Why You Should Visit St. Maarten
Nov 19, 2021
HERE IS WHY YOU SHOULD COME TO ST. MAARTEN!
More than 2 million tourists visit St. Maarten every year! Ever wanted to know why so many people from around the world love visiting St. Maarten? For your next island getaway, you should definitely visit St. Maarten and below, you’ll find several reasons why!
Not only does Grammy Award winner Drake love visiting St. Maarten, it was also Anthony Bourdain’s favorite place to relax and unwind. Every year, from mid-November to January, a whole host of celebrities spend their Christmas vacation either on or transiting through the island. There are yachts galore, Michelin-star quality restaurants and endless nightlife options all year round!
If you need any more reasons to visit St. Maarten, read what Metro has put together below.
Facts About St. Maarten
Close to millionaires’ playground St Barts, Saint Martin is home to some of the Caribbean’s best beaches, rugged mountains and a deliciously warm tropical climate – average temperature 26 degrees.
At 37 square miles and with a population of around 75,000, it’s smaller than well-trodden holiday destinations such as Barbados and Saint Lucia, but is rich in history, culture and food.
Holidaymakers may be surprised to find the island is part French and part Dutch and locals were keen to share the legend behind the country’s borders.
Named originally by Christopher Columbus, who sighted it on St. Martin’s day, French signage calls the island Saint Martin, while the Dutch call it Sint Maarten but locals call it ‘the friendly island’. The two European cultures are really evident, but there’s a strong Caribbean vibe too – plenty of reggae and BBQ chicken! In fact, what sets Saint Martin apart from its neighbors is its gourmet food culture. Over 110 different nationalities call the island home, so if you’re looking for Indian, Asian, Italian or something more obscure, you’re likely to find it here.
What to do
Hit the beach! Perfect soft white sand and bright turquoise water make trips to the beach in Saint Martin pretty special. From the moon-shaped Mullet Bay to the ‘clothing optional’ Orient Bay, you’ll definitely want to get out and about to find your favorite.
Plane spotting on Maho Beach! Princess Juliana Airport is metres from Maho Beach, meaning jets skim over your head as they come into land. Grab a seat at Sunset Bar (which posts the daily landing schedule on a surfboard outside) and enjoy the view as daredevils stand directly in the flight path.
Take a boat trip! One of the best ways to experience Saint Martin is out on the water.
Coconut Reef offers one of the island’s best trips, jetting off on a powerboat, snorkelling with colourful tropical fish and turtles before relaxing on stunning Pinel Island – home to tortoises and iguanas.
Visit Marigot! The French capital oozes charm. There’s a daily market where you can buy everything from spices and jewellery to loud shirts. After shopping, climb up to Fort Louis for one of the best views of the island.
Do some shopping! Head to the Dutch capital Philipsburg and check out duty free designer stores on Front Street. With everything from Apple to Tiffany’s, you’re bound to pick up a bargain.The Dutch side is also home to several glitzy casinos if you want to splash the cash in other ways.
Visit Anguilla! Frequently voted as having the world’s best beaches, Anguilla is only 25 minutes by ferry. It’s a British territory, so if you’re missing home you can nip over and drive on the left!
Enjoy watersports! Plenty of companies offer jet ski and stand up paddleboard rental. If you’re feeling adventurous, have a go at flyboarding.
Where to eat, drink and party
There are hundreds of great restaurants, lounges and bars in St. Maarten! Some popular places for food in St. Maarten include:
Pizza & Co (Italian)
Pizza del Sol (Italian)
Old Tree Chinese Restaurant (Chinese)
Spices of India (Indian)
Al Pasha (Lebanese)
Bandidos Locos (Mexican)
Yami Sushi (Japanese)
Alina Restaurant (Japanese)
Distric 721 (open-air lounge)
Cynthia’s Talk of the Town (Caribbean BBQ)
How to get around
During daylight hours there are public buses between Marigot and Philipsburg, and Maho Beach and Philipsburg. They are a great way to see the island at only USD $2 per journey.
Taxis are readily available at the airport, hotels and in the main towns. Most journeys will cost a maximum of $30 and drivers are usually very friendly and keen to tell you stories about island life.
During SXMusic Festival, organizers put on a fleet of shuttle buses, moving partygoers from beach clubs to nightclubs.
Good to know
The island has three currencies in circulation: US dollars, Euros and Dutch guilders. Often US dollars and Euros are exchanged 1:1.
Dutch and French are both official languages on the island, but nearly everyone speaks perfect English.
Saint Martin is on the route for several cruise ships. They dock in Philipsburg so the city may be particularly crowded (and best avoided) on certain days.
Do you have any questions?