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St Maarten related questions

Where is St. Maarten located?

St. Maarten is in the Leeward Islands of the West Indies. (For seafaring types, that’s 18°N,63°W.)

For those flying in, St. Maarten is 144 miles east of Puerto Rico or about a one-hour flight.

What document do I need to travel to St. Maarten?

To determine what documents you will need to bring with you in order to enter the island, you can check the official St. Maarten web page at http://www.st-maarten.com/requirements.htm.

New Requirements for Travelers Between the United States and the Western Hemisphere. New government regulations have been passed to require that people traveling to and from the Caribbean, Bermuda, Panama, Mexico and Canada have a passport or other secure, accepted document to enter or re-enter the United States. Effective January 23, 2007, all U.S. Citizens (including infants and children) will need a valid passport to travel between the United States and the Western Hemisphere.

How do I get to St. Maarten?

The main airport, Princess Juliana International (SXM), is located on the Dutch side of the island and served by several major airlines, including American Airlines, US Airways, Delta, Continental, United and other major U.S. carriers. American Airlines, US Airways, United Airlines and others offer direct flights to St. Maarten from New York, Philadelphia, Chicago, Charlotte, Miami and other U.S. mainland cities. Most visitors connect there or in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

What airlines service the Island?

The island is serviced by a number of major airlines carriers, including American, US Airways, Continental, KLM & Air France. If you want to visit a neighboring island, there are several small airlines that will take you there.

The Princess Juliana International Airport is located on the Dutch side, west of Philipsburg near Simpson Bay Beach; the Grand Case Airport is located on the French side, north of Marigot and close to Grand Case.

What day trips are offered to the neighboring Islands?

Explore the islands surrounding St. Maarten! Trips are available daily to Anguilla, St. Barths, and Saba. Please be sure to bring a valid passport with you as some islands, including Anguilla and St. Barths, require passport for entry, even as a day trip from St. Maarten. Check with the Resort’s activities desk located in our lobby for information and reservations.

Ferry’s depart throughout the day from Marigot to Anguilla. You can also fly to Anguilla from St. Maarten on Winair. Excursions by ferry or flight are offered daily to St. Barths, located just 15 miles southeast from St. Maarten. The ferry ride lasts approximately 45 minutes, check with the activities desk for costs. Flying in only takes 10 minutes with Winair at a reasonable price.

Known for its world-class scuba diving, Saba is only an hour away from St. Maarten by ferry. Several trips are offered each day to this island.

What languages are spoken on St. Maarten/St. Martin?

As you might expect, Dutch is the official language of St. Maarten, and French of St. Martin. English is spoken everywhere on both sides of the island, particularly in hotels, shops and restaurants. Papiamento, the dialect of the Netherlands Antilles, is widely spoken on the Dutch side. On the French side, the residents will welcome your efforts to speak French

What is the dress code for the Island?

You will find St. Maarten/St. Martin to be a most informal island. Jeans shorts or even is usually accepted all over the island. When dining on the French side, as well as in the casinos, you will feel more comfortable wearing something more formal than shorts and a T-shirt. Nice and casual is the way to go.

What are the local currencies and do local businesses accept US currency?

The official currency of Dutch St. Maarten is the Netherlands Antilles florin or guilder (NAfls.), and in French St. Martin, it’s the Euro. But U.S. dollars, traveler’s checks and major credit cards are widely accepted. Exchange rates are posted in most hotels and banks. You can also verify the rate of exchange when making a purchase.

What are the Business Hours on the island?

Stores in Philipsburg are open all day Monday through Saturday, and some are open on Sunday if there is a cruise ship in port. In Marigot, the shops tend to close between noon and I p.m. and reopen at 3:00 p.m. until the late afternoon or early evening. Most businesses are closed on Sunday, and so are many restaurants. Grocery stores are open Monday - Saturday 8:00a.m. - 8:00p.m., Sunday 9:00a.m. - 1:00p.m. To make the most of your day, you should plan your activities accordingly.

What type of electricity standard do you have? Do I need to bring an adapter?

On the Dutch side, the current is like that in the United States, 110 volts AC/60 Hertz. On the French side, the current is usually the European standard, or 220 volts AC, but also 60 Hertz. Converters arc available at many electronics stores along Front Street in Philipsburg and in Marigot.

Can I use my cell phone on the island?

Your cell phone can be used by contacting East Caribbean Cellular or TelCel .major credit cards can be used to pay for your activation and use charges.

How do I get around without a rental car? Are there buses or taxis?

Public transportation runs regularly between the island's two capitals for a moderate fee. Other buses travel hourly between Mullet Bay, Simpson Bay Beach, Cole Bay and Grand Case.

Taxis are well organized and readily available. They are not metered; rates are set by the government. Charges are based on carrying two passengers per trip and on the destination. A fee will be added for each additional passenger, and your driver will expect a tip of 10-15%.

What’s the weather like on St. Maarten?

The prevailing northeast trade winds keep the air cool, with temperatures ranging from 66º F to 81º F in coastal areas and 72º F to 86º F in inland areas. Don’t be surprised by an afternoon shower, but rainstorms pass quickly, allowing the sun to shine on most days. Always use sun block, even on cloudy days.