Saint-Martin has an interesting political story – It has been separated in two since 1648. South of the 10km soft border is the Dutch territory of Sint-Maarten. Saint-Martin is the French region in the north. Saint-Martin became a French territorial collectivity in February 2007. The locals are known for their friendliness and goodwill towards tourists however there is some healthy competition for tourism between North and South. Three languages are used on the island: French in the north, Dutch in the south and English on both sides – it really is a fusion of language and culture here! In fact, the island is home to around one hundred different nationalities. Saint-Martin’s multi-ethnic roots have ripple effects on its gastronomy with Grand Case (in the French part) being hailed as the culinary capital of the Caribbean. While the Dutch side may not have won the ‘foodie’ crown, it is the more superior region to shop in as Sint-Maarten products are tax free! Therefore, we advise you consider refueling your catamaran here.
Pack some extra beach towels for your sailing holiday in Sint Maarten! With 37 beaches dotted across its exceptional 70 kilometres of coast, you’ll have no trouble finding a new sunbathing spot each day! The most famous beach in Sint-Maarten and perhaps the entire world is Maho Beach. If you’re a keen plane spotter, you might have heard of it before. Given its proximity to Princess Juliana International Airport, airplanes can be seen freakishly up-close from the Maho Beach shoreline. It absolutely makes for a novel beach trip! Pro tip: to ensure you get to see planes fly over the beach, keep an eye on the flight schedules of SXM airport. If you’re in search of quieter shores, then head to Mullet Bay or Simpson Bay.
Adrenaline junkies will love to hear that the steepest zip line in the world is here on Sentry Hill, St Maarten! Rainforest Adventures offer amazing package deals that will send you hurtling 320 metres downwards on the world’s steepest zipline! ‘The Big Three’ package usually costs $130 USD p.p. and includes a breathtaking chairlift ride to the summit of Sentry Hill mountain, a thrilling zip line ride and a schooner ride down the side of the Sentry Hill mountain. Rent a boat in Saint Martin today and start planning the adventure of a lifetime!
Sint Maarten has a variety of anchorages that cater to the needs of everyone. If you’d like the best of both worlds, Simpson Bay Lagoon is the perfect place for you – perched on the French-Dutch border. Oyster Bay to the east cost offers postcard-perfect views and is sure to take your breath away. Simpson Bay is one of the more practical places to start your boat charter in Sint Maarten given its proximity to Princess Juliana International Airport.
Saint Martin/Sint Maarten has a large international airport which has made the island one of the most visited in the Caribbean. The airport is situated in the south-east of the island, in the Dutch part. Princess Juliana International Airport (SXM), named after Queen Juliana when she was still a princess, is in itself a popular tourist destination. It is known around the world for its atypical landing strip which starts near Maho Beach, allowing beachgoers to see spectacular plane landings up close. SXM airport has flights to major European cities as well as to the USA and Canada. Departing from Europe, the best flights are probably from Paris (Charles de Gaulle and Orly airports) with a 10-12 hour flight duration. You can also get direct flights to Sint Maarten from Amsterdam. From Canada, the main air route runs from Montreal to Sint Maarten. The USA is well connected to SXM airport with outgoing flights offered from various cities such as Miami, Chicago, Orlando, LA, New York, etc.
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