The Island Of the
Saint Martin is part of the Leeward Islands in the Caribbean Sea. It comprises 2 separate countries, divided between its northern French side, called Saint-Martin, and its southern Dutch side, Sint Maarten. The island is home to busy resort beaches and secluded coves. It’s also known for fusion cuisine, vibrant nightlife and duty-free shops selling jewelry and liquor.
Small but beautiful and perfectly formed, this Caribbean gem is actually the world’s smallest area of land divided into two nations – one half is French (Saint Martin) and the other is Dutch (St Maarten). The result is something truly unique and this is an idyllic island paradise where 120 different nationalities mix alongside each other and where some of the finest cuisines in the Caribbean can be found. Add to that some gorgeous white sandy beaches, tranquil hidden bays, some lively beach bars and nightlife, excellent shopping and some great options for water sports and hiking and you had a pretty fabulous vacation destination. Here are the best and most beautiful places to visit in Saint Martin and Sint Maarten
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While it’s officially known as ‘The Friendly Island’, there’s no shortage of other nicknames that could apply to the eastern Caribbean island of St. Maarten.
Perhaps ‘The International Island,’ given that St. Maarten is owned by the Netherlands, while France governs the north side and calls it St. Martin (yes, it can get a tad confusing). Its endless stretches of golden and white sand beaches could earn it the moniker ‘The Sun Soaked Island’, or how about ‘The Culinary Capital of the Caribbean’; with more than 140 different nationalities registered, there are dozens of cuisines to choose from which makes it foodie heaven.
Sint Martin is an autonomous constituent country of the Kingdom of Netherlands that is located in the Leeward Islands of the Lesser Antilles island group in the northeastern Caribbean Sea. Covering an area of 34 km2, Sint Maarten forms the southern part of the Caribbean island of Saint Martin, the northern part of which is occupied by Saint-Martin, an Overseas Collectivity of France. The French island of Saint Barthélemy (St. Barts) is situated to the southeast of Sint Maarten.
The central and northern part of Sint Maarten has a rugged terrain with Mount Flagstaff being its highest point, rising to an elevation of 383 m. The southern part of the island is mainly low-lying and dotted with numerous salt pans, coastal lagoons, sand spits. The boundary between the Dutch and the French halves of the island passes through the center of the Simpson Bay Lagoon. The small Little Key island, which is a part of Sint Maarten, is located in the lagoon. The 1.88 km2 Great Salt Pond is the largest pond on Sint Maarten which borders the capital city of Philipsburg. It has been designated as an Important Bird Area by BirdLife International as it hosts several laughing gulls before their breeding season.