Saint Martin in the Caribbean Bay © jcpjr
A few interesting facts about your St. Martin vacation
Although the island belongs to two different countries, locals from both sides have one common goal: providing tourists from all over the world with one of the most amazing vacations they have ever had. That’s why you won’t feel any animosity between the two sides of St. Martin Island,
but only joy and hospitality meant to offer you a comfortable and unforgettable trip to the Caribbean
. The only time when you will be noticing the fact that this island is divided between the Dutch Kingdom and France is when you are going to see their welcoming signs written in their native languages.
The Dutch side
has Dutch as official language, while people living on the French side
have French as official language. Considering the great number of tourists that arrive here, English is also a pretty common language to use, so you
Cupecoy Beach © steheap
won’t have any problems talking to the locals.
The most fascinating fact about Saint Martin, besides its paradisiacal beaches and turquoise waters of the Atlantic Ocean, is that this is the place where you can see 70 nationalities living together as one. You can only imagine the pot of cultures that waits for you in St. Martin and the great number of traditions and customs you can discover here.
A short history of St. Martin – St. Maarten Island
Once inhabited by the Arawak and Siboney people, St. Martin cherishes its origins and you can discover plenty of souvenirs left by them in its museums located both in Philipsburg, the capital of the Dutch side of the island, and Marigot, the capital of the French side. By the time the Europeans arrived here, which was around 1493, the island was dominated by the Carib Indians, who killed the Arawak men and enslaved the women.
St. Martin was first spotted by Christopher Columbus, during his second voyage to the Americas. He didn’t land on the island but that didn’t stop him from claiming the territory in the name of Spain. The Spanish weren’t so interested in colonizing the island, so the French and the Dutch West Indies Company didn’t miss the opportunity and claimed it. In 1631, the Dutch people built Fort Amsterdam, whose ruins can be visited today, during a trip to Philipsburg
. Spain didn’t tolerate the Dutch attitude, so they’ve gained control over the island 7 years later.
In 1648, Spaniards lost interest in this island (which was used mostly during their Eighty Years War with the Netherlands), and so the Dutch and the French colonists grabbed this heavenly island. In 1648, both countries signed the Treaty of Concordia and the island was divided between them. In 2010, the Dutch side gained its independency becoming a country within the Kingdom of Netherlands.
Plenty of fun things to see and do during your St. Martin vacation
Regardless of the side where you are going to establish your vacation base, you will have access to all the spectacular attractions on the island. You
Beach in Saint Martin © xian64
can make a complete tour of the island in only half of day, so you can choose your vacation lodging in any resort or village you like most. Car rental offices are to be found in Philipsburg, Maho Reef and Grand Case.
The most popular resorts on the French side of the island are Orient Bay
, Grand Case
and Nettle Bay
, so if you want to find yourself in the center of fun things to do and see, these are the places to be. Each of the beaches housed by these resorts c
The village of Grand Case, capital of gastronomy Caribbean © Jean-Marie MAILLET
ome with luxurious bungalows
, so you shouldn’t worry about finding a room with a sea view.
If you prefer the more secluded beaches, you can choose to find your accommodation in places like Anse Marcel
, Plum Bay
or Coralita Bay
The Dutch side of the island is renowned for resorts such as Simpson Bay
, Dawn Beach
, Great Bay
or Maho Reef
, so you should consider taking a look at the promotions and last minute accommodation
deals available for this side.
Places like Little Bay, Pointe Blanche, Cupecoy Bay or Guana Bay, are ideal destinations for visitors who prefer to spend their time on pristine beaches, away from the tourist crowds.
The island is very rich in nature reserves and great spots for diving and snorkeling. Unique attractions are the Loterie Farm,
, a green valley filled with exotic plants and animals, and the Butterfly Farm
, in Orleans
, a unique place dedicated to over 100 species of butterflies.