ST. MAARTEN Dutch/French Island

*THE BELOW INFORMATION IS INTENDED FOR U.S. CITIZENS ONLY

There are some differences between these two sovereign nations, however, there are no official borders or border crossing. Traffic moves freely across both sides of the island. Friendly and safe, there is no reason to be trapped in a resort - this island is to be enjoyed and explored. Rent a car and go exploring! Note: when the cruise ships are in, St. Maarten traffic can be unusually heavy, and slow down your touring.)

St. Maarten is sunny and warm year-round, averaging 78-80'F year-round. Most rainfall occurs around late summer and early fall. St. Maarten is lush, green and mountainous, offering lovely views. Hurricane season lasts from June to November.

U.S. citizens can visit for up to 90 days with a valid passport and a round trip or continuing ticket.

Enjoy white sand beaches and crystal clear water temperatures that average 81'F year-round.

Snorkelers and divers appreciate fairly shallow waters (typically 60 feet or less), wrecks, old coral reefs, and rock formations encrusted with sponges, hydroids, and coral.

Hotels can come fully equipped with everything from casinos to spas, and extensive water sports facilities. Many include breakfast, and there are just a few all-inclusive options. The Sonesta, for example, is all-inclusive, and Divi Little Bay has an all-inclusive plan.

There are a few chain hotels like Westin, Sonesta and Wyndham, but most properties are independent.

Every square mile of St. Maarten is tax free and duty free. Luxury items cost far less than in other countries, which is why cruise ships and travelers from around the world leave our shores with oodles of jewelry, fashion, cosmetics, electronics, and more. Duty-free shops can offer substantial savings of 15-50 percent below U.S. and Canadian prices on cameras, watches, liquor, and cigars.

Seaside Nature Park is a beautiful spot on the Dutch side of St. Maarten with exciting activities and tours.

Admire up close, the flora and fauna of the island, with over twenty miles of hiking paths. One of the most popular St. Maarten destinations is Pic Paradis or Paradise Peak, the highest point on the island.

The majority of the art galleries are located in Phillipsburg. Ask about our art tours.

"Lolo" is the local nickname for the dozens of small, independent eateries, sometimes right on the beach or on the side of the road on St. Maarten. Never far from the water, polos are pleasantly informal, usually featuring nothing more than picnic tables, plastic plates and cutlery, and tremendously tasty food.

We recommend Tutta Pasta, a hidden gem in the Simpson Bay Yacht Club, for Italian cuisine and seafood in a quiet setting. Or try Asian food with a Caribbean twist at Bamboo Berni's, where you will find Asian small plates, NY-style sushi, noodle bowls and more.

Rum is the National Liqueur of Dutch and French St. Maarten/Martin. Republic Rum Brand offers high quality flavorful vintage rums comparable to aged cognacs. All of these are still made on Frontstreet, in Philipsburg, at the venerable Guavaberry Emporium.

The Dutch side, St. Maarten, offers a 24-hour experience with 14 casinos and dozens of club. Many casinos are near the airport in Simpson Bay, in Phillipsburg, or part of a resort hotel. Most offer entertainment, buffets, or both.

Fun and Roll is the Official Segway Experience Center in Sint-Maarten, offering a simple 30 minute ride to a whole day of fun.

Easily islang hop from St. Maarten to Anguilla, St. Barths, Saba or the island of St. Eustatius.

Unique to the island is the 12-meter challenge. Offshore, guests can work as part of the crew on one of five boats used in the 1987 America's Cup.

Tall ship sailing, speed boat, kayaking, glass-bottom canoeing, windsurfing, paddle-board, and fishing are activities you may enjoy on the island.

A fun excursion for those 5 years or older might be the Rhino Safari. A Rhino-Rider is a 10-foot-long inflatable boat with motor that seats two. The operator also has Scuba-Rays that seat three. Drivers must be 18 or older.

St. Maarten/St. Martin is an ideal Caribbean getaway for a destination wedding on a white-sand beach with warm water just steps away. Whether you want a cruise ship wedding, a full-service destination wedding, symbolic union, renewal of vows or weddings of various cultures and nationalities. St. Maarten has the professional planners to make your dream wedding a success.

*Information provided here was accurate at time of creation, however, is subject to change without notice.

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