Sint Maarten is an island nation within the Caribbean region. The country is a constituent of the Kingdom of Netherlands. It is located adjacent to another island called Saint Martin, which shouldn’t be confused with one another when you travel to Sint Maarten. It is an overseas Dutch territory while Saint Martin is a French territory. There are over 37,000 people living in Sint Maarten. It is one of the territories that make up the Netherlands Antilles.
Tourism is the main component of the economy in Sint Maarten. Tourists either travel to the island by air or enter the island by cruise ships.
Currency: Netherlands Antillean Guilder
Official Language: Dutch and English are the official languages of Sint Maarten.
Wi-Fi Availability: You can find several hotels and restaurants offering free Wi-Fi to tourists and their clients. There is a more widespread availability of Wi-Fi hotspots in the island.
Airport/s: The Princess Juliana International Airport in Simpson Bay is the main international airport in Sint Maarten.
Visa Required: Tourists from the US, Canada, UK, Australia and EU countries only need a passport and return ticket without visa to travel to Sint Maarten. For other citizens, your visa requirement for travel to Sint Maarten will vary based on the country of origin.
Driving: In Sint Maarten, you must drive on the right side of the road.
International Driver’s License Accepted? You can use your foreign issued driver’s license to drive in Sint Maarten. However, the license policies vary according to which country issued the license.
Crime: There are no real dangers in Sint Maarten. However, tourists might be a target to minor crimes like theft or robbery; hence, tourists are advised to stay away from dark areas especially when alone at night time.
Electrical Adapters: The electrical voltage and frequency used in Sint Maarten is the same with that of the US – 120 volts at 60 Hertz.
Trivia: DID YOU KNOW that there are a total of 37 white sandy beaches in Sint Maarten?
Cuisine in Sint Maarten
The diversity of the ethnicity and culture in Sint Maarten is evident in its cuisine. You will also identify touches of French and Spanish cuisine who the locals had come into contact with for many years before becoming a Dutch territory. However, the cuisine of Sint Maarten is one of the highlights of its culture because it has been dubbed as the “cuisine capital of the Caribbean”.
Here are some of its most notable dishes:
Callaloo Soup: This is one of the island’s national dishes. It is a soup dish made from callaloo and kale stems. The leaves and stems are washed and roughly chopped before being mixed into the soup. This is a hearty soup with bold flavors that locals love.
Crabmeat-Stuffed Shells: This is another local favorite dish that exploits the bountiful seafood array within the island. This dish requires the use of live blue crabs and lots of fresh herbs and spices. You cannot miss this dish when you visit Sint Maarten.
When it comes to sweets, you need to try the island’s famous coconut turnovers and butter cookies. Meanwhile, here are some restaurants that you need to check out when dining out in Sint Maarten. If you want to sample American cuisine, visit Peg Leg Club or Hot Tomatoes. If you want to experience the Caribbean fever, the Harbour View Restaurant or Cabana Beach Bar & Resort are a must! For a good breakfast place, nothing beats The Hideway at Pelican Key or Mary’s Boon at Simpson Bay.
For the usual Italian fare, drop by Pizza Galley or Ristorante Laguna at Simpson Bay.
Travel to Sint Maarten: Things to Do
Scuba Diving – The beaches and sights in Sint Maarten are beautifully preserved to showcase what nature has to offer. But when dive down into the sea, more beauty awaits you. You should therefore try to scuba dive at least once when you travel to Sint Maarten. You will not regret it!
Zip Line – Go to the highest point in the island, Pic Paradis, and zip line your way down. It is a thrilling rush of adrenaline with a gorgeous view to boot. This activity is recommended for the thrill seekers!
Fort Louis – This is one of the largest historical monument in Sint Maarten. That alone is worth a visit because there are so many things to explore at the ruins of the fort. As a bonus? You get to enjoy a beautiful, panoramic view of the island!
Visit the Butterfly Farm – Walk through the lush tropical rainforest when you visit the Butterfly Farm. You can meet all kinds of butterfly species. If this is something that you are interested in, the admission fee is $15 but you can make a return visit while you’re in the island.
Plane Spotting at Maho Beach – This is one of the most notable attractions in Sint Maarten. The airport is located next to the beach such that beachgoers can experience the rush of the airplane and its slow descent to the ground. Of course, the beautiful white sand of the Maho Beach is in itself worth a visit but it would be fun to witness this unique attraction.