Sun worshipers, water lovers, sailors and divers will find ideal conditions on the Caribbean island of St. Maarten. This popular destination in the former Netherlands Antilles has a beautiful coastline perfect for playing, sunbathing or being active. St. Maarten’s most prominent geographic feature is Mount Flagstaff, an inactive volcano, but most important to visitors are the excellent sandy beaches along the south and west coasts. Beach and (duty-free) shopping provide the most tourists with complete satisfaction. But St. Maarten is also popular with divers and sailors. Stunning coral reefs can be found in the world-class diving areas near the coast. The wreck of HMS Proselyte, a British warship that sank in 1801, is also particularly popular. Increasingly popular with water sports enthusiasts, bodyboarding is the way to fully enjoy St. Maarten’s shimmering waters and bright sunshine. See other countries in North America on businesscarriers.
Arriving by plane
KLM (KL) offers non-stop flights to St Maarten from Amsterdam; Air France (AF) flies non-stop from Paris. Feeder flights to Amsterdam and Paris are possible from Frankfurt/M., Vienna and Zurich with the respective national airlines. The Dutch airline Winair (WM), based at Princess Juliana Airport (SXM), regularly connects other islands of the Lesser Antilles with Sint Maarten. Winair (WM) also offers charter flights to all other Eastern Caribbean destinations. St. Maarten is also served by American Airlines (AA) and Delta Airlines (DL).
Paris – Sint Maarten: 9 hrs 5 mins; Amsterdam – Sint Maarten: 9 hours
International flights cost around €25 (US$30) (excluding transit travelers and children under the age of two). Travelers to the surrounding islands pay around €8.50 (US$10).
Arrival by car
Toll: There are no toll roads. Documents: The national driving license is sufficient.
Arrival by ship
Cruise ships dock regularly in the port of Philipsburg. Ferries connect Sint Maarten to other islands.
AIDA and Cunard dock in Sint Maarten on their cruises departing from Germany. Costa, MSC, P&O Cruises and also Cunard have Sint Maarten in their program from other European ports.
Great Bay Express ferries connect Sint Maarten with St Barthelemy, Saba and St Eustatius.
Traveling by car/bus
The road network has a total length of approx. 53 km. It consists mainly of a ring road along the coast and smaller roads leading to the interior of the island.
Right-hand traffic/left-hand traffic
Condition of the roads
Most roads are in good condition. Toll: There are no toll roads. Gas stations are sufficiently available.
Rental cars are available with and without a driver at the airport and in the capital. The minimum age for drivers is 21 years.
Taxis run all over the island. There are no meters, but fixed rates that are 50% higher at night. Fare lists are available in the taxi and at the tourist office. Tipping is not expected. Cheaper shared taxis that only leave when full are also available.
TriSport has bike rentals and tours available from its Simpson Bay and Marigot locations.
Scheduled buses run hourly from Philipsburg to Cole Bay, Mullet Bay, Simpson Bay and via Marigot to Grand Case and back from 5am to 12am.
Traffic regulations: – alcohol limit: 0.0 ‰; – Seatbelt obligation. Speed limits: – in built-up areas: 20-40 km/h (depending on the signs); – extra-urban: 60 km/h.
The ADAC foreign emergency call offers ADAC members and holders of ADAC foreign health and accident insurance comprehensive assistance in the event of vehicle breakdowns, traffic accidents, loss of documents and money, and medical emergencies. The emergency number is available around the clock; in the event of damage to the vehicle: Tel. +49 (0)89 22 22 22, in the event of illness: +49 (0)89 76 76 76. In the event of breakdowns or accidents with the rental car, the car rental company should be contacted first.
The national driving license is sufficient.
Traveling in the city
Due to its small size, Philipsburg can easily be explored on foot.
Traveling by ship
Travelers can rent small boats for excursions to neighboring islands, fishing, water skiing, and diving.