The tropical island of St. Maarten is located in the heart of the Caribbean. Ringed by 37 beaches, the island offers visitors a little Dutch and a little French blended in two lively cultures sharing one island. From white beaches, modern resorts, gourmet dining, dazzling casinos and the finest duty free shopping, St. Maarten will leave visitors breathless for more.
It's French & Dutch at the same time
The French territory covers about two thirds of the island and is technically a part of Europe and the European Community. The Dutch side is a member island of the Netherlands Antilles and part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, but not considered European territory. There is no real border, just modest monuments and signs. The island is known as an almost perfect holiday environment; beaches and nightlife are spectacular, shopping and dining the best in the Caribbean.
36 square miles
To get a feel of the area covered by St. Martin, multiply 6 miles by 6 miles. You got already 36 square miles... But not to worry, this is the biggest small island in the world. Without visiting, its impossible to imagine the variety of landscape, cultures and entertainment to be found here. St. Martin just doesn't FEEL that small... Its central mountain range provides for a rugged and interesting terrain, with winding roads up and down the hills, through small villages and still plenty of untouched land.
No time to waste!
Whether it's a day of sun and fun, or making new buddies for life, all your clients will discover their very own special moments on St. Maarten, The Friendly Island, no matter how small or big they are! From 'Water' (the playstation, kayaks) to 'Wonder' (St. Maarten Zoo, Deep Sea Life), to 'Wow!' (horseback rides, mountain biking, scuba diving), St. Maarten has it all! But just as important, no matter when they visit the Friendly Island, there's always a kaleidoscope of celebrations, sports spectaculars, parades and festivals to make the fun even more fantastic!
Simpson Bay Lagoon
The Caribbean's largest lagoon is the Simpson Bay Lagoon, landlocked with the exception of two narrow channels with draw bridges. The Lagoon is large enough to have a real sail and is home to a giant fleet of yachts, which are either berthed in one of the luxury marinas or anchored in the sheltered waters. St. Maarten has become the yachting center of the Caribbean, home port to some of the world's most outrageous megayachts.
There are ATMs on the island and you can be sure that you will pay extra fees for banks outside your home network. That is usually $1.50 plus whatever your home bank charges. You should keep records and check your statement carefully when you return home. Double dipping on your account is not impossible.
Typically, you will be given a duty-free allowance of $400 when you return to the US, but check the US Government's website for the latest info and some arcane rules. Note that alcohol and tobacco are dutiable beyond certain small quantities, regardless of cost.
There is no customs duty upon entering SXM and therefore, there is no inspection of luggage to find dutiable items. You really shouldn't bring illegal drugs onto the island.
Tourists drive on the right, just like the US. Locals, especially buses and taxis, drive in the center and generally move to the right. The Tourist Board and rental car agents say that any valid driver's license and a credit card will get you a rental car.
More information on the following website: www.st-maarten.com