FRIENDLY ISLAND: CARIBBEAN SAINT MARTIN
There are more than one islands by the same name “Saint Martin”, but the island in the Caribbean with the same name is commonly known as the “Friendly Island”. Administratively, it is divided into two parts, French-speaking Saint Martin and Dutch-speaking Sint Maarten. You can seamlessly travel between the two parts. Though you will find totally different cultures, food habits and lifestyles in the two parts, the people are generally friendly in both parts and the island is more or less safe. Another reason the island is referred to as friendly is its allowance of domestic pets just on the production of a vet's certificate and vaccination records.
Map of St Martin
What may be your attractions in French-speaking Saint Martin?
Marigot: There are many places you can visit in the capital Marigot
- Promenade beside the beach from Fort Louis to the Cemetery.
- Luxury hi-tech boutiques in old Creole houses which are totally duty-free.
- 19th-century traditional facades along an old road “Rue De La Republique” where the ground floors were made up of lime and stone techniques and the only other floors i.e., the first floors were made up of wood and bear galleries.
- Market, where you can buy handicrafts, fruits, and drinks.
- Fort Louis which was built by the people of Marigot in 1789.
- Tomb of Francois-Auguste Perrinon, who was one of the masterminds behind the abolition of slavery. His tomb can be found in the Cemetery.
- Sir Roland Richardson Gallery Museum, which has an amazing collection of paintings by St. Martiner and Sir Roland Richardson.
Pic Paradis: The highest point of Saint Martin Island is 424m. From the top of Pic Paradis, the whole of Saint Martin and neighbouring islands can be seen.
Loterie Farm: Formerly meant for a sugar plantation, this farm now protects several plants and animal species. There are a hidden cafe and a tree lounge serving fast food dishes, and eleven cabanas which can each rent ten persons daily.
Butterfly Farm: You can visit this farm located within a 900 square meter greenhouse where you will find numerous types of butterflies brought in from all parts of the world. The ambiance is ecstatic with gardens, ponds full of fish, waterfall, music, and a soothing atmosphere.
What may be your attractions in Dutch-speaking Sint Maarten?
Philipsburg: The places you can visit in capital Philipsburg are:
- A promenade along the beach dotted with restaurants and bars beside it.
- Shops located along Front Street and Back Street, where you can buy jewelry, perfume, clothes, and hi-tech appliances.
- The Courthouse, which is one of the most famous buildings here.
- Sint Maarten Museum, which depicts history from the time of Arawaks and manifests handicrafts, old photographs and other objects of the island.
- Sint Maarten National Heritage Foundation, which tells the island's history in details.
Sint Maarten Park: You can see eighty types of animals, which include parrots and other birds, squirrels, monkeys, bush dogs, capybaras, ocelots, and reptiles.
Fort Amsterdam: It was the first Dutch-built fort in the Caribbeans Islands in 1631. The control changed hands a number of times until 1816 when it again went back to the Dutch.
Fort Willem I: You can get beautiful views of the Philipsburg Bay from this fort originally built by the British in 1801 when they had invaded the island. However, the fort was abandoned in 1846 and only ruins are left today.
Altogether, the Caribbean Saint Martin Island can be a relaxing experience for you. Staying in luxurious resorts like Belmond La Samanna, Esmeralda Resort, and La Plantation will add to your comfort. Plan your trip, book your tickets and pack your bags for a wonderful vacation to this small island. Always remember to inquire before booking your stay.
Flag of St Martin