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Location:Caribbean, located in the Leeward Islands (northern) group; French part of the island of Saint Martin in the Caribbean Sea; Saint Martin lies east of the US Virgin Islands
Area:54 sq km
Population:32,680 (July 2021 est.)
Languages:French (official), English, Dutch, French Patois, Spanish, Papiamento (dialect of Netherlands Antilles)
Religion:Roman Catholic, Jehovah's Witness, Protestant, Hindu
Things to Do
1. Beach day at Orient Bay
Enjoy a relaxing day at Orient Bay, one of the most beautiful beaches in Saint Martin. Soak up the sun, swim in the clear turquoise waters, and indulge in the local cuisine at the beachfront restaurants.
2. Explore the Loterie Farm
Visit the Loterie Farm, a lush nature reserve located in the hills of Pic Paradis. Take a guided hike through the tropical forest, go ziplining through the trees, and cool off in the natural pools and waterfalls.
3. Scuba diving in the Marine Park
Discover the underwater wonders of Saint Martin by going scuba diving in the Marine Park. Explore vibrant coral reefs, encounter colorful tropical fish, and swim alongside sea turtles and stingrays.
4. Visit the Paradise Peak
Hike to the top of Paradise Peak, the highest point on the island. Enjoy panoramic views of Saint Martin and its surrounding islands, and experience the beauty of the lush vegetation and diverse wildlife.
5. Shop in Marigot Market
Browse through the colorful stalls of Marigot Market, the largest open-air market in Saint Martin. Discover local crafts, artwork, spices, and fresh produce, and immerse yourself in the vibrant atmosphere of the market.
6. Sail to Île Tintamarre
Take a sailing trip to Île Tintamarre, a small uninhabited island off the coast of Saint Martin. Enjoy snorkeling in the crystal-clear waters, relax on the pristine beaches, and have a picnic in paradise.
7. Experience the Maho Beach thrill
Visit Maho Beach, famous for its close proximity to Princess Juliana International Airport. Watch planes fly low overhead as they land or take off, and feel the exhilaration of the jet blast as planes depart.
8. Taste the local cuisine
Indulge in the flavors of Saint Martin by trying the local cuisine. Savor delicious dishes like conch fritters, grilled lobster, Creole-style fish, and rum-infused desserts, and discover the unique blend of French and Caribbean influences in the food.
9. Visit Fort Louis
Explore Fort Louis, a historic fortress overlooking Marigot Bay. Learn about the island's colonial past, wander through the ruins of the fort, and enjoy panoramic views of the coastline.
10. Go on a sunset cruise
Set sail on a sunset cruise and admire the breathtaking views as the sun sets over the Caribbean Sea. Relax on deck, sip on a refreshing cocktail, and enjoy the peaceful atmosphere of the golden hour.
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Saint Martin has a tropical climate with temperatures averaging around 80-90°F (27-32°C) year-round. The island experiences two seasons: the dry season and the rainy season. The dry season typically lasts from December to April and is the most popular time to visit the island. The rainy season typically lasts from May to November and is characterized by higher humidity and occasional thunderstorms.
Best Time to Visit
The best time to visit Saint Martin is during the dry season, from December to April, when the weather is warm and sunny, and the chance of rain is low. This is also the peak tourist season, so visitors should expect higher prices and more crowded beaches. If you're looking for a quieter and more affordable trip, consider visiting in the shoulder seasons of May and November, when the weather is still good, but the crowds are smaller.
Hotels and Resorts
Saint Martin offers a wide range of hotel and resort options, from budget-friendly guesthouses to luxury resorts. Visitors can find accommodations in the bustling towns of Marigot and Philipsburg or in quieter areas such as Grand Case and Orient Bay.
Vacation rentals, such as villas, apartments and condos, are also a popular option for visitors to Saint Martin. These rentals offer more space, privacy and often come with a kitchen and other amenities. They can be found in various parts of the island, including popular tourist areas and quieter, more secluded locations.
Camping is not very common in Saint Martin, but visitors can find some campground on the Dutch side of the island, which can be a good option for budget-conscious travelers.
Yachts and Boat Rentals
For visitors looking for a unique and more adventurous way to experience the island, renting a yacht or boat can be a great option. Visitors can explore the island's bays and coves, snorkel and dive around the coral reefs, and enjoy the Caribbean Sea.
The Princess Juliana International Airport (SXM) is the main airport serving Saint Martin and is located on the Dutch side of the island. It is served by many major airlines with flights from North America, South America, Europe and other Caribbean islands.
Ferries operate between the Dutch and French sides of the island, connecting Philipsburg and Marigot. This is a convenient and affordable option for visitors looking to explore both sides of the island.
Taxis are widely available on the island and are a convenient option for getting around, especially for visitors without a rental car. Visitors can find taxis at the airport, hotels, and other major tourist areas.
Rental cars are widely available on the island and are a convenient option for visitors looking to explore the island's many beaches, towns, and other attractions. Visitors should be aware that driving is on the right side of the road and that some roads on the island can be narrow and winding.
Buses are a cheap and convenient option for getting around on the French side of the island, connecting the major towns and beaches. Visitors can find bus stops in Marigot and other major towns.
- The currency used in Saint Martin is the Euro (EUR).
Cash And Cards
- Cash is widely accepted in Saint Martin, especially in smaller establishments. Credit and debit cards are also accepted in most places, including hotels, restaurants, and shops.
- ATMs are available in main tourist areas and towns in Saint Martin. It is recommended to withdraw cash in local currency to avoid dynamic currency conversion fees.
- Tipping is not obligatory in Saint Martin, but it is appreciated for good service. A 10% tip is generally sufficient.
Cost Of Living
- The cost of living in Saint Martin can be relatively high, especially for dining out and accommodation. It is advisable to budget accordingly.
- Beware of scams targeting tourists in Saint Martin, such as overcharging for goods or services. It is important to be cautious and verify prices before making any purchases or agreements.