French St. Martin is a mixture of French and Caribbean influences, and occupies the northern 21 square miles of a two-nation island. It’s location is sub-tropical, but its mindset is pure Parisian. Casual restaurants with uninterrupted views of palm-studded white-sand beaches serve elaborate Gallic dishes. Even the preferred sports are European-style – snorkelling, diving, sailing, tennis and horseback riding being favoured over motorized sports such as jet-skiing and motor-boating.
The capital is Marigot, and is bursting with inviting cafes and bistros. Over 50 restaurants serve international and local cuisine. There is an abundance of the breads and pastries for which France is so well known. Escargot and frog legs appear opposite coconut soup and Creole-style stews on menus. Marigot is a duty-free port, and visitors can save 25 to 50 percent off U.S. prices on European fashions, fine jewellery, crystal, china, and perfumes.
St. Martin has some of the most picturesque and secluded beaches in the Caribbean. West of Marigot, past the isthmus, between Simpson Bay and the Atlantic Ocean, is a trio of beaches worth sampling – Bay Rouge, Plum Bay, and Long Bay. Bay Rouge has a number of pristine diving spots, while Plum Bay is preferred for surfing. Long Bay is the largest unbroken stretch of sand on the entire island, and also the last beach before the border to the Dutch side. A coral reef just offshore attracts many divers.
Travel Documents Needed
When travelling outside of your home country you should always have a valid passport.
Must have a valid passport. No visa is required.
Always check with your travel agent regarding current entry requirements.
Saint Martin Capital
Willemstad, on Curacao
Saint Martin Currency
Saint Martin GNI per capita
US $13,162 (UN, 2003)
Saint Martin International dialling code
Saint Martin Major languages
Dutch, Papiamento, English, Spanish
Saint Martin Prime Minister
Emily de Jongh-Elhage
Saint Martin Territories
Netherlands Antilles, Saint Martin shared with France.