The Caribbean island of Saint Martin / Sint Maarten

Sunday, 26 October 2014 - 02:37 am (CET/MEZ) Berlin | Author/Destination:
Category/Kategorie: General
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Cruise ships in Philipsburg © flickr.com - Petra de Boevere/cc-by-2.0

Cruise ships in Philipsburg © flickr.com – Petra de Boevere/cc-by-2.0

Saint Martin is an island in the northeast Caribbean, approximately 300 km (190 mi) east of Puerto Rico. The 87 square kilometres (34 sq mi) island is divided roughly 60/40 between France (53 square kilometres (20 sq mi)) and the Kingdom of the Netherlands (34 square kilometres (13 sq mi)); the two parts are roughly equal in population. It is one of the smallest sea islands divided between two nations, a division dating to 1648. The southern Dutch part comprises Sint Maarten and is one of four constituent countries that form the Kingdom of the Netherlands. The northern French part comprises the Collectivité de Saint-Martin (Collectivity of St. Martin) and is an overseas collectivity of France.

The main cities are Philipsburg (Dutch side) and Marigot (French side). The Dutch side is more heavily populated. The largest settlement on the entire island is Lower Prince’s Quarter, on the Dutch side. The highest hilltop is the Pic Paradis (424 metres (1,391 ft)) on center of a hill chain (French side). But both sides are hilly with large mountain peaks. This forms a valley were many houses are located. There are no rivers on the island, but many dry guts. Hiking trails give access to the dry forest covering tops and slopes.

Sint Maarten - Philipsburg and the Great Bay © Clavius66/cc-by-sa-3.0 Sint Maarten - Court House in Philipsburg © Germanramos A newer border monument, crossing from Saint Martin to Sint Maarten © JB82/cc-by-sa-3.0 Maho Beach - Air France Airbus A340 landing on Princess Juliana Airport © L74123 Map of middle part of Leeward Islands © Hanhil Cruise ships in Philipsburg © flickr.com - Petra de Boevere/cc-by-2.0
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A newer border monument, crossing from Saint Martin to Sint Maarten © JB82/cc-by-sa-3.0
St. Martin’s Dutch side is known for its festive nightlife, beaches, jewelry, exotic drinks made with native rum-based guavaberry liquors, and plentiful casinos. The island’s French side is known for its nude beaches, clothes, shopping (including outdoor markets), and rich French and Indian Caribbean cuisine. English is the most commonly spoken language along with a local dialect. The official languages are French for Saint-Martin, and both Dutch and English for Sint Maarten. Other common languages include various French-based creoles (spoken by immigrants from other French Caribbean islands), Spanish (spoken by immigrants from the Dominican Republic and various South American countries), and Papiamento (spoken by immigrants from Aruba, Bonaire and Curaçao).

Rental cars are the primary mode of transportation for visitors staying on island. If any driving is expected off the major roads (such as to some of the more secluded beaches), a four-wheel drive is recommended. Traffic on the island, however, has become a major problem; long traffic jams between Marigot, Philipsburg and the airport are common.

Neighbouring islands include Saint Barthélemy (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.

Read more on Saint Martin Island, Sint Maarten, Saint Martin, france.fr – Saint Martin, Marina Fort Louis, Princess Juliana Airport, Wikipedia Saint Martin and Wikipedia Sint Maarten. Learn more about the use of photos. To inform you about latest news most of the city, town or tourism websites offer a newsletter service and/or operate Facebook pages/Twitter accounts. In addition more and more destinations, tourist organizations and cultural institutions offer Apps for your Smart Phone or Tablet, to provide you with a mobile tourist guide (Smart Traveler App by U.S. Department of State - Weather report by weather.com - Global Passport Power Rank - Travel Risk Map - Democracy Index - GDP according to IMF, UN, and World Bank - Global Competitiveness Report - Corruption Perceptions Index - Press Freedom Index - World Justice Project - Rule of Law Index - UN Human Development Index - Global Peace Index - Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Index). If you have a suggestion, critique, review or comment to this blog entry, we are looking forward to receive your e-mail at comment@wingsch.net. Please name the headline of the blog post to which your e-mail refers to in the subject line.








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