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St. Martin Travel Notes

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Saint-Martin (Sint Maarten) Travel and Tourism on Travel Notes


An ideal destination for visitors seeking a memorable Caribbean travel experience, St. Martin offers a blend of relaxation, adventure, culture, and gastronomy.

About Saint-Martin / Sint Maarten

Saint-Martin offers a unique experience with its pristine beaches, luxury hotels, elegant villas, and over three hundred restaurants.

Some would go as far as to call it the 'Culinary Capital of the Caribbean'; and with its French, Dutch and Carib influences, they wouldn't be far wrong.

The island is also known for its culinary festivals and events, showcasing its culinary diversity.

Ile Saint-Martin lies between the islands of Anguilla and St Barthelemy.

Travel Map Mapping Saint-Martin / Sint Maarten

Map of Saint-Martin / Sint Maarten

Map of St. Martin

Saint-Martin, also known as Sint Maarten, is an island in the Caribbean that is divided between two nations.

The northern part is a French overseas collectivity known as Saint Martin, and the southern part is a constituent country within the Kingdom of the Netherlands known as Sint Maarten.

Island of Saint-Martin Overview

Like many Caribbean islands, St. Martin/Sint Maarten can be affected by hurricanes.

The region has experienced hurricane activity in the past, and it's essential to consider weather conditions when planning a visit.

Saint-Martin (French)


The capital of the French side is Marigot.


The French influence is evident in the cuisine, and visitors can enjoy a variety of French and Caribbean dishes in the local restaurants.


Marigot is a hub for shopping, with a range of duty-free goods, local crafts, and designer boutiques on offer.


Saint Martin is a popular tourist destination known for its beautiful beaches, clear turquoise waters, and vibrant nightlife.

Orient Bay is a famous beach on the French side, offering various water sports and beach-front restaurants.

Sint Maarten (Dutch)


The capital of the Dutch side is Philipsburg.


Dutch and Caribbean influences are reflected in the local cuisine, with a variety of seafood dishes and Dutch specialties.

Duty-Free Shopping

Philipsburg is the place to go for duty-free shopping, with a wide range of goods, including jewellry, electronics, and local crafts on sale.


Sint Maarten is known for its vibrant nightlife, duty-free shopping, and a variety of entertainment options, including casinos.

Maho Beach, close to the Princess Juliana International Airport, is where low-flying planes can be snapped coming in over the sand during landings.

Visiting Saint-Martin / Sint Maarten

The northern part of the island is a dependency of Guadeloupe, itself an Overseas Department of France.

The smaller, southern section is called Sint Maarten; formerly a part of the Dutch Antilles.

Although larger in size, the French part of the island has a slightly smaller population.

Exploring Saint Martin (French Side)

On Saint Martin, you will find Marigot, the capital, with Fort Louis or Galisbay beach, along with incredible places such as the Pic Paradis (the highest point on the island), Orient Bay or the Anse Marcel.

Grand Case

Known as the 'Gourmet Capital of the Caribbean', Grand Case is a village with a wide range of restaurants offering delicious French and local Creole cuisine.

Loterie Farm

If you enjoy nature and adventure, consider a visit to Loterie Farm.

It offers hiking trails, zip-lining, and a peaceful escape in the midst of the island.


Visit the capital of the French side, Marigot, for its charming streets, marketplaces, and French-influenced cuisine.

Try some local pastries or seafood dishes.

Orient Bay

Relax on Orient Bay, a popular and lively beach with white sand and clear waters.

You can also find beach-front restaurants and water sports facilities.

St. Martin Nature Reserve

The St. Martin Nature Reserve was created in 1998 and covers 3,060 hectares and 11 km of coastline, in the north-east of the island, on the French side.

Exploring Sint Maarten (Dutch Side)

This side of the island is also famous for its beaches.

Great Bay beach or Maho beach are part of what makes St. Maarten a special place in the Caribbean.

Casinos and Nightlife/h4>

Sint Maarten is known for its lively nightlife and numerous casinos.

Enjoy an evening out in Philipsburg or at one of the island's entertainment venues.

Maho Beach

Experience the thrill of watching airplanes land and take off just a short distance away at Maho Beach, located near Princess Juliana International Airport.


Explore the capital of the Dutch side, Philipsburg, for its vibrant atmosphere, duty-free shopping, and the historic Fort Amsterdam.

 Sint Maarten Nature Reserve

The island has a nature reserve on the Dutch side, where visitors can explore hiking trails and enjoy panoramic views.

Seaside Nature Park is a unique place on the small island of Sint Maarten. 30 acres of unspoiled nature awaits you, a stone’s throw away from the high density development that characterises Sint Maarten.


The main town in the French part of the island is Marigot.

Map of Marigot

Map of Marigot

Where to Stay in Saint-Martin

From hotels and guesthouses to villas and apartments, you'll be spoiled for choice with the range of accommodation in Saint-Martin.

Hotels in Saint-Martin.

Be sure to look at the hotel's location on the map.

French and Dutch

The French and Dutch both occupied the island in 1648, and on March 23rd of that year they agreed to divide it.

St. Martin/Sint Maarten's dual nationality adds a unique dimension to the island, offering visitors the opportunity to experience both French and Dutch cultures in a relatively small area.

The combination of beautiful beaches, diverse cuisine, and entertainment options makes it a popular destination for tourists.

Crossing between Marigot in St. Martin and Philipsburg in Sint Maarten

Crossing between Marigot in St. Martin and Philipsburg in Sint Maarten is relatively easy as both cities are located on the same island, which is divided into two territories: the French side (St. Martin) and the Dutch side (Sint Maarten).

The border between the French and Dutch sides is open, and visitors can easily travel between the two 'European nations' without passport control.

Car Rental

You can rent a car and drive across the island.

The journey between Marigot and Philipsburg takes approximately 15-20 minutes depending on traffic and road conditions.

Private Shuttle

Some hotels and resorts offer shuttle services between Marigot and Philipsburg for their guests.

Public Bus

Both sides of the island have public bus services.

You can catch a bus from Marigot to Philipsburg, although schedules and routes may vary.


Taxis are readily available and can take you between Marigot and Philipsburg.

Make sure to confirm the fare with the driver before starting your journey.

Travel by Ferry

There is also a ferry service that operates between Marigot and Philipsburg.

This is a scenic way to travel between the two cities and offers beautiful views of the coastline.


The principal Dutch town is Philipsburg.

Map of Philipsburg

Map of Philipsburg

Regardless of which mode of transportation you choose, the border crossing between Marigot and Philipsburg is relatively straightforward and offers the opportunity to explore both the French and Dutch sides of the island.

St. Maarten Hospitality and Trade Association

The island of St Maarten / St Martin boasts breathtaking shorelines, the prettiest beaches and bluest waters in the Caribbean, exciting nightlife, world-class shopping and an inspiring arts and culture scene that has catapulted this destination to become the 'Culinary Capital of the Caribbean'.

From adrenaline-pumping activities to do on land and at sea to historic sites and thrilling tours, there's something for everyone on St Maarten / St Martin.

Where to Stay in Sint Maarten

Choose from a range of places to stay in Sint Maarten.

Hotels in Sint Maarten.

Don't forget to check the hotel's location on the map.

St. Martin Travel Guides

Fodor's in Focus St. Maarten/St. Martin (Travel Guide) Caribbean Ports of Call

St. Maarten/St. Martin - Caribbean Island Maps.

Weather in the Caribbean:
Local weather forecasts for destinations around the Caribbean region.

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