Preparing for your next adventure to the Caribbean? It’s time to consider Sint Maarten as your number one destination. This Dutch territory boasts some of the most incredible sites and activities in all of the Caribbean! If you’re looking for a picture-perfect destination you’ll remember for a lifetime, Sint Maarten has everything you need.
Keep reading to find out more about this island nation and the ten best things you can do there to make your next vacation the best you’ve ever had.
Where is Sint Maarten Island?
Sint Maarten is located in the Lower Antilles and represents the lower forty percent of the island of St. Martin, sixty percent of which belongs to France. Many travelers ask, “Is Sint Maarten a country?” The answer is yes. The nation is a constituent country of the King of the Netherlands and is the only part of the Netherlands that borders France. The Dutch background of the nation can be seen in the national flag, which bears the colors of the Netherlands.
Saint Martin vs Sint Maarten
As mentioned, Sint Maarten is the Dutch part of the Saint Martin island shared between France and the Netherlands. The northernmost portion of the island belongs to France, while the southern half belongs to the Netherlands. The demarcation line can be found on any Sint Maarten map.
Is Sint Maarten Safe?
Sint Maarten is generally considered a safe place to visit, though tourists are advised to exercise normal precautions as they would when traveling any nation.
How to Get to Sint Maarten
Those wishing to reach Sint Maarten can do so by flying into Princess Juliana International Airport (airport code SXM), the island’s main airport which just so happens to be located next to a stunning beach. The best time to visit Sint Maarten is generally the period between May and June (or between November and mid-December). During this time, the Sint Marteen weather is at its best and book rates are generally at their lowest.
Best Things to Do in Sint Maarten:
Keeping all this in mind, let’s now jump in and take a look at ten of the best things to do or see in the island nation:
1) Visit Philipsburg
Philipsburg, Sint Maarten is the capital of the nation and one of the more exciting cities in the Caribbean. Filled with shops, museums, and must-try restaurants, the city is a hubbub of activity. While you’re there, make sure to check out the nearby ruins of Fort Amsterdam, which was built I the 1600s and still serves as a major tourist attraction.
2) Experience the St. Maarten Zoo
The St. Maarten Zoo is the largest zoological park anywhere in the Caribbean and houses hundreds of different species of birds, mammals, and reptiles. In addition, the zoo contains a playground for kids and a gift shop where you can buy souvenirs.
3) See the Planes at Maho Beach
Located just outside Princess Juliana International Airport, Maho Beach is the perfect destination for amateur photographers and interested travelers looking to get an up-close view of planes as they take off and land. While the waters here are beautiful, the planes steal the show, making this one of the best beaches in Sint Marteen—and anywhere in the world, for that matter.
4) Surf at Mullet Bay Beach
Don’t let the quiet of this beach fool you. While it may not draw the crowds and bustle of Maho Beach, Mullet Bay is home to some of the best waves in the Caribbean. If you live for the surf, you can’t go wrong by testing out the crystal-clear waters of this incredibly beautiful beach.
5) Go Shopping at Front Street
Shopping at Front Street is one of the best Sint Maarten activities, and here’s why: the island has duty-free status, meaning you get to pay less on your goods. Front Street offers some of the best shopping in Philipsburg and is a great place to spend an afternoon souvenir hunting. The legendary street is also home to the Coliseum Princess Casino if you’re feeling lucky.
6) Take a Trip to Cupecoy Beach
Looking for a beach away from the crowds? You can get just that with Cupecoy Beach. A famous surfing destination, the beach is also a great place to watch the sunset with your significant other. The secluded nature of this beach makes it a popular spot for both families and solo travelers.
7) See the St. Maarten Museum
The St. Maarten Museum rests in a converted house built in the 1800s. Despite its small size, the museum does an excellent job showcasing the history and the culture of the island, making it an incredible stop for history buffs or those who are looking to get a deeper sense of the island’s soul.
8) Stay at a St Maarten All-Inclusive Resort
If you want to make your stay extra special, you can book a room at an all-inclusive resort. These resorts give you all the amenities you’d enjoy back home with the incredible beauty of the Caribbean. Places like Divi Little Bay Beach Resort are among the best places to stay in Sint Maarten and should be at the top of your list when it comes to lodging. There are a number of Sint Maarten hotels that you’ll want to check out before you finalize your trip.
9) Test the Waters at Burgeaux Beach
A popular spot with both surfers and swimmers, Burgeaux Beach boasts shallow (if rough) waters that are great for a bit of ocean fun. Even if you’re not planning on getting in the water, the location, which is dotted with palm trees and surrounded by villas, allows an incredible view at sea urchins and other creatures, making it a great place to simply relax.
10) Chow down on Some of the Region’s Best Food
Establishments such as the Lazy Lizard Beach Bar and JAX Steakhouse and Cocktail Bar are consistently ranked as some of the best places for foodies anywhere on the island. Make sure to stop by the extensive array of bars and eateries that dot Sint Maarten to get your fill of the region’s best food.
The Bottom Line
In this guide, we’ve covered the best Sint Maarten things to do, as well as went over some basics that will help you adjust to life on the island. If you can’t wait to get your next Caribbean vacation started, use this travel list to plan your getaway soon!