Information about St. Martin / St. Maarten
Key Facts and Figures, Travel Info at a Glance
The island is an explorer´s paradise, but even adventurous travelers can take advantage of some assistance. On this page, you will find a few essential tourist information to help you ease comfortably into life on Sint Maarten or Saint Martin. From banks & currencies, to geography and telecommunications.
The island is blessed with all ingredients discerning travelers look for on a Caribbean vacation: a wonderful climate, fabulous beaches (there are more than 30!), including clothing optional beaches, azure turquoise waters, water sports, duty free shopping, banks & ATM machines, excellent restaurants, attractions, casinos and a vibrant nightlife. Everything is here to make your vacation an unforgettable one.
Check also our page Things to do and map guided VIDEO TOURS of St. Martin / St. Maarten. Most of all... have fun and enjoy your vacation on the island.... You will, for sure!!
Airport code for
St. Maarten: SXM
Airports: the main airport on the island is Princess Juliana International Airport - code SXM - on Sint Maarten. There is a smaller international airport on the French side, in Grand Case, code SFG.
Banks on St. Martin and St. Maarten are open Monday through Friday from 8:30 am to 3 pm on both, the French and the Dutch side. Some of the French banks close at lunch time. You will find Automatic Teller Machines (ATM) at most of the banks, and on a few public places, e.g. at the airport and Simpson Bay Yacht Club. ATM's usually accept Visa, Master Card, and Cirrus.
Climate: The island benefits from a typical tropical climate, mainly dry with average temperatures
of 80F or 27C. Sun and trade winds year round. Great variety of landscape including the mountain of Pic Paradis (424m/1400 ft).
Pretty common: goats on the road!
The Border between the French and the Dutch side is marked by a few signs along the road saying "Bienvenue dans la partie Francaise" (Welcome to the French Side), and "Welcome to the Dutch side". Otherwise, the border is invisible, and only marked on maps.
Currencies: The official currency of St. Maarten is the Netherlands Antilles Florin (NAF, or guilder). The Euro (€) is the official currency on French St. Martin. US Dollars are accepted almost everywhere on both sides, and are often quoted in shops. US traveler checks and major credit cards are widely accepted.
Electricity: Dutch Sint Maarten runs on 120 voltage, 60 cycles (American outlets). French Saint Martin runs on 230 volts, 60 cycles (French or European outlets). Most hotels have converters available if needed.
Water: Tap Water in St. Maarten is processed by a desalination plant on the island, or from individual water tank systems. Fond'Or is the locally produced bottled water of the French side. Other international brands are also available such as Evian, Volvic, Pellegrino or Perrier. Please help to save water, it is precious on the island!
Capital: The Capital of former Dutch Sint Maarten is Philipsburg, and the Capital of French Saint Martin is Marigot.
Info Tourism Offices: Dutch side: Philipsburg
Web site: French side: Marigot
(590) 590 875-721
Web site (French): Web site (English):
Driving: Traffic is on the right with international signs on St. Martin and St. Maarten. Foreign and international driving licenses are accepted when renting a vehicle.
Patience and a sense of humor are helpful while driving on island: natives often take time to stop and greet a friend, or to drop off deliveries. So, be aware of frequent stopping. It is common to use the horn or high beams to greet or thank another driver for the right of way.
St. Martin/St. Maarten is blessed with over 30 beautiful white sand beaches, each has its own character. We offer an exciting range of beachfront rentals at the most popular beaches on the island: Orient Beach, Grand Case, Simpson Bay, Pelican Key.....
Internet: Internet access is available in many hotels and cafés on both sides of the island. Broadband speed is low. Access through 3G/4G is possible with a local SIM card.
JEWELRY SHOPPING - THE BEST IN TOWN!
Exquisite Jewels|Rare Timepieces in Marigot/St. Martin and Philipsburg/St. Maarten. 5th and 6th generations jewelers with a legacy of excellence! Visit website at JewelsByLove.com to learn more about!
Language: The official language of St. Maarten is Dutch, while the language of St. Martin is French. English is widely spoken, especially on the Dutch side.
Museums: The Dutch side holds the Sint Maarten Museum in Philipsburg, open 10am-4pm Monday-Friday, and 10-noon on Saturday. For lovers of movies, there is a very special museum of "The Yoda Guy" Nick Maley, movie make-up wizard (and EMMY nominee) of movies like "The Empire Strikes Back" and "Star Wars" to visit on Front Street in Philipsburg (on the Eastern end, towards Jump-Up Casino).
