ABOUT SAINT-MARTIN / SINT MAARTEN
Saint Martin is a beautiful tropical 37 sq. miles windward island in the East Caribbean, with 37 fabulous sandy beaches. The island is unique, being the smallest territory in the world ever to have been partitioned between 2 sovereign states. St-Martin/St. Maarten has been shared by the French and the Dutch in a spirit of neighborly cooperation and mutual friendship for more than 360 years. The border is almost imperceptible, and people cross back and forth without ever realizing they are entering a new country. The southern half is a separate country within the Kingdom of the Netherlands (as from October 10, 2010), the capital city — Philipsburg; the northern half is an overseas collectivity of France, the capital city — Marigot. Each side has managed to retain much of the distinctiveness of its own national culture, yet both are interdependent, contributing to the relaxed and cosmopolitan atmosphere of the «friendly island», as the islanders call St. Martin.
Staying in a private home offers seclusion on a much less developed island. However, world class shopping and dining are a few minutes away. St. Martin has the reputation of gourmet capital of the Caribbean and is also called a shopper’s paradise. It boasts 500 international restaurants and a wide range of high quality duty-free goods in numerous boutiques.
Between the two different cultures in St-Martin / St. Maarten, vacationers will be able to find just about every kind of activity they might want for a perfect holiday — land and water sports, hiking, horse-riding, yacht renting, sunshine cruises, boat trips to neighboring islands, fishing, sightseeing, as well as casinos and a vibrant night life.
Sunshine in St. Martin is year-round with 78°—89° F temperature.
Dress is informal to casual everywhere and is optional in some beaches.
U.S. dollars and major credit cards are accepted everywhere.
Neighboring islands include Saint-Barthélemy, «St-Barth» (French); Anguilla (British); Saba (Dutch); Sint Eustatius, «Statia» (Dutch); Saint Kitts and Nevis (independent, formerly British). With the exception of Nevis, all of these islands are easily visible on a clear day from St. Martin.
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