Join Cruise Gourmet Voyages for a cruise to Saint Maarten January 9-16, 2016. Click here to learn more.
St. Maarten entices visitors with its white sandy beaches, clear blue waters, warm climate and wicked nightlife. Strictly speaking, Saint Maarten refers to the portion of the Saint Martin Island that is controlled by the Dutch. The other half is under the governance of France.
No one goes to St. Maarten and ignores its beaches. Perhaps the most popular of all is the Maho Beach, which continually draws in locals and visitors alike because of its relaxing vibe. If you want to see one of the most stunning beaches on the island, make your way to Orient Beach, where the sand possesses a sugar-like texture and color.
Aside from enjoying and relaxing on some of St. Maarten’s 37 beaches; there is so much to do on this side of the island. Sightseeing, sailing and fishing are some of the common family-friendly activities that keep tourists on St. Maarten busy and happy. In addition, there are many ways to explore the wonderful waters surrounding the island like diving, snorkeling and windsurfing.
The best way to get to know St. Maarten is to go for an island tour with an experienced guide who will show where the notable spots are. Places like the Butterfly Farm and St. Maarten Zoo and Botanical Gardens are must-visits. For fascinating lessons on the island’s rich history, drop by Fort Louis, Fort Amsterdam and the Heritage Museum. Fort Louis is remnant of the French influence on this side of the island, while the 17th century Fort Amsterdam is a representation of the Dutch dominance. At the Heritage Museum, you will find displays, exhibits and a library that further tells the story of how St. Maarten came about.
The region is not only a beach paradise, it is also a vibrant and flamboyant entertainment hub. At night, party revelers roam the streets of St. Maarten to seek merriment in the regions’ boisterous bars and clubs.
Dining is top class on St. Marteen. In fact, it is considered to be the gourmet capital of the Caribbean luring high profile chefs from all over. Shopping is quite delightful here too as it is duty free, and when it comes to accommodation, there is a wide range options to choose from.
Like other Caribbean destinations, St. Maarten has its fair share of modern and large resorts, which include giant chains like the Westin and Radisson. These types of accommodation are ideal if you are coming with a big group. However, if you plan to stay longer and are seeking more intimacy, then consider renting a condo, a villa or a stay at a small inn.
The period between April and the first week of December is regarded as off-season. At this time, the lodging prices are almost half of the rates during high season. The Princess Juliana International Airport (SXM) facilitates international flights coming to St. Marteen. The island also has a world-class cruise port named St. Maarten A.C. Wathey Pier. The port facility stretches 2,000 feet, and is also equipped with seaside promenades that offer amazing views of the sea.