Nationalities: There are over 100 nationalities represented on the island: French, Dutch and others from Europe, Asia, India, China, and Middle East (Egypt, Lebanon,....), North America, South America, e.g. Colombia, and also quite a large number from other Caribbean islands such as Haiti, Dominica, Jamaica, Dominican Republic, St. Kitts, etc.
Luxury Villa with a high degree of privacy!!
Now called "Starz City"
Casinos: There are over a dozen of Casinos where you can gamble Black Jack, Roulette, Poker, Craps, Baccarat and Hot Slots. The casinos are all located on the Dutch side of the island, in Philipsburg, Maho, Cupecoy, Simpson Bay, and - with the opening of the Westin Resort - also on Dawn Beach.
Population: The estimated population of Dutch St. Maarten is 40,000, and 35,000 for French St. Martin. The "Friendly Island" is recognized as the smallest piece of land shared by two countries.
Public Transportation: The island has a well developed network of mini-buses, primarily used by the local workforce as an inexpensive way to get around. Keep in mind that these buses frequent the main business and commercial areas of the island such as Philipsburg, Cole Bay, Marigot and Grand Case. Typical tourist destinations such as beaches are not served. There are marked stops along the roadside, but by waving them down you can be picked up virtually anywhere along the main road in the South and West of the island.
Time Zone: The island is in the Atlantic Time zone, which is -4 hours from Universal Time UTC (GST). During the winter +1 hour from Eastern Standard Time, in summer on same as EST. -5 hours from Paris or Frankfurt in winter, and -6 hours in the summer.
St. Maarten/St. Martin is a great destination for high quality duty-free goods, often up to 40% lower than US retail prices. In this shopper's paradise, you will find local crafts & arts, exotic foods, jewelry, liquor, tobacco, leather goods, and elegant designer goods, duty free tax free. Chic Marigot on the French side, and Front Street in Philipsburg are the two main shopping areas.
Geography: the island is 37 square miles, of which the French side is 21 square miles and the Dutch side 16 square miles. To the East lies the Atlantic Ocean, to the West the Caribbean Sea. The island lies approximately 144 miles/300 km Southeast of Puerto Rico. The island is mostly volcanic. There are several mountains with the tallest being Pic Paradis (424 m/1400 ft) on the French side. St Maarten was never an island with lush vegetation, which is due to a lack of rain and rivers. However, the island enjoys of an abundance of beautiful white beaches.
Rum Jumbie bottled in St.
Maarten at 40% alcohol!
Location: The island is located at 18N, 63W or 144 miles/300km Southeast of Puerto Rico. It is located in the Leeward Islands of the West Indies, or right in the center of the Northern Caribbean islands.
Clothing Optional Beaches: There are several nude beaches on the island, the most well known is certainly Orient Beach. Click on photo for clothing optional and secluded beaches on St. Martin and St. Maarten.
Taxis: Most taxis are air-conditioned. They are not metered, but required to display a list of fares. Rates are set by the government and the Taxi Drivers' Association. Charges are based upon two passengers. Make sure to ask the driver the fare in advance. Taxi booths are at the airports, the port in Marigot, downtown Philipsburg at the Court House and at the cruise ship facility on Wathey Square. Taxi Hotline #9247 or call (721) 543-7814.
Visit the website of St. Maarten Taxi Tours to get rates of taxi fares and quotes for island transfers.
That´s a pretty cumbersome procedure due to the fact that two countries share the island! Calling within "your side" is easy: on the Dutch side dial the 7 digits starting with a 5. On the French side dial the 10 digits starting with 0590 (fix) or 0690 (cell). If you want to call from one side to the other, you have to dial the full international code. The Country code for Sint Maarten: (721) which replaced the former 599. The country code for French St Martin is 590.
To call from the Dutch to the French side:
dial 00590 + 590 + 6 digit local number
To call from the French to the Dutch side:
dial 001 721 + 54 + 5 digit number (fix line)
To call from the US to Dutch St. Maarten:
dial 1 + 721 + 7 digit local number
To call from the US to French St. Martin:
dial 011 + 590 + 590 + 6 digit local fix number
dial 011 + 590 + 690 + 6 digit local cell number
To call the US from the Dutch or French side:
dial 1 + area code + phone number
Prepaid calling cards are available at several locations on both sides, e.g. InterCard at Dauphin Telecom in Marigot
More Information on Beaches, Travel News, Tips for your Island Trip to St. Martin / St. Maarten
is available on our comprehensive island portal at www.Sint-Maarten.net