It’s not every day that you can cross a border between a French territory and a Dutch territory, all the while gazing at turquoise waters and basking in warm ocean breezes. However, if you visit the island of Saint Martin/Sint Maarten then you can do exactly that. With territory almost equally split between the two countries, this island destination is one of the most popular in the Caribbean, and these are eight reasons why.
Princess Juliana International Airport
An airport is just an airport, right? Not when it’s Princess Juliana airport located on the Dutch side of the island. As flights make their approach the planes fly directly over the beach, sometimes at an altitude of just 20 or 30 meters. These landings make for spectacular photos.
Located on 150 acres on the French side of the island, Loterie Farm offers a little something for everyone. Hiking, biking, and even a meditation are on offer here. The farm has recently installed a zip line for even more adventurous fun!
Phillipsburg on the Dutch side of the island is home to some of the best shopping around. Visit here for great deals on jewelry, fine china, and electronics. Be sure to visit a few of the bars here and try the local guava berry rum.
Both sides of the island are home to incredible accommodation choices, but why not make your trip to paradise a truly luxurious one? Luxury family St. Martin vacation rentals on the beach are perfect for your holiday and guarantee that you’ll experience the islands in style.
If you’re feeling lucky why not hit up one of the casinos in Philipsburg on the Dutch side? Reminiscent of the luxury casinos of Monte Carlo, the Coliseum Casino or Rouge et Noir are both great places for a date with Lady Luck.
Pic du Paradis
A drive up this peak is a must for any visitor to the island. At the top of the nearly 1,500 foot mountain is a view of the entire island, plus views of Anguilla and other nearby islands. Many tour operators offer this once in a lifetime trip, and a tour is recommended due to some safety concerns.
If you’d like to get a taste of underwater adventure but aren’t SCUBA certified, there’s a happy medium called SNUBA. You air tanks remain on the surface and you’re connected by a line that usually reaches about 20 feet. This way you and your guide can explore the beautiful reefs without that pesky PADI card.
The Butterfly Farm
If a stroll through clouds of beautiful butterflies sounds like something you’d enjoy then by all means visit The Butterfly Farm in Saint Martin. Guided tours are available and most former visitors recommend going in the early morning, as this is when the newly hatched butterflies fill the skies.
Sail to Prickly Pear Cay
Nothing says “Caribbean vacation” quite like a day on the water. A catamaran tour to Prickly Pear Cay near Anguilla is a wonderfully boozy way to while away a day on the water. Skilled sailors will take you across to the cay, where a delightful barbecue lunch on the beach awaits you. This is an all day tour and is the perfect way to make your Caribbean vacation even more special.
St. Martin is one of the best places to truly experience everything Caribbean. Take advantage of these tips to ensure that your experience is the best it could possibly be.