handle only inter-island flights. Rental cars are the primary mode of transportation for visitors staying on island. If you think you might want to explore anywhere off of the major roads, like wandering to some of the more secluded beaches, we recommend you hire a jeep or other four-wheel drive vehicle.