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St. Maarten Travel Info

by Troy

St. Maarten Travel Info

Let your dream of a perfect holiday come alive. Come to St. Maarten – the smallest island in the world to be mutually shared by two nations Netherlands and France, making it a rich blend of culture in the Caribbeans. Best of all it is within reach. St. Maarten has an excellent seaport and airport, making the tropical island an eye-catching hub for a modern-day adventure and relaxation.

Here are some know-how facts for the eager St. Maarten traveler:

St. Maarten Location: 150 miles southeast of Puerto Rico amidst the Caribbean Sea, with Dutch St. Maarten on the South (16 square miles) and French Saint Martin on the North (21 sq. mi.)

Time: Atlantic Standard Time year-round. Noon in New York equals 1 pm on the island during fall and winter. The same on the Eastern Seaboard as it is on the island during daylight savings-time in the US.

St. Maarten Capitals: There are two – Philipsburg for the Dutch, Marigot for the French.
Nationalities: Home to 140 different ones, including communes of Guadeloupe-territory of France.
Languages: Again, there are two official ones – Dutch and French. Also spoken are Spanish, Papiamentu, Italian, Hindi, Chinese, and others on the Dutch-side, and Creole Patois on the French-side.
Population: Although the French are is bigger, 41,000 people live on St. Maarten and only 36,000 on Saint Martin.
Accommodations: Home and lodging in over 2,000 interest-rooms ranges from all-inclusive resort hotels or condominiums to small guest-house villas, apartments, or timeshares.
Appliance Electricity: Most hotels are same with the US 110 volts, 60 cycles. On the French-side, all appliances run on 220 volts, 60 cycles so a converter and adaptor-plugs are needed.
Radio and Television: Most hotels have their own video entertainment and direct TV systems broadcasting in English. Some cable TV’s have over 50 channels distributing all major US and some European networks. Private homes satellite-TV reception is also available, including DirecTV, DISH Networks.
Newspapers: Local newspapers and subscription publications include St. Maarten Nature Magazine, St. Maarten Events, Discover St. Maarten, St. Maarten Nights, Ti Gourmet, and Vacation St. Maarten.
Telephone: To call the Dutch-side from US, dial international access code 011 + country code 599 + local number. Special codes are required in calling the other side. Only a local number is required when calling the same side.
Post-Office: Located in major areas. Overnight shipping-services are also available.
Dinning: 300 restaurants offer multi-cultural cuisine – French, Dutch, Caribbean, Italian, Chinese, Indonesian, Creole plus more.
Casinos: 12 European-style casinos are all on the Dutch-side.
Marriage: The residency law has finally been changed allowing non-residents to marry on St. Maarten.
Pet Regulations: Animal health-certificate dated no more than 10 days before visit and record of inoculations, including rabies-shot administered no more than 30 days prior to visit are required.
Medical Facilities: There’s St. Maarten Medical Center in Cay Hill and L’ Hospital General de Gaulle St. Martin in Marigot. In case of extreme medical emergencies, airlift is available to Puerto Rico and continental US.
Religious Services: There are Catholic, Methodist, Seventh Day Adventist, Baptist and other Christian churches on both sides, also a mosque in BelAir on the Dutch-side.
Public Holidays may close many businesses especially during Carnival. Easter Monday is celebrated on both sides. Queen’s Birthday (Dutch) is on April 30, while the French-side observes Bastille Day on July 14. St. Maarten Day (Nov 11) for the Dutch and Concordia Day for the French. Boxing Day on the Dutch-side is on December 26. Check with the hotel front desk.
Important Numbers: To dial the Dutch-side from US or Canada dial 011 599 then number, and from the French-side or Europe dial 00 599 then number. To dial the French-side from US or Canada dial 011 590 then number leaving off the first 0. From the Dutch-side or Europe dial 00 590 before the number leaving off the first 0. Ask for Tourist Office assistance.
Sint Maarten (Dutch)
* Emergency 911
* Ambulance 542-2111
* Fire 120
* Hospital 543-1111
* Police 542-2222
* St. Maarten Tourist Bureau 542-2337
Saint Martin (French)
* Emergency 18
* Ambulance 29 0404
* Fire 87 5008
* Hospital 29 5757
* Police 87 5010
* Saint Martin Tourist Office 0590
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