Language: Dutch, English
Currency: Netherlands Antillean guilder (ANG)
Airports: Princess Juliana International Airport (PJIA)
Known for: Butterfly Farm, Colonial Architecture, Duty Free, Night-Life
Official Tourism Website: vacationstmaarten.com/
Drives on the: Right side
Calling Code: +1-721
The deceptively small Dutch St Maarten (Sint Maarten) presents some interesting contrasts for the explorer. Wide beaches along the coast, full of sunbathers and surfers, seem a far cry from the quiet country roads and small towns of the hillsides. In the evening the hills of the interior become even more peaceful, while the glittering casinos and pulsing clubs of the coast just begin to come alive.
St. Maarten is the Dutch side of a destination shared by two countries (French/St Martin and Dutch/St Maarten). This side of the island is a bustling one with numerous hotel offerings and dining experience.
Things To Do in St. Maarten
Attractions & Sights: See the romance and history of this small bicultural island in these sights:
- Court House on Front Street
- St Maarten Museum
- Baker’s Island Liquors
- Guavaberry Shop
- Historic Fort Amsterdam
Trail Biking: No easier way to tour the island at your own pace then through the trails on a bike.
Hike: Hike Cole Bay Hill for amazing Caribbean views. Another favorite is a leisurely on hour hike to Cay Bay.
Loterie Farm: in the mountainous center of the island. This private nature reserve features the only intact tropical forest system on St Martin, with two hundred year old mango trees (pick some fruits in season) and the tallest palms. There are guided hikes through the forest, showing you traces of the former sugar plantation, with fascinating historical information about the harsh live of the slaves working here before, about the herbs used during these days for medicinal purposes and much more.
Beaches: St Maarten has 36 jaw dropping beaches for all sorts of fun in the sun, lounging and sports. Some of my favorites include:
- Cupecoy Beach is famous for its cave and cliffs.
- Maho Bay Beach for windsurfing
- Simpson Bay Lagoon is perfect for waterskiing
- Dawn Beach
- Oyster Pond
- Guana Bay
Scuba Diving: Visibility in the waters of St Maarten is remarkable, most often up to 100ft. There are plenty of dive spots but most popular is the 1801 British Frigate, just a mile off the coast.
Boating & Sailing: Its a huge part of the local culture and many tourists like to take part in the daily 12-meter challenge. It’s a three-hour yacht racing event. Don’t worry there is a spot on a crew for all skill levels aboard these beautiful vessels!
Charters are available to dive under the waves in the Atlantis Submarine, or above them on cruises, dinner cruises, snorkel trips to deserted islands and even hydrocruisers to other islands. Deep sea fishing expeditions are also available and will reap with Wahoo, Marlin, Sailfish and Tuna.
Nightlife & Entertainment: Visit the casinos across the Dutch side of the island and take part in the high stakes gambling or even the penny slots. Or dance the night away to the rhythms of Techno, live Rock & Roll, classic Reggae, Meringue and souk at the innumerable discos, night clubs and bars all over the island. St Maarten also has a 6-plex movie theater always showing the latest movies. There is also a great bowling alley for those craving sports after dark.
Cuisine of St. Maarten
Known as the “Gastronomic Capital of the Caribbean”, St Maarten/St Martin offers the widest variety of cuisine and prices of any other island in the world! Home to over 300 restaurants, serving anything from BBQ ribs, to first class French fare cooked by famous chefs imported for the season from Paris. It is said that one such chef, searching for a lighter side of French cooking for those vacationing in warmer climates, invented Nouvelle Cuisine right here in Grand Case.
Marriage Requirements for St. Maarten
Couples planning on getting married on St. Maarten must be at least 18 years of age. Requests must be submitted at the least 14 days prior to the scheduled ceremony to be conducted by the Registrar.
The following notarized original documents must be submitted to the Registrar with your request:
A full abridged birth certificate to prove the legality of the same. The birth certificate must have an “Apostille” stamp which can be obtained from the City Hall.
- In the event persons are not of Dutch nationality, a valid passport is required.
- Address of both parties.
- Duration of stay on St Maarten.
- Unmarried persons must present a declaration of marital status not older than 3 months.
- If widow(er), a death certificate.
- If divorced, a divorce certificate or a final judgment decree.
- For minors, permission of the parents is required.
- Names of parents, maiden names of mother including place of birth and birth date.
- Professions of the bride, the groom and the parents.
- 6 (six) witness if the marriage is performed outside of the Marriage Hall. Non-Dutch witnesses must present a valid passport or a birth certificate with a picture I.D.
- Original documents other than Dutch or English need to be translated into the Dutch language (i.e. a French or Spanish document must be translated into Dutch, not English).
Cost: The cost for contracting foreign marriages is US$275.55 and includes civil ceremony, marriage books, stamps and certificates.
Contact: Chief Registrar
Philipsburg, St. Maarten
Fax: + 599-542-4267