Vibrant, pristine, and adventurous are some words to describe the scenic culinary capital of the Caribbean. With only 37 square miles, the island is home to both Saint Martin and Sint Maarten; the smallest land mass in the world to be shared by two different nations: France and theNetherlands. Two countries that sit side by side, separated only by friendly welcome signs. While visitors can travel back and forth across the island almost without realizing it, there are some significant cultural distinctions between them.

St. Maarten, the Dutch side pulses with energy. This southern half of the island features bustling casinos, luxury resorts, aplethora of dining options, and a vibrant nightlife. It is known for being tourist friendly and has all the amenities that travelers looking for a good time could hope for.

Meanwhile, the French nation of St. Martin, is a bit more laid back. Here, visitors can enjoy upscale shopping and exceptionally sophisticatedEuropean influenced cuisines. Both sides benefit from their fusion of European and Caribbean customs.

Language is one of the many differences in St. Maarten vs.St. Martin. They are 3 official languages which are English, French, and Dutch.Good news for visitors to either side is that virtually everyone you meet can communicate fluently in English.

St. Maarten uses the US Dollar (USD) and Dutch Netherlands guilder (NLG), while St. Martin relies on the Euro (EUR) and the US Dollar. But you do not have to concern yourself with exchanging money, because American dollars are accepted nearly everywhere. Visitors to the island can also use major credit cards at most establishments.

For a bit of thrill and adrenalin rush in lush, natural surroundings, fly above the trees via zipline at St Martin’s Loterie Farm, this is an activity that you should not pass up. Want to kick up notch? How about an unforgettable bird’s eye view of the island? There is nothing more exciting than skydiving. Come to Grande Case Airport and experience the euphoric joy of free falling over an exotic Caribbean gem.

Want a more laid-back nature themed excursion? Visit St.Martin’s Nature Reserve, which was established in 1998 to preserve the island’s five main ecosystems: coral reefs, mangroves, seed plant herbariums, swamps,and dry coastal forests. While it is prohibited to hunt or fish here, you can admire the water’s depths by taking your first dive from Creole Rock, or by viewing precious marine life with your snorkel. Paddling and kayaking are also perfect for navigating the Nature Reserve’s waters and appreciating its landscapes.That is also a great way to enter the mangroves, where you can observe birds and insects going about their daily activities. 

Where laid back island energy transforms into a blend of vibrant rhythms. This tropical paradise with pristine turquoise waters and sunny clear skies makes it one of the most ideal top Caribbean islands to visit.


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St. Martin / St. Maarten

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