ST Maarten, part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, is a country on the southern part of a Caribbean island shared with Saint Martin, a French overseas collectivity. Its natural features span lagoons, beaches and salt pans. The capital, Philipsburg, has cobblestone streets and colorful, colonial-style buildings lining its Front Street shopping area. The port is a popular cruise-ship stop.
Small but beautiful and perfectly formed, this Caribbean gem is actually the world’s smallest area of land divided into two nations – one half is French (Saint Martin) and the other is Dutch (St Maarten). The result is something truly unique and this is an idyllic island paradise where 120 different nationalities mix alongside each other and where some of the finest cuisines in the Caribbean can be found. Add to that some gorgeous white sandy beaches, tranquil hidden bays, some lively beach bars and nightlife, excellent shopping and some great options for water sports and hiking and you had a pretty fabulous vacation destination. Here are the best and most beautiful places to visit in Saint Martin and Sint Maarten.
Simpson Bay, located on the southwest side of the Dutch side of St. Maarten, is an ideal destination for first-time visitors. The area offers a plethora of entertainment options, including a lively center filled with shops, bars, restaurants, clubs, and casinos.
The pristine white beaches and crystal-clear waters are perfect for relaxation, surrounded by lush green hills. For those seeking adventure, there are plenty of opportunities for outdoor activities such as hiking, snorkeling, and horseback riding at the Seaside Nature Park. Golf enthusiasts can also indulge in a round of golf at the nearby golf course. With its combination of relaxation and recreational activities, Simpson Bay is an excellent choice for a memorable holiday in St. Maarten.
Dawn Beach lies on the eastern shores of St. Maarten, on the opposite side of Simpson Bay, and 30 minutes drive from the airport. If during your holiday all you want is relaxation, sun, and sand, this is THE place for you!
In Dawn Beach you can lay down on the white sands (like the one of Orient Bay beach), deep dive in the crystal clear waters and snorkel with colorful fishes during the day, and enjoy a tropical cocktail with a sunset view in the many beach bars as the sun goes down.But from Dawn Beach you’ll also have access to many outdoor activities, like hiking to the top of Pic Paradis peak, where you’ll have stunning views both of the island’s interior and coast, or zip-lining in Loteries Farm if you want some adrenaline!
Grand Case Beach Club offers a slice of paradise on St. Martin island. With two pristine beaches, expansive views, and generous, comfortable suites, this boutique resort beckons you to experience the laid-back Caribbean lifestyle.
Located just a short walk from the renowned town of Grand Case, guests can revel in the vitality and pulse of the village’s many restaurants, eateries bars, and shops. After exploring the vibrant town, you can retreat to the tranquility and serenity of Grand Case Beach Club to unwind and refresh. Whether it’s lounging on the beaches, taking in the breathtaking views, or indulging in the comfort of the well-appointed suites, Grand Case Beach Club offers an idyllic getaway for those seeking a serene and rejuvenating experience in St. Martin.
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St. Maarten Carnival 2023 is an exciting and vibrant celebration of music, dance, and culture in the Caribbean island of St. Maarten. The carnival features a series of events and festivities that showcase the island’s rich cultural heritage and lively spirit. Highlights of the carnival include colorful parades with elaborate costumes, pulsating music from local and international artists, energetic dance performances, and delicious local cuisine. Visitors can expect to experience the infectious rhythms of soca, calypso, reggae, and other Caribbean genres as they join in the revelry with locals and tourists alike. St. Maarten Carnival 2023 promises to be a thrilling and unforgettable experience for all those who participate in this beloved annual tradition.
St. Martin is a unique island with both French and Dutch influences, offering a diverse range of experiences for travelers. From beautiful beaches to historic sites, water sports to wildlife encounters, and a mix of cultural influences in its cuisine, St. Martin has something for everyone. Cruise ships often dock at Marigot and Philipsburg, providing easy access to the island’s attractions, including panoramic lookout points, pristine sands of Orient Bay, water sports, colonial history, wildlife encounters, and delicious rum and haute cuisine. St. Martin is a vibrant and multifaceted destination for travelers to explore and enjoy
Sonesta Ocean Point Resort is a five-star resort located in Maho Village on the Dutch side of Sint Maarten. Founded in December 2014, it offers breathtaking views of Maho Bay from its three pools and rooftop bar. The resort features three restaurants, 24-hour room service, free Wi-Fi, balconies with stunning views, Nespresso machines, flat-screen TVs, a spa, a gym, and evening entertainment. It is conveniently located near Maho Beach and other entertainment hubs like casinos, nightclubs, and duty-free shopping. The resort is a 5-minute taxi ride from Princess Juliana Airport.
Belmond La Samanna is a luxurious five-star beachside resort located in Baie Longue, Terres Basses, on the French side of Saint Martin. With 83 rooms, cottages, and villas, it offers direct access to nearby beaches, pools with stunning views, a fitness center, a 12,000 bottle wine cellar, two restaurants, and spacious accommodations. The 55-acre grounds are filled with lush tropical flora and fauna, and guests can enjoy a private infinity pool, as well as rent snorkeling and kayaking gear. Room prices range from $600 to $1400 per night (€528 to €1,233).
Oyster Bay Beach Resort is a four-star resort located in Oyster Pond on the eastern coast of Sint Maarten, near the French/Dutch border. With stunning views of St. Barts and close proximity to famous cities like Grand Case and Orient Bay, it offers 180 open and airy rooms with ocean, mountain, or pool views. Amenities include a golf course, a restaurant, pool with an infinity bar, kitchenettes, free Wi-Fi, flat-screen TVs, free parking, beach umbrellas, and snorkeling equipment for rent. Room prices range from $137 to $329 (€120 to €289) per night.
Sint Maarten is an autonomous constituent country of the Kingdom of Netherlands that is located in the Leeward Islands of the Lesser Antilles island group in the northeastern Caribbean Sea. Covering an area of 34 km2, Sint Maarten forms the southern part of the Caribbean island of Saint Martin, the northern part of which is occupied by Saint-Martin, an Overseas Collectivity of France. The French island of Saint Barthélemy (St. Barts) is situated to the southeast of Sint Maarten.
The central and northern part of Sint Maarten has a rugged terrain with Mount Flagstaff being its highest point, rising to an elevation of 383 m. The southern part of the island is mainly low-lying and dotted with numerous salt pans, coastal lagoons, sand spits. The boundary between the Dutch and the French halves of the island passes through the center of the Simpson Bay Lagoon. The small Little Key island, which is a part of Sint Maarten, is located in the lagoon. The 1.88 km2 Great Salt Pond is the largest pond on Sint Maarten which borders the capital city of Philipsburg. It has been designated as an Important Bird Area by BirdLife International as it hosts several laughing gulls before their breeding season.