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Saint Martin / Sint Maarten Travel Guide

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Who Likes This Place?

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These scores tell you how well-liked a place is in each Tribe. Gogobot Tribes are groups who share a certain travel style, like Family Travelers or History Buffs.

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  • 98%
    Luxury Travelers
  • 86%
    Wellness
  • 78%
    Local Culture
  • 71%
    History Buffs
  • 69%
    Outdoor Enthusiasts
  • 67%
    Family Travelers
  • 65%
    Vegetarian
  • 64%
    Adventure Travelers
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  • Saint Martin / Sint Maarten
    Member of
    Local Culture
    Outdoor Enthusiasts
    Budget Travelers
    + 2
    • Family Travelers
    • Luxury Travelers

    Saint Martin / Sint Maarten is an awesome island! French side is so romantic and more European with its restaurants.It is also more expensive. Dutch side is cheaper, more clubs. We lived on the French side.
    You will find plenty of beaches on that island. All of them are so different....one is calm, another is "wild" with its cliffs and huge waves... Most ( if not all) cloth optional beaches ( at least top) are on the French side.
    People are very friendly in there. Food is great. Definitely will coma back to that paradise!

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  • Saint Martin / Sint Maarten

    Gorgeous beaches, easy going lifestyle and good food. I had a really relaxing time just laying on the beach and hanging out with my family. No one is hassling you trying to sell something to you on the beach. Love it...

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  • Saint Martin / Sint MaartenPro 2014
    Member of
    Local Culture
    Budget Travelers
    LGBT
    History Buffs

    I love the French side of the island. The Dutch side is also nice but the French side is what I prefer. Shopping is more authentic (no cruise ship type jewelry shops and t-shirts that are promoted on the ship), no buskers hustling you into restaurants. The beaches are gorgeous (as they are on the Dutch side too). The Dutch side has a bad reputation, and justly so, for car break ins which is another reason I prefer the French side. A perfect place to be.

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  • Saint Martin / Sint Maarten

    The French side is my favorite. The Dutch side seemed more like a tourist spot. The beaches are what it's all about especially if you find one all to yourself. If visiting you must go to Canoa, a restaurant that serves to-die-for shrimp. Hell, the whole menu is divine.

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  • Saint Martin / Sint MaartenPro 2014
    Member of
    Local Culture
    Outdoor Enthusiasts
    Wellness
    + 4
    • Green Travelers
    • History Buffs
    • Adventure Travelers
    • Spiritual Seekers

    I didn't love St. Martin, but I was there as a guidebook author, and had to cover every single square inch of the island, from the loud casinos to the French side beaches.

    I'd give the French side five stars and the Dutch side two stars. I loved the butterfly sanctuary, the peaceful beaches, the incredible restaurants and the cozy hotels of the French side. I hated the mega-resorts, offensive restaurants (seriously, a naked-woman sushi restaurant? really?), cruise ship traffic and depressing nightclub feel of the Dutch side. But, the island is easy to reach, less expensive than neighboring islands, and there is plenty to do overall.

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  • Saint Martin / Sint MaartenCommunity Manager
    Member of
    Local Culture
    Outdoor Enthusiasts
    Foodies
    + 2
    • Wellness
    • Luxury Travelers

    One of my favorite Caribbean islands with the most delicious cuisine. Saint Martin has plenty of flavor as half the island is French and the other half is Dutch. My family comes here almost every year, it is one of our favorite places on Earth.

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  • Saint Martin / Sint Maarten
    Member of
    Foodies
    Wellness
    Vegetarian
    + 2
    • Green Travelers
    • Luxury Travelers

    The weather was good the day we stopped there, sunny skies and only a few clouds. VERY HUMID. The Dutch side is run down, much nicer on the French side.

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  • Saint Martin / Sint Maarten

    I've been to Saint Martin twice now. The first time was on a cruise and the second time I stayed for a week. The picture actually shows the Resort/Hotel I stayed at (Sonesta Great Bay Resort and Casino). I really like this island. On one side its Dutch and the other side is French. Philipsburg which is the capital is on the Dutch side next in Great Bay. Philipsburg has shops (duty free), restaurants, casinos and the cruise ship port. If you go over to Maho Bay which is still in on the Dutch side you will find trendy clubs, restaurants, casinos and bars. The other side is French which has one of the best beaches in the Caribbean (Orient Bay). Marigot has a ferry to Angilla and has newer trendy shops, clubs and restaurants.

