St. Maarten: the half-French, half-Dutch island
With no border patrols or customs between Dutch St. Maarten and the French portion of the island, a flight to this Caribbean destination is two vacations in one for those who want to explore both sides.
Things to see
The Sint Maarten Museum hosts rotating cultural exhibits showcasing the history, industry, geology and archaeology of the island. On display are plantation-era artefacts, Arawak pottery shards and objects salvaged from the HMS Proselyte that sank off the coast in 1801.
The largest zoo in the Caribbean, the Sint Maarten Park, located at the northern edge of the Great Salt Pond, is home to more than 80 kinds of indigenous wildlife. Visitors get a kick out of the monkeys, who throw fruit and crackers at anyone that speaks to them.
Renowned for its white-sand beaches lapped by turquoise waters, the island of Anguilla is located north of St. Maarten and boasts no fewer than 33 beaches, each one more beautiful than the next.
One of the most exciting things to do on the island, the St. Maarten 12 Metre Challenge allows visitors to participate in a mini-America’s Cup race in actual racing yachts from the 1987 competition, including Dennis Conner’s Stars & Stripes.
Lucky Stables in Cay Bay offers two-hour rides three times a day, or one-hour rides every hour on the hour all day. Couples can book a romantic sunset ride that includes champagne and a bonfire complete with marshmallows.
Food and restaurants in St. Maarten
The Curry-Coconut Grouper and Hurricane Shrimp are local favourites at Big Fish, a chic eatery decorated in white that serves up fresh seafood. The owners also run a charter-fishing outfit, and will happily cook up any guest’s daily catch.
Ocean Lounge is perfectly situated for people watching, located as it is on the picturesque Philipsburg boardwalk. Diners linger over fresh fish and steak out on the veranda, or tuck into the highly rated risotto.
Your adventure begins when you book a cheap flight with Air Transat! Save on airfare by searching the best prices on flights.