Learn all about the island of Sint Maarten, a paradise close to Puerto Rico and full of stunning places.
A hidden paradise in Central America, St Maarten is known worldwide for Princess Juliana International Airport (SXM). The airport has already been awarded the title of runway with the most impressive landing in the world. That's because, during the approaches for landing, the planes pass over Maho Beach and it is exactly 10 meters from the bathers.
I spent 10 days there and I tell you everything to do in St Maarten with lots of tips. Check out!
In this post you will read:
- Onde fica St Maarten
- How to get to St Maarten
- When to go to Sint Maarten Caribe
- How to get around St Maarten
- What currency is used in Sint Maarten?
- How much money to take to Saint Maarten
- Visa, Passport and Vaccinations for Sint Maarten
- Chip the Internet in Sint Maarten
- St travel insurance Maarten
- Things to do in St Maarten
- Cupecoy Beach
- Maho Beach
- Mullet Bay
- Where to eat in St Maarten – Bars and clubs
- Where to stay in St Maarten – Our hotel recommendation
- Read all our Caribbean tips and posts
Onde fica St Maarten
Sint Maarten, one of the smallest islands in the world, is located next to Central America, right next to the Virgin Islands, 240 km from Puerto Rico.
Although it is located in the Caribbean region, its territory is shared – and governed – by two countries. The south side of the island is the Dutch part, known as Sint Maarten, the capital being the city of Philipsburg.
In the northern part is Marigot, capital of the French side known as Saint Martin. There are no borders or customs dividing countries, just signposts.
How to get to St Maarten
There are no direct flights from España to the island of Sint Maarten, most stop in Panama. That's why flights are made by Copa Airlines.
Want to find cheap tickets? Find flights to Saint Martin with discounts of up to 35% every day on Promo Tickets.
When to go to Sint Maarten Caribe
Sint Maarten's tropical climate is pleasant throughout the year. From August to November, the region is more likely to receive heavy rains. The good news is that the strong winds and cyclones that often hit the Caribbean at this time of year are very rare in St Maarten.
I visited the island in October and only got sunny days. The downside of my visit was that many establishments were closed, due to the low season.
If you are the type that prefers to see all the action up close, opt for the high season, which is between the months of December to April. But remember: despite finding everything open, prices also tend to increase.
How to get around St Maarten
Sint Maarten is just 87 km2, which makes getting around the 37 local beaches a relatively easy task. However, do not rely on public transport.
It is best to rent a car upon arrival at the airport. To get an idea of the size of Sint Maarten, it is possible to drive around the entire island in about 2h30.
#FicaADica: to rent a car you don't need an international license, just show the official Brazilian document.
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What currency is used in Sint Maarten?
In the Dutch part of the island, the currency is the dollar. On the French side, the euro. However, the dollar is accepted throughout the island.
How much money to take to Saint Maarten
For the ten days I stayed on the island, I took US$ 1.000, which were spent on accommodation, food and transportation. As I went with two friends, the costs ended up being divided by three.
In total, accommodation for the ten days cost US$ 650. Regarding food, I managed to cook a few times in the apartment, but I also went out to eat on a few days. The average expense with food was US$ 30 per meal – considering good level restaurants.
Find the best accommodation in Sint Maarten no Booking.com
Visa, Passport and Vaccinations for Sint Maarten
Tourists from Spain for up to 30 days do not need a visa to enter Sint Maarten. The original passport is mandatory and valid for at least 6 months.
An international yellow fever certificate is also required. The vaccine must be given at least ten days before travel.
Travel insurance, as in France and Holland, is also mandatory in Sint Maarten, according to the rules of the Schengen Treaty.
Chip the Internet in Sint Maarten
It is getting easier and cheaper to have unlimited internet throughout your trip in Sint Maarten. Nowadays you can buy an international cell phone chip online while you're still here in España. We always use and love it!
You receive the sim card at your address and then just insert it into your cell phone to reach your destination with unlimited 4G internet working.
Also read more chip tips:
- International Cell Phone Chip – Which is the Best and How Much Does It Cost?
- America Chip Discount Coupon – 10% OFF on Travel Chip
Want to have unlimited internet throughout your trip?
Compare prices and buy your international travel chip in advance at America Chip.
St travel insurance Maarten
Don't forget to hire your travel insurance for St Maarten to visit this island with greater tranquility. This service is essential to give you that support and security in a tight time. After all, we cannot predict which incidents will appear along the way, so the best solution is to protect yourself and acquire a plan. Also enjoy our Insurance Promo discount coupon. - SEE PRICES
Things to do in St Maarten
Cupecoy beach has several caves and caves, it is a great place to enjoy the sunset.
Located on the Dutch side of the island, the beach is opposite the Blue Mall mall. To access it, you have to walk along a small trail until you reach the part of the cliffs.
The beach is small and practically without bars. The sea is not so good for swimming, but it is worth the visit to enjoy the end of the afternoon, as the landscape is very beautiful. Attention: do not be alarmed if you find some people practicing nudism. Is #mandemnudes common on this beach?
It is the most famous beach on the island and it is because of it that many tourists choose to visit Saint Martin. That's where the head of the runway is. Princess Juliana Airport and, in addition to seeing the planes landing, the beach is a great option for sunbathing and enjoying a bar in the late afternoon.
The most famous bar in the area, Sunset Bar & Grill, has a surfboard with the arrival times of all flights for the day.
Mullet Bay is a quiet beach, with easy access and a calm and crystal clear sea – perfect to enjoy with family and children.
Darling for tourists visiting the island, the beach offers a little more infrastructure than Baie Loungue. Two bars and lounge chairs that can be rented for around $10.
Read all our tips:
- Main attractions in Sint Maarten
- Anguilla – Complete Island Guide
Book in advance all tickets and tours to Sint Maarten and skip the lines with GetYourGuide
Where to eat in St Maarten – Bars and clubs
close to Maho Beach and opposite the casino is the bar 3 Friends. I was there almost every night, always with a different promotion. The place is perfect for a happy hour or for those who want to enjoy the clubs in the region.
In fact, one of the island's nightlife options is exactly across the street from 3 Amigos. THE Tantra Nightclub is well known and each day of the week has a different theme, from hip hop to black music.
The most famous bar in Saint Maarten is the Sunsetbar, which is on the corner of Maho Beach. It's a great place to have a Caribbean beer while enjoying the sunset and the planes landing. Tip: whoever goes topless gets a free drink #quemtopa.
Where to stay in St Maarten – Our hotel recommendation
Unlike other places in the Caribbean, in St Maarten there are no super varied options of resorts and 5 star hotels. The hotel industry in the region is a little old, don't expect much. The capitals, Philipsburg and Marigot, are quieter at night.
The Dutch side of the island is where the buzz is, with a lively nightlife with bars and clubs. The French side is for those who want to relax and enjoy an area with less crowds.
The main areas to stay in St Maarten – the Dutch side of the island – the Simpson Bay and Maho regions.
In Maho Beach, a good choice is the Sonesta Maho Beach ($$$), an all inclusive in front of the sea. For a more affordable accommodation, the apartment with kitchen at Myriam and Frank Residence ($$) is also an option on Maho Beach.
Find more options where to stay on the Dutch side of the island at the best prices on Booking.com
Read all our Caribbean tips and posts
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