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    Flag, Coat of Arms, and Tourist Board

    Often denoted as the crossroads of the Caribbean, Saint Maarten is located at the north end of the Lesser Antilles, approximately 150 miles southeast of Puerto Rico. The island is just three hours from New York City and two hours forty-five minutes from Miami. Saint Maarten encompasses the southern part of the diminutive Caribbean island, while the northern part constitutes the French Saint Martin.

    From exploring Cupecoy’s striking cliffs to watching planes land just above the beach to experiencing diverse restaurants, exciting casinos, trendy nightclubs and beautiful nature, Saint Maarten offers something for every type of traveler.

    Saint Maarten was initially settled by the Arawaks and was later discovered by Christopher Columbus on in 1493. The island first appeared to Columbus on November 11, the holy day of Saint Martin of Tours, and thus named the island after him.

    In 1648 Saint Maarten was divided peacefully between Holland and France. It is the smallest landmass in the world shared by two separate sovereign nations. Throughout the island, there are a number of old stone forts that are a constant reminder of the island’s turbulent past.

    Saint Maarten is known as the "Gastronomic Capital of the Caribbean". The island offers a wide variety of dining options so visitors can experience all that Saint Maarten has to offer. Exotic and familiar cuisine is showcased at the island's more than 350 restaurants.

    Island activities seem to be limitless on Saint Maarten. From sailing the yacht that won the America's Cup to motoring a catamaran, to chartering a fishing boat to diving on the clear blue waters, the options are as appealing as the sights of the island.

    Tourist Office
    For more information about events, promotions and things-to-do in St. Maarten, go to the Tourist Office Page or visit the official website of the St. Maarten Tourism Bureau.

    Note: Information provided on this page were derived from a combination of internal research and readily-available outside sources, such as destination tourism offices, official press releases and marketing media kits.

    Fast Facts

    Capital: Philipsburg

    Language: Dutch and English are the official languages

    Motto: “Semper progrediens” (Latin);  “Always progressing” (English)

    Anthem: “O Sweet Saint Martin's Land”

    Government: Constituent Country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands

    Size: Saint Maarten is a 37-square-mile island known for its hilly landscape where visitors will discover countless lookouts with impressive panoramas of the coast and offshore islets.

    Population: 41,000 people live on Saint Maarten and 36,000 on Saint Martin for a combined total of 77,000. Although the capital is Philipsburg, the most densely populated cities are Cul de Sac, Lower Prince’s Quarter and Cole Bay.

    Location: Southern Caribbean

    Climate: The weather in Saint Maarten is consistent year-around with temperatures ranging between 72 and 86 degrees F.

    Rainfall: The annual rainfall is typically less than 45 inches.

    Electricity: 110-volt AC, 60 cycles (same as U.S. & Canada)

    Currency: Netherlands Antilles florin (NAf). The official exchange rate is approximately NAf 1.77 for each USD $1.00. The USD is widely accepted.

    ATMs: ATMs can be found in the cities and in resorts.

    Water: The water on Saint Maarten is safe to drink. Most hotels serve desalinated water.

    Driving: Driving is on the right-hand side of the road.

    Car Rentals: Car rentals are available at Princess Juliana International Airport at locations around town. Major car rental companies available in Saint Marteen are Avis, Budget, Hertz, Unity Cars, EasyTerra, and E-Z Rent-A-Car.

    Taxi Cabs: Taxis are typically vans and geared towards servicing cruise ship passengers. A trip around the island costs approximately USD $25 per person.

    Cruising/Bare Boating: Saint Maarten's A.C. Wathey Pier is ranked in the top ten world cruise ports and destinations. The ultra-modern facility, featuring seaside and boulevard promenades, can accommodate four cruise vessels alongside its 2,100 feet cruise pier.

    Dress Code: Casual but in good taste. Upscale resort may have specific dress requirements. Topless sunbathing is common as many visitors are European.

    Telephone Calls: Calls to St. Maarten from the U.S. are international calls and require the following country codes:

    +721 followed by 54 and the seven-digit local number

    Medical Facilities: St. Maarten Medical Center in Cay Hill. Airlift is available to Puerto Rico and the continental U.S. in case of extreme medical emergency.

    Pet Importation: Animals are admitted temporarily to Saint Marteen with the following documentation - a health certificate dated no more than 10 days before arrival and a record of inoculations, including a rabies shot administered no more than 30 days before arrival.

    Travel Information
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    By Air
    Getting to Saint Maarten by air is now easier than ever. Just three hours from New York City and less than three hours from Miami, direct fights are available on American, USAirways, United, Delta, Spirit and Jet Blue. Princess Juliana International Airport offers a newly-remodeled terminal and air traffic control and radar system upgrades.

    The following categories are exempted from the Saint Marteen visa requirement:
    - Holders of a valid residence permit for the United States, Canada, the Schengen Area, the United Kingdom, Ireland or Switzerland.

    - Holders of a valid residence permit for the French part of St Maarten.

    - Holders of a valid residence permit for one of the countries or public bodies (Bonaire, St Eustatius and Saba) of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in the Caribbean.

    Customs and Immigration
    A valid passport and a return or continuing ticket is required. All persons traveling to and from Saint Marteen must clear Customs and Immigration at the airport upon arrival.

    Departure Tax
    For departures to international destinations from Princess Juliana Airport, there is a departure tax of $30 which may already be included in the airline ticket price.

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