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  • Saint Martin / Sint Maarten

    2 great little countries packed into 1 island! small enough to never get lost and large enough to be endlessly fascinating

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  • Saint Martin / Sint Maarten

    This island is amazing! The beaches are so white and beautiful, the water is so crystal clear, and the weather is absolutely perfect. The people are very friendly and helpful. I loved my visit to both halves of this incredible island!!!

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  • Saint Martin / Sint Maarten

    It was the best vacation. The country is beautiful. I have been all over the 2 sides. The French side and the Dutch side. I liked them both. There is so much to do there you can not get bored. The beaches are great and on the dutch side they are very nice. I enjoyed sunset beach where the big jet come in and take off and are right under them when they land. Awesome thing to see. Also the Butterfly farm on the french side is worth seeing. Had a car to go everywhere but all in all a great vacation. Go see it and love it like I do.

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  • Saint Martin / Sint Maarten

    It is beautiful, plenty to do, Seeing the planes landing near the beach is amazing. Phillipsburg has great places to eat and shop. Great holiday destination.

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  • Saint Martin / Sint MaartenPro 2014
    Member of
    Local Culture
    Luxury Travelers
    Art & Design Lovers

    What a great island - half Dutch and half French, what could be better. The main cities are Philipsburg (Dutch side) and Marigot (French side). While the city with the highest population, Marigot, lies on the French side, the Dutch side is more heavily populated. It is easy to get to this island because they have an international airport with daily flights from several locations. Great shopping and restaurants and nude beaches on the French side - who could ask for more.

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  • Saint Martin / Sint Maarten

    8 day honeymoon. Most wonderful place I have ever seen on this hemisphere. I will go back and live there one day. Most layed back, relaxed vacation ever and nothing to do but yet never bored. Shopping with no import/export taxes terrific and beaches are so clear you can see a nickel at the bottom!

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  • Saint Martin / Sint Maarten
    First to Review

    Been twice....Friendly and lots to do....Enjoyed snorkeling, catamaran, water taxis to Phillipsburg, Rum Runners, Guavaberry, and general exploring....Mostly spent time on the Dutch side....next visit....will see the French side !

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  • Saint Martin / Sint Maarten

    it was awesome and theres casino right in the resort if your into that you have to rent a car to get around the island

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  • Saint Martin / Sint Maarten
    Member of
    Local Culture
    Business Travelers
    Family Travelers
    + 8
    • Wellness
    • Vegetarian
    • Luxury Travelers
    • History Buffs
    • Adventure Travelers
    • Nightlife Lovers
    • Trendsters
    • Art & Design Lovers

    Easy to reach, everything to do imaginable and a nice jump off point for side trips to St. Bart's and Anguilla.

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  • Saint Martin / Sint Maarten

    clean beaches and water. We rode horses along the beach. People were very friendly. Would go back....

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  • Saint Martin / Sint Maarten
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  • Saint Martin / Sint Maarten

    Interesting island with beautiful beach and definitely features.

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Description

When you start with two nations coexisting peacefully on one small island and stir in over 300 restaurants, three dozen beaches and a diverse array of places to sleep, shop, gamble and party, you've got yourself one of the most popular islands in the Caribbean. The French side of St. Martin is more classically European. This is where you'll find gourmet French cafes, quiet beaches and a butterfly preserve. Beach bars, spirited nightclubs and flickering casinos are scattered throughout the Dutch side (where the steady stream of cruise ships dock). A tradition here is to visit Maho Bay, next to the airport. And we mean right next to the airport ... the runway in particular. Just try not ducking when a 747 flies 40 feet above the beach. Shoppers will be in paradise; alcohol, jewelry, clothing, electronics and European delicacies are in shops everywhere, while local spices and handicrafts are in bountiful supply on the French side (try the capital Marigot near the waterfront for a good local market). And whatever pace you're looking for -- partying 'til dawn or strapping on your hiking boots to visit the island's lookout spot, Pic Paradis -- St. Martin offers it all. ... read more

OverviewEdit

4.5 out of 5
57 members' reviews
8,646 people visited Saint Martin / Sint Maarten

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