Island of St. Martin

 

Known as Saint Martin to the French and Sint Maarten to the Dutch, this friendly island is the smallest island in the world and is inhabited and divided between two nations - France and the Netherlands.

It is home to beautiful beaches, lively nightlife, casinos, shopping, and its locally produced rum - making it a wonderful place to visit.

Soak Up the Atmosphere

The French-Dutch island of St. Martin offers visitors everything you could hope for from a small Caribbean island from beautiful white sandy beaches, exquisite dining options, tourist attractions, boat trips in crystal clear waters, and much more.

Visiting both sides of the island will allow you to explore everything it has to offer and enjoy the island's rich history.

Philipsburg

colorful mural showing a bird and flowers

As the capital of the Dutch side of Sint Maarten, Philipsburg has lots to see and do.

As well as a great collection of beautiful white-sand beaches, you can enjoy some retail therapy in the shopping street, a great selection of food and drink at the port, and a multitude of tourist attractions - such as the St. Maarten Zoo and Museum.

Marigot

Marigot is the main town and capital of the French side of St. Martin. It's home to a vibrant blend of French and Caribbean culture, as well as a great selection of boutiques and shops selling everything from clothing and cosmetics, to jewelry and souvenirs.

There are fabulous dining options in the bistros and restaurants of Marigot, and you should make a point of experiencing the bustling Marigot Market. The best days to visit the market are Wednesday and Saturday it's a great place to find locally sourced food, drink, and crafts.

Fort Louis overlooks Marigot Bay and gives visitors the opportunity to explore some of the history this fascinating island has to offer.

SXM Music Festival

carnival with a large green mask shaped like a happy face

Make the most of the festive nightlife on the Caribbean Island of Saint Martin, thanks to the SXM Music Festival.

The five-day-long celebration takes place at various locations in Saint Martin, including open-air clubs, beaches, jungles, villas, and boats - it's a must-visit for tourists!

St. Maarten Heineken Regatta

two men on a sailing boat giving directions

The St. Maarten Heineken Regatta is the perfect event for boating fanatics. The four-day event sees hundreds of sailboats compete.

The event is also the Caribbeans' first "clean Regatta" with the banning of styrofoam products and straws, biodegradable products being used, recycling stations set up, paperless management of the event, and a cleanup event that rewards people for collecting garbage.


Check Out the Beaches

Anyone visiting Saint Martin and Sint Maarten (the French and Dutch sides of the island) will be rewarded with beautiful Caribbean beaches to relax and enjoy the sun on. Here are some of the most popular beaches located on the island;

Simpson Bay Beach

Simpson Bay beach is located on the Dutch side of the island on the southwestern shore close to the Princess Juliana International Airport.

This long beach tends to remain uncrowded giving visitors beautiful views across the Caribbean Sea.

Great Bay Beach

Great Bay Beach is located in Philipsburg, Sint Maarten's capital, and offers a two-mile stretch of stunning white sands.

Explore the boardwalk and its countless shops and businesses, or stop at one of the many bars and restaurants to enjoy sea-view dining.

Beach bars make sure you are well-catered for on the sand with refreshments, loungers, and other amenities.

Watch the cruise ships float by, enjoy the sun, or go for a swim at this fantastic beach in the heart of Dutch Sint Maarten.

Orient Bay

aerial view of a large hotel with several swimming pools beside the beach

Orient Beach is found on the northeastern shore of French Saint-Martin and is probably the most famous beach on the island and boasts state-of-the-art amenities.

Sun worshippers will be able to enjoy the beach sun loungers, and swimmers will find the waters great for swimming thanks to the protection afforded by the reef of Green Key.

This is one of the more lively beaches because it is so accessible, and the restaurants, bars, and cafes ensure there is a buzz long into the night.

If you are looking for a more active beach experience, you will be able to rent watersports equipment here too.

It is worth noting that the south end of the beach is known for being popular among naturists, so, depending on your preferences, you may want to stick to other areas.


St. Martin's All-Inclusive Resorts

Visitors to Saint Martin will have a great selection of luxurious, all-inclusive resorts to choose from, including;

Divi Little Bay All Inclusive

a small shed at the end of a jetty over clear blue water

The Divi Little Bay all-inclusive resort offers privacy in its location on a peninsula between Little Bay and Great Bay.

Located near the Dutch capital, Philipsburg, you will have easy access to the great shopping, dining, and nightlife available there.

The crystal clear bays surrounding the resort, pools, and fitness center will keep you busy for those who want to stay on-site. There are also children's activities to keep your little ones busy while you relax.

Sonesta Maho Beach Resort, Casino & Spa

The Sonesta Maho Beach Resort, Casino & Spa offers a level of luxury that most visitors to this Caribbean island can only dream of.

Located close to the airport and offering easy access to the stunning Mullet Bay Beach and its picture-perfect white sands, the resort also boasts two swimming pools, dining options, and a fully-equipped spa.

The Casino Royale offers gaming, slot machines, and a poker room, while the outdoor movies, sports, and activities will keep kids and adults entertained.

Feeling hungry? There are lots of options to choose from, with steak and seafood available at The Point restaurant to pizzas and Italian food at the Pizzeria Napoli, all-day buffets at Ocean Terrace, pub food at the traditional Ascot Pub and Sports bar, or lunch and dinner options at The Palms Grill.

Sonesta Ocean Point Resort

The Sonesta Ocean Point Resor offers a luxurious, adults-only getaway with incredible sea views, bars, restaurants, and pools.

Enjoy room service 24 hours a day or keep active with the fully equipped, state-of-the-art gym and fitness center.

If you are looking to take your luxury stay to the next level, even a butler service is available. This cliff-top resort is perfect for people looking for a top-of-the-range getaway, and with easy access to local beaches, it is an excellent option.


Saint Martin FAQs

Which side of Saint Martin is better?

Both the French and Dutch side of Saint Martin offer visitors a great choice of things to see and do, friendly, welcoming locals, and excellent cuisine, so taking the opportunities to sample both is advisable.

Is Saint Martin safe for tourists?

Saint Martin is generally regarded as being a safe place to visit for tourists. That being said, it is always advisable to be cautious with your valuables on the beach or in different towns.

What time of year is best for traveling to Saint Martin?

You will find the best hotel rates in Saint-Martin and St. Maarten between May and June or from November to mid-December.

You might also want to look up the dates of events such as music festivals, local celebrations, or the Regatta if you are looking to experience any of them.

Is the U.S. dollar accepted in Saint Martin?

Because the island is split between the Netherlands and France, the main currencies used are the Euro on the French side and the Florin or Guilder on the Dutch. However, the U.S. Dollar is widely accepted across the island.

 

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