The dual island nation of St. Martin and Sint Maarten provides tourists with two unique experiences on a single island. Sitting southeast of Anguilla, the island's French territory covers the northern 16 square miles, while the Dutch territory of Sint Maarten spans the southern 21 square miles.
The southern portion of the island is primarily composed of low terrain peppered with lagoons, while the northern area offers hilly landscapes and rugged valleys. With sandy beaches, blossoming hibiscus plants and much more, the island is considered by many to be an ideal tropical getaway. Widen your browser to see the entire map.
The French side of the island is dominated by Marigot on the left side of the map. Attractions in this vicinity include Louis Fort, a ruined structure created in 1789 to protect the island. The remnants aren't the main draw of this sight-seeing opportunity; tourists flock here to enjoy the impressive harbor views. Another place to soak up some historic insight is the Plantation Mont Vernon in the French Cul-de-Sac. This restored plantation site offers self-guided tours, herb gardens, a rum museum and more.
Travelers looking to take a walk on the wild side should consider heading to Pic du Paradis Forest and Loterie Farm near the city of Orleans. The rain forest that sweeps across the Pic du Paradis mountain is worth a visit. Observation areas provide guests with unbelievable views, and the Loterie Farm gives patrons access to the island's sole private nature reserve. For a true adventure, head to Pinel Island. Situated just off-shore from the French Cul-de-Sac, this small island is a haven for beach lovers. The area features sunbathing, shallow waters for snorkeling, kayak rentals and more.
If you're visiting the Dutch side of St. Maarten, you'll find plenty of interesting attractions and activities. Located near Philipsburg on the right side of the map, is Fort Amsterdam, a defensive structure built by Dutch settlers in 1631. Today, the fort's ruins stand as a popular tourist attraction. Another historic site near Philipsburg is the Sucker Garden Salt Factory Ruins, where vacationers can tour an old plant created to experiment with salt harvesting.
The Dutch beaches in St. Maarten are both beautiful and relaxing. Head to Cupecoy Beach in the lower left portion of the map for a scenic seaside experience complete with large rock formations and numerous caves. This beach frequently offers good surfing conditions, and features a clothing-optional section for uninhibited vacationers. Alternatively, Dawn Beach presents guests with wonderful views of nearby St. Barts, as well as plentiful water sport opportunities like snorkeling and windsurfing.
Sitting on the northwestern part of the island, Grand Case presents travelers with a variety of accommodation options, ranging from large hotel properties to rental villas and apartments. From the shores of Grand Case, guests can enjoy views of the nearby island of Anguilla. This area also features many restaurants, charming shops, nightlife entertainment, art galleries and more.
The sprawling coastlines that surround the Simpson Bay Lagoon in the lower central part of the map are dotted with plentiful accommodations and attractions. In addition to convenient proximity to the Princess Juliana Airport, this area boasts resorts, hotels, bed & breakfasts, guest houses and more. Many top-rated restaurants can be found throughout Simpson Bay, as well as activities like diving and boat charters. Additionally, the area is also home to a popular casino.
Situated directly east of Grand Case, the shores along Orient Beach offer another popular place to stay. Lodging options include resorts with spas, hotels, rental villas and more. With close proximity to the secluded island of Ilet Pinel, Orient Beach is a haven for sunbathers. Those interested in exploring the outdoors will appreciate the nearby access to outdoor attractions like Paradise Peak and the Butterfly Farm.
Situated on the southwestern peninsula of the island near Simpson Bay Lagoon, the Princess Juliana International Airport (SXM) is the main hub for air travel in St. Martin. This airport serves flights to and from major cities in the United States, Europe, Canada and multiple destinations throughout the Caribbean. Additionally, the L'Espérance Airport (SFG) can be found in Grand Case. This smaller facility primarily serves flights from Guadeloupe and St. Barts.
Travelers arriving to via cruise ship can expect their ship to dock at the A.C. Wathey Pier, located a mile outside of Philipsburg. Situated on the Dutch side of the island, this pier offers ship passengers direct access to the nearby town center. The pier also offers its own shopping area, ideal for cruisers on a tight schedule.
St. Martin also offers an array of ferry services. For transportation between various locations on the island and nearby islands such as Anguilla, St. Barts and Saba, the ferry services to consider include Aquamania Adventures, Great Bay Express, Link Cat Ferry Service, Pinel Island Ferries.
Help us improve! We welcome your corrections and suggestions.