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Two nations, one Eastern Caribbean Island. St. Maarten (Dutch) and St. Martin (French) offer no end of activities: big time shopping, 13 casinos, 37 awesome beaches and some of the best food in the Caribbean. The cuisine — anything from Argentine steaks to ziti, plus lip-smacking seafood and French gastronomy — is always delicious. Beaches rival the cuisine but Orient Beach, with its sweeping bay, satiny white sand, underwater marine reserve and mountain backdrop, make it one of the most popular. Be aware that the south end is clothing optional. St. Maarten's most unique water activity is the 12-Metre Challenge. One doesn't have to know a ...

Two nations, one Eastern Caribbean Island. St. Maarten (Dutch) and St. Martin (French) offer no end of activities: big time shopping, 13 casinos, 37 awesome beaches and some of the best food in the Caribbean. The cuisine — anything from Argentine steaks to ziti, plus lip-smacking seafood and French gastronomy — is always delicious. Beaches rival the cuisine but Orient Beach, with its sweeping bay, satiny white sand, underwater marine reserve and mountain backdrop, make it one of the most popular. Be aware that the south end is clothing optional. St. Maarten's most unique water activity is the 12-Metre Challenge. One doesn't have to know a gaff from a gallow to take part in this shortened version of the America's Cup Yacht Race. In fact, one of the boats, the Stars and Stripes, was the yacht that Dennis Connor used to win the 1987 cup. Stay on land and hike at the Loterie Farm, the island's only tropical forest. For the intrepid, the Loterie Farm offers the Fly Zone, a multi-task obstacle course that includes zip-lines.

Roberta Sotonoff
About the Expert

Roberta Sotonoff is coauthor of Eyewitness Top 10 Chicago and has contributed to many other guidebooks, including Fodor's Chicago, Fodor's Caribbean, Fodor's Caribbean Ports of Call, and Thomas Cook Traveller's USA.

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Roberta Sotonoff for Triporati

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Now Happening in St. Martin-St. Maarten

Facts at a Glance

  • Location: St. Martin/St. Maarten is an island 300 km southeast of Puerto Rico. The capital of French St. Martin is Marigot, the capital of Dutch St. Maarten is Philipsburg.
  • Language: French, Dutch and English
  • Currency: Euro (EUR), US dollar (USD)
  • Research: St. Martin | Wikitravel
  • Weather: Daylight | Rainfall
  • Current Time:

Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    November-May