As a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, Sint Maarten encloses a part of the Caribbean island of Saint Martin, with its northern two-thirds filling out the French overseas collectivity of Saint-Martin. Saint Martin island is controlled by two different countries, although it does not have a physical border, it has a ‘French side’ also known as Saint-Martin, and it also has a ‘Dutch side’ also known as Sint Maarten.
Often referred to in the past as the Island Territory of Sint Maarten, it used to be among the five island territories that constituted the Netherlands Antilles. The two official languages of Sint Maarten are Dutch and English, on top of a local English-based creole dialect. As the ‘Dutch side’ of the Saint Martin island, Sint Maarten uses the Netherland Antilles Florins (NAF) currency, also known as Guilders, but the country’s establishments also accept US Dollars and Euros.
When in Sint Maarten, expect the weather to be mostly constant all-year-round. The country experiences very temperate weather with average daily temperatures of 22 to 30 degrees Celsius or 72 to 86 degrees Fahrenheit, although it also has a hurricane season which mostly happens around June through November.
Where to go
One of the main destinations within Sint Maarten is Philipsburg. As the main town and capital of Sint Maarten, Philipsburg functions as the commercial centre of the Saint Martin islands. Among the many tourist attractions within the area include the country’s airport, the Princess Juliana International Airport. It has been popularised worldwide due to its close proximity to the Maho beach. The landing airplanes have provided to be an unusual attraction to tourists and locals, alike.
Additionally, top destinations and attractions within the area also include the Mullet Bay Beach, Pelican Beach, Cupecoy Beach, Border Monument, Geneve Bay, the St. Maarten Museum, St. Maarten Carnival, Simpson Bay Beach, Guana Bay Beach, Little Bay, Dawn Beach, Kim Sha Beach, the St. Maarten Zoo, Great Bay Beach, and Fort Amsterdam.
The main airport that serves Sint Maarten is the Princess Juliana International Airport. Short haul flights are offered by airlines such as Air Antilles Express, Copa Airlines, Air Sunshine, and LIAT, to destinations that include Pointe-à-Pitre, Panama City, Dominica, and Saint Croix, among others.
From Princess Juliana International Airport, the only long haul destinations served are Paris, France and Amsterdam, Netherlands offered by the airlines Air Caraïbes and Air France, and KLM through Orly Airport and Charles de Gaulle Airport, and Amsterdam Airport Schiphol. From these airports, other destinations such as Mauritius, Seoul, Tokyo, Athens, Delhi, and Malta, can be reached.
How to get out
When getting out of Sint Maarten, Princess Juliana International Airport operates flights to and from various destinations such as Miami, Montreal, Toronto, Paris, Boston, New York, Amsterdam, Fort Lauderdale, Anguilla, Saint Barthélemy, Newark, and Curaçao via airlines such as Air France, American Airlines, JetBlue, Spirit Airlines, United Airlines, St Barth Commuter, and Winair; and seasonal flights to Minneapolis, Pointe-à-Pitre, Ottawa, and Chicago via Delta Air Lines, Sun Country Airlines, WestJet, and Air Caraïbes, in addition to many.