St. Maarten/St. Martin

St. Maarten/St. Martin Travel Guide

This 37-square-mile island, ringed with white-sand beaches, has been living with a split personality since 1648, when it became the smallest parcel of land to be peaceably shared by two countries: France and the Netherlands. When you visit St. Maarten, the Dutch side in the south, it bustles with sprawling resorts, wide boardwalks, lively beach bars, and late-night casinos. Meanwhile, sleepy French St. Martin, with its harbor full of brightly colored boats and houses built up into the cliffs, is reminiscent of a Mediterranean fishing village. Thanks to the French influence, you'll also find some of the best food in the Caribbean.

Things Not to Miss on St. Maarten

Our St. Maarten travel guide will point you to some of the island's can't miss sights and activities, including:


• St. Maarten Museum
• Diving and snorkeling
• Sailing
• Windsurfing
• Shopping
• St. Maarten nightlife

When to Go to St. Maarten

The peak season begins in December and ends around mid-April, as frozen travelers from the United States and Canada flock here to escape the cold at home. One of the island's most famous events, the Heineken Regatta, takes place in March. Travel to St. Maarten drops off between July and October, hurricane season in the Caribbean.

DON'T MISS

  • Taking advantage of duty-free jewelry shopping at Passions, in Marigot, which stocks well-known fashion designers such as Dinh Van, Girard-Perregaux, and Jaeger LeCoultre.

  • Enjoying live music, piña coladas, and light snacks—zucchini soup shooters, salmon and caper bruschetta, tonka bean crème brûlée—at Ocean Lounge Restaurant & Bar, an open-air lounge in Philipsburg.

  • Indulging in one of the island’s lolos (tiny restaurants specializing in Creole cuisine), such as Rosemary’s, a little shack on the Marigot waterfront.

Articles about St. Maarten/St. Martin

JAMAICA Hotelier Chris Blackwell continues to place a stamp on his homeland. He has just turned Goldeneye-- the north- shore estate where James Bond creator Ian Fleming lived and wrote-- into an Island Outpost hotel. Guests stay in rustic but styl...
My family is quietly horrified when I announce my plan to tour the Caribbean island of St. Martin on a sidecar motorcycle. Maybe it's because I've spent a total of seven hours on a bike, and the death statistics don't leave much margin for error. ...
"If you can get past the food, it's wonderful." Last season alone, 11 friends returned from the Caribbean voicing that hungry refrain. My favorite bet-you-can't-top-this story fingered a hugely expensive golf resort where the eggs Benedict take a...
ST. THOMAS Hotel 1829Though it's only steps from Charlotte Amalie's cruise-port chaos, this gem of a hotel is miles away in spirit. Built for the bride of a 19th-century French sea captain, Hotel 1829 is a confection of Moroccan tile, terraces swi...
Staying at the intimate Inn at Cupecoy, on the quiet western coast of St. Martin, is like visiting the weekend home of a very gracious and well-connected friend. Indeed, owners Jennifer and Richard London seem to know everyone on the island, and t...
A BAREBOAT CHARTER IS ESSENTIALLY A YACHT RENTAL. Typically, you leave from a base, take the boat wherever you want, and return it to the base or to another port on an agreed-upon date, usually a week or 10 days later. Companies ask prospective c...