If you’re looking for a winter time getaway this season, you’ll definitely want to consider the Caribbean treasure of St. Maarten. The dually-governed island offers a variety of landscapes, foods and activities to enjoy and a mix of cultures you’d be hard pressed to find anywhere else in the world.
In today’s blog, we are sharing 10 helpful tips for enjoying your trip to St. Maarten.
Know the island
As is the case with any destination, it’s important to know and understand where you’ll be staying! What makes St. Maarten so interesting is that it’s an island governed by two countries, France (the “St. Martin” side) and the Kingdom of the Netherlands (the “St. Maarten” side, which is actually an independent nation within the kingdom). What does this mean for tourists? Two different—but just as lively and unique—areas and cultures to enjoy! You can make your way to and from both the north French side and the south Dutch side. While there’s lots to take in, you never have to travel far to experience something new.
Bring your appetite
St. Maarten is home to an enormous variety of delicious foods—some even say the best in the Caribbean! There are elegant dining experiences to be had here, in addition to beachside cafes and other casual eateries. Bring a hefty appetite to try cuisine from both sides of the island.
Dress for warm, sunny weather
The island is known for its characteristically “nice” weather all year round—and the approaching season (from December through May) is the island’s dry season, which makes it perfect for a winter time getaway. Expect temperatures between the 70s and 80s—and dress the part! Bring a swimsuit or two and plenty of casual dress options for getting around the island. For a night on the town, you might also want to bring formal wear.
Visit a beach
You can’t visit St. Maarten without visiting at least a couple beaches. Some of the most popular spots include Simpson Bay and Maho Bay, where you can watch planes coming and going from Princess Juliana International Airport. Know your beach before you get there, of course—Orient Bay is another popular spot, but due to its nature as a clothing optional space it may not be right for all travelers!
Hit the water
The beautiful, sparkling blue waters of St. Maarten are worth enjoying. You can do this by taking a boat tour, jet skiing, scuba diving, snorkeling or simply wading in the water—which is especially warm and pleasant at this time of year.
Enjoy a once-in-a-lifetime experience
At St. Maarten’s Sunset Bar and Grill, visitors can enjoy dinner, drinks… and a one-of-a-kind view! Head to this unique venue, located on Maho Beach, to watch low-flying planes approach Princess Juliana International Airport. Experience the sights and sounds accompanied by the low-flying jets—in addition to the wind blasts they create—while enjoying the company of friends and family at one of St. Maarten’s most popular destinations.
As a complete resort destination, St. Maarten is home to a wealth of shopping opportunities throughout the island. Enjoy the island’s duty free shopping experience at places like Blue Mall for European fashions you can’t find anywhere else.
If you’re taking a day off from the beach, get out and explore the natural beauty of St. Maarten! St. Martin (the French side) is home to Loterie Farm, a spot at the foot of Pic du Paradis that’s perfect for hiking, biking, zip lining and exploring.
Find a way—any way—to get around
Of course, one of the biggest considerations for any foreign destination is travel—how you will get around. Fortunately, there are several options that will allow you to enjoy all the island has to offer. You can get around smaller distances on a scooter or bike, but can always rent a car or hop on the bus to take you where you need to be. Having transportation you can count on is important in St. Maarten, since there is so much to do and see!
Do something with the kids
Finally, if you’re bringing kids along for the fun be sure to spend some time doing kid-friendly activities. This can be as simple as lounging at the beach or taking them to the Butterfly Farm on the French side of the island, where kids can get up close and personal with different plants and animals found on the island.
We hope that these tips can help you prepare for your trip to St. Maarten—because we know that with so much to do and see, you’ll want to experience it all!