VILLA VELAIRE VACATION RENTAL

Private Oceanfront Living in Beautiful St. Maarten

Billy Folly Road, Pelican Cove #9, St. Maarten DWI
Email:  info@villavelairestmaarten.com  Phone: +1.215.300.9727 [US]

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VILLA VELAIRE

SINT MAARTEN VS. SAINT MARTIN

WHERE IS ST. MAARTEN & OTHER ISLAND FAQ'S

ONE ISLAND, TWO COUNTRIES

 

The Northeast Caribbean island of Sint Maarten (Dutch) and Saint Martin (French) is the only land border shared by these two countries is the world - it is also the smallest sea island divided between two countries, a division dating back to 1648. The Capitol and main city of Dutch St Maarten is Philipsburg (the main cruise ship port is located in this town) - on the French side, it's Marigot. Both towns are bustling with sidewalk cafes/bistro's, high-end duty-free shops, art galleries, smaller local stores and ethnic food vendors to name a few.

Leeward Island Chain

St Maarten/St Martin is part of the Leeward Island group - this group of islands is located where the Northwestern Caribbean Sea meets with the Western Atlantic Ocean.  The major islands in this chain include:
 

  • US Virgin Islands (St. John/St. Thomas and St. Croix )

  • British Virgin Islands (Jost Van Dyke, Tortola, Virgin Gorda and Anegada)

  • Puerto Rican Virgin Islands (Vieques, Culebra)

  • Sint Maarten/Saint Martin

  • Saint Barthélemy, Saba, Sint Eustatius, Saint Kitts and Nevis

  • Antigua, Barbuda, Montserrat and Guadeloupe.

The island of St. Maarten/Martin is 1,218.83 miles (1,961.52 km2) from Miami, Florida US and 190 miles (300 km2) east of Puerto Rico.

Where is St. Maarten | St. Martin Located?

Island of St Maarten St Marting

The island of St. Maarten/St. Martin totals 34 sq. miles (87 sq. km).  The majority of the land (60%) is owned by French St. Martin with 20 sq. miles (53 km2), whereas Dutch St. Maarten occupies 13 sq. miles (34 km2) of the total land mass. 

GTK (Good To Know):  While this island is comprised of two separate countries (France/Netherlands Antilles), there is no physical border patrol.  Visitors are free to travel between the two countries as they please.  As you enter French jurisdiction, you will notice a sign that reads "Bienvenue en Partie Francaise | Welcome to the French Side"

How big is the island of St. Maarten | St. Martin?

'THE FRIENDLY ISLAND'

WHAT DOES ST MAARTEN LOOK LIKE AFTER HURRICANE IRMA?

This is a great question and one that gets asked a lot.

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  • Main Languages Spoken:  English & French

  • Airport Dutch Side (Airport Code: SXM): Princess Juliana International Airport (SXM)

  • Airport French Side (Airport Code: SFG):  L'Espérance Airport, AKA Grand Case Airport (SFG)

  • Currencies:  US$ (used mostly), Netherlands Antillean Guilder & Euro (see more info on currencies below)

  • Known as the 'culinary capital of the Caribbean'.

  • Population:  According to the latest census, Dutch St. Maarten has a population of around 41,000, whereas French St. Martin has around 36,000, or over 77,000 combined inhabitants.

  • It is commonplace for businesses on the French side to close from 12 noon - 2 PM for Lunch.  Almost all businesses on French and Dutch side (not directly affected by tourism) are closed on Sundays. 

 

What is the legal drinking age in St. Maarten/St. Martin? 18 years of age.

What is the highest elevation point on the island?  Pic Paradise is the highest point on the island.  Located on the French side, most easily accessed by Loterie Farms hiking trails. 

Quick Island Facts:  St. Maarten | St. Martin?

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Q:  What is the currency in St. Maarten | What is the best currency to use in St. Maarten?

 

A:  While St Maarten is Dutch owned, surprisingly the most widely accepted form of currency is the US$. As a US Citizen, there is no need to exchange your US$ for another form of currency. On the French side, the standard is the Euro and while most businesses accept the US$, you will be subject to conversion rates. While the currency exchange rates change daily, as of January 2019 the exchange of Euro to US$ was €1 = $1.14 - (it is always best to check out an online currency converter for the most up-to-date exchange rates).

There is a 3rd currency used on the island, the Netherlands Antillean Guilder 'ANG'  This is the currency that local workers on the Dutch side are paid in.  As a tourist you will never have to use it, however, it is important to mention, as you will notice that many items in stores/restaurants on the Dutch side are priced in Guilders.  The currency symbol is NAF.  As a general rule, if you divide the NAF price in half, you will get the approximate US$ price.  For example:  NAF 17.85  = US$10.00

For the exact conversion, Click for Guilder to US$ Convertor

What currency is used in St. Maarten | St. Martin?