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    About St. Martin

"The smallest island in the world ever to have been partitioned between two different nations, St. Martin/St. Maarten has been shared by the French and the Dutch in a spirit of neighborly cooperation and mutual friendship for almost 350 years.

The border is almost imperceptible. and people cross back and forth without ever realizing they are entering a new country. There are four boundaries, Belle Vue / Cole Bay, French Quarter / Dutch Quarter, Low Lands / Cupecoy and Oyster Pond, testifying to centuries of peaceful cohabitation and the treaty that made the arrangement possible.

All the same, each side has managed to retain much of the distinctiveness of its own national culture. The French tend to emphasize comfort and elegance. The beaches are secluded, the luxury resorts provide lavish accommodations, and the restaurants offer the finest dining experiences anywhere in the Caribbean. The latest French fashions can be found in many of the shops, and the smell of fresh croissants and pastries mixes everywhere with the spicy aromas of West Indian cooking. Small cafés and charming bistros add a decidedly Gaelic and cosmopolitan flair to the place. On the whole the atmosphere remains very relaxed.

On the other hand, St. Maarten with its busy cruise port and bustling commercial district, has long been an active center for trade and tourism. More developed and at the same time more informal, it is very Dutch in flavor and still has strong ties with fellow compatriots in the other Netherlands Antilles. Between the two different cultures in St. Martin and St. Maarten, vacationers will be able to find just about every kind of activity they might want for a perfect holiday in the sun.

Located midway through the chain of islands in the Caribbean, just as the Antilles begin to curve to the south, St. Martin is sunny and warm year-round, averaging 82 degrees Fahrenheit in summer and just 2 degrees cooler in winter. The island is buffeted by cooling trade winds that keep things temperate all year long. Average annual rainfall comes to about 45 inches, most of which occurs around late summer and early fall."

-Article from St. Maarten web site

Kayakers in the ocean   
    Activities

The friendly island has activities for everyone of all ages:

Fly Zone: traverse and zip line course.
Carib Isle Plantation: working watermelon farm.
Deep Sea Fishing: game fishing and boat chartering.
Diving and Snorkeling: rentals, tours and day trips.
Scuba Diving: coral reefs and wreck dives.
Sailing: rentals and charters.
Water Sports: windsurfing, water-skiing, parasailing, jet-skiing.
Kayaking: sea kayaking rentals.
Hiking: 25 miles of defined trails.
Biking: rentals.
Horseback Riding: scenic tours along the beaches and marine reserve.
Tennis and Squash: more than 70 courts on the island.
Golf: one golf club on the Dutch side near Mullet Bay.
Dining and Dancing: from fine cuisine to fast food.
Duty-Free Shopping: everything from nick-knacks to couture.
Casinos: located on the Dutch side.

Woman splashing with dog in the water

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Beaches

The island has over 30 white, sandy beaches, each with its own special charm and unique characteristics. Ambiance ranges from family-friendly to topless, and from tranquil to upbeat with tourists. The eastern (windward) side of the island is subject to more wind and rougher waters; the western (leeward) side of the island offers visitors the calmer atmosphere of the Caribbean.

Volleyball net on beach with view of St. Barths in the background

Below you will find a list of the better-known beaches on the island. A longer description of each can be found here.

Dutch Beaches:

French Beaches:
Dawn Beach
Guana Bay
Pointe Blanche
Great Bay
Little Bay
Pelican Key
Kim Sha Beach
Simpson Bay
Burgeaux Bay
Maho Bay
Mullet Bay
Cupecoy Bay
Long Bay
Plum Bay
Baie Rouge
Nettle Bay
Friar´s Bay
Happy Bay
Grand Case
Anse Marcel
Petites Cayes
Pinel Island
Orient Bay
Le Galion/Coconut Grove
Oyster Pond



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