Travel to St-Maarten

Trip to St Martin

St Martin would be discovered by Christopher Columbus during his expedition of 1493. He baptized it Saint-Martin, in honor of Saint-Martin de Tours, because the day he saw the island for the first time was the November 11, coinciding with the celebration of the saint. The climate is warm and sunny all year round, with moderate rainfall evenly throughout the year.

History of St Martin

Once mapped, St Martin is immediately claimed by the Dutch and the French. The Dutch saw it as a good starting point to connect their American colonies known today as New York, and their then Brazilian colonies. The French had colonies in Trinidad and Bermuda, and also wanted to colonize the islands in between. St Martin remained largely uninhabited until the Dutch officially founded a colony in 1631, erecting Fort Amsterdam on the promontory near present-day Philipsburg. Over the next century, small conflicts altered the border 16 times, until the current border was established. However, the border was never really enforced, and islanders have always been free to travel on both sides, a benefit that tourists also enjoy today.

The cultural richness of St Martin

The many tensions between foreign powers, the numerous invasions and colonizations have had an enormous impact on the demography and the cultural composition of the country. The culture of St Martin is a blend of Dutch, French, British and African heritage. The indigenous Creole population has its roots in Africa, since its ancestors were brought in because of the slave trade to work on the plantations. English and Dutch are the two official languages. One-third of the population is Roman Catholic, and there are smaller but significant proportions of Pentecostals and Methodists. There are also Adventists and Hindus.

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Frequently Asked Questions

In 2019, the population of the island of Saint Maarten, on the French side, was estimated at 38,002 inhabitants, while in Saint Maarten, on the Dutch side, the population was estimated at 42,878 inhabitants.
Saint Maarten is the island 'with 37 beaches', spread over more than 70km of coastline.
In high season, it is easy to reach Saint Maarten by air by direct flight; our Canadian carriers, Air Transat, Air Canada, WestJet and Sunwing Airlines, offer all-inclusive stays, making travel plans easier. Saint Maarten is also accessible by cruise ship to the Eastern Antilles.
Saint Maarten is a destination for duty-free shopping; It is therefore easy to find the little souvenir to bring back: local products such as spices, madras, rum, coconut, rattan articles, but also luxury products such as jewelry and perfumes.
The Saint Maarten Tourist Office explains why the island is divided in two; it all started with the discovery of the island by Christopher Columbus in 1493, the very day of the feast of Saint Maarten; in the 16th century, privateers and buccaneers, both French, Spanish, Portuguese, Dutch and Flemish, coveted the island for its protected anchorages and its salt deposits. Between 1627 and 1631, the Dutch settled there to operate salt mines. In 1648, the French and the Dutch signed a treaty and thus divided the island into two parts, without physical border. In the centuries that followed, the Dutch and French had to defend themselves against relentless attacks from English settlers and privateers.
The best time of the year to go to the island of Saint Maarten is from mid-December until April, when it is the high season but also the dry season, with little of precipitation. Saint Maarten is accessible year-round, but during the low season, from May to December, rainfall and the risk of hurricanes or cyclones can be high.
Saint Maarten is first and foremost a seaside destination with multiple white sand beaches, and a cruise destination in the Eastern Antilles; Marigot, the capital, will charm you with its colorful local market; Loterie Farm, nestled in the heart of a tropical forest, offers outdoor activities for the whole family, zip lines, tree climbing, hiking, and even evening entertainment, in a chic and relaxed atmosphere. Visit Fort St-Louis, the seat of several battles between French and English, for the overview of Marigot, Anguilla and the bay, but you have to climb the 91 steps that lead there. This is the place par excellence for sunsets!
As in all the oceans and seas of the world, it is possible to see certain species of sharks inSaint Maarten. It is always a good idea to check with the authorities in place, organizations and hoteliers before diving or swimming in unsupervised places.
The Dutch part located to the south of the island is an autonomous state of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, while the French part located to the north of the island belongs to the French overseas collectivity in the same way as French Polynesia. , Saint-Barthélémy and Saint-Pierre-et-Miquelon.
It is the Spanish navigator, Christophe-Colomb, who on November 11, 1493 discovered the island of Saint Maarten. See the story of his discovery on the following site: /history