an area of only 37 square miles, the island of St. Maarten/St.
Martin is the smallest land mass in the world to be divided between
two governments. Its dual owners are the Dutch and the French,
who have shared the tiny and paradisical island more or less
peacefully for almost 350 years. This understated absence of
conflict testifies to one of the island's most precious and attractive
characteristics--its unusual serenity.
Situated about 150 miles east of Puerto Rico,
Dutch St. Maarten (the French spell it St. Martin) covers 16 square
miles of the southern part of the island, an area marked by verdant,
rolling hills that languidly rest above mile after mile of beach,
salt pond, and lagoon. Although the region falls under the government
of Netherlands Antilles and the Kingdom of the Netherlands, its
diversity and the strong influence of West-Indian traditions make
its culture anything but exclusively
Dutch. St. Maarten's atmosphere is a winning blend of Caribbean
hospitality and European sophistication.
the Dutch capital since 1768, is widely known for its colonial
architecture. The town began as a Dutch trading center, and the
forts around Philipsburg are haunting reminders of its one-time
strategic importance. Traders from throughout the empire once sailed
through the protective arms of its Great Bay, establishing the
town as a lively center of international commerce. Although most
of the vessels that arrive in the harbor today are cruise ships,
international trade still thrives in St. Maarten thanks to its
status as a leading duty-free port.
To put it simply, St. Maarten is a shopper's dream.
St. Maarten is also known throughout the Caribbean
for its eclectic nightlife. The evening
ritually begins at sunset, when cafes and night clubs open their
doors and the music of steel drum bands floats along the beaches.
The island's festive spirit peaks during carnival,
a vibrant, two-week festival of feasting, street dancing, parties,
Maarten's dependable trade winds free the island from oppressive
heat or prolonged leaden skies, and its temperate climate is consistently
graced by the sun.
The island's sugary-white beaches are spiritually
restive and abundant, and walkers who encounter them are often
struck by their splendid seclusion. Off-shore, St. Maarten's life-rich
waters provide superb boating and fishing,
as well as excellent diving areas. The
inland region, with its gentle valleys and hills, is ideal for
biking, horseback riding, and exploration.
All these offerings have made St. Maarten a famous tropical destination,
and the island is dotted with world-class resorts.
Private guest houses are also an increasingly popular form of lodging,
catering to visitors seeking traditional Caribbean hospitality.
St. Maarten Home Page | Philipsburg | History | Culture | Cuisine | Getting
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Home | St. Martin French
St. Maarten Tourist Bureau
Vineyard Office Park
WG Buncamper Rd. #33
St. Maarten N.A.
St. Maarten Tourist Office2810 Matheson
Boulevard EastSuite 200
L4W 4X7 Canada
Av. Ipiranga 318 bl A - 5 Andar
Sao Paulo - SP- CEP 01046-010
St. Maarten Tourist Office
675 Third Avenue, Suite 1806
New York, NY 10017
Tel: (212) 953-2084
Fax: (212) 953-2145
Toll Free: (800) 786-2278 (1 800 STMAARTEN)
St. Maarten Tourist Officec/
890 2nd Floor - G
1107 Buenos Aires, CF
11 4343 1100
Fax: 54 11 4343 0750
Via Durini 2
Phone: 30 02 76 02 12 03
Fax: 39 02 76 00 32 17