Car Hire from St Maarten Airport
The Caribbean island of St Maarten offers incredible beaches, great water sports and, for those looking for a little retail therapy, duty free shopping across the whole island. Flying into St Maarten Airport, you arrive to the Dutch side of the island, and will find it easy to hire a car.
Where to hire a car at St Maarten Airport
A number of car hire companies operate at St Maarten Airport. They are all located on the ground floor of the terminal building, opposite the baggage reclaim area. Companies based at the airport include U-Save Car Rental, Paradise Island Car Rental, Dollar, Avis, Hertz, Alamo, Budget, Empress and Sunshine Car Rental.
Petrol Stations near St Maarten Airport
The closest petrol station is located five minutes’ drive from the airport terminal. It’s a Shell garage on Airport Road, heading east from the airport.
Driving around St Maarten Airport
St Maarten Airport sits on Airport Road, which travels west to Maho Beach and east towards Pelican Key. The airport is located on the banks of Simpson Bay Lagoon with a narrow strip of land on either side leading to the main part of the island. The island is split between a Dutch and a French side and, although there is no real border, some car hire companies state that rental cars shouldn’t be taken from one side to the other. ###Check in advance to be sure.
Roads around the island are narrow so hiring a small car is a wise decision. There’s one main road which travels around the island and smaller roads, where you may need to stop to let cars pass, heading into residential areas.
Traffic around the island can get very congested between 4pm and 7pm so it’s best to avoid driving during these times if possible. A GPS system is also a good idea as signposting around the island is minimal at best.
Getting to your destination
Hiring a car from St Maarten Airport means there are lots of incredible destinations within easy reach. Here are a few of them:
Philipsburg is the capital of St Maarten. It’s a great place for shopping and the town is also home to a beautiful beach, close to the downtown shops. Visitors can go horse riding along the beach, relax at a beach bar or eat at restaurants along the boardwalk.
It takes just over 20 minutes to drive from St Maarten Airport to Philipsburg, taking the Airport Road east and then Union Road south after crossing the lagoon. Philipsburg is a small town but traffic can be busy during rush hours. The stretch along the beach is laid over a grid system but there are some one way streets so a good map or GPS system would come in handy.
Mullet Bay sits at the edge of Mullet Bay Golf Course. It’s an idyllic sandy beach, offering great sunbathing and surfing opportunities. Neighbouring Cupecoy Beach is a few minutes away and a great spot for watching the sunset.
Mullet Bay is just five minutes’ drive from St Maarten Airport, taking the Airport Road west and then the Rhine Road north. There are just a few roads heading down to the beach so navigation and parking are easy.
Fort Amsterdam was built by Dutch settlers back in the 17th century. The fort sits on a peninsula and offers incredible views of the coastline. Visitors also have the opportunity to spot brown pelicans, which breed on the west side of the peninsula.
It takes just under 20 minutes to drive from St Maarten Airport to Fort Amsterdam, taking Airport Road east and Union Road south. There’s plenty of parking available close to the fort.