St. Martin / St. Maarten
St. Martin / St. Maarten Overview
In many ways the tiny Caribbean island of St. Martin perfectly represents your honeymoon – the marriage of two unique peoples enjoying tropical bliss in harmony. Just 87 square kilometers in size and located about 300 kilometers east of Puerto Rico, the island of St. Martin is split down the middle between The Netherlands (Sainte-Maarten) and France (Sainte-Martin) and has been shared by the two nations since 1648. For you, a honeymoon on St. Martin is the best of all worlds with wonderful French food, a laid-back Dutch attitude and the luxurious comforts and natural treasures of a Caribbean paradise.
Stay in St. Martin the way you desire. Spend evenings in a cozy Creole cottage or an extravagant beachside villa; then fill your days with snorkeling crystal clear waters or relaxing with exotic tropical cocktails on one of 39 sun-drenched beaches. In between, you can explore the old world Dutch city of Philipsburg or head up to the French side’s Marigot with its beautiful harbor and hillside ruins. Pristine island beaches are everywhere beckoning you to wander together over lush soft sands or engage in more active pursuits such as parasailing, jet skiing or windsurfing.
There’s so much packed into this incredibly gorgeous destination from world-class shopping at duty free boutiques to non-stop partying and nightlife at numerous clubs and 12 casinos. At any given moment you could flip a coin to visit the Dutch side or the French side, but either way you win, because St. Martin truly has it all!
- GROS ISLET Village at Rodney Bay is the place to be on Fridays. This is an evening "jump up" with boom box music and food stands set up along the village’s main street. It doesn’t take long to get into the swing of things.
- Approach the PITONS! You can hike and climb straight up Petit Piton in about 2 ½ hours. It’s a good idea to hire a guide ($25). Non climbers can drive to the base.
- Get an aerial view of the EXOTIC TROPICAL RAIN FOREST. You’ll never forget it!!! You can take an aerial gondola ride or the more daring zip line which lets you soar over the canopy of the huge Castries Waterworks Rain Forest. Don’t forget your camera and binoculars. Chasin Baboneau 758 458-5151. The gondola costs about $70 per person; zip line $60 or a package of both $85.
- Take some beautiful honeymoon snapshots at the DIAMOND BOTANICAL GARDEN AND WATERFALL, part of the Soufriere Estate. Just outside, you can work out the kinks in a bath of warm thermal waters. Open Monday-Saturday 10:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. Tel: 758/454 7565.
- Saturday is Market Day at CASTRIES CENTRAL MARKET where you can see West Indian crafts and produce on display at colorful stalls.
Tips and Advice
- AREA CODE: 758
- CAPITAL: Marigot
- CLIMATE: Average annual temperature: 75 degrees F.
- AREA: 33.6 sq. miles
- ELECTRICITY: Electricity is 220 volts, 50 cycles AC. U.S. appliances need an adapter.
HELPFUL HONEYMOON HINTS
- Ride the bus if you want to get a better sense for the true local flavor.
- The earliest you can get married is three days after your arrival on the island.
- Most roads are paved, but all are "corkscrew" curves that demand careful driving and some thought about the return when you choose a restaurant or club destination.