St. Maarten/St. Martin is the smallest island in the world to be divided between two different nations. The island is split between the Dutch and French, and the two cultures live very peacefully together on 37 square miles. In fact, the island’s inhabitants are quite proud of their nearly 350-year history of peaceful co-existence. The island’s two sides offer you the culture and lifestyle of both the Dutch and the French. There are approximately 35,000 inhabitants on each side of the island, and 82 nationalities are represented. Located 18.5 North and 63.5 West, in the heart of the Caribbean, this small island dual nation has been a prestigious tourist haven for years. The capital of the Dutch side is Philipsburg and the capital of the French side is Marigot.
Both sides of the island have their own official language (French and Dutch) but English is spoken everywhere. Both sides have their own currency ( The Euro and Netherlands Antilles Guilder), but U.S. Dollars are accepted everywhere. It is very easy to exchange currencies in banks, hotels, and “Exchange Desks. The island is on Atlantic time, one hour ahead of eastern standard time in the US. The climate is tropical and constant all year long, the average temperature is around 80 degrees (F).
St. Maarten/St. Martin has 37 beaches that are secluded areas of beautiful white sand. All kinds of water sports are available including; windsurfing, swimming, sailing, jet skiing, diving and snorkeling. Half-day or full-day sailing excursions to undeveloped beaches nearby are also available.
St. Maarten’s/St. Martin’s climate and natural beauty make it a perfect place for other sports and recreation. Golf, tennis, biking, hiking and horseback riding are other activities that allow you to explore the island’s natural splendor.
St. Maarten/St. Martin has the best of nightlife on both sides of the island. Casinos (on the Dutch side), nightclubs and dance bars are just some of the attractions available. In addition, there are literally hundreds of fine restaurants to choose from.
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