Famously divided with a French section in the north and a Dutch section in the south, the combined island of St. Martin/St. Maarten is usually considered a single market when it comes to holidays. There’s one major airport and hotel listings are usually bunched together as well.
In the Dutch section you’ll find heavy development and even casinos, with English being an official and widely-spoken language. The French section has more of the natural wilderness and less development, but it’s still busy and packed with tourists in season. English is widely understood in the French section so don’t let language be the deciding factor when choosing where to stay.
The island is one of the cheaper to reach from both North America and Europe, and there are many direct flights from both continents. Prices in general tend to be in the mid-range for the Caribbean, so it’s not ideal for budget travelers unless you find a good package deal in advance.
|Currency||Euro/Netherlands Antillean Guilder|
|Airports||Princess Juliana International Airport (SXM)|
|Local Breakfast||If you're feeling a bit adventurous, make sure to try bubble tea with your morning meal.||$3.00 - $9.00|
|Local Lunch||Chinese food can be found almost everywhere and is a common lunch time choice.||$9.00 - $16.00|
|Local Dinner||If you're interested in having a small dinner, or one on the go, make sure to check out one of the local food trucks.||$12.00 - $25.00|
|Beer||The local drinking age is 18 so don't be surprised if you end up drinking next to a teenager.||$3.00 - $6.00|
|Month||High F||Low F||PRECIP (inches)|
Temperatures tend to stay pretty consistent throughout the year with not much difference between winter and summer. If you vacation by the coastline, you’ll find that the average temperature is generally a few degrees warmer during the day and at night. The farther inland you go, the cooler it gets.
Hurricane season is from June to November though with a little planning and a close eye on the weather, you should be fine.
Make sure to pack both light clothes and a sweater if you plan to venture inland during anytime of your trip.
There are close to 100 different hotels and resorts on the entire island, plus an increasing number of timeshares and condominium developments on the Dutch side. There’s very little in the budget accommodation category, but the mid-range (for the Caribbean) is loaded with options, while the high-end is well represented too.
The best time to visit the island as far as both weather and prices are concerned is during May and early December. During this time, known as the shoulder season, you’ll find decent prices, great weather and fewer crowds.
If you decide to vacation during the winter months, be prepared to be faced with higher prices for hotels and plane flights. The summer months through fall see the lowest prices of the year with some hotel rates dropping about 25 percent in comparison to the winter rates. This time of the year is called the low season. It’s also the season where the fewest amount of travelers visit the area.
|123.00 - 170.00|
|132.00 - 221.00|
|227.00 - 283.00|
If you are coming from any farther than a nearby island you’ll be flying into Princess Juliana International Airport, which is one of the larger and busier airports in all of the Caribbean. It’s the main airport for both the Dutch and French sides, though it’s located in the Dutch part.
Nonstop flights from:
San Juan, Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Atlanta, Charlotte, Washington DC, Philadelphia, New York-JFK, Newark, Chicago, Minneapolis/St. Paul, Toronto, Montreal, Paris, Amsterdam