Visit St Maarten – Dutch Side
Philipsburg – Take an inexpensive all day water taxi from the port to the center of town. It’s only a few minutes, so you can also save some money and get some exercise on the short walk to town. Rent beach chairs and an umbrella for the day and you’ll also get a bucket of beer with your rental fee. Wander the beach front and the shops in a pleasant environment where there are no vehicles.
Maho Beach, Princess Juliana International Airport – About half way from Philipsburg to Marigot, on the lagoon, put yourself in harm’s way from jet engine blasts, a few feet from the end of the runway at the international airport. You can regularly find hundreds of tourists at the narrow strip of Maho Beach as they risk damage to the skin, their eyes and their camera lenses. Better yet, watch from the Sunset Beach Bar, a few feet away from the direct jet blasts.
Simpson Bay Lagoon – kayaking in the largest mangrove lagoon in the Antilles.
St Maarten Zoo – There used to be a zoo in the Caribbean, but looters and hurricanes have put it out of business.
Visit St Martin – French Side
- Marigot – Take a cab to Marigot to see the main village on the French side of the island. Taxi fares are published taxi in Philipsburg, but they are fairly expensive.
- Grand Case – excellent dining and beaches at the north end of the island
- Pinel Island – Take a cab for $50 return for two people and then $7 each for the water taxi to Pinel Island. You might also want to rent lounge chairs and umbrellas at the beach if you aren’t snorkeling.
- Orient Beach – experience the French influence of optional clothing at some sections of this beach. Try the Viator Orient Beach Shore Excursion.
Visit St Maarten – Transportation
Princess Juliana International Airport on St Maarten is a very busy international airport. It has a reputation for its exciting runway that ends a few feet from the public beach. Cruise ships dock at Philisburg on the Dutch side of the island.
Visit St Maarten – Hotels
Visit St Maarten – Background
This small island is split between France (60%) and the Commonwealth of the Netherlands (40%). St Maarten is the Dutch side and is short for Sint Maarten. The French side is Saint Martin. There is no border control between the countries. St Maarten is located just south of Anguilla in the northeast corner of the Caribbean. It is due east of the Virgin Islands and north of St Kitts. The entire island is about 33 square miles and the width is under 15 miles. Simpson Bay Lagoon is the largest lagoon in the Caribbean. The lagoon is shared by the Netherlands and France. The capital of French St Martin is Marigot. The capital for the Dutch side and cruise port for the island is Philipsburg. The island has a permanent population of about 75,000.