General information St. Maarten/St.Martin
The island of Sint Maarten-Saint Martin is the smallest land mass in the world to be shared by two different nations. Only 37 square miles are owned by France and the Netherlands Antilles.
The island is in the Caribbean Sea, 18.02 latitude and 63.07 longitude, 150 miles southeast of Puerto Rico. it covers 37 square miles, with Dutch St. Maarten on the South spanning 16 square miles and French Saint Martin on the North covering 21. The island is the smallest landmass to be shared by two separate governments. Capitals - Philipsburg on Great Bay is the capital of St. Maarten. Marigot is the capital of Saint Martin.
As a part of the Netherlands Antilles and the Kingdom of the Netherlands, St. Maarten boasts 140 different nationalities. Saint Martin is a commune of Guadeloupe, an overseas territory of France.
English is spoken everywhere, but Dutch is the official language of St. Maarten, and French the official language of Saint Martin. On the Dutch side, you can also hear Spanish, Papiamentu, Italian, Hindi, Chinese, and other languages. On the French side, Creole Patois is also spoken.
41,000 people live on St. Maarten and 36,000 on Saint Martin.
Sunny and warm year-round, with some cooling from trade winds. Average temperature during the winter season is 80F (27C) and a few degrees warmer anymore humid in the summer. Occasional showers in late summer and early fall, with average annual rainfall of 45 inches.
Air service from the U.S. to Princess Juliana International Airport in St. Maarten is provided by: American Airlines direct from New York, Miami and San Juan with connecting flights to numerous cities throughout the U.S. Plus seasonally by: by Continental from Newark, N.J., with connecting flights throughout the U.S.; Northwest from Detroit and Minneapolis, with connections to other U.S. cities; and by USAir from Charlotte and Philadelphia with connections to other U.S. cities. In addition, numerous charter flights are available from throughout the continental U.S. Other airlines serving the island include: ALM Antillean Airlines from Aruba, Curacao and Bonaire; LIAT from Antigua, Anguilla, St. Croix, St. Kitts, St. Thomas and Tortola; and Windward Islands Airways (WINAIR) from St. Thomas, St. Kitts/Nevis, Saba, St. Eustatius, Anguilla, St. Barts, Dominica and Tortola.
St. Maarten is the only completely duty-free port in the Caribbean. No vaccination certificates are required unless arriving from an area experiencing an epidemic.
Airport Departure Tax
For International destinations, there is a tax of US$30.00 for those age 2 and up. For islands within the Netherlands Antilles, the departure tax is US$10.00. For most airlines the departure tax is included in their tickets.
St. Maarten expresses its culinary soul not by creating a single cuisine, but by giving voice to cooking styles from the far-flung corners of the globe. Diners can select from more than 300 restaurants offering French, Dutch, Caribbean, Italian, Chinese, Indonesian, Creole and more. For more information, we have a special dining guide available with a list of restaurants on both sides of the island.
The island's 12 casinos are all on the Dutch side and offer gaming in the European mode.