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Saint Martin Travel Guide.

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The island of two halves.

The epitome of an idyllic Caribbean island, Saint Martin boasts sparkling white sandy beaches which are soothed by the rhythmic lapping of the gorgeous blue Mediterranean ocean. Inland, you can meander through lush rainforests and volcanic terrain and enjoy both the French and Dutch influences. The southern side of the island is known as Sint Maarten, whereas the northern French side is referred to as Saint Martin.

Both the Dutch city of Philipsburg and the French city of Marigot make a great base from which to explore the island and combined with glorious weather, delicious food, relaxing spas and a number of outdoor activities and pursuits to partake in, your every need is sure to be catered for with a holiday in Saint Martin.

Sint Maarten Tourist Board: The official website for the Sint Maarten Tourist Office – a useful resource for planning your trip to Sint Maarten.

Saint Martin Tourist Board: The official website for the Saint Martin Tourist Office – a useful resource for planning your trip to Saint Martin.

Things to see and do

  • Plan a trip to the Butterfly Farm! If you arrive early, you will witness the most activity as the many species of butterfly awaken from their chrysalises in a flurry of colour and wings!
  • Get a handle on the culture of this unique Caribbean island and spend some time learning of the history at the Saint Martin Museum in Marigot.
  • Spend a day just you and Mother Nature at Simpson Bay Beach, a half-moon crescent of sand that is perfectly people free.
  • Enjoy a family day out meeting the animals at Sint Maarten Zoo, many of which are indigenous to the Caribbean and South America.
  • Strap on your hiking boots and embark on a hike around Pic Paradis, the island’s tallest point which stands at 1,492ft.
  • Explore Lotterie Farm, a large 150 acre private nature reserve that was opened to the public in 1999. Filled with fantastic flora and fauna and plenty of marked trails to choose from, this is an ideal place for an afternoon walk. There’s also a zip wire here.
  • Take a break from the bright white sands and visit Baie Rouge, aptly named because of the red hue of the sand. Wonderfully picturesque and located away from any of the islands resorts, this is the perfect place for a relaxing day.
  • Jump aboard a passenger ferry from the French end of Saint Martin and set sail for the little gem that is Pinel Island to enjoy its fantastic snorkelling opportunities. Alternatively, hire a kayak and paddle there yourself.
  • Travel to the famous Maho Bay close to the airport to spot the airplanes that take off and land directly overhead.
  • For an afternoon well spent, why not head to the 18-hole golf course near to Philipsburg and play a few rounds.
  • Indulge in some retail therapy on the popular Front Street in Philipsburg where you will find a myriad of duty free shopping.
  • For something a little different, why not explore Seaside Nature Park on horseback.

Festivals and events

  • Every Tuesday night in the village of Grand Case is Harmony Night and sees celebrations with live music and dance accompanied by delicious food and arts and crafts. (January to March)
  • Travel to the village of Columbier for its annual celebration of traditional cuisine at the Arrowroot Festival. (February)
  • The Heineken Regatta is undoubtedly a highlight of the festival calendar and attracts many international visitors to race and party. (March)
  • Those with an appreciation of art should plan to be in Saint Martin for its annual Art Lovers Open Doors event which all art galleries, workshops and studios across the island participate in. (March)
  • Saint Martin Open welcomes both international and local golfers to partake in the men, women and senior categories of their golf competition in true Caribbean style. (April)
  • The best party on the island will be found at the Saint Martin Carnival where you can delight in the upbeat music, dancing and flurry of floats! (April)
  • Head here in June for the Summer Heat Music Festival; an ideal combination of excellent music and unbeatable weather. The perfect place to move those dancing feet! (June)
  • A celebration of everything Caribbean occurs in full swing at the Saint Martin Caribbean Festival. Relax to the sounds of Reggae, Soca and Calypso music. (July)
  • Film buffs will enjoy the opportunity to catch some great movies in the great outdoors at the Saint Martin Open Air Film Festival. (July to September)

Time difference

GMT - 4

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